Harry first appeared on a census in 1901. He was living with his family in Worthenbury Flintshire. The family comprised of Head and father George Humphreys 26, a waggoner on a farm who had been born in Worthenbury. His wife was Mary Humphreys 26 born in Coedpoeth. Their children were Harry 5, George 4, Harold 3 and Philip H 1.
In the next census of 1911, Harry had left home and though he was only 14 he was employed as a cowman on Milsford Farm Malpas Cheshire where he worked for farmer John Huxley. The rest of Harry’s family were living at ‘The Lakes’, Bangor on Dee. His three brothers (George, Harold and Philip) were still living at home with their parents, and there was a 4 year old sister Maud. Harry’s maternal grandfather, Richard Pritchard, 75 was also there.
Harry’s army service records exist and are accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk . They tell us that he attested and enlisted in Wrexham on 2nd November 1914 (three months after his brother George had enlisted). Harry was 20 years and 5 months old, was 5ft 71/2 ins tall, had good vision and good physical development. He was declared ‘fit’ for service.
Harry left Southampton on 22nd September 1916 and arrived in Rouen the next day. This is exactly the same as his brother George. Like his brother, Harry had first joined the Denbighshire Yeomanry. He was transferred to the 1st Bn of the Cheshire Regiment on exactly the same day as his brother George, 3rd October 1916. The two brothers’ records are remarkably similar.
Harry was Killed in Action at the Battle of Passchendaele on 5th October 1917. His records contain no further explanation of how or why.
There is a relatives’ form in his records that names his parents George snr and Mary Humphreys of Bangor Isycoed. It lists two brothers Harold and Philip and one adopted sister Maud Humphreys.
There is correspondence in the records between the army and the family concerning the receipt of his medals, commemorative scroll and plaque and King’s message.
George was killed 6 months after Harry. Harry is named on the Tyne Cot Memorial and has his own page on this website.
Harry’s index card in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Record Office in Hawarden says that he went to France on 26th August 1916 which is nearly a month earlier than his army records state. It says he was killed going into action at Ypres.
Harry is buried in Tyne Cot Cemetery. His brother George is listed on the Tyne Cot Memorial.
Harry was 23 when he died but his Commonwealth war Grave Certificate and indeed his grave say he was 32.