Private 9937 Charles Harman

Harman Charles 96 400x600

Killed in Action on Monday, 7th February 1916, age 22.
Buried in Grave V. A. 3. at Citadel New Military Cemetery, Fricourt, Somme, France.

1st Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 91st Brigade of 7th Division.

Son of Alfred and Agnes Harman, of 2, Westley Place, Toll End, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Worcester, Enlisted: Wednesbury, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 2nd February 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library, and St. Mark's memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/546650/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Charles Harman registered December quarter 1895 in Worcester.

1901 Census
27 Gospel Oak Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Alfred Harman (66, House Painter, born Brighton), his wife Agnes (48, born Cradley), and their 4 children: William (19, Bricklayer's Labourer, born Brierley Hill), Benjamin (16, Labourer in Tube Works, born Brierley Hill), Alfred (14, Labourer in Tube Works, born Brockmoor), and Charles (7, born Worcester).

1911 Census
2 Wesley Place, Toll End, Tipton, Staffs.
Agnes Harman (57, Widow, born Cradley), and 4 of her 7 surviving children of 14: Benjamin (26, Blast Furnace Labourer, born Brierley Hill), Alfred (23, Potman in Public House, born Brockmoor), Charley (17, Labourer, born Worcester), and Lewis (30, Postman, born Brierley Hill) plus Lewis's wife Sophia (30, born Tipton).

Personal Data

CWGC says that Charles was aged 30, but the census and his birth registration suggests that he was 22 years old.

Action resulting in his death

The 1st South Staffs were near Fricourt in February 1916, no siginifcant action was taking place above ground. On 6th February the 1st South Staffs took over the front lines in front of Fricourt from the 2nd Queens Regiment.

The War Diary for the 7th February reports that the Germans exploded a mine in front of our trenches, resulting in 3 Other Ranks killed, and 1 Other Ranks missing. Those killed were Tipton man Charles Harman, Pensnett man Joseph Ingram, and Stourbridge man Arthur Edwards, they are buried side by side in Citadel New British Cemetery. The missing man is likley to be John Price of Darlaston who was killed on the same day and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

The report on the explosion by 183rd Tunnelling Company says: "Infantry had 3 men killed by gas in 8 Lodgement from which they had been turned out earlier in the day. One man missing." It appears that the South Staffs men had been employed in winding at the top of 8 shaft and were all overcome from the poisonous gas resulting from the explosion, and this resulted in their death.”

Newspaper Cuttings