HAILSTONE, (Reginald) Harry William

No.696746, Corporal, Harry W HAILSTONE
Aged 44

182 Company, Labour Corps
formerly RME/3357, Royal Marine Engineers
formerly Canadian Pioneers
formerly 5128, Suffolk Regiment
formerly 5084 Rifle Brigade
Died of Illness on 26th February 1920

Reginald Harry HAILSTONE, born in Pakenham on 25th August ? 1878 (Thingoe 2nd qtr 1878 4A:586) son of William and Caroline Emma Peck HAILSTONE (née BULLETT). Caroline's mother Susan BULLETT married William PECK in 1849. Harry was baptised Reginald Harry HAILSTONE at St Mary's, Pakenham on 11th January 1879.

1881 census...Aged 3, he was at The Street, Pakenham with his father William HAILSTONE [42] farm labourer; his mother Caroline [38]; brothers Herbert [9] and Walter [7]; sister Fanny [ 3 months]. All were born in Pakenham. Fanny's and Walter's registration has mother's maiden name as PECK, whilst Herbert was registered as Herbert PECK (William married Caroline in 1874)

His mother died in 1882 and is buried in Pakenham.

1891 census... aged 13, he was at The Green, Flempton with his father, both farm labourers staying with Robert and Mary LOVICK.

1901 census...His father was a pauper in the Thingoe Union Workhouse, Bury St.Edmunds. Brother Herbert was in the Army as was Harry.

1911 census...His father was living with his brother Charles HAILSTONE and sister in law Sarah at the Red House, Great Barton. Harry is believed to have emigrated to Canada some time in 1911.

This man's idetification was very tricky due to name changes, too many Harry Hailstones in the area, his brother Herbert's Army records dovetailing with his, and despite many Army documents, nothing from the Royal Marines'

From serving in the 4th Norfolk Militia, at Bury St.Edmunds on 10th February 1897, he attested for the Rifle Brigade (# 5084), joined at Gosport and posted to 4th Battalion on 27th February 1897. Then on 25th April 1898 he was transferred to the Suffolk Regiment (#5128) on 15th February for 7 years with the colours and 5 on Reserve. He had already been rejected for military service due to being undersize. He appeared to be 18 years 6 months old, 5 ft 7 inches tall, weighing 127 lbs, chest 33.5 to 35.5 inches, brown eyes and hair, Church of England. It was noted that he was expected to develop. He had become Harry William HAILSTONE.
Posted to 1st Battalion on 6th May 1898 and to Malta, then on 23rd September to 2nd Battalion and posted to India. On 22nd February 1904 permitted to extend to complete 12 years with the colours. On 9th December 1904 he was in Karachi. He returned to UK on 24th January 1905. 24th January 1905 he was transferred to the 1st Battalion, Suffolk Regiment and on 15th February 1909 transferred to the Active Reserve on completion of his term of engagement.

He then seems to have emigrated to Canada, where at St Thomas on 6th September 1915 he attested for the Canadian Army. He gave his date of birth as 25th August 1878, which could not be correct as his birth was registered in 2nd quarter of 1878.
He weighed 140 lbs, was 5 feet 7.5 inches tall, chest 36 to 38 inches, brown eyes and hair, Church of England, a cement worker. Next of kin was his father William HAILSTONE of Livermere Road, Bury St.Edmunds. He stated he had 12 years Imperial Service including 2 years in South Africa (actually Malta) and 9 years in India.
Initially a Corporal (#123399) in the 70th Overseas Battalion he was quickly transferred as Private 166197 to the 2nd Pioneer Battalion. They sailed for UK on 6th December 1915 and after some time at Shornecliffe, on 8th March 1916 they arrived in France. At Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre on 28th August he was diagnosed as unfit for war service and sent to UK to Shornecliffe where he was deemed fit for only for base duties, of which none were available. His lifelong hammer toes it appeared where now preventing him from marching and he was discharged on 22nd September 1916.

His engagement details for the Royal Marine Engineers have not been found, but he is known to have enlisted in the Royal Marine Engineers. R.M.E. companies were raised early 1918 to work on projects and constructions in out of the way places such as Scapa Flow.

Seemingly demobilised after the Armistice he then enlisted in the Labour Corps (#696746). Examined 2-6-1919 at Bury St. Edmunds he was 43 yrs 310 days old, 5 feet 7.75 inches tall, weighing 133.5lbs, chest 34-36 inches, shrapnel wound left elbow. Diagnosed with pleurisy. He had been employed clearing the battlefields and bringing in the bodies, that was when his illness began. Admitted to Military Hospital Bury St. Edmunds on 1-12-19 he had VDN (Valvular Disease of Heart) and severe pleurisy attributable to military service and on 17th Jan 1920 was sent to Military Hospital Colchester where his discharge was approved on 9th February 1920, dying on 26th February 1920.

The Royal Marine medal roll on gives him the War medal, since with them he had not served abroad in an active theatre of war for at least 28 days. He had however reached that qualification whilst serving in the Canadian Army.

His next of kin Mrs May Kathleen HAILSTONE (née PECK). of Church Hill, Pakenham whom he married in 1918 and was present at the death.

His not recorded on the Pakenham War memorial, his grave originally being unmarked and recorded as a "Parishioner's Grave". At some time he was recognised as a war casualty and a CWGC headstone erected.

Hopefully the correct Harry Hailstone

Harry Hailstone is buried in Pakenham (St.Mary's) Churchyard, west of Church

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