Private 24143 Harold Wooldridge

Wooldridge Harold 96 316x600Wooldridge Harold 96 410x600

Died of Wounds on Wednesday, 13th December 1916, age 21.
Buried in Grave VI. C. 22. at Puchevillers British Cemetery, Somme, France.

8th Bn., Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regt.). 32nd Brigade of 11th Division.

Son of Thomas and Eliza Wooldridge, of Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Bradley, Yorks, Enlisted: Milnsbridge, Yorks, Resident: Rastrick, Yorks.

First landed France & Flanders, 26th September 1916.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives survived and transcribed.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because his death was reported in the Tipton Herald.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/512442/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
12 Barnfield Road, Tipton, Staffs (also there in 1891)
Thomas Wooldridge (48, Puddler, born Tipton), his wife Eliza (47, born Shelton), and their 5 children: Fred (19, Forge Roller, born Tipton), Horace (16, Commercial Clerk, born Tipton), May (12, born Tipton), Charles Henry (9, born Tipton), and Harold (5, born Tipton).

1911 Census
66 Toll End Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Thomas Wooldridge (58, Puddler, born Tipton), his wife Eliza (57, born Potteries), and 3 of their 7 surviving children of 7: Fred (27, Shingler, born Tipton), Charles Henry (19, Tram Conductor, born Tipton), and Harold (15, Carpenter, born Tipton).

Marriage of Harold Wooldridge and Florence Winifred Marriot in 1914, registered in Halifax. They had two daughters, Winifred and Evaline.

Personal Data

”Soldiers Died in the Great War” records that the only Wooldridge from Duke of Wellington's killed in WW1 is Harold Wooldridge, 24143, who died of wounds on 13th December 1916. This matches everything in the Tipton Herald article, but 'Soldiers Died in the Great War' says born Bradley, Yorkshire. His Soldier's Papers also say born Bradley, nr Huddersfield. This is definitely the man from the Tipton Herald article, and Commonwealth War Graves confirms his parents living in Tipton. The 1901 and 1911 census shows Harold living and born in Tipton. This is confusing, but this is the correct man as his siblings shown on the Army' Statement of Relative's following his death all match the census, but they also are living in the Huddersfield area.

Harold attested on 6th July 1914 at Huddersfield for 4 years service as a Territorial with the 7th Battalion, West Riding Regiment (Duke of Wellingtons). He was 19 years of age, 5 feet 6½ inches tall, with a 34-inch chest; his vision and physical development was stated as 'good'. As a Territorial his commitment was for Home Service until 26th June 1916 when he signed the 'Imperial Service Obligation' agreeing to serve outside the United Kingdom. He landed in France on 26th September 1916, and was posted to the 8th Battalion, West Riding Regiment on 14th October.

Harold was wounded in action just 2 months later on 12th December. He received gunshot wounds to the buttocks and thigh. He was admitted to the 33rd Field Ambulance on the same day, then to the 3rd Casualty Clearing station where he died the next day, the 13th December 1916. He is buried in Puchevillers British Cemetery adjacent to the Casualty Clearing Station.

Action resulting in his death

Wounded on 12th December 1916, died the next day 13th December 1916.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 6th January 1917.
Private H. Wooldridge of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment is another Tipton soldier to give his life for King and country. He was 21 years of age, and enlisted at the outbreak of the war. He had only been in France for eight weeks when he died from wounds received in action on December 13th last. He was a native of Tipton, and an old scholar of Tipton Green Council School. His father, Mr Thomas Wooldridge, resides at Ocker Hill, whilst his young wife and two children live at Huddersfield where he was last employed.
A very sympathetic letter to Mrs Wooldridge from the Chaplain, states that her husband was so badly wounded in the body and right thigh that in spite of the care of doctors and sisters, he passed away without much conscious suffering. He was buried with military honours in the cemetery near the other brave comrades who, like him, had so nobly given up their lives.