William Dilks


William Dilks


First World War

Date of Death / Age


Rank, Service Number & Service Details

Bedfordshire Regiment
4th Bn.


1914 /15 Star, British War and Victory medals


Special Memorial Row B, Grave 29.


>Not Researched

UK Memorials

Watford Borough Roll of Honour,
St Matthew’s Church Memorial, Oxhey

Pre War

William Dilks was one of six children to William and Sarah Ann (née Glenister) Dilks. His father was a bricklayer.

His parents married 9 April 1883 at St Matthew’s, Oxhey, Herts. and the family home was at 116, Pinner Road, Oxhey. Sarah died 1923 in Watford aged 65, and was buried 16 February in Vicarage Road Cemetery, Watford; William died 1936 in Watford aged 86, and was buried 2 November, also in Vicarage Road Cemetery.

William was born 1 June 1890 in Bushey, Herts, and baptised 12 September 1890 at St Matthew’s, Oxhey. He resided in Watford.

On the 1891 Census, William was aged 9 months and living in Oxhey with his parents and three siblings. By the time of the 1901 Census the family continued to live in Oxhey but William, aged 10, now had five siblings. He had remained in Oxhey by the 1911 Census, living with his parents and two siblings, and was working as a labourer aged 20.

Wartime Service

William enlisted in Watford as Private 12527 in the Bedfordshire Regiment and served with the 4th Battalion in France and Flanders. His qualifying date for overseas being 30 July 1915. He was killed in action in the front line near Ribecourt-la-Tour, on 1 March 1918.

His pension record gives his mother, Sarah Dilks, as the dependant, living at 103, Liverpool Road, Watford, and awards a pension of 7/- from 10 September 1918. Sarah’s name is later crossed through and replaced by his father, William.

He is remembered with honour at Ribecourt British Cemetery and is also commemorated on the memorial at St Matthew’s Church, Oxhey.

William is also commemorated on his sister Emily ROLPH's grave in Vicarage Road Cemetery.

Additional Information

There is also an article about, and a Death announcement for, William in the West Herts and Watford Observer, dated 16 March 1918; plus an In Memorium in the issue dated 8 March 1919.

His brother-in-law Walter ROLPH died 16 September 1916 and also features on Watford Borough Roll of Honour.

Unfortunately, William’s Service Record appears to be one that did not survive the World War Two bombing.


Andrew Palmer
Dianne Payne - www.busheyworldwarone.org.uk, Jonty Wild, Sue Carter (Research) and Watford Museum (ROH on line via www.ourwatfordhistory.org.uk)