Damrell, Henry Joseph

PRIVATE HENRY DAMRELL 19354. Born Hull in October 1896, Henry was the only child of Annie Damrell. No records exist of his father, but Annie married later Benjamin Bouckley and the family resided at 46, Bridlington Street, Fountain Road, Hull. A Glass Works Labourer before the war, Henry enlisted on 31st May 1915 giving his age as 19 years and 9 months, clearly adding a year on in order to join. He originally became a part of the 1st Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment so his path through the war was slightly different to the rest of the Pals. After a couple of run-ins with his superiors during training (dirty on parade in August 1915 and not complying with an order that November) Henry arrived in France on 1st June 1916 and was badly wounded in the right shoulder a month later. He was shipped home and spent time at 3rd Western General Hospital in Cardiff before returning to training. He wasn’t passed fit for foreign service until 8th September 1917, but lasted only until the turn of the new year when he received shrapnel wounds to his face and arm and was again hospitalised in Blighty. He had one last brush with the military authorities when he went AWOL for a full 13 hours when supposed to be on watch at Withernsea. He had probably received his orders to return to France and fancied a last hurrah. He returned to the front the exact day the 11th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment pushed up to the Armentieres front to meet the full-force of the German Spring Offensive. Henry Damrell was killed in action on 23rd April 1918 and is buried at Cinq Rues British Cemetery; he was 21 years old. His name is recorded on St Charles Borremeo Catholic church, Jarratt Street, Hull.

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Cinq Rues British Cemetery, Hazebrouck, Nord, France