SERVICE NUMBER 164921
BATTALION 8th Battalion
REGIMENT Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's)
ENLISTMENT DETAILS Received an army commission upon leaving school
William was educated in Scotland and was an undergraduate at the Dollar Academy in Clackmannanshire, when war broke out. He completed his degree and graduated becoming a Bachelor of Science. The 8th Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise’s) Regiment suffered heavy casualties in the retreat from Dunkirk in 1940, it is unlikely that William was among their number at this time. He is known to have served in the African theatre of war, where he was wounded twice in Tunisia. On 3rd September 1943, the Allies invaded the Italian mainland, the invasion coincided with an armistice made with the Italians, who then re-entered the war on the Allied side. Allied objectives were to draw German troops from the Russian front and more particularly from France, where an offensive was planned for the following year. Progress through southern Italy was rapid, despite stiff resistance, but by the end of October, the Allies were facing the German winter defensive position known as the Gustav Line, which stretched from the river Garigliano in the west to the Sangro in the east. By 4th November, the Allied force that had fought its way up the Adriatic coast was preparing to attack the Sangro river positions. A bridgehead had been established by the 24th and by nightfall on the 30th, the whole ridge overlooking the river was in Allied hands. Captain William Gordon Raby was one of the casualties of the Allies rapid advance through Italy in October 1943. A memorial to him appeared in the Roll of honour section of the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, on 5th October 1944 and the same date in 1945.
DATE AND CLASSIFICATION OF DEATH 5th October 1943 killed in action.
PLACE OF DEATH Torino di Sangro, Provincia di Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy.
AGE AT DEATH 22
GRAVE & CEMETERY DETAILS
INSCRIPTION ON HEADSTONE Grave VIII. A. 36.
Sangro River War Cemetery, Abruzzo, Italy.
The site of the cemetery was selected by the 5th Corps and into it were brought the graves of men, who had died in the fierce fighting on the Adriatic sector of the front, in November and December 1943.
OWN PROBATE DETAILS
William’s address was shown as ‘Graigmore’ 4 The Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds in his probate records. He left effects totalling £574 16s 6d to his father.
KNOWN WAR MEMORIAL LISTINGS
The Dollar Academy School War Memorial, Clackmannanshire, Scotland.
NAME OF PARENTS William Raby and Minnie Raby nee Lewis.
DATE AND PLACE OF PARENTS MARRIAGE Mid-1913 in the Glanford Brigg registration area of Lincolnshire.
SIBLINGS NAMES & BIRTH DATES
Marion Elizabeth 18/11/1915 and Joan 1922, both born in Roundhay, Leeds.
Half-brothers William Leslie 1903 (died 1903) and Harold William 1905, both born in Leeds.
William was living with his parents and sister Joan, at 4 The Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds. His father was a Commercial Traveller specialising in Hosiery and an ARP Reserve. William was an Undergraduate at University and was registered awaiting an army commission.
OTHER SUPPORTING FAMILY INFORMATION
Father William was first married in mid-1902 in the Hull area. His first wife was Maude Marion Webster. They are only known to have had two children together, but it is possible that there were others born who did not survive infancy. Maude died at 58 Brudenell Mount, Leeds, aged 39, on 9th January 1910. She is buried in All Saints Churchyard, Goxhill, Lincolnshire with their infant son William Leslie. William died at 4 The Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds, aged 78, on 29th December 1952. He is buried in Goxhill Cemetery in Lincolnshire.
Mother Minnie died at 4 The Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds, aged 86, on 9th July 1972. She is buried with William in Goxhill Cemetery in Lincolnshire.
Sister Marion married Kenneth Williams in mid-1943. They had at least one child together. Marion died the day before her 102nd birthday, in Newcastle-under-Lyme on 17th November 2017.
Sister Joan was still a spinster when her father died in 1952. It is not known what became of her.
Half-brother Harold was a single man living at 23 Clanricarde Gardens in London in 1939. He was a Manager and Buyer for Multi Retail Stores. He married Nellie Ferrell later that same year, in the Kensington registration area, but they are not known to have had any children. He died at 6 Runnymede Gardens, Whitton, Twickenham, aged 67, on 5th November 1972.
‘No Morning Dawns No Night Returns But We Remember’
Captain, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Age: 22.