Harold Mossman GRANGER
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Unit: 1/7th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 29 May 1915
Age: 20
Cemetery: Redoubt Cemetery, Helles, Turkey

Harold was born in Stockport, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth of "Branscombe", Davenport Park. In 1901, when a census was taken, the family was living at 67 Beech Road, Cale Green. Thomas was a commercial traveller and this provided a comfortable life for the family which included the employment of a live-in domestic servant, 16 year old Annie Cooper.  He was educated at Stockport Commercial School and Oxford House School in Lytham St Annes before attending Denstone College. Thomas Granger was a director of John Horn Ltd, a local firm of confectioners with premises at the Bon Bon Works, Canada Street, Heaviley and, after finishing his education, Harold joined the company.

In his spare time, Harold was a playing member of Stockport Cricket Club and, within days of war being declared, he joined up with other members, including his older brother Thomas Edgar (Eddie). He was given the service number of 2397. Eddie was 2393. The Battalion was a pre-war territorial unit and was sent to Egypt in mid-September. Harold and Eddie also went and undertook their basic army training there. Another young man to join up was Harold's friend, John Morten. His letters home have been published in the book  "I remain your son, Jack" and there are several mentions of Harold. The first records that they were both performers at a Battalion Christmas concert in Khartoum on 19 December 1914. Some details of the early months can be found here.

In February, Eddie Granger wrote a letter to Mr & Mrs Morten. Still in Khartoum, they seem to have been having quite a good time, although Harold had been in hospital for a few days. "It was only slight throat trouble and he is quite alright again; my own private opinion is that he likes getting there and knows how to do the trick - you see, they get chicken and all sorts of good things to eat."  In mid-March, Jack Morten, Eddie and Harold were all promoted from the ranks to become 2nd Lieutenants. However, this was not officially reported in the London Gazette until 7 August - many weeks after Harold's death). The wording of Morten's letters suggests that Harold probably never knew he had become an officer before he died.

On 7 May, Harold and his comrades landed at Gallipoli ready to go into action. The Battalion's War Diary is now missing from the National Archives so much of the detail of the following days is now lost. A major attack on the Turkish lines was scheduled for 4 June. In preparation, the British line had to be advanced so that the new front line would be within charging distance of the Turkish trenches. The task of making the initial move was given to the 7th and 8th Battalions and it was to be undertaken on the 28th.

The men from "B" and "D" Companies went out into No Man's Land during the night, even though there was a full moon. As well as their rifles, the men carried a spade or pick and, lying down, first dug a hole. Gradually they deepened and widened in, joining up to the next man to make a trench. Unfortunately, almost as soon as they had started, they were spotted by the enemy. The Turks then opened up with rifle and machine gun fire causing many casualties.

Eddie wrote home to his parents on the 31st: "No doubt you will have heard from the War Office of the death of Harold. I cannot say how much I feel for you both in this terrible misfortune. I am heartbroken myself but I know you will be brave knowing that he died for his country and people at home. We have been right in the thick of it for four days and I am writing this letter from the trenches. We made an advance on May 28th in the night and got to within 200 yards, then started to dig ourselves in. They poured a terrible fire on us and we lost heavily. Poor Harold was lying down shooting on my right whilst I was digging. He turned round to speak to me and was hit in the head. I saw at once that the wound was fatal, but managed to get his field dressing on. He was conscious for about three minutes and spoke to me. I asked if he was in pain and he said he could feel nothing, then he went unconscious and remained like that to the end. I was with him the whole time and he passed away quite peacefully at seven o'clock pm, May 29th."

Eddie writes that Harold was buried the next day "behind the trenches" by the Brigade Chaplain, Captain Kerby and that, as well as his immediate comrades,  several Stockport men from the 6th Manchester, including John Lister, received permission to attend. They were under fire throughout the short service.

A few days later, the attack took place on 4 June as scheduled. Eddie Granger was wounded and spent the rest of the War as a prisoner of the Turks.

Harold is believed to be buried in Redoubt Cemetery, although in the years after the evacuation until the end of the War, the location of his and many other graves were lost. His name is now commemorated on a special memorial within the Cemetery. As well as his commemoration on the Stockport War Memorial, he is also remembered on the Memorial at St George's Church and at the Cricket Club in Cale Green.

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