MORRIS, HARRY 91948 Private 9th Battalion

THE TANK CORPS

Born Lostock Hall  Enlisted Chorley  Living Leyland

Killed in Action  France / Flanders   23rd July 1918

Formerly 31940 19th Battalion Welsh Regiment

Ref: ‘Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919’, Part 75.

Lancashire Daily Post Tuesday August 13th, 1918

“Killed in Action”

MORRIS – Killed in action July 23rd, 1918. Gunner Harry Morris, Tank Corps, aged 24 years.

‘God takes our loved ones from our home

But never from our hearts.’

From his wife, 21 Queens Terrace, Leyland.

Preston Guardian Saturday 17th August 1918

The death in action is officially reported of Gunner H. Morris, Tank Corps, who formerly resided at 21 Queens Terrace, Leyland. He joined the Welsh Pioneers in 1915 and was later transferred to the Tank Corps.

His Company Commander in a letter of sympathy to the widow writes: “We all regret his death very keenly. He fought his last fight as we expected him to fight – calmly, coolly, and a true Briton. What more can I say!” Another officer wrote stating that the deceased’s tank was hit by a shell from a German field gun. “Throughout the battle,” the writer proceeds, “your husband conducted himself in a very excellent manner. It is due to men like him that the battle was such a tremendous success.”

Leyland St. Andrew’s Parish Magazine September 1918

A Memorial Service was held on Wednesday, August 21st, 1918 for George Glover, Loyal North Lancs.; Richard Lazenby, R.A.M.C., and Harry Morris, Tank Corps.

In the course of his address the Vicar said:- ‘Harry Morris was killed in action on July 23rd, 1918. Lord Somers, the Major of the Tank Corps

Section in which Harry Morris was serving, wrote that they had a most difficult job to do in the battle and suffered heavy casualties. Morris’s tank sustained a direct hit which must have mercifully killed the occupants of the tank outright. His captain writes that Morris was “always cheerful and ready to do anything under all conditions.”

It was but what we might have expected to hear of him. The son of one of our most faithful Sunday School teachers, he was a bugler in our St. Andrew’s Company of the Church Lads Brigade.’

Harry Morris’s name is on the following local memorials:-

War Memorial, Church Road, Leyland

Mural Plaque in St. Andrew’s, Leyland

St. Ambrose Memorial, Moss Lane, Leyland

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

With no known grave, Harry Morris is commemorated on the:-

SOISSONS MEMORIAL, AISNE, FRANCE

Son of the late Henry and Isabella Morris; husband of Lilly Lowe (formerly Morris), of 21 Queens Terrace, Leyland. Age 25.

The town of Soissons stands on the left bank of the River Aisne, approximately 100 km north-east of Paris. The Memorial consists of a cenotaph and three-sided wall which stands in the public square.

Leyland St. Andrew’s Parish Magazine June 1915

Marriage: May 22nd, 1915 Harry Morris to Lilly Marson of Leyland.

Note:-   ‘The 9th Battalion, 23 July 1918’

On the 23rd of July, the 9th Battalion were engaged in a combined operation with the 3rd French Division at a location not stated in the source used for this account. On the night of 18/19 July (1918) the 9th Battalion – with their new Mark V tanks – set out for an unknown destination which they reached on the evening of the 22nd. In the battle the following day the Battalion took heavy casualties, but their objectives were achieved; four guns and 300 machine guns were captured , and 1,500 prisoners taken. It was in this operation that Harry Morris was killed in action

This action took place some five days after the start of the Allied counter-attack which finally halted the German breakthrough of spring 1918. This was the start of what became known as the Advance to Victory, which culminated with the Armistice of 11 November 1918.

Ref: ‘Tanks and Trenches’, Ed. David Fletcher, 1994.

Note:-   No. 21 Queen’s Terrace (also known as Queen’s Row or, more correctly, as Queen’s

Street) in 1918, became, after the re- numbering of Leyland in the 1930s, No. 15 Golden Hill Lane.

Morris, Harry. WE Waring 2003