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Person Details
Beeston Nottingham
Harry was the son of Arthur and Sarah Ann Harper (née Rodgers). Both his parents were born in Beeston, Arthur in about 1864 and Sarah Ann in 1867 (reg. J/F/M). They were married in 1884 and had five children three of whom survived childhood. Four children were named on the census returns between 1891 and 1901: Florence Ruth b. 1885 bap. Beeston St John the Baptist 1886; Enoch Henry b. 12 January 1888 bap. St John 1 March 1893; Thomas William b. 1890 d. 1892 and Harry b. 1895. All the children were born in Beeston. The family was living on Upper Regent Street, Beeston, when Florence was baptised in 1886 but had moved to 17 The City, Beeston, by 1891. In the home on the night of the census were Arthur, a coal miner, his wife and their three children Florence (3), Enoch (2) and Thomas (1) who died the following year. They were still at the same address ten years later in 1901; Arthur, who was now working as an iron moulder, Sarah, Florence a lace mender, Enoch a cycle labourer and Harry (5). Still at 17 The City in 1911, Arthur now worked as a labourer for the Urban District Council. Only one of their three children, Harry, a Levers (lace) threader at Swiss Mills, was still at home although Arthur and Sarah also had an adopted daughter, May Rodgers (2, b. Dunkirk Nottingham). No records have yet been traced for this child who presumably was one of Sarah's relatives. The two older children, Florence and Enoch, were now married. Florence married Percy William Booth at St John the Baptist in December 1910. In 1911 they were living on Broughton Street, Beeston; Percy was a twisthand lace maker. Enoch married Lois Cox in 1909 and they had three daughters, two of whom died in infancy. In 1911 they were living at 12 The City; they had been married just over a year and had already had one daughter who had died the same year. Arthur and Sarah later lived at 79 Regent Street. Sarah Ann died in 1916 before the deaths of her two sons in the war; Enoch was killed in 1917. Arthur probably died in 1943. The Army Register of Soldiers Effects shows - Harper H, 1st Bn, Notts & Derby- 32369, killed 23/3/18 (officially accepted). To father Arthur - 1/4/1920 - £21-3s-4d, including war gratuity of £13-10s;
1911 - lace threader (Swiss Mills, Beeston)
23 Mar 1918
22
1582132 - CWGC Website
32369
Residence Beeston. Enlisted Coventry
Private
1st Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Harry Harper enlisted into the Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment), around 13 November 1915. After training he was posted to 1st battalion. The battalion had been training in Flanders when the German Army launched its Spring Offensive on 21 March 1918. Immediately the battalion was ordered to the Somme and marched to St Omer and once there they entrained for Nesle, arriving at 8.30 pm on 22nd; Whilst on the march to a camp to await orders, they were told to move instead to the front line and dig in on the west bank of the Somme - Left flank at St Christ and right some 2500 yards south. The 8th Division of which the battalion was a part had a front of some 16,000 yards and their orders were simple - 'Stay there'. On 23rd the 2nd Devons came up on the Battalions left and the 2nd Northamptons on the right. At Midday, the 23rd Division who had been holding the front line moved through the 8th Division, into support. Engineers then attempted to blow the bridge at St Christ but this was only partially successful. During the night of 23rd/24th, the Germans attacked and close quarter fighting took place with the enemy gaining a temporary foothold on the near bank. The battalion counter attacked with two Platoons from 'A' and 'B' companies, throwing back the enemy, leaving many wounded and dead. Sadly for the battalion, they lost their Commanding Officer in this action. Harry was one of those who were reported missing after the action and his death was officially accepted as having occurred on 23 March 1918. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, Somme.
Harry's brother, Enoch Henry Harper, served with the 2/7th Bn Sherwood Foresters (315191 Sergeant) and was killed in action on 5 June 1917. (See record on this Roll of Honour) CWGC: 'Son of Arthur and Sarah Ann Harper, of 79, Regent St., Beeston, Notts.' Beeston Gazette & Echo 1920: March 27th - Harper - In loving memory of Pte. Harry Harper, Sherwood Foresters, K.I.A. March 21st 1918. We loved him in life, He is dear to us still; But in grief we must bend To God's Holy will From: Father, Florrie & Percy [sister Florence and husband Percy Booth] WW1 Pension Ledgers: named his father, Arthur Harper Registers of Soldiers' Effects: father Arthur was his legatee
Remembered on

Photos

  • Harry Harper -
  • Name commemorted on the Pozieres Memorial. Thanks to Linda Robson for the photograph.
    Harry Harper - Name commemorted on the Pozieres Memorial. Thanks to Linda Robson for the photograph.
  • Commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial. Thanks to Linda Robson for the photograph
    Harry Harper - Commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial. Thanks to Linda Robson for the photograph