Cecil Dean Early

Date of birth: Summer 1890
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: STK/2027
Rank: Private
Regiment / Division: Royal Fusiliers
Battalion: 24th
Died: 23rd August 1918 aged 28 years
Death location: France


Life before the war
Cecil Dean Early was the 4th of 6 siblings born to Egbert Rougier and Ellen Eliza, nee Corke.  Both parents were born in Chatham in Kent, Egbert in 1861 and Ellen in 1862.  The family are listed as living in 23 Howard Road, Southampton in both the 1901 and 1911 census records.  In the 1911 census Egbert’s occupation is given as a Brewer’s Manager and the family unit is listed as Egbert, Ellen, Cecil (working as a Bank Clerk in 1911), Irene (aged 12) and Hilda (aged 9).  Florence Lidbury aged 20 is also listed on the census working for the family as a general servant.

Egbert Snr died in 1924 in Southampton, with Ellen passing away in 1931 in Mitford, Norfolk.

Cecil’s 5 siblings were:

Nellie Elvira   b.1880 Southampton and d. 1954 Fakenham.  Married firstly to Arthur Robert Lankester (d.1906) in Southampton in 1902, and then to John Kitton Howlett in Mitford in 1909.  She had a daughter Elvira Gwendoline (born in Southampton) from her first marriage, and a son John Godfrey (born in Norfolk) from her second marriage.

Egbert Edward   b.1882 and died on the 13th October 1915 at the Battle of Loos.  Please select Egbert’s name to read more of his story.

John Howard   b.1884 Southampton but date of death not known.  There is no history for this brother, although there is a hint that he may have gone to New Zealand when young.

Rita Gwendoline   b.1894 Southampton and d.1980 North Walsham, Norfolk.  Married William W. Wilson in Southampton in 1918.  They had a son in 1923, Douglas R. William. who was born in Alverstoke.

Irene Linda   b.1898 Southampton and d.1977 New Forest.  Married Alan R. Nock in Southampton in 1919.  They had a son b.1921 and d.1999, Neville Robert, and a daughter b.1922 but date of death not known, Rosalind Irene.  Both were born in Exeter.


Military Service
Cecil served as a Private in the 24th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers.  This division was established in September 1914 and embarked for France in August, 1915.  In the final year of the war the division was engaged in several phases of the first battles of the Somme.  Cecil died on 23rd August 1918 and is buried in the Railway Cutting Cemetery, Courcelles-le-Comte, France.  His grave reference is A30. Cecil is also remembered on 1920 Roll of Honour and King Edward’s Roll.

The Railway Cutting Cemetery has both burials and commemorations for casualties of the First World War.  Buried in the cemetery are men of numerous divisions who died in this area in August 1918.  Of the 108 burials 16 are unidentified.  The cemetery was started after the capture of the village of Courcelles-le-Comte on 21st August 1918.  The village lies 25kms south of Arras.

When the war finally ended the 24th Division of the Royal Fusiliers had suffered the loss of 35362 killed, wounded and missing.

Researcher: Jan Thorn
Published.: 25th February 2014
Updated: Insert dates here

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