Harry HORN
Rank: Private
Number: 301541
Unit: 1/8th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 24 December 1917
Age: 20
Cemetery: Bethune Town Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France

Little is known about Harry except that he was the son of William and Hannah of 62 Bloom Street, Edgeley. He had been born locally and enlisted into the army at Manchester. Although it is not known when he joined up, his service number was not issued before the beginning of 1917 and, by that time, all recruits were deemed to have been conscripts.

On 22 December 1917, the Battalion was relieved from the support trenches by the 1/5th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers. The relief was completed by about 2.30pm and the Companies were marching back to billets at Oblinghem. In accordance with usual safety precautions, each platoon marched leaving a gap between it and the previous one of about 100 yards. It meant that, if they were shelled by the enemy, casualties would be minimised as they were spread out along the road. As "D" Company was marching through the French town of Bethune, there was a German air raid. About 50 bombs were dropped on the town, including about 5 which fell amongst the "D" Company men.

Harry was one of over 40 who were wounded. One of the Army's field hospitals - 33rd Casualty Clearing Station - was based at Bethune and will Harry will have been taken there. Unfortunately, his wounds were too severe and there was nothing that the military surgeons could do for him and seven others. Another local man, Tom Potts, had been amongst the 22 killed outright in the incident.

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