Corporal John Joseph Harris, 242494

  • Batt - 1/6
  • Unit - Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment (Sherwood Foresters)
  • Section - "C" Company
  • Date of Birth - 14/02/1894
  • Died - 30/05/1917
  • Age - 23

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Source: Michael Doyle Their Name Liveth For Evermore: The Great War Roll of Honour for Leicestershire and Rutland.
He was the son of John Edward Harris, a carpenter (journeyman), born in the January quarter of 1861 in Whitwick, Leicestershire (son of William Harris, 1826-1897 and Rebecca Monk Carr, 1823-1918) and his wife Eliza Harris (nee Muston, married in the January quarter of 1885 in the Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire district), born in the July quarter of 1857 in Melcombe Regis, Weymouth, Dorset and baptised on the 24th June 1857 in St. Mary’s Church, Melcombe Regis), (daughter of Edward Muston, 1806 and Elizabeth Palmer, 1820). John Joseph was born on the 14th February 1894 in Whitwick, his siblings were, William Edward, born on the 9th April 1888, Eliza Josephine (Annie), born on the 11th March 1890 and Joseph Vincent, born on the 18th January 1898, all his siblings were born in Whitwick, in March 1901 the family home was in Green Lane, Whitwick. In April 1911 John was employed as a weaver and was residing in the family home at 46, Cartwright Street, Loughborough, Leicestershire, together with his father, a wood machinist, his mother and sibling, Joseph, a schoolboy. John also had an older sibling, Mary Rebecca E., born in the January quarter of 1886 in Whitwick.
John’s army service enlistment documents do not survive, therefore the currently available information pertaining to his military service has been obtained from the following sources: - 1921 HMSO Publication, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914 - 1919, WW1 Service Medal and Award Rolls, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards, WW1 Pension Ledgers and Index Cards and Commonwealth War Graves Commission Registers.
All that is known of John’s period of military service is that he had enlisted/attested in Nottingham into the Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment, and had been allotted the service number 7703. He is then recorded as having been posted as a Private to the 1/6th Battalion. With the exception of the War Diary entries, that relate to his Battalions movements and daily occurrences, there is no information regarding John’s military service, and as he was not awarded the 1914-15 Star, it is safe to assume that he first entered the theatre of war sometime after the 31st December 1915. During his service he had gained promotion to the rank of Corporal and under the Army Council Instruction of 1917 that promulgated a new numbering system for all Territorial Force units, he was allotted the service number 242494. On the 30th May 1917 he was officially reported as having been killed in action, he was buried in Fosse No.10 Communal Cemetery Extension, Sains-En-Gohelle, France. John was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal. On the 25th December 1917 John’s mother was awarded a weekly Army Pension of three shillings and six pence to commence on the 25th December 1917, on the 6th November 1918 this was reviewed and a pension of five shillings per week was awarded for life, to commence on the 30th December 1918.
The War Diary records: 29-30 May-17 – TRENCHES. Attempted raids by enemy on left “A” Company (RIGHT COMPANY) successfully repulsed, Sergeant’s RAVEY and BOAM especially distinguishing themselves. Draft of 24 Other ranks arrived as reinforcements. Lieutenant G. K. K. MAUGHAN re-joined from short leave to England.
MARQUEFFLES FARM. Divisional Commander presented medal ribbons to the following: -
MILITARY MEDAL. 240076 Sergeant J. G. RAVEY. 242442 Private L. BEASTALL. 241360 Lance Corporal A. EVANS.
The War Diary records: 31 May-17 – TRENCHES. Lieutenant J. L. PERCIVAL re-joined from 2nd Entrenching Battalion. Captain V. O. ROBINSON, MC, proceeded on 1 months leave to England.
The War Diary records: 31 May – 1 Jun 17. TRENCHES. Relieved by 5th SHERWOOD FORESTERS and went into Brigade Reserve, with Headquarters at RED MILL M.27.d.75.70 (LENS 36c.S.W.1).
Casualties during tour: -
Killed. 5 Other Ranks.
Gassed. 27 Other Ranks.
Wounded. 18 Other Ranks.
On Friday May 31st 1918 The Loughborough Echo published the following article under the heading. “BIRTHS, MARRIAGES AND DEATHS.” “IN MEMORIAM.” HARRIS. – In loving memory of Pte. J. Harris (Jack), Notts. And Derby Regt., killed in action May 30th, 1917. “He died as nobly as he lived, but the sacrifice was great.” Daisy.
HARRIS. – To the memory of my pal, Jack Harris, killed in action.
Now falls with deepening gloom the night.
Nor has the pall of death o’erspread/
Those who bravely fought the fight.
Who now are numbered with the dead.
Lord, God of Hosts, be with us yet.
Lest we forget! Lest we forget!
Frank Ironman (France).

Leicestershire Project Findings
  • Conflict - World War I
  • Burial Place - I C 1, Fosse No.10 Communal Cemetery Extension, Sains-en-gohelle
  • Other Memorials - Loughborough Carillon, War Memorial Bell Tower
Research from Michael Doyle's Their Name Liveth For Evermore
  • Unit - Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment (Sherwood Foresters)
  • Former Unit n.o - 7703
  • Former Unit - 1/6th Bn. Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment (Sherwood Foresters)
  • Cause of death - KILLED IN ACTION
  • Burial Commemoration - Fosse No.10 Com. Cem. Ext., Sains-en-Gohelle, France
  • Born - Whitwick, Leicestershire
  • Enlisted - Nottingham
  • Place of Residence - 21 Meadow Lane, Loughborough, Leicestershire, England

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