BORN HULL 1891. SON OF WILLIAM JOHNSON (1866-1941) & EMMALINE JULIA LONGMAN, OF 35 RAGLAN STREET, NEWLAND AVENUE, HULL. SON OF A RAILWAY FOREMAN. HE WORKED AS A GOODS PORTER. HE ENLISTED IN THE HULL PALS. KILLED AT OPPY WOOD ON 03/05/1917, AGED 26. COMMEMORATED ON THE ARRAS MEMORIAL.TO THE MISSING.
Hull Pals Memorial Post. PRIVATE HARRY JOHNSON 10/532. Born 1891, the second of four children and eldest son of William and Emmaline Johnson of 35 Raglan Street, Hull. Harry was a Goods Porter prior to enlistment, but joined the long lines outside the Recruiting Station in the first week of September 1914. One of the original Pals, he fought first in Egypt and then on the Somme before being killed in action during the fighting for Oppy Wood. His body was never recovered and his name is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. He was 26 years old. Alarmingly, no less than FIVE Harry Johnsonâ€™s were killed serving for the East Yorkshire Regiment in the First World War, including two on 3rd May 1917 at Oppy. That is quite a statistic.
Private Harold Wilfred Johnson 10/532. