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  • CWGC headstone marking Joseph's grave, Basford Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand (February 2019).
Person Details
Joseph was the son of John Harris and his second wife Jane nee Rayson. John Harris was born in Skillington, Lincolnshire in 1841 (bap. 8 March 1841), the son of Joseph and Mary Harris. He was married first to Elizabeth (probably nee Chapman, married 1863 A/M/J Gainsborough Lincolnshire) by whom he appears to have had three children: Thomas b. abt 1859 Woodstone Huntingdonshire, Mary Elizabeth b. 1861 (O/N/D Woburn Bedfordshire) and John b. abt. 1864 Woolsthorpe Lincolnshire. In 1871 John (30), a stonemason, Elizabeth and their three children were living in Lincolnshire. Elizabeth died in 1873 (A/M/J Grantham) aged 37. John Harris married secondly Jane Rayson, who was also born in Skillington, Lincolnshire, in Skillington on 29 March 1874. They had at least seven children: Jane Ann b. 1876 (A/M/J Nottingham), Emma b. 6 April 1877 (A/M/J Notingham), William Arthur b. 11 June 1880 (A/M/J Nottingham), Lily Edith b. 1882 (A/M/J Nottingham), Walter Miles b. 15 May 1884, Joseph Herbert b1888 (A/M/J Nottingham) and Ada Mary b. 1890 (O/N/D Nottingham) died 1892 (J/F/M Nottingham, buried 12 March 1892) aged 1 year. John and Jane had moved to Nottingham by the time of the 1881 Census and living at 72 Welbeck Street, Nottingham. John (40) was still working as a stonemason. In the home were John's son by his first marriage, John (17), who was also a stonemason, and their own three children, Jane (5), Emma (3) and William (9 months). By 1891 John (50) and Jane (44), who were still at 72 Welbeck Road, had seven children: Jane (15), Emma (14), William (10), Lily (8), Walter (6), Joseph (3) and Ada (5 months). Ada died in the March the following year. Joseph's mother, Jane, died in 1895 (J/A/S Nottingham) age 49 and her husband later married Emma (b. Spalford Lincolnshire). In 1901 John (60) and his third wife Emma (52), were living at 72 Welbeck Street, Nottingham, with his three sons, William (20) a grocer's porter, Walter (16) an apprentice stonemason and Joseph (12) who was still at school. Joseph married Florence (Florrie) Newton at the Nottingham Register Office on 4 October 1910 and their daughter, Connie, was born the following year on 23 April 1911. In 1911 Joseph (23), a grocer's carter, and Florence (24) were living with his stepmother, Emma Harris, at 72 Welbeck Street, St Ann's, Nottingham. Emma Harris died on 18 April 1914; she was still living at 72 Welbeck Street. According to the probate record, Administration was awarded to Emma's stepson, William Arthur Harris, a book keeper. When Joseph attested in May 1916 he and Florence were living at 4 Lawn View, Station Road, Sutton in Ashfield; Joseph was a depot manager for a petroleum company. However, by the time of Joseph's death in May 1918 the family was living at 140 Noel Street, St Ann's, Nottingham. Florence completed a form for the Army after Joseph's death listing his surviving blood relatives. She and their daughter Connie were still living at 140 Noel Street. Florence also named Joseph's five surviving siblings: William Harris (39) of 30 Heddesley Street, Nottingham; Walter Harris (35), 15 Oakhill Road, (-), Liverpool; Jane Andrew (43), 123 York Street, Mansfield; Emma Jesson (42), 140 Gordon Road, Nottingham, and Lily Davies (sic) (37), 13 Salisbury Terrace, Nottingham. Florence did not include Joseph's two half-brothers and half-sister who were probably still living. Of Joseph's siblings: Jane Ann married Edwin Andrew in 1895 (J/F/M Nottingham) and in 1911 they were living at 46 Beverley Street, Nottingham with their two children, Ivy Grace (15) and Edwin (5). At the time of her brother's death in 1918 Jane (43) was living at 123 York Street, Mansfield. Emma married Matthew William Jesson (b. 2 August 1875) in 1896 (J/A/S Nottingham) and in 1918 was living at 149 Gordon Road, Nottingham. In 1939 at the time of the England & Wales Register she and her husband were still living in Nottingham. Matthew's occupation was given as 'bacon roller incapacitated'; he died in 1943 (Dec Nottingham). Emma died on 13 June 1961 (Jun Nottingham). William Arthur married Edith Ann Cross (b. 16 October 1880) in 1909 and in 1918 were living at 30 Heddesley Street, Nottingham. They were still living in Nottingham in 1939 and William was working as a foreman in a bacon warehouse. Lily Edith married William Davis in 1904 (J/F/M Nottingham) and in 1918 was living at 13 Salisbury Terrace, Nottingham. Walter Miles married Annie Bradbury (b. 23 December 1882) in 1907 (A/M/J Nottingham) and in 1918 was living in Liverpool. In 1939 they were living at 6 Thingwall Lane, Liverpool; Walter was a bakery manager. They were still living at the same address when Annie died on 19 December 1950; the probate record gives Walter's occupation as a retired bread bakers checker. Walter died on 23 December 1964; he was then living at 3 Kimberley Road, Sketty, Swansea. The probate record shows administration was awarded to Mildred Mansell 'married woman'.
