In Flanders Fields…Cecil Darker

Cecil George DARKER

Geddington Roll of Honour 1914-18

Picture of Cecil Darker

Cecil Darker

Rank: Private
Service No: 203547
Regiment/Service: Bedfordshire Regiment – 7th Battalion
Died: 10/08/1917 – Killed in action – aged 19
Memorial: Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium – Panel: 31 and 33.
War Office Information: Son of William J. and Sarah Ann Darker, of 22, Grafton Road, Geddington, Kettering.

Personal Information

Little is recorded of the family’s life in Geddington and they do not appear on the 1901 census so it is presumed that they came to the village after that date. Cecil’s parents William Thomas & Sarah Ann Darker had, however, already lost one child and when their only child, Cecil enlisted in March 1917 they must have understood the dangers he faced. He went to France in May 1917 and was killed in action on 10th August 1917.

Melvyn Hopkins in his book ‘Geddington at War’ describes him ‘as a well respected lad, being an earnest worker in connection with the local branch of C.E.M.S. ‘ He was a member of the local band of bellringers and was employed at the local Storefield Iron Works as were many of his friends. Some of those friends helped ring a muffled peal at the church in Geddington in his memory in September 1917.

After his death his father was awarded £2 2s 9d  (about £2.10p) in January 1918 as the War Gratuity his son was owed, followed by a further payment of £3 in November 1919. It must have been a bittersweet payment for his son’s life.’

1911 Census: Grafton Road, Geddington
William Thomas Darker (father); Aged 40; waggoner to estate forester; b. Desborough
Sarah Ann Darker (mother); Aged 39 – married 15 years, 2 children, 1 living
Cecil George Darker; Aged 13; helping shepherd on farm; b. Leicester