Harry KNOWLES
Rank: Lance Corporal
Number: 307351
Unit: 2/8th Battalion LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS
Date of Death: 17 June 1917
Age: 31
Cemetery: Gorre British & Indian Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France

Harry lived at 2 Astley Street in the Heaton Lane area of Stockport with his wife, Maggie. The family history website, Cheshire BMD, records that a man of this name married Margaret H Jones at St Alban's Church in 1904. This was probably our future soldier getting married at just 18 or 19.

He worked for Manchester Corporation's Highways Department and probably enlisted into the army, as a conscript, in late 1916. He will have been an original member of the newly formed 2/8th Battalion which went overseas in the early spring of 1917.

Regimental records show that Harry was not killed outright but died some time after being wounded. It is not possible to be sure when this happened or under what circumstances, particularly as his unit had been relieved from the battle area two days before he died.

The Battalion's War Diary notes that they had been in support trenches, a little way behind the front line near the French village of Givenchy. On the 11th they supported a raid on the German trenches by a neighbouring Battalion by "harassing the Bosche with rifle grenades to draw his fire".  Two days later similar support was given to another raid, this time conducted by their sister battalion, the 2/7th. It is probable that the Germans retaliated by shelling the British trenches and this may be when Harry was injured. His burial so close to Givenchy suggests that he was too badly wounded to even consider evacuating him to a field hospital. Harsh as it might now seem, military doctors on the front line would not evacuate cases for whom there was no hope.

   
           
   
     
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