Herbert DANCE
Rank: Private
Number: 23671
Unit: 4th Battalion King’s (Liverpool) Regiment
Date of Death: 19 May 1915
Age: 28 (probably)
Cemetery: Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France

Regimental records published after the War show that Herbert was born in Gorton, Manchester and was living in Compstall when he enlisted into the army at Hyde.

Dance is a relatively uncommon name and it is probable that he was the 14 year old Herbert listed in the 1901 Census as living at 71 Varna Street, Openshaw, Manchester. If this is correct, then his parents will have been Philip and Margaret and he will have had four younger sisters - Margaret, Edith, Florence and Beatrice.

The 4th King's Regiment arrived in France on 6 March 1915 and were soon in action the following month near Ypres (now Ieper). There were no major attacks on the Western Front on 19 May. Troops would have regarded it as a relatively quiet day. However, these things are relative and for the men of the King's, in trenches near Festubert, it would have felt anything but quiet. They suffered constant heavy shellfire on the 18th and 19th. The Battalion's War Diary records that 2 men were killed in action and another five were listed as missing on the 19th. The bodies of these five, including Herbert, were never found and identified and their names are now inscribed on the Memorial to the Missing. Perhaps they were all together when a shell landed and they were, literally, blown to bits.

On 21 April 1918, there was a dedication ceremony of a cross erected outside Marple Bridge Congregational Church in memory of Herbert and 10 other men who had been associated with the Church, Sunday School or Brotherhood.

   
           
   
     
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