4644 Pte. Samuel Fletcher 18th (Queen Mary’s Own) Hussars

For many years there has been a photo a mounted WW1 soldier on the wall in a relative’s house, accompanied by a death plaque in the same name. The soldier is 4644 Pte. Samuel Fletcher of 18th (Queen Mary’s Own) Hussars, a regular who served in the British army prior to WW1.

Samuel was born 7 November 1888, son of George and Annie Fletcher, of Willenhall, Staffordshire, England. 

I had hoped to find a copy of his attestation papers which would provide date/place of signing-up, but I am informed that they were probably destroyed during WW2 bombing. During WW1, there were outdoor recruitment drives in Willenhall marketplace, but Samuel’s signing-up predates that time.

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Henry Hollingworth Harward: cowardice or self-preservation?

Make one decision, and you win the Victoria Cross; make another, and you face court-martial and disgrace – life can be that simple and that harsh.

On 25 November 1847, Henry Hollingworth Harward was born at the vicarage, East Grinstead, England, son of John Netherton Harward and his wife Harriet. Henry’s christening on 24 February 1848 was recorded, and probably conducted, by this father, the local vicar.

Christening register showing entry for Henry Hollingworth

Henry is recorded as playing cricket for Brighton College in 1865-6 and for Reading in 1867-8, which suggests a typical private school education for a son of a member of the Church of England clergy at that time.

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