Rank: Acting Lance Corporal
Number: 315685
Unit: 25th Battalion ROYAL WELSH FUSILIERS
Date of Death: 30 November 1917
Cemetery: Jerusalem Memorial, Israel

Nothing is known about Harold's life except that Regimental records published after the War indicate he was born in Stockport and enlisted in the town. The family history website, CheshireBMD. Records the local registration of the birth of a boy of this name in 1893.

Harold's army number provides some information about his service. It's one associated with the Regiment's 23rd Battalion. This was a Territorial unit formed for "home service" duties at the beginning of 1917 (although a predecessor unit had been formed in 1915). At some unknown point after this, probably in March, he was transferred to the 25th Battalion. The original members of this unit were drawn from the Montgomeryshire Yeomanry - a Territorial cavalry unit - but they were retrained as infantry in that month. Harold is likely to have joined them, in Palestine, as one of a batch of troops sent to bring the Battalion up to fighting strength.

For several days prior to 30 November, the Battalion had been moving across forward prior to engaging the Turkish army. They arrived at Beit-Amah (sp?) at 4.30am on the 29th and remained resting in a wadi for the day. In the later afternoon, they received orders to move forward to Et-Tireh, arriving there at 3.30 the next morning. "B" Company remained in reserve. "C" Company deployed for the attack joining with a battalion of the Shropshire Light Infantry. The remaining two companies attacked Turkish positions in the village of Beit-ur-el-Foka (sp?). It was superbly successful and over 600 prisoners were captured.

However, "D" Company now came under heavy artillery fire and was counter-attacked by the Turks, allowing some of the prisoners to escape and forcing the Company to retreat. Later in the morning, "C" Company was also counter-attacked but repulsed the Turkish infantry causing them many casualties. Further counter-attacks came in the early afternoon and the men of "C" Company now found themselves being assaulted from both sides as well as from the front. There was no option but to withdraw having themselves now suffered many losses.

In the day's fighting, they had lost 10 men killed, 43 wounded and another 22 were missing and also presumed to be dead. The entry in the Battalion's War Diary concludes "The Battalion had had 6 days hard marching, the last 2 nights of which were spent in marching the whole night in addition to the day marching, in most difficult and tortuous country."

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