William Duggan

Date of birth: August 1877
Place of birth: Downton, Wiltshire
Regiment: Dorsetshire
Battalion: 5th
Rank / Service No: Private, 13361
Died: 26th September 1916, aged 39 years
Commemorated: Thiepval Memorial, France


William was the oldest of 8 siblings born to Jeremiah and Clara Duggan (nee Fulford), who married in Alderbury, Wiltshire in 1877.

Jeremiah was a thatcher and was born in 1842 in Cork; he died in Millbrook in 1913.

Clara was born in 1855 in Downton and she passed away in Fareham in 1917.




Edward Charles   b. 1878 Alderbury   d. 1883 Millbrook

Henry Jeremiah   b. 1880 Romsey   d. 1883 Millbrook

Clara Joanna   b. 1881 Nursling   d. 1958 Winchester

Robert   b. 1883 Millbrook   d. 1939 Southampton   Married Mabel F. Lawrence in Southampton in 1927.

Edward   b. 1885 Millbrook   d. 1941 Romsey   Married Maud Richards in Millbrook in 1908.

Eliza Ann E.   b. 1887 Millbrook   d. 1952 Southampton   Married Rowland H. Jones in Millbrook in 1912.

Belinda Mary   b. 1889 Millbrook   d. 1964 Southampton   Married Herbert G. Bishop in Southampton in 1913. Married Thomas Pringle in Southampton in 1916.


On 28 August 1914, the newly formed 5th Dorsets went to Grantham for training, as part of the 11th (Northern) Division.

After 6 months training, they moved to Hindhead and joined the 34th Brigade, which was destined for Gallipoli.


On 11 July 1915, the 5th landed at Suvla Bay on the peninsular. In th next 6 months, they lost relatively few to fighting but many more to sickness.

Evacuated in January 1916, the Battalion redeployed to Egypt where they remained for 6 months, digging defences against an expected Turkish attack which never came.


In July 1916 the Battalion went to France, joining VI Corps in the Third Army. Although the Somme offensive had begun on 1 July, the battalion first went into the line in a quieter sector south of Arras.

In September the battalion moved south, to Mouquet Farm, just below Thiepval. This proved to be a bloody introduction to the Somme.


The farm was partly held by the Germans, huge numbers of whom occupied a vast dugout below it. In this action, and the attack that followed, two thirds of the 5th were killed or wounded.


All of William’s wordly goods, including £11 12s 8d, were left to his spinster sister Clara.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 12th July 2016


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