Harry James Childs

Harry was born in Cranleigh in 1884, the son of Harry and Sarah. In 1911 he was a labourer boarding in Culmer with Sarah Smallbone (77, a shopkeeper). He married Sarah Ann Perry (30) on 15 April 1911 at the parish church, Ockham, and moved to 4 Rose Cottages, Culmer where he had a son, William, in 1913. Sarah was still living in Rose Cottages in 1921 and is listed there on the Voter’s Roll. Harry’s parents lived at 4 Chantrie, Shalford, after the war.

Harry served with the 7th Battalion, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent). The Battalion was at the front when in March 1918 the Germans began Operation Michael, part of their Spring Offensive. On 24 April 1918 the Battalion attacked German positions at Hangard Wood near Villers Brettoneux, together with the 7th Bedfordshire and 9th London Battalions. The attack was met by heavy machine-gun fire but the objective was reached and held despite heavy casualties. Harry was killed during the battle and his body either not found or not identified.

Harry was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal

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