Lance Corporal 9401 Daniel Turner

 Turner Daniel 96 384x600
Daniel and Elizabeth (nee Burns) on their wedding day. Photograph courtesy of Arthur Turner, NSW, Australia.

Killed in Action on Saturday, 1st July 1916, age 22.
Commemorated on Pier and Face 7 B of Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

1st Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 91st Brigade of 7th Division.
Formerly 9401 2nd Bn. South Staffordshire Regiment.

Husband of Elizabeth Turner, of 159, Horseley Heath, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Birmingham, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 12th August 1914.
Medal entitlement: 1914 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/817337/

Genealogical Data

Daniel Turner born 9th June 1894 at Court 10 Horseley Heath to Joseph (Sheet Iron Roller) and Mary Ellen Turner (nee Smith). Informant was Mary Ellen Turner who signed with "X the mark of..".

1901 Census
1 House, 10 Court, Horseley Heath, Tipton, Staffs. >> No. 10 Court is believed to have been 'Police Station Yard'. <<
Joseph Turner (35, Ironworker, born Tipton), his wife Mary (30, born Tipton), and their 5 children: James (10, born Tipton) Daniel (7, born Tipton), Arthur (4, born Tipton), Robert (3, born Tipton), and Lilly (2 months, born Tipton).

1911 Census
2 House, 10 Court, Horseley Heath, Tipton, Staffs.
Joseph Turner (43, General Labourer, born Tipton), his wife Mary (38, born Tipton), and their 5 of their 6 surviving children of 7: James (20, General Labourer, born Tipton), Arthur (14, General Labouer, born Tipton), Robert (12, School, born Tipton), Lilly (11, School, born Tipton), and Ann (1, born Tipton).
Daniel was not at his parents' home, he was probably boarding at 38 Ballfields with his Uncle Daniel Whitehouse -Daniel Turner (16, Nephew, General Labourer, born Tipton).

Marriage of Daniel Turner and Elizabeth Burns registered March quarter 1916 at Dudley.
Married 24th January 1916 to Elizabeth Burns (21, Spinster of 3 Great Bridge, father Meshach Burns a miner) at St Martin's Church. Daniel gave his profession as Lance Corporal with the 2nd South Staffs and address as 2 Horseley Heath. Elizabeth was born on 19th February 1894 at 50 Ballfields, Tipton.

Personal Data

Daniel was already a Regular in the South Staffs at the outbreak of war, and arrived in France on 12th August 1914, the very first day that British forces landed in France. He would save seen action in all the early actions: 1st Battle of Ypres, Neuve Chapelle, Aubers Ridge, Festubert, and Loos before arriving on the Somme in 1916. All 4 Turner brothers - James, Daniel, Arthur and Robert served in the Great War, with the elder 2 James and Daniel being killed.

After Daniel's death, his army pay and allowances amounted to £3/6/0d (3 pounds and 6 shillings); this was paid to his widow, Elizabeth, in September 1917. His War Gratuity was £10/10/0d (10 pounds, 10 shillings), this was also paid to Elizabeth in October 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Daniel had enlisted in approximately August 1914 - we know that Daniel was a serving soldier at the outbreak of war.

Daniel’s widow, Elizabeth, received a Grant of £5 on 1st August 1917, and she was awarded a Widow’s Pension of 13/9d (13 shillings and 9 pence) per week, effective from 28th January 1918. Her address at the time was given as 3 Police Station Yard, Horseley Heath, Tipton.

Action resulting in his death

The 1st South Staffs, as part of 7th Division, attacked the village of Mametz. This was well to the south of the Somme battlefield where the attack achieved many of the objectives. The initial attack at 7.30am captured most of Mametz, but was forced to a halt by mid-morning by German resistance. By early afternoon, the attack was carried forward again with a German garrison of around 200 surrendering. By 7.30pm, all the Staffords objectives had been achieved.

The 1st South Staffs had 4 officers and 82 men killed on the day, with more dying of wounds of subsequent days. Of these 82 men, 5 were from Tipton: James Butcher, Luke Gwilliams, Dan Turner, George Wheatley and John Wilkinson. James Butcher and George Wheatley are buried in Dantzig Alley Cemetery, the other three have no known grave and are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. Another man, John Akins, was wounded in action and died on 2nd July.

War Diary for 1st South Staffs
1st July 1916: MAMETZ
7.30 am:
Attack launched. The attack was pushed forward very successfully and with very few casualties until the whole Battalion was in MAMETZ, where a large number of Germans were encountered. At 9.08 am a message was received from O.C. 'D' company stating the Battalion was held-up on South side of MAMETZ and required reinforcements, the enemy being in strong numbers in the village. A Company of the 21st Manchester Regiment was sent to our support and at 11.20 am we received a message stating that we had advanced to the North East corner of the village and were consolidating. We also held BRIGHT ALLEY with a small force.
The position of Companies was:- 'C' Company on the Right, making a strong point, 'D' Company in DANZIG ALLEY making a strong point with two Stokes Guns. 'B' Company on the Left Front.
2.00 pm:
Battalion had gained and was consolidating the whole of its objective with the exception of BUNNY ALLEY.
3.10 pm:
Battalion had to withdraw in line with the church as FRITZ TRENCH had not been captured.
5.30 pm:
Battalion Headquarters moved up into MAMETZ and on reaching the village found that the Battalion's final objective had not been captured. Major Morris, with great skill, at once reorganised all the troops in the village and allotted each a task. The final objectives were taken and held at about 7.40 pm.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 21st November 1914
Private Daniel Turner, of the Staffordshires, writes to his parents who reside at No. 10 Court, Horseley Heath, in which he shows how a bullet went through all the writing paper in the pack he was carrying. Private Turner, who has two other brothers in the forces, says:- "Your letter has arrived safe and sound. I am still going on alright. All the writing paper that was sent to me in the parcel has been spoilt by a bullet going through my pack. I never knew until I pulled it off, so that was one of the many narrow escapes I have had. This piece of paper is part of what is left. I am keeping the bullet as a keepsake. I do not know the man Clarke you mention; his grave is only one of the many spattered about France. It is a shame that parents can't visit their son's grave. When a soldier dies he has a good place dug for him, and it is always looked after. But all like to see the resting place of their beloved ones. It's a cruel shame, and if the Kaiser has the luck to get killed they should let him lie and rot. I hope I shall be having my Christmas dinner at home. Keep it up Albion, and back England to win the big race."

Country Express
Cpl. D. Turner, South Staffs regiment, reported missing. News gladly received by his wife, Mrs Turner, Police Station Yard, Horseley Heath, Tipton.

Birmingham Daily Gazette 18th September 1916
More photographs of missing Midlands soldiers have been received from relatives of the men with the request for publication in the hope that news may be received.
We gladly undertake this voluntary work, and look with confidence for the assistance of our readers. Many of the missing men have friends at the front or in hospital, and if the "Gazette" is posted to men in the same regiment it may be the means of bringing information to their homes.
Corporal D. Turner, South Staffs Regiment, reported missing. News gladly welcomed by his wife, Mrs Turner, Police Station Yard, Horseley Heath, Tipton.