HART, Harry Rosslyn

No.41418, Lance Corporal, Harry Rosslyn HART
Aged 20

2nd/6th Battalion, Prince of Wales' (North Staffordshire) Regiment
formerly No.51637 Suffolk Regiment
formerly No.26940, Suffolk Regiment TR
Killed in Action between 21st and 24th March 1918

Harry Rosslyn Hart was born in Shepreth in 1897 (Newmarket Q2-1882 3B:568), son of Henry Preston and Florence HART (née BAXTER).

1901 census...Aged 4, he was at 17 Guest Road, Cambridge with his father Henry Preston HART [36] manager cement factory, born Barrington; his mother Florence [33] born Leeds; brothers Harold Baxter Hart [13] born Barrington, Oswald [10] born Barrington; sisters Grace [12] born Barrington, Lilian [2] born Shepreth and Elsie [1] born Cambridge, and aunt Helen BAXTER [[34] born Leeds.

1911 census...Aged 14, he was at Meldreth Road, Shepreth with his parents; brothers Harold Baxter and Valentine Vernon [4] born Shepreth; sisters Grace, Winifred [18] born Shepreth, Lilian and Elsi [3] born Shepreth and aunt Kate Edith HART [36] born Barrington. One child had died, seemingly Elsie 1.

The address is always Shepreth Road, Meldreth on Army records, Meldreth Road, Shepreth on civilian records. On the family form for the Army in 1920 the family were at Moorlands, Meldreth.

He was living in Soham when he enlisted. No pension card has been found.

Enlisted in Newmarket on 24th November 1915, giving his age as 18 years 270 days, a bank clerk, 5 feet 6.75 inches (169.5 cm), weighing 122 lbs (55.5 kg), chest 34.5" to 37"(87.6 to 94 cm). he was posted to the Training Reserve TR//13/21157. Mobilised on 28th March 1916, giving his address now as Restcote, High Street, Soham he was posted to the 13th Reserve Battalion, Suffolk Regiment at Leamington.
Then to Training Reserve 108 Battalion at Richmond on 1st September 1916, promoted to Acting Corporal at Barnes on 3rd February 1917 and Lance Sergeant at Barnes on 12th May 1917.
He embarked with the 3rd battalion Suffolks at Folkestone on 31st January 1918. Unfortunately his records are very badly faded so the date of joining the North Staffordshire regiment is not known What can just be seen is that he was recorded as dying as a prisoner between 21st and 24th March 1918 (the opening days of the Kaiserschalcht, the German Spring Offensive).

German records show that Harry was found by the Germans near Ecouste St Mein, judged to have died between 21st and 24th March 1918 and buried with his comrades in a mass grave, apparently in the cemetery German extension on the Croisilles Road leaving Ecouste. As he is now recorded on the Arras memorial it appears he was not identified later when they were exhumed for cemetery concentration. There are 8 unidentified in the nearby Ecoust.St.Mein British Cemetery.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Harry Hart is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Faubourg d'Amiens, bays 7 & 8

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