William Wyman Durbin

Date of birth: 1896
Place of birth: Tiverton, Devon
Regiment: Hampshire
Battalion: 2/4th
Rank / Service No: Private, 29619
Died: 20th July 1918, aged 21 years
Buried: Marfaux British Cemetery, France (Plot I, Row B, Grave 12)



William was the youngest of 3 siblings born to Charles and Cecilia Durbin (nee Wyman), who married in Gloucester in 1887.

Cecilia was born in Newport in 1861, and she passed away in Southampton in 1911.

Charles was born in Cheddar in 1863, and it is not known when he died.


At the 1911 Census the family were living at 11 Cawle Road, Shirley and records show that William enlisted in Southampton.



Edith Annie   b. 1889 Cheddar   d. ??

Ethel Nora   b. 1890 Cheddar   d. 1983 Worthing   Married Edwin G. Charman in Somerset in 1922.

William Wyman



The 2/4th Battalion was formed at Salisbury Plain in September 1914 as part of the “home service” (second line) units.

The battalion became part of the 2/1st Hampshire Brigade in the 2nd Wessex Division prior to sailing for India on 13 December 1914.


Having spent 2 ½ relatively low-key years in India, the battalion sailed for Egypt on 29 April 1917, landing at Suez.

The battalion then became attached to the 233rd Brigade in the 75th Division on 15 May 1917.

It sailed for France in May 1918, arriving in Marseilles on 1 June.


From the 5 June, the battalion was attached to the 186th Brigade in the 62nd (2nd West Riding) Division.


William perished during severe fighting around Marfaux. The town had been captured by the Germans in May 1918 and its recapture was considered vital.

On 23 July the town was back in Allied hands, thanks to the 51st (Highland) and 62nd Divisions.


The Cemetery was begun after the Armistice, from graves from the battlefields and from other military cemeteries in the Marne.

There are now over 1,000 Commonwealth WW1 burials on the site.




Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 13th July 2016


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