(L to R) 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal
We don't know anything about Henry's early life or family.
The First World War broke out in August 1914 and Henry joined the Army on the 30th November. He enlisted into the 7th City Battalion. This was being formed in Manchester to allow men who lived or worked in this area to serve together. It became the 22nd Battalion of the Manchester Regiment and Henry was given the service number 20967. He joined XV Platoon in D Company.
The 22nd Battalion began its life at Heaton Park in Manchester, and then moved to Morecambe on the Lancashire coast in December 1914. They spent several months there before moving to Belton Park near Grantham in Lincolnshire during April 1915. In September they moved to Larkhill in Wiltshire. They were based here until the 11th November when they sailed to France.
We don't know anything about Henry's time in France. The 22nd Battalion served around Mametz near Fricourt during early 1916.
In June the battalion began training for the 1st Day of the Somme Offensive. This battle would begin on the 1st July, and the 22nd Battalion was going to attack towards the village of Mametz. The attack was successful, but around 470 out of almost 800 members of the battalion were killed, wounded or went missing. The survivors were relieved on the 5th.
The 22nd Battalion continued to serve on the Somme until the Offensive ended in November. It then fought in the Battle of Arras during April 1917. In the autumn of 1917 the 22nd Battalion moved to Belgium and joined the Passchendaele Offensive that was fought around Ypres.
Although we don't know when or how badly Henry was wounded at some point. It is likely that he was transferred to the Royal Defence Corps after he had recovered. This Corps was made up of soldiers who were not fit enough to serve overseas. They guarded vulnerable sites such as Prisoner of War Camps, railways, factories and military installations.
We don't know exactly when Henry joined the RDC. His service number was 67166.
By the end of his service Henry was a member of the 163rd Protection Company. This unit was based in Northern Command, which covered a large area of Eastern England from Northumberland as far south as Derbyshire and Leicestershire.
By January 1918 it was clear that Henry would never fully recover from his wounds. He was discharged as 'no longer physically fit for war service' on the 17th January 1918. Henry was awarded a Silver War Badge, with serial number 304871, to show that his discharge was honourable.
Henry's life after his discharge remains a mystery.