He was a grocer's carter in 1911 but when he attested in May 1916 he was a depot manager at Sutton in Ashfield for Bowring Petroleum Company
02 May 1918
2750666 - CWGC Website
Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
Joseph attested in Mansfield on 11th May 1916. His age was given as 28 years and 2 months, his occupation was that of a depot manager, Bowring Petroleum Company Ltd, a London based company with a depot at Sutton in Ashfield. He gave his religion as Church of England and his next of kin as his wife Florence of 4 Lawn View, Station Street, Sutton in Ashfield. The following day 12th May 1916 Joseph was placed in the Reserves and on 21st August 1916 he was mobilised and joined the Sherwood Foresters with service number 59465. On 12th February 1917 he was transferred to the 31st Machine Gun Company. He embarked Folkstone on 31st August 1917, disembarking the same day at Boulogne, and joined the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front. During the battle for Kemmel Ridge he was wounded, sometime between the 12th -13th April 1918, by a gun shot to the left thigh. He was evacuated to Britain and admitted to the Edinburgh War Hospital, Bangour, West Lothian. However, he died of septicaemia on 2nd May 1918 (see 'Extra Information'). His body was returned to his family and there was a military funeral in Nottingham where he was buried in (New Basford) Cemetery.
Personal inscription CWGC headstone: 'Duty nobly done' Nottingham Post notice (abridged), 6 May 1918, 'Harris. Died of wounds May 2nd 1918, Private Joe H Harris, Machine Gun Corps, husband of Florrie Harris (nee Newton), 140 Noel Street, Funeral Basford.' Damaged document with service record: ‘Report on the death of 65945 Pte Jos. Harris (-) MG Corps. who died in the Ediburgh War Hospital, Langour, West Lothian, on the 2nd May 1918. Pte Harris was admitted to the Edinburgh War Hospital on the 17th April 1918 suffering from a through and through wound to the left thigh. Entrance wound was high up on the inside of the thigh inter... the artery. Exit was a large excised wound in the Gluteal Fold(?). The wound was quite dirty and there was considerable bulging through the entrance wound. As there was no fluctuation detected the wound was merely fomented and observed. The patient’s general condition at that time ... he looked more serious than the wound justified. On the afternoon of the 20th April he developed an … in the right hip which became localized to a spot a short distance above the Trochanter. An incision made on the 21st April through the (-) Maximus released a small amount of pus, evidently an (-) abscess on the under surface of the muscle. Drainage was inserted, likewise a through and through (-) due drainage was inserted along wthe track of the original wound. From that time on both wounds progressed favourably although very slowly. There was no retention of … showed little tendency to heal. The … elevated, due to septicaemia. Repeated examinations were made for the … of suppuration but were fruitless .. in both sides of the chest, nothing focal … ‘ (remainder of document badly damaged) Register of Soldiers' Effects: His widow Florence was his sole legatee. Following Joseph's death his widow Florence received a letter from the Ministry of Pensions dated 23rd October 1918 informing her she would receive a pension of 20 shillings and 5 pence a week commencing 4th November 1918 for her and her child.
Remembered on


  • CWGC headstone marking Joseph's grave, Basford Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand (February 2019).
    Joseph Herbert Harris - CWGC headstone marking Joseph's grave, Basford Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand (February 2019).