Monday, 15 June 2015

Harrison, Fred - Lance Corporal (22036)

Lnce Corporal Fred Harrison
1st Battalion,
Gloucestershire Regiment,
Died of Wounds
2nd December 1915,
Age 25
Buried Noeux Les Mines Communal Cemetery

Fred Harrison was born on 20 February 1890 at Oddfellows Terrace, Haslingden. He was the second son of Stephen and Mary Ann Harrison and was baptised at St. John’s Church, Stonefold on 6 April 1890. The family later moved to 136, Hud Hey Road, Haslingden, where they were living in 1901. Fred at this time was 11 years old and presumably still at school. He was living with his parents, brothers William Henry, John Thomas, Frank and Harold Ashworth and sister Betsy Alice. Sadly, in July 1905 Fred’s sister, Betsy Alice died as a result of eating poisonous berries and in April 1907 his father, Stephen died. Both were buried in Stonefold Churchyard. Fred was a member of Stonefold Church and Choir, and at the time of his death he had been a choir member for 14 years. After leaving school Fred went to work as a weaver. Up to the outbreak of war in 1914 he was working at Nicholas Worsley’s Alliance Mill in Baxenden.

At the outbreak of war in September 1914 Fred enlisted in the 3rd King's Own Hussars and in May 1915 was transferred to the "A" Coy of the Gloucestershire Regiment. Since joining the army he had become a member of the Church of England Men’s Society. In July he was sent to France with the Gloucester's and in September found himself in action at Loos. On 1 December 1915, whilst the Regiment was holding the line at the Chalk Pit at Loos, Fred was seriously wounded by a German shell, which burst in the trenches, close to where he was eating his breakfast. He was seriously wounded in the head and never regained conciousness. He died the following day (2nd December 1915) in the Base Hospital at Noeux-les-Mines. He was aged 25. 
“Writing to his widowed mother at the above address,(136, Hud Hey Road) the deceased’s regimental companion, Private Herbert Cox, says that they were having breakfast in a trench when the Germans started to shell them. One of the shells burst close to where they were standing and Harrison was so seriously wounded about the head that he died on the following morning after being removed to the base hospital, and never having regained conciousness. Private Cox promises to send a sketch of the place where the deceased is buried.” – Haslingden Guardian 

A memorial service was held at Stonefold Church where the vicar, Rev. B. S. Ainley, paid a high tribute to him. A favourite hymn of Fred’s was sung and Mr J. T. Norris played the “Dead March” from “Saul”. 
Fred Harrison is buried at Noeux-les-Mines Communal Cemetery, France.

Newspaper Memorials:

In loving memory of Lance Corporal Fred Harrison, 1st Gloucester Regt., who died of wounds in France, December 2nd 1915.

"He was upright and just in all his ways,
Honest and faithful to the end of his days;
Forgotten to the world by some he may be,
But dear in our memory he ever will be."

From his Mother and Brothers (serving) and Sister In law, 136 Hud Hey Road, Haslingden.

"Sadly missed."


"What pain he bore I cannot tell,
I never saw him die;
I only know he passed away,
And never said good-bye,
Some day I hope to meet him,
Some day I know not when
To clasp his hand in the better land,
Never to part again."

From Louisa

"Sleep on, dear one, in a soldier's grave,
Your life for your country you nobly gave;
No one was near you to say good- bye,
But safe in God's keeping now you lie. "

From his Brother and Sister in law, W.H. and A. Harrison

"A good life is often too short,
But a good name endureth for ever."

From his Mother and Brothers and Sister In Law, 136 Hud Hey Road, Haslingden. 

"Only those who have lost a loved one
Know the bitterest of death."

From his Mother, and Brother Harold, also Brothers Frank and Jack (in France).

"One of the best that God could lend,
A loving brother and a faithful friend."

From his Brother, William Henry (prisoner in Germany), and Sister in law, Alice.

"The face we loved is now laid low,
His fond, true heart is still;
The hand we clasped when we said goodbye,
Lies low in death's cold chill,
His pleasant face and kindly ways are pleasant to recall;
He had a loving word for all, and died beloved by all."

From his Mother and Brothers

"A daily thought, an everlasting sorrow."

From Mother, Brothers and Sisters in law, 136 Hud Hey Road, Haslingden.