Cpl 15/1200 West Yorkshire Regiment, Prince of Wales Own. 15th Battalion, Leeds Pals

Henry was born on the 12th January 1891 in St. John’s Parish, Leeds. His mother was Louisa Jones and his father was Frederick William, a confectioner. The same year, they were listed as living at 47, New Briggate in Leeds, with their sons Frederick, Henry and Sydney. (Source: Parish Records, 1891 Census)

Frederick senior having died in 1899, the 1901 census has Louisa as a widow, living at Knowsthorpe Old Hall with Henry and Sydney and two other sons; Herbert and Percy. By 1911 she was working as a cook at Burley Lodge Road. By 1915, she and Henry (and presumably her other sons, though this is not known) were living at 17 Ellers Road, Roundhay Road, Leeds. At this point, Henry was working as a commercial traveller – a traveling salesman. (Source: 1901, 1911 Census; Army Form B. 5205: Short Service)

He volunteered on the 5th January 1915 and was attested 20 days later on the 25th at Colsterdale, being enrolled into the 15th Battalion, Leeds Pals. His medical records state that he was 5 ft 10 in height, 10 st 7 and of ‘fair physical development’ which suggests he was tall and slim, if not thin. (Source: Army Form B. 2505: Short Service, Army Form B. 178: Medical History)

On 6th December 1915, with the rest of the battalion, he sailed for Egypt, arriving on the 22nd December. They remained in Egypt until March 1916 when they left for France. Henry is recorded as being in France until 6th July. The reason for this is that he was wounded during the Battle of the Somme – a gunshot wound to his left arm – so he was evacuated to the Northern General Hospital, Leicester. He eventually recovered and returned to France on the 22nd November 1916. (Source: Army Form B. 103: Casualty Form – Active Service, Military History Sheet)

On 27th January 1917, Henry was promoted, to Lance Corporal, unpaid, and then again on the 13th March to Corporal, paid. He continued at the front until the 25th of March when he was wounded again and sent to Leicester. He remained there until June of the same year, but did not return to the front and instead took up home duties until 26th March 1919. He was then transferred to Z Class and finally demobilised on 31st March 1920 – he had moved to no. 17 Seaforth Grove in Harehills at some point during his time in England. (Source: Army Form B. 200: Statement of Services, Army Form Z. 11: Protection Certificate and Certificate of Identity)

He was awarded the Victory and British War Medals. (Source: Military History Sheet)

He may have died in 1968, in Leeds at the age of 77 and there is no indication that he married.

Researcher: Peter Taylor

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