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Cecil William Caygill (1895-1977)

Man from Chopwell served with 9th DLI won the DCM during the '100 Days Offensive'

Cecil William Caygill, the son of John William and Agnes Caygill, was born in Tow Law on 3 August 1895. He had one brother who also served in the Durham Light Infantry (DLI) and was killed on 1 October 1916. He enlisted in the 9th Battalion Durham Light Infantry at Chopwell on 7 September 1914 and landed in France on 20 April 1915. In 1918 he was awarded the Military Medal and during the ‘100 Days Offensive’ won the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) in company with Privates J Gundry & T Thompson. He was demobilised on 9 January 1919 and a year later married Harriet Morley in Gateshead and they had a daughter, Laura. He later moved back to Leicestershire and i!n 1939 he was a coal miner living in Chopwell.

His award of the DCM was gazetted on 16 January 1919 and the citation reads:

“For magnificent conduct at Havrincourt, 12th to 15th September, 1918. When forward platoons of their company were heavily counter-attacked and pressed back by the enemy, leaving many casualties in ‘No Man’s Land’, they went forward and rescued the wounded in face of heavy machine gun fire and snipers’ fire. They made nine journeys and brought in sixteen of their wounded comrades, whose lives they undoubtedly saved”.

International Encyclopedia of the First World War, Hundred Days Offensive:

Civil Parish: Chopwell

Birth date: 03-Aug-1895

Death date: 1977

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: Buckhams Cottages, Tow Law (1901 census)
6 Inkerman, Tow Law (1911 census)
9 Mersey Street, Chopwell (British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920)
14 Thames Street, Chopwell (1939 Register)

Employment: Driver in coal mine (1911 census)
Miner, Coal Hewer (1939 Register)

Family: Father: John William Caygill
Mother: Agnes Caygill (nee Dryden)
Brother: Joseph Watson Caygill
Wife: Harriet Caygill (nee Morley}
Daughter: Laura A Caygill

Military service:

9th Battalion Durham Light Infantry
Regimental numbers: 2693 & 325326

Medal(s): Distinguished Conduct Medal
Military Medal
1914-1915 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Gender: Male

Contributed by John Edwards

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