Harry Collingwood BUCKLAND
Rank: Guardsman
Number: 20216
Unit: 3rd Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS
Date of Death: 27 September 1915
Age: 20
Cemetery: Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France

In the late summer of 1890, Harry Cuthbert Buckland married Mary Bentley at St Thomas' Church, Stockport. By 1901, when a national census was taken, they had four children and the family was living at 139 Higher Hillgate, Stockport. On the census day, our future soldier was visiting his uncle and aunt - Arthur and Lucy Womersley in Swinton. His brother, George, and sisters, Millicent and Lucy, were at home.

The family continued to worship at St Thomas' and Harry had been a member of the choir. He was also an early member of the Boys' Brigade. Before enlisting  in November 1914, he worked in the offices of Buckley & Co, hat manufacturers, Hempshaw Lane, Offerton.

After training, Harry went to France in July 1915. A major British attack started at Loos on 25 September. The Grenadiers had been held in reserve but, on the 26th, the marched towards the front and assembled in captured trenches in what had been the German third line. The plan was that they would support part of the renewed attack which would be led by the Irish and Scots Guards against German positions in Chalk Pit Wood.

By 4pm, the Grenadiers had reached their "jumping -off" positions to find that the Scots Guards had already attacked. The trenches were still congested with wounded from the previous day's fighting. Major Montgomerie immediately ordered No. 1 and 2 Companies forward to support the Scots. As they moved forward across the Hulloch/Loos Road, they came under heavy machine gun fire from the right. They caught up with the Scots who were held up near a position known as "Puits 8" and, jointly, they pressed on but took heavy casualties. Shortly after, orders were received to discontinue the attack and withdraw back to Chalk Pit Wood which had now been secured.

Afterwards, Harry's family received a letter from a comrade saying he had been shot in the head by a sniper just as he was entering the trenches. It is not known if these were the assembly trenches or those originally occupied by the Scots Guards.

Back home, Harry was remembered at the evening service at St Thomas' on 12 October when the band of the Boys' Brigade sounded the "Last Post" in his memory.

In the early 1920s, when the War Graves Commission collated its casualty information, Harry's parents were living at 45 Florist Street, Shaw Heath.

   
           
   
     
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