Charlton Cyril HARRISON
Rank: Private
Number: 2388
Unit: No. 2 Platoon, A Company, 1/6th Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 5 May 1916
Age: 19
Cemetery: Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy, Pas de Calais, France

Cyril was born in Weaste, Salford, the son of John and Catherine Leonara Fletcher. The family later moved to 48 Mersey Road, Heaton Mersey. He had been educated at Stockport Grammar School and had then enrolled as a student at Selwyn College, Cambridge.

He was a Sunday School teacher at St John the Baptist Church School and had intended to become a clergyman after graduating from university. He would have been at home when war was declared and enlisted into the army, at Stockport, on 1 September 1914. Cyril went overseas in January 1915 arriving at the Battalion, as part of a large draft of replacement troops, on the 29th.

On 1 March, the Battalion was transferred to St Omer to become the guard for the British Army's General Headquarters and, at one point, Cyril was part of a Guard of Honour for General French, the Commander in Chief. For the whole of 1915, the Battalion was away from the front line and only undertook fatigue and stores work. However, Cyril was injured in December and was invalided home. He did not return to his unit until March 1916.

At the end of April, the Battalion was in the rear positions, but on 1 May, they moved forward to take over a section of the front line at Givenchy. At 8am on 5 May, they were relieved by the 4th Battalion Black Watch and the Cheshires moved back into the support trenches vacated by the Scottish battalion. During the day, Cyril was shot by a German sniper, the only member of the Battalion to be killed that day.

His mate, Fred Jackson wrote to Cyril's sister and brother in law (Mr & Mrs Lee, Turncroft Road, Stockport) "I met Cyril the night we are going in the trenches and I was pleased to have him back so soon, only, to my sorrow, to lose him a few days later. Well, Mr Lee, I will speak from my heart to say he was the most willing lad we had in our platoon and the best liked and I hope these few lines will help you to bear your great loss. Once again, I express my deepest regret and I hope you will bear your loss with courage. He died as a soldier and a man. Please show the letter to his father and mother to help and comfort the. From one of your Sunday School boys. Fred Jackson."

By the early 1920s, when the War Graves Commission was collating its casualty information, Cyril's father had died and his mother had moved to 22 Highbarn Road, Middleton.

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