Samuel Harrison likeness

Samuel Harrison cap badgePrivate Samuel Harrison

1st Battalion Scots Guards
Service No: 9345

Samuel Harrison grave

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Personal details

Family Information

Eldest son of Samuel John Bishop Harrison and Janet (Jessie) Cairns Harrison of 3e Water St, Coatbridge. Elder brother of Private Charles Harrison of the 8th (Service) Battalion Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) who was Killed in Action on the 25/09/1915 on the opening day of the Battle of Loos. From the 1891 Census - Address - 1 Coats St, Coatbridge - Samuel J B Harrison aged 29, Janet Harrison aged 24, Samuel Harrison aged 1, servant Margaret Hendry aged 18. From the 1901 Census - Address - 70n Dunbeth Rd, Coatbridge - Samuel Harrison aged 40, Janet Harrison aged 35, Samuel Harrison aged 11, Charles Harrison aged 9, Josiah Harrison aged 7, John Harrison aged 5, Elizabeth Harrison aged 3, Albert Harrison aged 1. Samuel and his brother Charles' Pensions were awarded to their mother Janet of 4a Carradale St, Coatbridge.

Born / Resided

Coatbridge / 15 Corsewall St, Coatbridge.

Died

Killed in Action 25/01/1915 at Cuinchy during the 1st Action of Givenchy

Enlisted

Hamilton /08/1914

Employed

Tinsmith in the Tinplate Iron Works (Samuel's father Sam had worked here for 50 years)

Age

26

Buried / Remembered

Le Touret Memorial (Panel 3 and 4), Pas de Calais, France.

Cemetery / Memorial Information

The Cemetery was begun by the Indian Corps (and in particular by the 2nd Leicesters) in November, 1914, and it was used continuously by Field Ambulances and fighting units until March, 1918. It passed into German hands in April, 1918, and after its recapture a few further burials were made in Plot IV in September and October. The grave of one Officer of the London Regiment was brought in in 1925 from a position on the Estaires-La Bassee road near "Port Arthur", and the 264 Portuguese graves of March, 1917 and April, 1919 were removed to Richebourg-L'Avoue Portuguese National Cemetery after the Armistice. There are now over 900, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. The graves of three men of the King's Liverpool Regiment, which were destroyed by shell fire, are now represented by special headstones.

Additional Information

Samuel and the Battalion arrived at Le Havre on the 14/08/1914 and were part of the 1st Guards Brigade, 1st Division. First Action of Givenchy, 25th January 1915 : A German deserter gave away Chief of the General Staff Erich von Falkenhayn’s plan for an attack by the German Sixth Army against the British First Army near Givenchy-lès-la-Bassée, on the road between La Bassée and Béthune, on January 25, 1915. After stumbling into the British trenches in the pre-dawn hours, around 6:30am the deserter warned a British officer that the Germans were about to open a general assault with a huge artillery bombardment accompanied by the explosion of mines—tunnels dug under no-man’s-land all the way to the British lines and packed with explosives (another tactic resurrected from siege warfare). Despite this warning, the wave of artillery shells and exploding mines which hit the British positions at 7:30am was more intense than expected, tearing a gap in the British line which allowed the Germans to advance all the way to the second line of British trenches south of the canal, reaching the centre of Givenchy to the north. Beginning in the early afternoon, British officers rallied troops from two Regiments—the famous Coldstream Guards and Scots Guards. They finally halted the onrushing Germans with blistering massed rifle and machine gun fire. The British forces then attempted to regain the momentum with a counterattack of their own, but found the tables turned as they ran into a wall of fire from the Germans, now entrenched. THE 1st BATTALION SCOTS GUARDS WAR DIARY FOR THE 25/01/1915 states - "At 6.30a.m. a German deserter reported that an attack was going to be made in half an hour, bombardment first, and then our trenches were to be blown in by previously made mines. After an hour all happened as deserter had said. 5 RF (right flank) and 40 LF (left flank) got away. Their story is as follows" - "The Germans first shelled them, then got rest of their trench, then attacked half right, then threw bombs in, got to the lip of the parapet and shot down into the trenches. The Germans afterwards swarmed up to the 'Keep' where Major Romilly was. There they were checked and held. Reinforcements came up and a counterattack was delivered at 1p.m. but did not retake much ground. Battalion was relieved at 4p.m. by the Sussex Regiment". SEE PHOTOS x 22 FOR THE BATTALION WAR DIARY OCTOBER 1914 - JANUARY 1915. Samuel's parents received letters from the front that he was wounded in the trenches but there was no official word of his death until 3 months after he died. His death is listed as "on or since" and "death presumed" on his records (date listed as 25/01/1915). See Directory for Samuel's younger brother Private Charles Harrison's page. Samuel is also remembered in the St. Augustine's Parish (book) Roll of Honour. See photos for Samuel's Medal Index Card, his Newspaper clipping, his Army Register of Soldiers Effects, his Service Medal and Award Rolls x 2, his CWGC Grave Registration, his name on the Le Touret Memorial Panel List, his name on the Le Touret Memorial, Samuel and his brother Charles' Pension Records x 3, the Scots Guards Cap Badge and the Memorial to the 1st Division at La Groise (Chapeau Rouge) crossroads. The 1st Division passed this way in the retreat of summer 1914 and advance of summer 1918.

Photos
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War Diaries

The battalion War Diary is available on the National Archives website.

Creative Commons License

We have made this information and the images available under a Creative Commons BY-NC license. This means you may reuse it for non-commercial purposes only and must attribute it to us using the following statement: © coatbridgeandthegreatwar.com

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