Reverend Cecil Norris Daybell

Army Chaplain, Reverend, Royal Army Chaplains Department

Royal Army Chaplains Dept Cap Badge
Royal Army Chaplains Dept Cap Badge

Cecil Daybell is one of the men named on the Bottesford ‘church list’ of WW1 Servicemen.

Family background

Cecil Norris Daybell was born on the 30th September, 1881, in Bottesford, the youngest child of farmer William Richmond Daybell (born 1839, in Bottesford) and Mary Whitehall Daybell (neé Barrand, born 1849 in Bottesford, daughter of William Barrand). Daybell’s Farm was located by Bottesford parish church, known today as Church Farm, Church Lane, recently converted into a private residence. In 1891 there were five children at the farm, William B. (born 1871, farmer’s son), Arthur R. (born 1873, a hosiery apprentice), Herber E. (born 1875), Emily W. (born 1878) and Cecil N. (born in 1881).

In 1901, nineteen year old Cecil had left home and moved to Leicester, where he had become an apprentice, living in a boarding house at 26 Princess St. The census recorded that there were some 17 boarders living there, all young men, some employed as drapers’ clerks, the others as ‘assistants’ and apprentices (not necessarily all in the drapery trade). However, by the date of the 1911 census, Cecil Norris Daybell had found his vocation and become a theology student. He had returned in Bottesford and was living with his parents at 9 The Green, Bottesford, his father having retired and left the farm. He married Kate Atkins late in 1914, at St Andrew’s, Leicester. She was born on the 12th June 1881, at Raunds, Northamptonshire.

Service record

Cecil Daybell became a Chaplain in the British Army, joining them in France in January 1918. On the 15th February, 1918, the headmaster of Bottesford Village School, Victor Collett, recorded in the school log book that, “The Rev. Cecil Daybell (another old scholar) is now serving in France as a chaplain to the Forces.” He was awarded the Victory Medal and the British Medal. His service record (Forces War Records website) gives his rank as ‘Reverend’, and adds that he was a  Temporary Chaplain to the Forces 4th Class, Church of England.

After the end of the war

Cecil and Kate lived for some years at 20, Lancaster Rd, South Leicester, then in 1927 Cecil became the vicar of Whetstone, a village to the south of Leicester, where his address at The Vicarage was recorded in Kelly’s Directory of 1928. They were still at Whetsone Vicarage according to the Register of 1939.

Cecil Norris Daybell died in December 1967 in the Melton Mowbray district, aged 86.

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