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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 25569 William Marsden Duckitt

  • Age: 23
  • From: Liverpool
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 19th Btn
  • K.I.A Tuesday 11th July 1916
  • Commemorated at: Thiepval Memorial
    Panel Ref: P&F1D8B &8 C.
Pte 25569 William Marsden DUCKITT, 19th Battalion KLR.

William Duckett (or Duckitt) was born 18th November 1892 at 2a Walton Lane, Liverpool and was baptised in St Ambrose’s Church on 01st January 1893, the son of William Hutchison Duckitt (as spelt by his father in the 1911 Census) and his first wife, Elizabeth (nee Knox),whom he married on 08th September 1891 at St Ambrose’s, Everton.

An 1894 Gore’s Directory shows his father with a bakery in Sessions Road, Kirkdale.

William's wife Elizabeth died in December 1899 and was buried in Anfield Cemetery on 03rd January 1900.  

In 1901, William Hutchinson Duckitt, a baker and flour dealer and a widower, lives with his young son, William Marsden, and his sister, Fanny aged 40 years, a cookery teacher at a Liverpool school, at 117 Rocky Lane, Walton.

William remarried in 1903 in Shropshire to Margaret Cherrington. They had had three children, one of whom, Ruth died in 1906 aged 2, her death was registered in Llanwrst. Their surviving children being Marjorie Cherrington Duckitt born in Liverpool in the December quarter of 1907, and another son, John Reginald, born 1910. 

The 1911 Census shows William lives with his father, stepmother and their two surviving children at 2 Moscow Drive, Stonycroft. His father is a 46 year old baker and flour dealer, his stepmother Margaret is 44 years of age and born in Shropshire. They advise that they have been married for 8 years and have had three children, two of whom have survived. William, now 18, is shown as an apprentice in the dry and green fruit trade, Marjorie is 3 and John is 1. Also present is Fanny Duckitt a 50 year old, described as sister and also a 17 year old servant, Mary Rimmer. 

William enlisted in Liverpool joining the 17th Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment as Private 25569.

William Marsden’s Medal Roll entry shows his having received two medals, ie not the 1914/15 Star, which is either a mistake or William first went to France after 31st December 1915. His Service Record is not available.

He was killed in action at Trones Wood on 11th July 1916.

The murderous fighting that went on inside Trones Wood rendered it impossible to put specific dates on some of the casualties which is why many of the 17th Battalion losses have been bracketed as killed in action between 10th – 12th July 1916.The conditions are best described in the following passage from Everard Wyrall’s book The History of The King’s Regiment (Liverpool) Volume II. 

The remembrance of Trones Wood in July 1916 to those who passed through it is of a noisome, horrible place, of a tangled mass of trees and undergrowth which had been tossed and flung about in frightful confusion by the shells of both sides. Of the ghastly dead which lay about in all directions, and of DEATH, lurking in every hole and corner with greedy hands ready to snatch the lives of the unwary. The place was Death trap, and although the attacks were made with great determination,   the presence of snipers who could not be detected and often fired into the backs of our men made the clearing of the wood impossible.

His body was never identified and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.

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.”

His name was contained on a list of soldiers in the local press:

25569 Private William Marsden DUCKITT, 19th Battn KLR – KIA 11.07.1916. 

The Registers of Soldiers’ Effects show that monies owed to William were sent to his father who also received William’s medals.

William’s father died in 1931 and Margaret in 1947, when both were living on the Wirral.

William is commemorated on the Oswestry Memorial as W M Duckett.

We currently have no further information on William Marsden Duckitt, 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