Biography of Lance Serjeant Henry Knowles (8524)
2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment
Died 5th April 1915

Soldier

  • Name: Henry Knowles
  • Date of birth: 1889
  • Place of Birth: Folkingham, Lincolnshire, England
  • Date of Birth Registration: July – September 1889
  • Place of Birth Registration: Bourne, LIncolnshire, England

Father

  • Name: William Knowles
  • DOB: 1857
  • Place of Birth: Aslackby, Lincolnshire, England
  • Occupation: Wheelwright

Mother

  • Name: Jane Hubbard
  • DOB: 1859
  • Place Of Birth: Morton, Lincolnshire, England
  • Marriage: 1881 Bourne District

Siblings: (Name), (DOB), (POB)

  • Gertrude Knowles, 1882, Nottingham
  • Arthur Knowles, 1884, Dowsby
  • William Knowles, 1886, Folkingham
  • Henry Knowles, 1889, Folkingham
  • Kate Knowles, 1891, Folkingham
  • Tom Knowles, 1893, Folkingham
  • Bessie Knowles, 1895, Newton
  • Walter Knowles, 1898, Folkimgham

Census

  • 1891: Henry is living with his parents in Folkingham.
  • 1901: Henry is living with his parents at No. 4 Old Prison.
  • 1911: Henry is in a Military Hospital in Hilsea, Portsmonth. The census gives him an age of 22 and he is listed as a patient.

Relatives in services

  • Henry’s brother Tom also fought and was killed in WW1. Tom can be found on our page dedicated to the Bourne War Memorial.

Marriage

  • No marriage for Henry has been found and we can assume that he never had the opportunity to marry.

Newspaper Mentions

  • Grantham Journal Saturday 17th October 1915
    MORTON
    BEREAVEMENT – Mrs. Jane Knowles, of this villiage received the news this week that “Tom Knowles, able seaman, No. J. 12111, belonging to his Majesty’s ship Torpedo Boat No. 7, was lost overboard and drowned on the 10th.”  He was 21 years of age.  There are two other sons – Arthur, a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery, and Sergeant Harry Knowles, 2nd Lincolnshires, who has only just recently returned from Bermuda.  Both are fighting with the Expeditionary Force.

 

  • Grantham Journal Saturday 10th April 1915
    MORTON
    SAD NEWS – On Wednesday evening, Mr and Mrs Knowles had the sad news from the War Office that their son, Lance-Sergt. Harry Knowles, had died in hospital in France from the effectof gunshot wound in the chest.  This was an awful shock to the parents, who had only a day before re eived a letter from their son, written on Easter day, saying he hoped to be in England in a forenight.  The sympathy of the whole village goes out to the bereaved family.  This is the second son Mr. and Mrs. Knowles have lost in the war.

Military Records

Attestation Papers

  • None found

Soldier’s Died In The Great War

  • These records show that L Sergeant Harry Knowles, 8524, 2nd Bn Lincolnshire Regiment was killed in action on 5th April 1915 in the Western European Theatre in France and Flanders.

Pension Records

  • None found

Effects Left To

  • Father William

Medals

  • The British Medal
    The Victory Medal
    The 14 Star

Memorials

  • UK:
  • Bourne, Roll of Honour on Bourne War Memorial in the Memorial Gardens

 

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
  • In memory of Lance Serjeant H Knowles, 8524, 2nd Bn., Lincolnshire Regiment who died on 5 April 1915 Age 30
  • Son of William and Jane Knowles, of Folkingham, Lincs.
  • Remembered with honour, Le Treport Military Cemetery

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

Military Service Timeline

Harry enlisted in the Lincolnshire regiment in Lincoln at some point before 1911.

On census night in 1911 he was listed as a patient in the military hospital in Hilsea near Portsmouth, aged 22, 2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment..

At the outbreak of war the 2nd Battalion were stationed in Bermuda, moving to Halifax Nova Scotia before embarking for Devonport on the 3rd October 1914.

Once returning to England the Battalion was moved to Hursley Park, Winchester to join the 25th Brigade, 8th Division. There they prepared for war and were mobilised on the 5th November. At 12 Noon they marched out of camp to join the Expeditionary Force.
Arriving at Southampton at 5pm they immediately embarked on SS Cestrian and staled to France.

On arriving at Le Havre on the 6th November they marched to a reserve camp just outside of the city, three days later entraining for their eventual destination of Champiny, 10km South West of Armentieres.
Here the Battalion entered trenches on the 14th November to see their first action of the Great War.

The Battalion remained in the same area and in March moved up to be part of the battle for Neuve-Chapelle.

The battle saw an artillery bombardment using 300 guns for over one hour and then the battalion were part of the main attack.
During the 7 days before being relieved the battle has cost the Battalion 7 officers killed, 8 wounded, 298 men killed and wounded.
They remained in the area, in and out of trenches for the rest of March, providing working parties and burying the dead before moving back to billets at Bac St Maur by the end of the month.

The Battalion Diary has the following entries:-

1st April – No 2 Section (opposite HNC Chartrew)
Battalion moved into trenches, relieving the sherwood foresters.

2nd April –
Trenches – Enemy very quiet – trenches in need of improvement – no cover between fire position and posts.

3rd April –
Battalion were relieved by 2/Royal Berkshire Regiment in the evening. Emend quiet all day – occasional sniping. (3 killed, 5 wounded)

4th April – Rue de Bois
In Billets

5th April – Rue de Bois
Started practicing blocking parties – wire cutting etc.

We know that Harry died on the 5th April and that he is buried in Le Treport. At the time Le Treport had over 10,000 hospital beds and was the main port for the repatriation of the wounded back to England.

As Harry’ records no longer exist we can only assume that he was on elf the wounded in the actions described in the Battalion Diary possibly one of the five wounded on the 3rd April, I guess we will not know unless other records come to light.

 

  • This is ongoing research and will be posted when completed

Sources

  • WW1 Soldier’s Records (www.ancestry.co.uk)
    Commonwealth War Graves Commission
  • British Newspaper Archive.

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