This website is dedicated to the men of the 1st Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment who, like my Great Great Uncle Alexander Frank Crawshaw, fought and died in the First World War.
Many of them were ordinary boys like Frank; working class lads escaping bad homes, poverty, unemployment or simply looking for adventure. Wherever they came from, they became a tight group of soldiers. They laughed and loved together, fought and got into trouble together. And, sadly, they died together.
Several years ago, my Great Uncle, Geoffrey Debnam, gave me a transcript of some letters from Frank to his sister, Mabel. They contain very little information about the events that were unfolding in France and Belgium but they do contain many interesting facts about being a young adult in 1914.
I am researching, writing and submitting a post everyday, using war diaries and contemporary accounts of the First World War, to tell the story of the Frank and the Dorsets, from August 1914 up until at least 11th February 1915. I will be interspersing these posts with Frank’s letters home at the appropriate time, along with other snippets of interest.
I started this project back in 2011, but life got in the way and I decided to shelve it for the Centenary, which is now upon us.
I hope you enjoy this website. Please excuse my many historical and grammatical mistakes, poor typing and ill thought-out leaps of faith.
Lest we forget.
Hampshire, August 2014