Private 9384 Harry Simmons

Killed in Action on Saturday, 31st October 1914, age 26.
Commemorated on Panel 34 of Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

2nd Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 5th Brigade of 2nd Division.

Son of Henry and Matilda Simmons.
Born: Old Hill, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Great Bridge.

First landed France & Flanders, 22nd August 1914.
Medal entitlement: 1914 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives survived and transcribed.

Commemorated on the St. Peter's, Greets Green 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/916803/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
13 Court 8 House, New Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Henry Simmons (57, Labourer on Boat Dock, born Brewood), his wife Matilda (52, born Willenhall), and their 5 children: George (16, Boat Horse Driver, born Old Hill), Frederick (14, Boat Horse Driver, born Old Hill), Henry (12, born Old Hill), Alice (10, born Tipton), and Joseph (8, born Tipton).

No trace on the 1911 Census as Harry was serving with the 4th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, in India.

Personal Data

Harry enlisted with the Worcestershire Regiment on 15th August 1905, signing on for an initial term of 3 years with the Colours and 9 years with the Reserves. He was 18 years and 10 months of age, Church of England and employed as a Boatman. He had brown eyes, dark brown hair, a fresh complexion and ‘Good’ physical development; he had a ‘linear scar across the front of his chest”. At enlistment he was 5 feet 5½ inches tall, 34-inch chest and weighed 123 pounds. After 6 months training, he was 5 feet 6½ tall, 36½-inch chest and weighed 136 pounds.

Initially Harry trained with the Depot Battalion, but was posted to the 4th Battalion for service overseas. Harry served in Malta from November 1906 to November 1908 with one month spent in Egypt. From November 1908 to December 1912, Harry served in India arriving back in England on 28th December 1912.

Harry had extended his service with the Regulars, having now done 7 years. He now opted to leave the Colours, and did so on 31st December 1912, becoming a Reservist on 1st January 1913 – this would have been for a 5-year term to make up the balance of his 12-year commitment.

Harry was immediately mobilised on the outbreak of war, joining the 5th Battalion on 5th August 1914. After 2 weeks training he was posted to the 2nd Battalion on 21st August and landed in France on the next day.

After Harry's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £18/14/0d (18 pounds and 14 shillings); this was split equally into 8 parts and distributed to: his mother: Mrs Matilda Simmons, his brothers: William, Thomas, David, Joseph and Fred, his sisters: Mary Patience Cartwright and Alice Millership, and his sister-in-law: Mrs Ruth Simmons (brother George’s share). His War Gratuity was £5/0/0d (5 pounds exactly), this was paid to his sister Mary Cartwright in October 1919.

His mother, Mrs Matilda Simmons of 1 Providence Street, Tipton, was awarded a Dependant’s Pension of 5/0d (5 shillings) per week from 4th April 1916.

Action resulting in his death

Still to be researched. Contact me if required.

Newspaper Cuttings