Rank: Private
Number: 12598
Unit: 2nd Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 27 May 1915
Age: 32
Cemetery: Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France

Henry McGrue was born in the parish of St Paul's Chruch, Stockport in 1882. As a young man, he joined the regular army and served with the Cheshires in the Boer War. He returned to Stockport in the very early years of the 20th Century and, in 1906, married Harriett Wood at Christ Church, Heaton Norris. They lived at 12 Ashton Street, Portwood and, over the coming years, would have three children. Thomas was born in 1906; Marian in 1909 and their third child was born only a month before Harry was killed.

After he left the army, he worked as a labourer for a number of employers. For some years, Harry would have been on the army reserve and subject to recall if needed. This period had expired but Harry volunteered to rejoin on 30 August 1914. The 2nd Cheshires were still in India at this time and didn't arrive back in Britain until Christmas Eve, 1914. Harry probably had time to spend one last Christmas with his family before the Battalion went to France on 16 January 1915. Around this time, Harriett and the children went to live at 7 Bramwell Street - possibly the home of her parents.

On 8 May 1915, the Germans attacked the Cheshires' positions at Frezenberg causing many casualties. Harry was reported to have been wounded the next day, whilst the Battalion was still in the front line. Click here for further details. He would have received attention from the Battalion's medical officer and would then have been evacuated a little way behind the front line to the Advanced Dressing Station. Here, his wounds would have been dressed and he would have been further evacuated to Bailleul, about 20 kilometres away. This was a major military hospital area during the war. Military surgeons would have operated on Harry's wounds and it would seem that there was, initially, some success. However, this was a time before the invention of antibiotics and it is very possible that Harry died of subsequent infection.

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