World War 1 - Private Dines

St. Mary's churchyard has a military grave with a headstone that reads:

454276 Private
H.W. Dines
Labour Corps.
4 November 1918 age 34

Harry William Dines was born in Frating, Essex in 1884 (1), the son of Henry and Emily Dines (2). At the age of 17 he lived with his parents and four sisters in Little Bentley, working as a farm labourer (2). At 27 he lived at the family home in Spring Road, Little Bentley, with his parents, two brothers and two sisters, and was still in the same occupation (3). In 1914 at the age of 30 he married Eliza Maria Randall in the Tendring district (4).

He served in the Labour Corps. (5), in the 684th Company (6). Sadly since World War 1 many service records for the Labour Corps. were destroyed by fire (7), and information on the 684th Company in particular is sparse, apart from one (unconfirmed) note of it fighting in France in 1918, and one (unconfirmed) note of it being an Infantry depot based in Warley, Essex (8).

Harry's own service record could not be traced either, so his postings and information on any medals could not be ascertained.

A week before the end of the war, Harry died in service in Little Warley military hospital from influenza followed by pneumonia (6). He left a widow Eliza Maria (1) and two children, Harry and Emily (9)(10). He was a parishioner of Peldon with a home address of Pete Tye Place, Peldon (11).

Inside St. Mary's church is a wall plaque memorial to the servicemen of the parish who died in World War 1, but Private Dines is not listed on it. However, he is recorded in the Memorial Book which is publically available inside the church.

Sources of information:
(1) Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Grave Registration Document:
(2) 1901 Census
(3) 1911 Census
(4) Register of Marriages, 1914, Vol. 4a, Page 1408
(5) For information on the Labour Corps. see various websites e.g.:
(6) Death Certificate for Harry William Dines, source: BMD indexes, 1837-2005. (Writer's note: There is a small error in the service number)
(7) 'The long, long trail' website, section: 'Collections of records and how to find them'. Webpage
(9) National Register of Births, 1914, Vol. 4a, Page 1530.
(10) National Register of Births, 1918, Vol. 4a, Page 1090.
(11) Mersea Museum webpage:,Tithe,WW,17thcentury&syn=all&wds=Dines%2C+Harry+William

Author: Geoff Gonella
November 2017
Source: Mersea Museum / Peldon History Project