Rank: Private
Number: 16294
Unit: 15th Company MACHINE GUN CORPS (CHES on mem)
Date of Death: 28 July 1916
Age: 20
Cemetery: Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France

Nothing is known of Harold’s life except that, after the war, his parents were living at 21 Birch Street, Heaton Norris. He enlisted into the army within days of war being declared in August 1914 and was assigned to the 1st Battalion, Cheshire Regiment.

He was probably one of the Battalion’s machine gunners and was transferred to the specialist Machine Gun Corps when it was formed in October 1915. His new unit was the Company attached to the Army’s 15th Brigade which included his old comrades in 1st Cheshires. During an advance, the machine gunners would lay down a covering barrage of fire, intended the keep the enemy’s heads down in the their trenches. They were a deadly weapon and would quickly become targets for the enemy artillery, intent on knocking them out.

The exact circumstances of how Harold was killed are not known, but the History of the Cheshire Regiment records that the 1st Battalion attacked towards the village of Longueval in the south of the Somme battlefield. As they came to the edge of the village, the German artillery barrage opened up on them and, presumably, on the machine- gunners someway to the rear.

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