At 16 Henry started work at the post office. His dad had died and he had to help his mother who had pushed ten children out into the world.
At the First
World War began he was 17 and joined the Cameron Highlanders then the
Manchester Regiment, attaining the rank of Sergeant Major. He later gained a
commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment.
On 4th October 1916 at Le Sars, France, Henry came under heavy fire - twice. Twice he rallied his company and stormed the enemy's trench, shooting, bombing and bayonetting. Suddenly behind them came German reinforcements. Henry then carried his wounded company sergeant-major back to a British trench (a distance of 70 yards.) With no regard for his safety he also collected wounded from the battlefield and returned them to the trench.
He received the Victoria Cross for outstanding bravery from King George V (also received two Military Crosses for bravery in another battles.)
After the First World War he re-joined the Post Office then he and his brothers opened retail grocery shops in Manchester. Their ‘V.C. Pies’ were very savoury and very popular. He also tenanted a number of hotels but when the Second World War commenced he re-joined the British army at 52.
He lived in Wythenshawe and died after a long illness in 1960. His burial was attended by representatives of the Duke Of Wellington’s Regiment.
I always go to have a look at the grave when I’m passing the cemetery…