Wilfred Ebenezer Harrison

Wilfred Ebenezer Harrison
Born in St Ives in 1883, Wilfred was the third eldest of six children. His father, Ebenezer, was a  self-employed bookmaker and librarian. His mother, Caroline (née Simons) died in 1886, when Wilfred was aged 3yrs. Ebenezer then married Mary Simonds at Witchford in 1887.

In 1891 the family lived at 18 Crown Walk, St Ives. Ebenezer died in 1896, when Wilfred was aged 13yrs. Mary had moved the family a few doors along to 12 Crown Walk by 1901 and was working as a laundress, taking in washing at home. Wilfred worked as an apprentice coach painter for Fuller and Sons and was a prominent player for St Ives Town football club.

By 1911 Wilfred was in Bishop Aukland, boarding with Albert Backler, also a coach painter, and his family. Wilfred married Mary Priestman at Bishop Aukland in 1915, just before signing up with the 10th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry in December. He took part in some of the fiercest fighting on the Front, including the bloodbath that was the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

The Battle of Arras commenced on 9 April 1917. British troops attacked German defences and made significant advances. However, the British attack soon slowed and German defences recovered. The battle became a costly stalemate and by mid May 1917 had caused 160,000 British casualties.


The 10th Battalion war diary shows Wilfred's section was subject to heavy artillery fire on Saturday 5 May 1917. He was  killed in action on that day, aged 33yrs, his body found at Telegraph Hill. Wilfred's death was reported in the Hunts Post of 25 May 1917, his name and date of birth incorrectly quoted. He is buried at Tilloy Cemetery, France.

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Source materials
Click any of the links below to view original source materials.
1891 Census
1901 Census
1911 Census
1915 Attestation Form
Medal Rolls Index Card
Burial Return
Commonwealth War Graves Register
Commemorative Certificate

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