Uttoxeter Advertiser



Thomas and Mary Avery, of Nether Broughton, Melton Mowbray, Leicester



Thomas Avery of Red Lion Inn, Neather Broughton, Melton Mowbray

5g 5dd

Mary Ellen Avery


Mrs. M.E. Avery of Nether Broughton, Memton Mawbray, Leicestershire


Mrs. T. Avery, Nether Broughton, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire

Where born

Uttoxeter, Staffordshire [WRONG]

Rocester, Staffordshire


When born

About 1899




Denston[e], near Ro[c]hester, Staffordshire




Melton Mowbray (Angleterre)




Employment Before Joining up


5a 5d

Where Enlisted

Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire [WRONG - this is actually where he was Medically Examined]





Formerly 33877, G.S. Cav[alry].


5a 5d

Royal West Kent Regiment (Queen's Own)



2a 2b

5p 5y 5bb 5cc 5hh


1st Bn 10th Platton C Company




Service Number





5v 5bb  5z 5dd

Date of Death

6th July 1918



2a 2b

5v 5e 5f 5p 5y 5z 5ff 5gg

Age at time of death



2a 2b


Where Killed or died


30 General Hospital, Calais P127760

5f 5hh

How he died

Died of Wounds



2a 2b


Wounds received in action

5c 5ff 5gg 5hh

Location of Grave or Memorial

Les Baraques Military Cemetery, Sangatte, Grave IV C.14.



British War Medal – Roll GSE/2/103B9 Page 709


Victory Medal – Roll GSE/2/103B9 Page 709


Herbert’s family called him ‘Harry’ and his parents were Thomas and Mary Avery, of Nether Broughton, Melton Mowbray, Leicester. He is described by the CWGC as a native of Denstone, but the SDGW database states that he was born in Uttoxeter and lived at Denstone, near Rocester, in Staffordshire. From the 1901 Census he was actually born in Rocester. He is included as Uttoxeter’s fallen because his parents commemorated his death in the Uttoxeter Advertiser, indicating that he was known to the town.

The 1901 Census recorded him as being 2 years old and living with his parents in Stubwood in the Parish of Rocester with three sisters and a brother (a total of 6 children). This record says that he was born at Rocester and his father gave his occupation as ‘Gardener’. His mother gave no occupation but his eldest sister, 15 year-old Sarah Anne was a Dressmaker.

By the time of the 1911 Census he was one of 11 children (3 boys and 8 girls), although only Harry and three siblings were living with their parents on the night of the Census.

He was medically examined on the 14th April 1917 at Burton-on-Trent and enlisted at Scarborough on 26th April the same year. He was 19 years and a month old and was posted initially to No. 3 Depot as 33877 with the General Service Cavalry.

He gave his occupation as ‘Farmer’ and expressed a wish to serve with the Army Service Corp. He expressly stated that he did not wish to serve in the Royal Navy.

At the time of his enlistment he was 5ft 6 inches tall and had a chest measurement of between 29.5 and 33 inches.

Harry served initially as Private 33877 in the General Service Cavalry of the Royal West Kent Regiment and his Service Records in the National Archives enable us to construct his Service History as follows:

14th April 1917                                    Medically examined and declared fit for General Service   

24th April to 11th  October 1917       Home

24th April 1917                                    Called up for Service

26th April:1917                                   Enlisted for the duration of the war at Scarborough  

 Joined No. 3 Depot  

28th April 1917                                    Posted to the 3rd Battalion of the General                                                                               Service Cavalry or 3rd Reserve Cavalry                                                                                   Regiment  

25th August 1917                                Transferred to 5th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers

1st September 1917                           Transferred to Royal Fusiliers for posting                                                                           to 5th Reserve Battalion, London Regiment                                                                     Authority WO L NO 121 drafts 7268   

                                                                               Posted to 5th Reserve London Regiment,                                                                          –Compulsory Transfer, Cavalry rate of pay

12th  Oct 1917 to 6th July 1918        British Expeditionary Force

12th Oc 1917                                       Posted to British Expeditionary Force with 2nd                                                               Royal Fusiliers  

