Sapper Joseph Edwin HARRISON


Regiment/Service:
Royal Engineers
(Formerly: Middlesex Regiment)
Unit:
15th Field Company
Service Number:
93315
(Formerly: 6028 Middlesex Regt)
Date of Death:
14 November 1916 - Killed in Action
Age:
22
Cemetery / Memorial:
Grave Reference:
I. E. 3.


Personal History:

Joseph was born in the June quarter 1894, the son of Joseph (Joiner) and Sarah Alice (née Mycock) (Mechanical Engineer) [see Footnote below] Harrison of 8 Dale Road, Buxton. (1901 Census RG 13/3269) He had a younger sister, Ida.

In 1911 (Census RG 14/2121) the family were living at 43 Market Street, Buxton, and Joseph was employed as a "Clerk, Lime Firms Office".

Military History:
Unfortunately, Joseph's Service Records have not survived, but it is known that he enlisted into the Middlesex Regiment at Buxton. His Medal Index Card shows that he entered France on the 12th March 1915.

Without his Service Papers it is not possible to say when he transferred from the Middlesex Regiment to the 15th Field Company, Royal Engineers. However, the 1/7th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, a Territorial Force Battalion, landed at Le Havre on 12th March 1915, which coincides with Joseph's Medal Index Card notation. Two days later they were attached to 23rd Brigade in 8th Division. Between 23rd June and 2nd August 1915 the 1/7th amalgamated with 1/8th Battalion.

The 15th Field Company, R.E., returned from Gibraltar in October 1914, where it was 15th Fortress Company. This Company also joined the 8th Division - so no matter when Joe (as he was referred to in the local paper) moved from the Middlesex to the Royal Engineers, it seems he remained part of the 8th Division.

He arrived in France just after the start of The Battle of Neuve Chapelle, (10th March - 13th March 1915) soon followed by The Battle of Aubers Ridge, (9th -10th May 1915). During The Battle of the Somme in 1916 the Division's main engagement was The Battle of Albert, (1st -13th July). 'The Royal Engineers Journal' (see below) confirms the 15th Field Company's positioning for each of these Battles.

On the date he was killed in action, however, Joseph's Company is not listed as being actively engaged, nor is anyone else from the Company among the Royal Engineers who were killed on the 14th November. He could have been killed by a sniper or shell fire. The Guillemont Road Cemetery, where Joseph is buried, was begun by fighting units (mainly of the Guards Division) and field ambulances after the Battle of Guillemont on the 3rd September 1916.


Footnote:
· Sarah's brother, Pt. Charles MYCOCK, served with the 1/5th North Staffordshire Regiment and was killed in action on the 14th March 1917
· ..... her nephew, Pt. George William MYCOCK, worked in the Harrison family business before the War. He served with the 1/6th Sherwood Foresters, and was killed in action at Bellicourt on the 3rd October 1918.
Sources:
· The Buxton Advertiser - 2 December 1916
· Battle Honours of the Royal Engineers. The Royal Engineers Journal, Institution of Royal Engineers, Chatham, Kent, 1925-1932

Link to CWGC Record
Spr. Joe Harrison's grave
Spr. Joe Harrison
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