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Albert Harrison

Date of birth: 1889
Date of death: 1.7.1916
Area: Outwood
Regiment: York and Lancaster
Family information: Husband of Lily Bridget Harrison nee Hart and father of George Edward and Edna
Rank: Private
Service number: 13269

War Service

On 2nd September 1914, Albert Harrison enlisted in the army at Pontefract, for the duration of the war. After the medical was passed on 18th September, Albert was posted to the 8th Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment, at Frensham Camp. The 8th York & Lancs., part of 70th Brigade, 23rd Division, spent the early part of 1915 at Hythe, before moving to Bordon on Salisbury Plain. On 27th August 1915, the 8th Battalion sailed from Folkestone, bound for Boulogne, to join the British Expeditionary Force.
The 8th York & Lancs, along with 70th Brigade, was transferred from the 23rd Division, to the 8th Division, on the 11th October 1915. Two days later, the 8th Division was involved in a subsidiary attack at Bois Grenier, in support of further attacks during the Battle of Loos.
The 8th Battalion remained with the 8th Division throughout the winter months, carrying out rotational tours of duty in the front line. On the 26th March 1916, Private Albert Harrison was admitted to hospital, suffering from scabies and was away from his unit for four weeks. When he returned to duty, the 8th Division was in the Somme area, with the 8th York & Lancs. occupying the trenches in front of Authuile Wood.
After a week long artillery bombardment, the infantry assault at the Battle of the Somme, commenced at 07.30 hrs. on 1st July 1916. At this time, the 8th York & Lancs, along with the 8th KOYLI, attacked towards the village of Orvillers. The leading waves of infantry cleared the German first line and entered the second line. Here, due to the heavy losses inflicted by enemy machine-gun fire, the assault was checked. The 8th York & Lancs. was forced to withdraw from the second line and the following day, the battalion was relieved and moved to Dernancourt. During the assault on the 1st July, the 8th York and Lancs incurred 635 casualties.
One of these casualties was Private Albert Harrison, who was reported missing, believed dead. His body was never identified and his name is one of the many remembered on the Thiepval Memorial. The village of Thiepval was one of the objectives for capture on the first day of the battle, but was not in fact captured until the end of September 1916. The memorial commemorates the missing of the Somme battlefield. It bears the names of more than 72000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died on the Somme sector before 20th March 1918 and who have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between 1st July and 18th November 1916.

Family Life

Born in 1888, Albert Harrison was the eldest son of George and Miriam Harrison of Newton, near Wakefield. Albert was baptised on 3rd February 1889, at St Johns Church, Wakefield. His father was a labourer, working on the surface at a local colliery. When old enough to work, Albert followed his father into the mining industry. Though his parents remained at Outwood, Albert Harrison moved to Thurnscoe, having found work as a coal hewer at Yorkshire Main Colliery. On 26th December 1910, Albert Harrison married Lily Bridget Hart at the Parish Church at Thurnscoe. After their marriage, Albert and Lily Bridget lived at Queen Street, Thurnscoe. Their two children, George Edward, born 11th September 1911 and Edna, born 3rd June 1914, were both born at Thurnscoe.

Thiepval Memorial with gravestones to either side of the monument Thiepval Memorial

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