William Harrison (1887–1949)

Lance Corporal

Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) 9357 2nd Battalion
Royal Irish Fusiliers 43266 9th Battalion

Photo courtesy Ray Harrison & Eileen Draycott

William Harrison

Derbyshire Courier 21 October 1916

Newspaper photo of William Harrison in WW1

William was born in 1887 and died in 1949. At one time he worked as a miner and in the limestone quarries. He entered France in September 1914 with the 2nd Foresters. He was wounded three times; the first was severe. In 1919 he was presented with a ‘certificate of honour’ for capturing four Germans, later also rescuing two wounded men from the German wire. He married Rose Hannah Jackson and relocated to Luton in the 1930s.

Photo courtesy Ray Harrison & Eileen Draycott

William Harrison and wife

William with Rose Hannah (née Jackson)

Militia Record
He attested into the 3rd Battalion Sherwood Foresters (No 111) on 26 April 1904 aged 18 a lime stone getter living at Crich. He was a Methodist, 5ft 3in tall weighing 111lb with blue eyes and brown hair.His parents were William and Catherine living near the church at Crich with his brother Ernest. A sister Mary Ludlam was recorded, living at the Hat Factory.

Photo courtesy Ray Harrison & Eileen Draycott

William Harrison before WW1

William in the Militia

Medal Roll Index Card
He was awarded Victory, British War and 14-Star with Clasp and Roses.
Disembarkation 8/9/14

Newspaper Reports

Derbyshire Advertiser, 20th February 1915
Crich figures amongst the list of Rural Parishes that has sent four sons from one family to serve with the colours. This proud distinction is claimed by Mr and Mrs Harrison of Roes Lane Crich who will have four sons in his Majesty's forces. Gunner Herbert Harrison is with the 4th Coy. Royal Field Artillery, at Swanage, Pte William Harrison another brother having been at the front since Sept. serving with the 2nd Battalion Sherwood Foresters, the third son Gunner Ernest Harrison is station at Sheerness, being attached to the 22nd Coy Ravelin Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, whilst the youngest son Pte. Arthur Harrison is serving with the 5th Bttn. Sherwood Foresters, at present stationed at Hoddesdon, Herts.

Derbyshire Courier, 31 August 1915
Crich Lance Corporal Wounded
Lance Corporal William Harrison of Crich, attached to the 2nd Notts and Derbyshire Regiment, in writing home during the past few days tell of his getting wounded in action.
He is now at the Heaton Mersey Auxiliary Hospital (formerly a Wesleyan School) and he writes: "I am feeling very sore after my experiences in the last big battle. The sights of the war get worse, and to see the dead and dying is awful. The battle started about 2.45 on Monday, and the noise of hundreds of guns was absolutely deafening. Our order to advance was smartly obeyed, but we had great difficulty in getting along as every yard or so we went some of our chaps were knocked down. Thousands of shells were dropping round us, but it did not matter we kept going on and gained for our commander what he wanted. Then I was struck by pieces of shell, one in the arm two in the thigh and again in the abdomen. But I’m feeling a bit better now, and we are being very well looked after in hospital. Just as we were going into action I saw Sam Britton, Jack Clark, Walter Mellors and others who shouted to me and wished us luck."
Lance Corporal Harrison came across with 200 other wounded soldiers in the –, and was sent to Ducie Avenue Hospital. Manchester, afterwards being moved to Heaton Mersey. His brother Private E Harrison of the East Surrey Light Infantry, was expected to start for the Dardanelles on Tuesday.

Derbyshire Courier, 21 October 1916
Lce-Cpl W. Harrison, Crich wounded

Derbyshire Courier, 18 August 1917
Private William Harrison, of Roes Lane, Crich, who returned to the front for the fourth time about a couple of months ago, is ill in hospital. His parents had a letter to that effect this week from, a comrade of his.

Derbyshire Courier, 18 January 1919
As a token of recognition of his courage and gallantry whilst serving with the 36th Ulster division in France, Lance Cpl William Harrison of Roe’s Lane, Crich, has been presented with a Certificate of Honour By the Divisional Commander, Maj Gen O S Nugent on behalf of the 36th Division. The Certificate was handed to him just before he came home to receive his discharge a month ago. It reads: “This Certificate Is awarded to 43266 Lance Cpl William Harrison, 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, For gallantry on patrol on 14 August 1916, when four Germans were captured and on a raiding party on 11th of October 1916, on which occasion he rescued two wounded men from the German wire” Lance Cpl Harrison was one of the first Crich men to answer the call at the outbreak of war, His services commencing on 4 August 1914. In August 1915 he was severely wounded at Hooge. He was disabled for 10 Months. He was wounded a second time at Plug Street, and during the Somme fighting he was wounded a third time. The first two years he was with the Sherwoods, Afterwards being transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers. of his four brothers who have served in the army only one, Sydney, is now in khaki.

William Harrison's brothers Ernest Harrison, Arthur Harrison, Sydney Harrison and Herbert Harrison are also on the Roll of Honour.


1891: Bownes Hill, Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
William Harrison Head 34 Wire drawer Winster
Catherine Harrison wife 32   Crich
John Wm Harrison son 12   Crich
Mary Emma Harrison daughter 11   Crich
Herbert Harrison son 8   Crich
Fred Harrison son 6   Crich
Ernest Harrison son 5   Crich
William Harrison son 4   Crich
Annie Harrison daughter 2   Crich
Sarah Holmes sister in law (single) 30 Factory hand Crich

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1901: Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
William Harrison Head 44 Wire drawer Winster
Catherine Harrison wife 43   Crich
Fred Harrison son 16 Coal miner Crich
Ernest Harrison son 15 Coal miner Crich
William Harrison son 13 Coal miner Crich
Annie Harrison daughter 12   Crich
Hida M Harrison daughter 7   Crich
Sydney Harrison son 3   Crich
Arthur Harrison son 1   Crich
Sarah Holmes sister in law (single) 39 Hosiery factory hand Crich

RG13 piece 3231 folio 29 page 4

1911: Near Church, Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
William Harrison Head 54 Wire drawer Winster
Catherine Harrison wife 52 Housewife Crich
Fred Harrison son 26 Collier hewer Crich
Ernest Harrison son 25 Labourer cinder bank Butterley co Crich
William Harrison son 24 Unemployed Crich
Annie Harrison daughter 22 Spinner rug Lea Mills Crich
Hida Rose Harrison daughter 17 Spinner rug Lea Mills Crich
Sydney Harrison son 13 Apprentice grocer Crich
Arthur Harrison son 11 Schoolboy Crich
Sarah Holmes lodger 39 Ironer Lea Mills Crich

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1939 Register: 67 Leagrave Road, Luton
William Harrison b.6 April 1887; Soreman Engineering Works (heavy)
Rose H Sims (Harrison) b.13 December 1887
William H Blount b.28 June 1914; Silk worker, Dye House Stores
Winifred M Blont (Fox) b. 9 May 1917; Capstan Machine Operator
Winifred E McKendrick (Harrison) b.22 March 1921; Capstan Machine Operator
Harold LS Harrison 1 January 1923
George A Harrison b. 2 January 1925; Toolmaker Apprentice
One closed record