George Dakin (DCM), Private 8516, 1st Battalion, King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)
Killed in action 24th May 1915 at Ypres, aged 29
George Dakin was baptised on 27th December 1885 at Hurdsfield Holy Trinity Church, Macclesfield, the son of Harriet and Edwin Dakin, a silk dresser, of Hurdsfield (a silk dresser prepares silk for weaving).
In 1891 George was living at 166, Hurdsfield Road with his parents and siblings Arthur (12), Harry (10), Ethel (8), Edna (1) and Bertha (9 months); ten years later, the family had moved to 1 Masons Lane, Macclesfield, and George was employed as a silk waste dresser.
George was educated at Daybrook Street School and he attended Hurdsfield Holy Trinity Church and Sunday School.
On 5th February 1903, at the age of 17 years 2 months, George joined the 4th (Militia) Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment in Macclesfield (service no. 5131) for a term of 6 years. He was described as 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighing 105 pounds, with a 32 inch chest, a fresh complexion, brown eyes and hair, and his religion was Church of England. At the time, he was employed by Messrs Brocklehurst as a silk dresser. Perhaps George later decided that the Cheshire Militia was not for him, as he paid £1 to purchase a discharge from the army on 15th April 1903.
George was for a time coachman to the late Rev. W. Laycock, afterwards being employed as a banksman by the Great Central Railway Company.
George later joined the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment and in 1911 was serving with them in India.
At the outbreak of war George was called up as a reservist with the Royal Lancaster Regiment, with whom he had served in India for seven years. George married Mary Ann Williams in summer 1914 at Hurdsfield Holy Trinity Church, three days before he was mobilised, and arrived in France with the British Expeditionary Force on 30th August 1914.
During the battle at Hill 60 where his regiment lost heavily he acted as a despatch rider, and was recommended for the Distinguished Conduct Medal for
“taking messages into the firing line under heavy rifle and artillery fire”.
It is not clear whether this medal was actually awarded.
George was killed in action around the time of the Second Battle of Ypres, on 24 May 1915.
More information about the role of the 1st King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment during WW1 can be found on the Regimental Museum website.
Private George Dakin has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel ref. 12 on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private George Dakin, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
The floral tributes laid when the Macclesfield Park Green War Memorial was unveiled on 21st September 1921 included one with the inscription “Private George Dakin, King’s Own Royal Lancasters, from his wife, ever remembered.”