Harry died 17 days after the signing of the armistice which brought the fighting to an end. He died not of wounds he’d received in the closing days of the War, but from pneumonia after becoming a victim of the worldwide pandemic of influenza which cost millions of lives in the autumn of 1918.
He was born in Marple, the son of Thomas and Annie of 109 Stockport Road and spent all his life in the village until he enlisted into the army on 3 June 1915. He had attended Albert Day School and furthered his education by attending the Sunday School run by All Saints’ Church, where the family worshipped.
119th Heavy Battery had gone overseas in the late autumn of 1914 and Harry will have joined it, probably at the end of 1915, as one of a number of replacements for casualties. Units of the Royal Garrison Artillery fired the heaviest weapons in the armoury of the British Army and Harry’s unit was equipped with six 60-pounder guns. Improvements to the gun over the period of the War meant that, by its end, the shell could be fired a distance of over 11 kilometres. It was used to batter enemy strongpoints.
Harry died at No. 2 (Presbyterian USA) Base Hospital. Originally a British military hospital it was taken over by American personnel on 31 May 1917.
Further information about Harry, including a photograph, can be found in the book “Remembered”, by P Clarke, A Cook and J Bintliff.