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Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916

CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916

Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916

Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916

Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Pte 15199 Charles Abell

  • Age: 30
  • From: Everton, Liverpool
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 17th Btn
  • K.I.A Sunday 30th July 1916
  • Commemorated at: Thiepval Memorial
    Panel Ref: P&F1D8B &8 C.

Charles Henry Abell was born in Everton along with his twin brother Alfred Edward on 27th December 1885 the son of Alexander Abell and his wife Mary (nee Edwards).  His parents were both born in Hereford and were married on 13th August 1871 at St Timothy's Church, Everton. The twin brothers were baptised in the same Church on 10th February 1886. The baptism register for both Charles and Alfred shows the family were living at 33 Langdale Street, with their father employed as a baker. 

Charles and his twin brother were the youngest of eight children. Their siblings were John (b. 1872), Alexander (b.1878), Alfred (twin) and Annie (b.1882). Three other children sadly died in infancy before Charles was born; Thomas Mansell (b.10th March 1874)  aged 3 was buried in April 1877 at St Mary's Cemetery, Kirkdale, 4 days after his sister Elizabeth Ann (b. 10th February 1876) who was just 1 year old. Another sister Annie Mary (b.01st May 1880) died aged 2 in July 1882. 

The 1891 Census shows the family living at 33 Langdale Street, his father is aged 48, born in Much Cowarne, near Hereford and employed as a baker, mother is also aged 48 born Hereford, children born Liverpool: John 18, a solicitors clerk, and at school are Alexander 15, Annie E. 8, Charles H. and Alfred E. 5.   

By 1901 the family are living at 16 College Street North and Charles now aged 15 is shown as a junior Clerk at an Oil Mill. His father, Alexander, is still shown as a baker, while his older brother Alexander now aged 23 is shown as a druggist clerk. His twin brother, Alfred, is also shown as a junior clerk in shipping.

By 1911 living at the same address Charles, now 25 is employed as a commercial clerk with an Estate Agent. His father is shown as a baker, his older brother, Alexander is shown as a commercial clerk for a manufacturing chemist. His twin brother, Alfred is also shown as a commercial clerk for a merchant.

His mother, Mary, died on 25th July 1913 aged 71 and was buried in Everton Cemetery.    

He enlisted at St George's Hall in Liverpool on 01st or 02nd September 1914 and joined the 17th Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment as Private 15199. Although his father was still alive, her gave his next of kin as his sister, Miss Annie E. Abell at 78 Belmont Road.

He was billeted at Prescot Watch Factory from 14th September 1914, he trained there and also at Knowsley Hall. On 30th April 1915 the 17th Battalion alongside the other three Pals battalions left Liverpool via Prescot Station for further training at Belton Park, Grantham. They remained here until September 1915 when they reached Larkhill Camp on Salisbury Plain. He arrived in France on 7th November 1915.

He was killed in action on the 30th July 1916 fighting at Guillemont in France during the Somme Offensive.

The events of 30th July 1916 were regarded at the time as Liverpool’s blackest day. There follows an extract from The History of the 89th Brigade written by Brigadier General Ferdinand Stanley which gives an indication of the events of the day.

17th Battalion Diary 30th July 1916

The Battalion was in support to 19 & 20 Bn K.L.R. 2 Coys. behind  19th & 2 Coys. behind  20th. Very thick mist. The attack was pushed home to the objective in places but in the main was held up by machine gun fire from hidden machine guns.

Fighting continued all day swaying backwards and forwards until by 6pm about 300 yards in depth had been gained & consolidated all along our front.

Casualties in the 17th Battalion were 15 Officers and 281 Other Ranks

Further details are reported in more detailed by Everard Wyrall in his book The History of the King’s Regiment (Liverpool) 1914-1919 Volume II 1916-1917

The 17th King’s had advanced (two companies each behind the 19th and 20th Battalions) in small columns. They too suffered heavily from machine-gun fire and were quickly absorbed into the waves that preceded them. They also shared the gains and losses of that terrible day.

When darkness fell on the battlefield the 30th Division held a line from the railway on the eastern side of Trones Wood , southwards and including Arrow Head Copse, to east of Maltz Horn Farm. On this line the division was relieved by the 55th Division during the early hours of the 31st July. 


Well the hour to advance came, and of all bad luck in the world it was a thick fog; so thick that you couldn’t see more than about ten yards. It was next to impossible to delay the attack – it was much too big an operation- so forward they had to go. It will give some idea when I say that on one flank we had to go 1,750 yards over big rolling country. Everyone knows what it is like to cross enclosed country which you know really well in a fog and how easy it is to lose your way. Therefore, imagine these rolling hills, with no landmarks and absolutely unknown to anyone. Is it surprising that people lost their way and lost touch with those next to them? As a matter of fact, it was wonderful the way in which many men found their way right to the place we wanted to get to. But as a connected attack it was impossible.

The fog was intense it was practically impossible to keep direction and parties got split up. Owing to the heavy shelling all the Bosches had left their main trenches and were lying out in the open with snipers and machine guns in shell holes, so of course our fellows were the most easy prey.

It is so awfully sad now going about and finding so many splendid fellows gone.     

Charles' death was reported in the Liverpool Daily Post on 26th August 1916: 

Roll of Honour.  

Mr. C. Abell, a promising member of the Auctioneers’ and Estate Agents’ Institute, is reported to have been killed at the front on July 30. He resided in Belmont-road, Liverpool, and deservedly enjoyed the esteem in the circles in which he moved. His name will entered in the higher section of the Institute’s Roll of Honour. 

Charles' body was not recovered or was subsequently lost as he has no known grave and his name is recorded on the Thiepval Memorial.

The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. 

On 01st August 1932 the Prince of Wales and the President of France inaugurated the Thiepval Memorial in Picardy. The inscription reads: “Here are recorded the names of officers and men of the British Armies who fell on the Somme battlefields between July 1915 and March 1918 but to whom the fortune of war denied the known and honoured burial given to their comrades in death.”  

He earned his three medals.  

His sister, Annie, was awarded a gratuity in lieu of Charles' pension. His outstanding Army pay of £4 -7s-11d was also awarded to Annie, as was a war gratuity of £8-10s.   

In his will he left £67, 2 shillings and 10d to his sister Annie Eliza Abell. 

His twin brother Alfred served with the Tank Corps as Serjeant 70149 and survived the war. 

Charles is commemorated on the following Memorials

St Augustine Church, Everton. 

Hall of Remembrance, Liverpool Town Hall, Panel 16 Right

Charles is also commemorated on his parents headstone in Everton Cemetery (Section 7, Plot 471)

Also CHARLES HENRY, son of above
who was killed in action & buried in France
30th July 1916, Aged 30 years
Death - Life

His father, Alexander, died on 27th July 1920, aged 77. He was buried in Everton Cemetery alongside Charles' mother, Mary.

The 1939 England and Wales register shows his twin brother Alfred and sister Annie listed as single and living together at Mill Cottage, Bromyard Road, Herefordshire. Alfred's profession is recorded as Clerk (Rubber Merchants) unemployed, while Annie is shown to have unpaid domestic duties. 

Alfred died in Hereford in January 1961, aged 75.

Annie died in Hereford in January 1970, aged 87. 

We currently have no further information on Charles Abell, if you have or know someone who may be able to add to the history of this soldier, please contact us.


Killed On This Day.

(108 Years this day)
Tuesday 18th July 1916.
Pte 27346 John Mawdsley
34 years old

(106 Years this day)
Thursday 18th July 1918.
Cpl 106108 William Alexander Unsworth
38 years old