DIVISIONAL UNIT: 29th British Division
88th Infantry Brigade
1st Battalion Essex Regiment
AWARDS: Military Medal + two bars
SERVICE NO: 4543
RESIDENCE: Leytonstone – Essex - England
DATE OF BIRTH: Leytonstone – Essex - England
DATE OF DEATH: February 1, 1918
CEMETERY: Oxford Road Cemetery – Ypres –
West Vlaanderen – Belgium
V G 7
Enlistment: Warley – Essex – England
Company Sergeant Major Dovey is named on the cenotaph in the Town of Wingham.
The London Gazette published that Sergeant Dovey had been awarded the Military Medal on November 9, 1916. He was awarded this medal for acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire or for individual or associated acts of bravery. The Gazette then announced that Sergeant Dovey received a bar to his Military Medal on January 6, 1917. Then on a later date it was announced that Sergeant Dovery had received a second bar to his Military Medal.
The winter of 1917-1918 was spent trying to survive the extreme weather conditions which ranged from cold and snow, spells of freezing cold followed by warmer periods, then torrential rain followed by gale force winds. During all of this both sides sent out raiding parties and the British were very effective using night machine gun fire and artillery barrages against the enemy.
We were unable to access the service files in England as they were destroyed by the German Luftwaffee during a bombing raid in the early years of World War II.
We do not know when he enlisted and when he joined the 1st Battalion of the Essex Regiment.
The last fight the 88th Brigade was involved in during 1917 was the Battle of Cambrai and the German counter-attacks. This took place at the end of November.
The 1st Battalion of the Essex Regiment left the 88th Infantry Brigade shortly following the death of Company Sergeant Major Dovey. They joined the 37th British Divison – 112th Infantry Brigade.
It seems from the information we have before us that Company Sergeant Major Dovey lost his life during the winter of 1917-1918. Perhaps he was killed from enemy artillery fire, a sniper’s rifle or when a patrol was sent out as a raiding party.
We do not know at this time why this man is named on the Wingham cenotaph.
Gazette issue 30573 (page 3223)
29819 (page 10921)
29893 (page 351)
British National Archives Essex Diaries