Henry was born in Macclesfield and moved to Stockport when he was a young boy. His father, William, worked in the local hat making industry and, when the census was taken in 1901, the family was living in a "two up, two down" property at 13 Adcroft Street ( later at 22). William and Mary Brown had four children and Henry was their second one. He had an older brother, William, and two younger sisters, Martha and Selina. The census also recorded that Mary's father, George Simpson, was living with them.
The family worshipped at St Thomas' Church and Henry was a member of the choir. He worked for Joseph Chadwick, a greengrocer with premises at 74 Castle Street, Edgeley. On 1 September 1914, Henry enlisted into the army joining the 7th (Territorial) Battalion. Within days, he was aboard a ship bound for Egypt and the Sudan where he spent the next seven months undergoing his army training. Some details of this time can be found here. In May 1915, he went into action at Gallipoli and, as far as is known, came through that campaign unscathed.
On 8 August 1918, the Allied forces started an attack which, three months later, would see the end of the War. The 20th saw the 1/7th Manchesters preparing for an attack the next day on enemy positions on a ridge overlooking the village of Miraumont, approximately 17 kilometres west of the French town of Bapaume. "A" and "D" Companies were detailed to capture the positions on the ridge. Once they were secured, "B" would leapfrog further on towards Miraumont.
The Battalion's War Diary notes that at 4.55am, zero hour, there was an "exceedingly thick mist and it was impossible to see 50 yards ahead." By 8.30, the first objectives had been captured and "B" Company was in position ready to move forward. Casualties were reported to be light and prisoners had been captured. At 8.55, "B" Company moved forward behind a creeping artillery barrage and had secured its objective by 11.30.
98 prisoners had been taken and fatalities were very low. Only five men had been killed but Henry was one of 42 wounded. He was evacuated to one of the three field hospitals then based at Gezaincourt. It is some 35 kilometres away and, on today's roads, the journey would take about 40 minutes. In 1918, it would probably have taken several hours. At the hospital, military surgeons would have done all they could to save Henry's life, but without success.