HARRISON, Charles Robert
Regiment: 1st/5th Cheshire Regiment
Rank: Grenade Sergeant
Died: 23 October 1915
Buried/ Memorial: Suzanne Communal Cemetery Extension, France
Address: 3 Sunny Bank, Hoole Lane, Hoole
Chester Chronicle 30 October 1915
CHESTER TERRITORIAL KILLED
SERGT. C.R. HARRISON
“We regret to announce that news has reached his relatives in Chester of the death in France of Grenade Sergt. Charles Robert Harrison of the 5th Cheshires, son of Charles J. and Caroline Harrison, 3 Sunny Bank, Hoole Lane, Chester.
The deceased soldier was well known in Chester and the sad tidings of his death will cause sorrow among a host of friends. He lost his life on October 23rd through the explosion of a bomb in his dugout. Grenade Sergt. Harrison, who would have attained his 24th birthday next December, received his education at St Paul’s School, Boughton. He entered the employ of Messrs. Dickson Ltd., but after a few months joined the loco staff at the G.W. Railway, Chester. In the Territorials before the war he served for four years in the 5th Cheshires and attained the rank of lance corporal. He patriotically joined his old corps when hostilities broke out, being warmly welcomed back by officers and his old comrades. He was in “B” Company commanded by Captain Churton, and he had been promoted to the rank of sergeant while serving at the front. He was home on leave for 5 days in June last, and returned cheerfully to his duties. The deceased was greatly respected by all who know him and had all the qualities of a fine soldier. When at home he was a member of the Grosvenor Park Road Baptist Church. A brother of the deceased is a signaller in the 2/5th Cheshires.”
BRAVE AND DEVOTED TO DUTY
“The sad news was communicated to the gallant soldier’s parents in the following kindly and touching letter written by Lieut. Heald.
“Dear Mrs Harrison, - I have the hardest letter to write you of all. Yet I hope when you read it you will feel prouder of your son than ever. I am sorry to say that he was killed by a bomb explosion this morning. It was a case of pure accident. Your son was a man far outstanding above his fellows. He had been with me ever since the beginning of the war, and I have been intimately associated with him on many expeditions in the front of our lines when the relations of officer and man become merged in those of comradeship, and invariably he has displayed the qualities of courage and resource as great as any of those men you read of in the papers who have won various decorations. I firmly believe that if he had had the chance he would have won the highest decoration possible. He was greatly loved by his grenadiers. By his personal example and his devotion to duty he pervaded the whole section with his spirit and made then one of the finest bodies of men in the British Army. He knew not the meaning of fear, and if he did, he did not show it, which is even greater. I feel his loss very keenly for I loved him as a comrade and a man. Poor old chap. I was with him until the end, and did all I could to save him, but God has taken him to a better world, where there is no more war, but peace and happiness. You should be a proud man, Mr Harrison, for having such a son, and now that he has gone think of him as a man who has done his duty to his country and fellow men as a true Englishman, and to me he is irreplaceable. I can only say I am proud to have known him in my section of grenadiers. Major Churton and many others join me in expressing our deepest sympathy. I have been through his effects and am having them forwarded to you. If there is anything else I can do please let me know – Yours Sincerely, Thomas L.C. Heald Lieut.”
The 1911 Census shows Charles as a 19-year-old railway engine cleaner living at 3 Sunny Bank Hoole Lane with father Charles, mother Caroline, brothers Stanley, Arthur, Tom and Percy and sister Caroline.
His brother Arthur saw service in the Royal Navy during the War aboard HMS CHESTER.
With very great thanks to Mr Charles Harrison