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Major Abell, William Henry

Medal & Mortality index

Killed in Action November 1914

The De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour :
Abell, William Henry Major 4th Battalion The Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex regiment), 2nd son of the late Martin Abell, of Norton Hall, co Worcester; born 20 September 1873; was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant Middlesex regiment from the Militia, 9 December 1896; promoted Lieutenant, 9 Oct 1899, Captain 15 December 1900 and Major 28 September 1912; served at St Helena during the outh African War from March to 31 May, 1902 (Queen's Medal); was adjutant to the Volunteers from 1 September 1907 to 31 March 1908, and adjutant to the Territorial Force from 1 April 1908 to 7 March, 1910; served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders, and was killed in action at Obourg, near Mons, in November 1914.


The morning of the 23rd opened sunny and bright. The weather was set fair with a breeze from the east, a cloudless sky, and the promise of great heat at midday. A pale blue haze rounded off the distance, and softened the outlines of the tall, gaunt chimney stacks with which the entire country is dotted.

To the right of the Nimy bridge the 4th Middlesex were in the meanwhile putting up a no less stubborn defence, and against equally desperate odds. Major Davey, whose company was on the left, in touch with the right of the R. Fusiliers, had fallen wounded early in the day, and the position at that point finally became so serious that Major Abell's company was rushed up from reserve to its support. During this advance Major Abell himself, Captain Knowles and 2nd Lieut. Henstock were killed, and a third of the rank and file fell, but the balance succeeded in reaching the firing line trenches and—with this stiffening added—the position was successfully held for the time being.