DENT, Wilfred Powlett W P
Private; Lance Corporal; 2nd Lieutenant
21st Battalion Royal Fusileers; Public School Battalion; 1st Officers' Cadet Battalion; Royal Army Service Corps, Motor Transport
Wilfred was born on 30 December 1893 to Thomas and Jane Elizabeth Dent. Thomas was the Chief Superintendent of The Bowes Museum. Wilfred had 2 bothers and a sister: Reginald Peader (two years older); Harry Sussex (4 years younger); and Alice Gwendoline ( 7 years younger). Wilfred married Linda Florence Cambridge on 21 February 1927 in Alijart, Bengal, by which time Wilfred was in the Indian Army Service Corps. Linda was born on 26 March 1905 in Fordington St George, Dorset, to Sydney John Augustus and Agnes Helen Cambridge. The Cambridge family appear in the 1901 Census records available on www.ancestry.com, but not in the 1911 Census, which suggests that Linda's family might possibly have moved out to India sometime between 1905 and 1911. Linda's sister was also married in India.
Wilfred and Linda had a son, Neville. Documentary evidence suggests he may have been born in India around January 1929.
Teesdale Mercury 22 October 1919: Death Mr Thomas Dent (Wilfred's father). Thomas Dent's salary as Superintendent of The Bowes Museum is available in the Museum's Wages Book.
More information about Wilfred, and the Dent and the Cambridge families is available on www.ancestry.com
Royal Masonic Hospital, London
Reading Cemetery and Crematorium, Caversham, Reading
1946 Institution of Mechanical Engineers Vol 154.
Wilfred attended Barnard Castle School from 1906 - 1909. From 1909 - 1914 he was was apprenticed to Messers Teesdale Bros. Ltd., Bank Top Iron Works in Darlington and studied mechanical engineering at Darlington Technical College. In his final year at Teesdale Bros. he was in charge of the Drawing Office.
Wilfred enlisted in September 1914 and spent around 2 years in the infantry with the Royal Fusiliers (1.1.15 - 1.5.1916 4th Public School Battalion; and 2.5.16 -3.10.1916 1st Officers' Cadet Battalion). On 8.10.1916 he received a commission and was transferred to the Army Service Corps. From 3.10.1916 - 12.12-1916 he did stints at the M.T. Depots of Grove Park, Sydenham and Bulford, then at the Tractor Depot, Avonmouth. From 13.12.16 - 10.11.1917 he was Officer in Charge of Seige Batteries (13.12-1916 - 31.12.16 203 Siege Battery M.T. Col; 31.12.16 - 1.6.1917 O.C. Advanced Siege Battery VIIth Corps M.T. Col.; 2.6.1917 - 1.10.1917 O.C. 48 Siege Battery M.T. Col; 1.10.1917 - 10.11.1917 O.C. 124 Siege Battery M.T. Col). On 11.11.1917 he was wounded (gassed?) and invalided to the UK then from 16.1.1918 - 7.6.1920 he did embarkation staff duties at the M.T. Embarkation Depot. In June 1920, he became the Officer in Charge of the Motor Transport School of Instruction. After taking the Officers' Instruction Course, he went to with the British Army to Rawalpindi in India. By this time he was a Lieutenant. In 1927, he transferred to the Indian Army and spent the rest of his career in the Indian Army Service Corps, including doing service on the North West Frontier and earning promotions up to the rank of Colonel. Wilfred was a Member of the UK Institute of Mechanical Engineers and of the Association of Indian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, which he completely reorganised.
Details of Wilfred's military career in India are available on Ancestry and Grace's Guide to Industrial History.
Teesdale Mercury-02/02/1916: Local and other notes: Promotion to the rank of Lance Corporal early in 1916.
In February 1916, Wilfred's parents received a letter from Wilfred describing his Christmas Eve meal (details available in the 10th February 2016 issue of the Teesdale Mercury).