HARDING, Herbert George

No.5400, Lance Corporal, Herbert George HARDING
Aged 23

25th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers
Killed in Action on Thursday, 18th October 1917

Herbert George Harding was born in Lackford (Thingoe Q1-1894 4A:779), baptised in St. Lawrence, Lackford on 18th February 1894, son of Benjamin and Sarah Ann Harding (née SMITH).

1901 census...Aged 7, he was at Brook Farm Cottages, Lackford with his father Benjamin HARDING [49] farm labourer; sisters Gertrude [14] and Alice [4]; brothers Ernest [10] and Montague [9]. All were born in Lackford. His mother was not found in this census, she was not in Lackford.

His mother died in 1902.

1911 census...Aged 17, he was a farm labourer, in Lackford with his widower father, brother John (Montague?) a farm labourer, and sister Alice.

A note on his Army register of soldiers personal effect has "nephew Leslie born 12-2-06" instead of the usual "sole legatee". His pension card has not been found.

He enlisted in Dover.
What is now Tanzania was German East Africa in 1917.

From http://www.25throyalfusiliers.co.uk/nyangao.html :-
Nyango, or Battle of Mahiwa- At 3.40 that afternoon the 126 men of the 25th Royal Fusiliers, by now attached to No.4 Column, were ordered forward to fill this gap. Whether accidentally mistaking the intended direction or intentionally altering course to assist the 3/2nd King's African Rifles the battalion swung to the right. Instead of charging down upon the German troops opposing No.4 Column the men of the 25th Royal Fusiliers came up on the left flank of No.3 Column's extended line and ended up advancing towards the wrong German entrenched positions. In so doing they passed in front of a number of German machine guns, the result of which was devastating, the battalion was cut to pieces, leaving behind a trail of dead and wounded men, others rushed forward into clumps of dense bush but were there stopped by fire and a German askari bayonet attack. A few survivors fought their way back to the British positions but the battalion was to emerge from the action with fewer than 50 men."

DAR ES SALAAM WAR CEMETERY was created in 1968 when the 660 First World War graves at Dar Es Salaam (Ocean Road) Cemetery had to be moved to facilitate the construction of a new road. Herbert was originally buried in Mtama Cemetery, but moved in 1926 and then presumably moved to Dar es Salaam when 1,000 more graves were moved in the early 1970's.

CWGC has 17 killed of the 25th Royal Fusiliers that day, most now in collective graves in Dar es Salaam.

Remembered in the gravestone of his parents in Lackford

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Herbert Harding is buried in Dar es Salaam War Cemetery, Tanzania, grave 6:G:2-11

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details