Private 18539 Enoch Harper

Harper Enoch 96 450x600

Killed in Action Italy on Wednesday, 21st August 1918, age 33.
Buried in Grave I. D. 8. at Magnaboschi British Cemetery, Asiago, Italy.

9th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment (Pioneers). Pioneer Battalion of 23rd Division.

Born: Dudley Port, Enlisted: Birmingham, Resident: West Bromwich.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/638620/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Enoch Harper registered September quarter 1885 in Dudley.

1901 Census
7 Groveland Road, Tividale, Staffs. For census purpose this was Rowley Regis, but Groveland Road is within the borough of Tipton.
Charles Harper (59, Stableman - Carter, born Appleton, Berkshire), his wife Sophia (49, born Abingdon, Berkshire), and their 6 children: Ann (18, born Tipton), Enoch (16, Brickworks Labourer, born Rowley Regis), Joseph (16, Brickworks Labourer, born Rowley Regis), Ellen (12, born Rowley Regis), Mark (10, born Tipton), and James (8, born Tipton). Also their grand-daughter Annie (4, born Rowley Regis).

Marriage of Enoch Harper and Rosanna Crumpton registered December quarter 1901 in West Bromwich.

1911 Census
48 Richard Street South, West Bromwich
Enoch Harper (25, Hammer Man at Railway Carriage Works, born Great Bridge), his wife Rosanna (24, born West Bromwich) and their daughter Florence M. (3, born West Bromwich).

Personal Data

Enoch's entry on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission web-site says that he was attached to the 70th Infantry Brigade Signals, Royal Engineers. This was in the 23rd Division, and the 9th South Staffs were the Pioneer Battalion for that Division.

After Enoch's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £23/11/0d (23 pounds and 11 shillings); this was paid to his widow and sole legatee, Rosanna, in November 1918. His War Gratuity was £15/10/0d (15 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his widow in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Enoch had enlisted in approximately April 1915.

Action resulting in his death

The 9th South Staffs were part of 23rd Division, one of the 5 British Divisions sent to Italy in late 1917 to prevent the collapse of Italy after the Austrian success at the Battle of Caporetto. The tide turned decisively in June 1918 when the Austrian attack at the Battle of Piave was driven back with large Austrian losses, 23rd Division had held the right flank of the British front on the Asiago Plateau.

After the Battle of Piave, the British strategy was to make numerous raids on the Austrian positions, making worse the Austrian manpower shortage. It is likely that Enoch Harper was killed in action during one of these raids; he is buried in Magnaboschi Cemetery, beautifully situated on the Asiago Plateau.

Newspaper Cuttings