Private 40649 Harry Russell

 Russell Harry 96 355x600

Killed in Action on Friday, 30th November 1917, age 37.
Commemorated on Panel 4 of Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, Nord, France.

16 Platoon, 'D' Company of 7th Bn., Suffolk Regiment. 35th Brigade of 12th Division.
Formerly 5955 South Staffordshire Regiment.

Son of Mrs Hannah Russell, of Leicester; husband of E. Hilda Russell, of 24, Hopkins St., Burnt Tree, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Worcester, Enlisted: Dudley, 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/1756449/

Genealogical Data

1911 Census
Comer Road, Worcester.
Ann Russell (67, Widow, Sick Nurse, born Cheltenham), and her 3 children: Rosa (29, Dressmaker, born Worcester), Clara (27, Waitress, born Worcester), and Harry (23, Bookbinder, born Worcester).

1911 Census
24 Hopkins Street, Burnt Tree, Tipton, Staffs.
Harry Russell (31, Bookbinder, born Worcester), his wife Emma Hilda (29, born Gloucestershire), and their daughter Jessie Hilda (10 months, born Tipton).

Personal Data

After Harry's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £5/15/7d (5 pounds, 15 shillings and 7 pence); this was paid to his widow, Emma H., in December 1918. His War Gratuity was £6/0/0d (6 pounds exactly), this was also paid to Emma in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Harry had enlisted in June 1916.

Action resulting in his death

On 19th November the 7th Suffolks arrived at Peiziere and moved into their assembly positions for the Cambrai offensive. On the 20th the battalion attacked, capturing German positions and establishing a new line of trenches. The battalion were eventually relieved on 29th November and sent into brigade reserve. The men were badly worn out and in need of a rest but brigade reserve was only half a mile behind the front line and there was no trench system.

On 30th November the Germans attacked from all sides. At 6.45am heavy shellfire began to fall and by 7.45am Divisional HQ was already out of touch with its forward units. A hard and confused fight followed as the German infantry advanced, the Division falling back across the recently won ground. A roll call later that day showed the strength of the battalion to be just 250. However, 28 of the men from the battalion who had been captured during the German attack managed to escape and re-joined the battalion on December 3rd.

The 7th battalion had 31 men killed in action on 30th November; amongst these was Private Russell. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald January 5th 1918
Missing.- Mrs Russell, Hopkins Street, Burnt Tree, has been notified by the War Office that her husband, Private H. Russell of the 7th Suffolks, has been posted as missing since November 30th. Prior to being called to the colours, (June 17th 1916) he was employed at the 'Herald Press' as a bookbinder. He has served 15 months in France.

County Express January 12th 1918
PTE. H. RUSSELL No. 40649, 16 Platoon, 'D' Company, 7th Suffolks, B.E.F., France, posted as missing by War Office, 30th November 1917. Any information of him will be gratefully received by Sergt. Wright, Police Station, Cradley, Staffs., or Mrs. H. Russell, 24 Hopkins Street, Burnt Tree, Tipton.