Private T/204441, East Kent Regiment

Harry was born in Datchet in 1882 and grew up here. His parents Henry and Sarah had been living in Datchet from at least 1877 when their daughter Ellen Louise was born. (They had three children, only two of whom survived.) Henry, a gardener and later a carman on the railway, died in 1905 but Sarah, a laundress, remained at 13 Talbots Cottages until at least 1920 if not until her death in 1931.

After school, Harry worked in the grocery trade. He started as a grocer’s porter in Staines and by 1911 he was managing a grocer’s shop in Maidstone, Kent. He married Ellen Cooker in 1911.

They later moved to Rochester where Harry enlisted in the 6th (The Buffs) East Kent Regiment. He was killed in action on 5 April 1918, age 36. He was originally buried in Hennecourt Wood Cemetery then moved to Ribemont Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme. His death was reported in the Windsor & Eton Express on 4 May 1918. His military records gave his wife’s address as The Mile Bush Inn, Marden, Kent.

Although Harry was born in Datchet, went to school and had family here, he had later married and moved away. This perhaps explains why he was not listed on the War Memorial originally. There are other Datchet men though, such as George Slade, Ernest Clifford and William Wilkins, who did the same but who are listed on the Memorial because they still had family here. For that reason, Harry’s name was also added to the Memorial in November 2018.