Private 39992 Warren Harris

Harris Warren 96 400x600Harris Warren 96 400x600
Apologies, I have lost the name of the person who gave me this photo; contact me to have an acknowledgement.

Died of Wounds on Sunday, 5th May 1918, age 28.
Buried in Grave LXVIII. A. 36. at Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas De Calais, France.

1st/6th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 137th Brigade of 46th Division.

Husband of Martha Harris, of 1, Summer Rd., Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Tipton.

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

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/501902/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Warren Harris registered December quarter 1890 in Dudley.

1891 Census
147 Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs. (next to Primitive Methodist Chapel)
William Harris (28, Coal Miner, born Dudley Port), his wife Lizzie (28, born Dudley Port), and their 3 children: William (4, born Dudley Port), Arthur (2, born Dudley Port), Warren (5 months, born Dudley Port).

1901 Census
147 Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs.
William Harris (38, Coal Miner, born Tipton), his wife Elizabeth (38, born Tipton), and their 5 children: William E. (14, Sausage Factory Assistant, born Tipton), Arthur (12, born Tipton), Warren (10, born Tipton), Ernest L (4, born Tipton), and Annie M. (4 months, born Tipton).

Marriage of Warren Harris and Martha Cox registered March quarter 1908 in Dudley.

1911 Census
1 House 8 Court, back of 147 Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs.
Warren Harris (20, Coal Miner, born Tipton), his wife Martha (20, born Rowley Regis), and their 2 children: Elizabeth (3, born Rowley Regis), and Martha Gladys (4 months, born Tipton). A son, Benjamin William Arthur was born in 1915 and appears in the family picture.

Personal Data

After Warren's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £3/15/9d (3 pounds, 15 shillings and 9 pence); this was paid to his widow, Elizabeth, in September and November 1918. His War Gratuity was £3/0/0d (3 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his widow in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Warren had enlisted in the previous 12 months.

Action resulting in his death

Information extracted from: War History of the 6th South Staffs
Towards the end of April 1918, the 1/6th South Staffs moved to the Loisne sector in French Flanders. The Battalion's sector stretched from Festubert to Locon, with the villages of Gorre and Essar as support posts and Verquin and Vuadricourt as reserve areas. This area was held constantly until August 1918. There were no trenches, merely an irregular series of disconnected holes. Their occupants reached them by marching up the main road and doing the best they could in spite of enemy shelling and machine-gun fire. At this time there was constant night bombing by aircraft, and the rest-disturbing bombardment of back lines by long range guns.

On the early morning of May 1st 1918, the 1/6th South Staffs suffered an intense deluge of gas shells whilst in support at Gorre. This inflicted heavy casualties at once and also resulted in conditions painful in the extreme for long hours afterwards. In the full light and heat of the sun on the following day, gas vapours rose from the ground and made victims of many who had survived the bombardment itself. Casualties reached such a proportion that the Battalion was moved to reserve on May 2nd.

It is likely, but not certain, that this action caused the injury which lead to Pte. Harris's death. We do know that he died on 5th May at an Etaples Base Hospital. He is buried at Etaples Military Cemetery.

Newspaper Cuttings