Rank: Sapper
Number: 64736
Unit: 13th Division Signal Company ROYAL ENGINEERS
Date of Death: 2 September 1915
Age: 22
Cemetery: Pieta Military Cemetery, Malta

Harry was the son of Thomas and Rose Annie Kitchen and the brother of Clifford who would also die during the War whilst serving with the Sherwood Foresters. The 1901 Census records the family living at 90 Buxton Road, Cale Green and that Thomas was a manager in the timber trade. Clifford was then 14 and Harry, 7. They had an 11 year old sister, Elsie.

The family worshipped at Mount Tabor Chapel (near the junction of Edward Street and Greek Street – now demolished) and Harry furthered his education by attending the Heaviley and Stockport Sunday Schools. When he left school he went to work at Stockport Post Office as a clerk. He tried to enlist as soon as War was declared but was refused permission by the Post Office. They finally relented in January 1915. After training first as a fighting soldier and then as an army telegraphist, Harry went overseas with the newly formed 13th Division at the beginning of June 1915.

A few days were spent at Alexandria in Egypt before moving to the Greek island of Mudros. This was the usual “jumping off point” for troops going into action at Gallipoli. The infantry battalions were in action for most of July before being withdrawn back to Mudros but Harry and his comrades spent the whole of this period on the island. However, between 3 and 5 August, the whole Division landed back on the peninsula and, over the next three and half weeks, were very much in the front line. Sometime during this period, Harry was badly wounded and was evacuated to a military hospital at Malta.

Matron M L Harris wrote to Mrs Kitchen “Being badly shot in the knee, it was necessary to amputate one of his legs and unfortunately it was found impossible to secure the good health hoped for. I am very grieved to tell you that your boy got suddenly worse this afternoon and died very quietly and peacefully. It is hard to see the number of lads like him who lose their lives and limbs all through this terrible war.” After the War, Mrs Kitchen was known to be living at 46 Wellington Road North, Stockport.

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