13th Oct 1917                                      Joined B.D. & Posted to 2-R.x [indistinct                                                                          document]  

14th Oct 1917                                      Transferred to Royal West Kent Regiment   &                                                                 xxxx [indistinct document]

   Allotted number G/200585e Etaples

                                                               Posted with 1st Battalion, Royal West Kent                                                                     Regiment  

16th Oct 1917                                       Joined Battalion  

7th Nov 1917                                        Wounded  – Gunshot Wound Knee Right Mild                                                                 (HA 16161)

11th Nov 1917                                      Gunshot Wound Knee (right)  

17th Nov 1917                                      At 40th I.B.D  

24th Nov 1917 to 11th Oct 1917        Home Duty

24th Nov 1917                                      Rejoined Battalion “C” Company  

   Service abroad   

12th  Dec 1917                                     With Battalion to Italy  

1st (or 7th ?) April 1918                       Returned to France with Battalion

28th June 1918                                     Wounded, (P126426) in Action in the Field

                                                                Shell wounds – head, chest and arm  

6th  July 1918                                        Died of wounds received in action Calais

    30 General Hospital, Calais P1277605

At the time of his death he was serving in the1st Battalion of the same Regiment as a Private, number G/20058.

He died on 6th  July 1917 at in the No.30 General Hospital, Calais of wounds received in action on the 28th June. These wounds were described in the hospital report as Shell Wounds to the head, chest and arm.

The War Diary for the 1st Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment describes the events on the day on which he received his mortal wounds as follows. Note that Harry was part of C Company.

The following is a report by Major J. Kay on the operation carried out on this date. The Battalion moved up from STEENBECQUE and reoccupied assembly trenches on the night of 27th /28th  June.

Disposition of Companies in Assembly Trenches is shown in the attached sketch. The battalion was in position by 12 midnight. Patrols & Listening Posts were sent out and withdrawn at dawn. No enemy patrols were encountered. All our wire on the battalion front was cut by 1:20am.

Zero hour was received at 1:30am and Companies informed. Watches were synchronised at the same time. Activity shewn by enemy artillery and Machine Guns during the night was rather below normal.

At 6am the barrage came down and all companies left the assembly trenches and closed up under it. Two companies (C & B) formed the 1st wave. Each company advanced with two platoons in the front line and one in close support.

Boundaries xxx are shewn on attached sketch. One Company (A) formed the 2nd Wave and followed closely behind the 1st Wave. One Company (D) was in Reserve and advanced in sections in File.

Right Company (‘C’ Lieut. B.B.S. Gybbon Moneypenny M.C.) advanced and went straight through the enemy front line to support line. Little resistance was met except about K.16.a.4.7. where the enemy machine guns were posted. Sharp hand to hand fighting took place about here, a number of the enemy being bayoneted. The Company pushed rapidly on and took the First Objective, driving what was left of the enemy toward the PLATE BECQUE. A heavy Lewis Gun and Rifle fire was opened on them and most of them were killed attempting to cross the PLATE BECQUE. Patrols were pushed forward to te line of the PLATE BECQUE. Sergeant HIRSCFIELD accompanied by a sapper went forward to the PLATE BECQUE and blew up the bridges. One of the bridges was made of stone and these two men were driven back by heavy machine gun fire. It was not until the third attempt that the bridge was finally destroyed. The whole of the work involved in the demolition of these three bridges was carried out under heavy machine gun fire.

Touch was maintained with the 15th Royal Warwickshire Regiment on the right throughout the advance.

Lieut. P.J. BLOTT was severely wounded before reaching the German front line, his platoon Sergeant taking command of the platoon during the remainder of the day. The company suffered about 1490 casualties in reaching its first objective.  LIEUT E.O.E. AYLETT was wounded during the advance but remained in command of his platoon organising the defence till late in the afternoon.

