2nd Lieutenant, 11th Battalion West Riding Regiment, attached to 9th Battalion.
Killed in action 26th April 1916.
Buried Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres, France.
Former student of history and law.
Harry was born in 1890 at Barnoldswick, Yorkshire. Having completed his secondary education at Silcoates School in Wakefield, Harry accepted a place at the University to study History. Resident at Hulme Hall between October 1907 and June 1910, Harry was an influential and popular member of the Halls, spending his last year in the role of Senior Man. A keen footballer, Harry was considered a man of great character and persistency, extraordinarily efficient in everything he undertook, showing good judgement and real skill in adapting means to ends.
Graduating with a B.A. in 1910 with first class honours in modern history, Harry completed a M.A. the following year. He joined a firm of solicitors in Manchester and began studying law, graduating in 1913 with honours. He then continued his law studies in London, passing his solicitor’s exams in 1914 with distinction, winning the Clements Inn and Daniel Rearden prizes. At the outbreak of war, Harry had been elected as a lecturer in English Law at Manchester University.
Harry initially enlisted as a private in the 10th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment at the outbreak of War. Having completed training he was awarded a commission and appointed as a Second Lieutenant, transferring to the 3rd Battalion in North Shields where he was responsible for training and organising troops before they left for the Western Front. Harry himself was finally drafted to the France in January 1916, marrying Ada Herf in Kent a week before he left.
On arrival, he was posted to the 9th Battalion. On his way to a grenade course in February he bumped into fellow Hulme Hall and History student, William Wildblood, in Poperinge, Belgium. William wrote of the meeting to their tutor, Professor Tout saying “I met him quite by accident in old ‘Pop’ and took him to our mess for lunch. He was rather boyishly excited over his new experiences and I spent a very pleasant hour or two with him before he had to go.”
In late April whilst in the front lines near Armentieres, the Battalion were aware of the German’s preparing for an assault. For several days the German guns seemed to be rehearsing a range of tactical barrages on the British front line and communication trenches, heightening concerns of a forthcoming attack. The morning of 26th April was quiet although from 5pm onwards the front line was relentlessly bombarded again which left the trenches in ruins. At 8pm German infantry launched an attack. Despite no-man’s land being covered in a thick smoke, the Battalion’s Lewis guns opened fire into the gloom and managed to slow the attack. A number of enemy troops reached the shattered trenches but were swiftly thrown back. During the bombardment that day, Harry left the shelter of his dugout to check that the men under his command were safe. Whilst making his way through the trenches, he was caught by the blast of a shell and instantly killed by the concussion.
“It was characteristic of Harry that he declined to seek a commission until he had thoroughly made himself conversant of the work of a soldier, and that it needed some persuasion to convince him that it was his duty to accept such preferment.”