WELLS, Harry

No.10444, Guardsman, Harry Wells
Aged 22

1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards
formerly J/6312, Ordinary Seaman, Royal Navy
Killed in Action on 11th May 1916.

Harry Wells was born in Ashfield on 25th December 1893 (1st qtr 1894 STOW 4a:809), son of Charles and Roseanna WELLS(née HARVEY).

1901 census...Aged 7, he was at 2 Stone Cottages, Botesdale with his father Charles WELLS [40] farm bailiff born Lawshall; his mother Roseanne [46] born Drinkstone; brothers Frederick [13] born Hepworth, twin brother Edward [7], Arthur [4] and Albert [2] all born Ashfield; sister Florence [11] born Hepworth.

1911 census...None of them are identified in 1911 census.

On the pension card his father was at Upper Town, Pakenham.

His brother Albert was killed in 1917. see here.

He enlisted in the Royal Navy as a Boy (#J6312) at HMS Ganges on 23rd November 1909i. Born in Great Ashfield, a farm labourer, he was 5 feet 5.25 inches tall, 34.25 inches chest, blue eyes, dark brown hair. Reaching 18, his height was 5 feet 9 inches and chest 36 inches, when, serving on HMS Barham, he became an Ordinary Seaman. Having served on HMS Barham, HMS Triumph and HMS Africa as a Saeman, the Royal Navy decided they had had enough of his ill discipline and he was discharged on 1st September 1913.
Unless his discipline changed drastically his next military venture must have been difficult as he almost immediately joined the Army, and was posted to the Coldstream Guards !

He enlisted in Bury St. Edmunds. He was a Regular, an Old Contemptible, serving within range of the enemy guns before 22nd November 1914.

The war diary relates that the men were being inspected in Poperinghe when at 11 a.m. an enemy shell fell amongst No.4 Compnay, killing 11 of them, wounding 9 more.

photo CWGC

Harry Wells is buried in Poperinghe New British Cemetery, Belgium 1:A:36

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