Left Company (B Capt. J.T. Scott, M.C.) advanced and captured the German Front Line and considerable number of casualties occurred soon after the advance commenced. This was partly from our own barrage owing to the eagerness of all ranks to engage with the enemy, and partly from enemy machine guns about K.10.d.2.3. In spite of this, however, the advance was continued without a check. Those of the enemy who had not been killed retired rapidly towards the PLATE BECQUE. As soon as the Final Objective was reached, a heavy fire was opened with Lewis Guns and rifles on the retreating enemy, a large number of whom were killed. Patrols were sent forward and reported attempts were made by several men of the Company to destroy the Bridge by hand but this was not successful owing, chiefly, to the strength of the bridge and to the heavy machine gun barrage. On account of the somewhat severe casualties incurred during the early part of the advance there was, at one time, a considerable gap between the two leading companies. The close support platoon led by 2nd Lieut A.E.J. BURDEN immediately pushed forward and filled the gap. Touch was maintained with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers on the left throughout the advance.

This Company had 59 casualties during the advance including the Company Commander and the next senior officer (Lieut. E.P. SMYTH) – both being killed.

2nd Wave (A Company), Lieut De S.H. LEWIS-BARNED M.C.) followed closely in the rear of the first Wave. A dozen or more Germans, many of them wearing what appeared to be a Red Cross armlet were encountered in the orchard about K.10.C.30.95., these men throwing bombs into the rear of the 1st Wave which had swept by them. The whole of this party were bayonetted at once. The German Support Line was then occupied.

Parties of moppers-up went on to BONAR FARM and the houses round K.10.x.2.3 and 6.K.16b.4.F and at placed a few enemy were killed or captured. The Company had about 25 casualties during the advance including 2nd Lieut H.H. COX, who was wounded in the leg.  The Officer commanding A Company, appreciating the fact that the Left Companies’ front line was weakly held, immediately sent forward 3 sections to assist in consolidating and holding the line.

Reserve Company (D Capt. ADH DODSOM) proceeded to occupy the German front line which they reached at 6:15am, carrying forward with them Picks, shovels & Small Arms Ammunition drawn from the battalion dump the previous night….

Given that Harry received shell wounds, it is conceivable that he was injured either during the initial bonbargment described above, or by the Germans who appeared to be wearing Red Cross arm bands, who thre bombs into the rear of the wave in which his Comapny was advancing.

Harry’s Service Records in the National Archives include a copy of the telegram sent to his father informing him of his death. It reads as follows:

Regret to inform you 20058 Pte H. Avery died in 30 General Hospital Calais 6.7.18 from effects of wounds

It appears from a note in his records that his parents may have moved home at around this time and the War Office could not get in touch with them. This may mean that they did not hear about his death immediately. The note, dated 6th July 1918 (the day on which he died) says the following:

Sir, Will you kindly inform the War Office that 20058 Private Harry Avery’s parents have removed to the above address and to let all the news concerning him be sent to the above address & not to Denstone Rocester, Staffordshire.

On 18th November 1918 Harry’s mother was sent a package of the following personal effects, which she acknowledged receipt on 22nd November:

Disc, Scissors, Cigarette Case, Knife, Pouch, Purse, 2 coins

Harry is buried in the Les Baraques Military Cemetery, Sangatte, Grave IV C.14.

The CWGC records6.b.iv show that his mother paid for the following inscription on his headstone:



For the purposes of his Service Pension Harry was credited with 171 days’ service at Home , (i.e. British Mainland) and 268 days with the B.E.F, making a total of 1 year and 74 days in the Army.

He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

This notice was posted in the Uttoxeter Advertiser in July 1918, shortly after his death

In Loving Memory of our dear Son and Brother, Pte. Harry Avery, 1st Royal West Kents, who died of wounds received in action on July 6, 1918, aged 20 years.

No one knows how much we miss him –

None but aching hearts can tell.

Earth has lost him, Heaven has gained him,

Jesus has done all things well.

- From his sorrowing Father and Mother, Sisters and Brothers.

This notice was posted in the Uttoxeter Advertiser in July 1918, [2b] to mark the first anniversary of his death

AVERY. – In Loving Memory of our Beloved Son and Brother, Harry, who died of wounds in France on July 6, 1918, aged 20.

We think of you in silence,

No eyes may see us weep,

But for ever in our aching hearts

Your dear memory we will keep.

- From his sorrowing Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters.