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  • The commonwealth wargraves commission headstone marking the grave of Harry Thorpe in the Nottingham General Cemetery, courtesy of Peter Gillings
Person Details
Harry was born in 1887 the son of Frederick Henry Thorpe and Clara Thorpe formerly Ledger nee Daykin. Harry had three siblings, Clara (b.1886), Evangeline (b.1891), Frank (b. 1892) and a half-sister, Eliza Ledger (b. 1877), and a half-brother, William Ledger (b. 1881). Harry's mother, Clara, had married William Joseph Ledger (b. 1853, Oxton), a lace maker, in 1876. They had three children; Clara (b. 1877), Joseph William (b. 1879) and William (b. 1881, birth registered O/N/D). In 1881 they were living at 12 Alison Rise, St Ann's, Nottingham; in the household on the night of the census was their son, Joseph William (1), and Clara's parents, Joseph and Eliza Dakin. Clara's husband died in 1881 (O/N/D) aged 28. Their second child, Joseph William, died the following year in 1882 (death registered J/A/S) aged 3. The widowed Clara married Frederick Henry Thorpe in 1885 (J/A/S). Frederick had been born in Lincolnshire in 1858, Clara was born in Ilkeston, Derbyshire (abt. 1856). In 1891 they were living at 21 Westminster Street, St Ann's, Nottingham. Frederick (32) was a van driver. In the home were Clara's two children by her first marriage, Eliza (13) and William (9), together with her two children by Frederick, Clara (5) and Harry (3). Frederick and Clara were still living at the same address ten years later in 1901. Frederick was now working as a general dealer. In the home on the night of the census were Clara (15) a lace finisher, Harry (13), Evangeline (9) and Frank (8). Eliza Ledger (23) was still living with her mother and stepfather but William appears to have left home and may well have married. The family was still living at the same address in 1911 and all four of Frederick and Clara's children were still at home; Clara (25), Harry (23) a warehouse clerk, Evangeline (19) a shop assistant, and Frank (18) a market stall holder. Clara's daughter, Eliza, had now left home and may well have married (Grange). On 16 October 1911 Harry was ordered by Nottingham magistrates to pay 4s. a week to Grace Walters, 166 London Road, Nottingham, in respect of a child born 7 September 1911 (see 'extra information'). Harry married Florence Mabel Bartle in St Matthew's church, Carlton Road, Nottingham, on 9 November 1913 and they had a son, Donald Kenneth on 5 July 1914. At the time he enlisted in 1915 they were living at 38 Ball Street, Nottingham although army records show that correspondence was later sent to his widow at Rose Villa, Hendon Street, Wells Road, Nottingham. Florence and her son later lived at the Chequers Inn, Elston, near Newark. Harry's younger brother, Frank, also served in the Royal Garrison Artillery (69385 Corporal) and died of wounds on 9 June 1917. His father, Frederick, died the same year on 29 October 1917. Harry's widow completed a form for the Army in 1919 listing Harry's surviving blood relatives. On the form she named herself and her son, both of the Chequers Inn, Elston, and also listed: Mother Clara Thorpe, 21 Westminster Street, Nottingham Brother Frank Thorpe (deceased) 26 Half-brother William Ledger (38) Eastwood Notts Sister Clara Thorpe [Holmes] (33) Harlaxton Drive, Lenton, Nottingham Sister Eva [Evangeline] Thorpe [Ward] (28) [47 Thornton Road] Bootle, Liverpool Half-sister Lizzy [Eliza] Ledger [Grange] (40) St Ann’s Well Road, Nottingham (corrected information from the form completed by Harry's mother, Clara Thorpe, recording her youngest son's Frank's surviving relatives.) Harry's mother, Clara, died in 1935 (December, Nottingham registration district) aged 79.
In 1911 he was a warehouse clerk. When he attested in 1915 he gave his occupation as insurance clerk.
10 Apr 1917
2750605 - CWGC Website
38 Ball Street, Nottingham.
Royal Garrison Artillery
212th Siege Bty. CWGC gives rank as 'acting Bombardier'. Harry attested on 27 November 1915 and transferred to the Army Reserve on 28 November; he was mobilized on 31 May 1916 and posted on 1 June. He was promoted to Bombardier on 25 October 1916. He served in France from 6 December 1916. He was admitted to hospital on 31 December 1916 suffering from cystitis and on 17 January 1917 was evacuated to England (Hospital Ship 'Patrick'). He died in Fulham Military Hospital on 10 April 1917, the cause being given as 'spinal fever'. He was buried in Nottingham General Cemetery on 14 April 1917 (grave ref. 3900). He served a total of 1 year 135 days. Home: 27 November 1915-5 December 1916 (1 yr 9 days). BEF France: 6 December 1916-17 January 1917 (43 days). Home: 18 January 1917-10 April 1917 (83 days). He qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Nottingham Evening Post notice (abridged), 12 April 1917: ‘Thorpe, on the 10th, Bombardier H Thorpe, died at Fulham Military Hospital. Interred General Cemetery. Father, mother, sisters, brother Frank in France.’ His widow, Florence, was his legatee. 25 July 1917: Army correspondence ref. personal effects gives widow’s address as Rose Villa, Hendon Rise, Wells Road, Nottingham. Memo 4 August 1917 to the Officer i/c RGA Records, Dover in reply to enquiry about personal effects: ‘Reference reverse, the NCO in question left the Btty under my command over six months ago and went in to Hospital (sick) taking the whole of his kit and personal belongings with him. [signed] Major RGA, Commanding 212 (S) Battery RGA’ A pension of 18s. 9d. p.w. to Florence for herself and one child was awarded with effect from 15 October 1917. Harry's service documents include a form, 'Particulars of magistrates’ order for maintenance of soldier’s wife or legitimate children: Maintenance order dated 16 October 1911 obtained from the magistrates at Guildhall Nottingham. Rate of maintenance mentioned in the order, four shillings per week. Woman’s name and address as shown in the order: Grace Walters, 166 London Road, Nottingham. Date of child’s birth 7th day of September 1911. Rate of payment ordered by magistrates four shillings per week. Payment to be made from 7 September until the child shall attain the age of fifteen or shall (-). Remarks: No 89345 Gunner Harry Thorpe has paid the rate of four shillings per week from the 7th day of September 1911 up to the day of his enlistment 31 May 1916.' There is a note on the form confirming the continuation of these payments from Harry's pay, 'Stoppage of pay from 6203 Gunner Harry Thorpe, 149 Siege Battery RGA – 4d. a day from the date of this order for the support of his illegitimate child. Should the soldier attain the rank of serjeant of if a serjeant be reduced below that rank the stoppage will be increased to 7d. a day or reduced to 4d. a day (Eastern Command District, London, 22 July 1916. Payments to Grace Walters, 166 London Road, Nottingham.' Probate: Thorpe Frederick Henry [father] of 21 Westminster-street St Ann’s Well-road Nottingham lace dealer died 29 October 1917 Probate Nottingham 20 November to Albert Edward Smith lace manufacturer. Effects £642 13s. 6d.
Remembered on


  • The commonwealth wargraves commission headstone marking the grave of Harry Thorpe in the Nottingham General Cemetery, courtesy of Peter Gillings
    Harry Thorpe - The commonwealth wargraves commission headstone marking the grave of Harry Thorpe in the Nottingham General Cemetery, courtesy of Peter Gillings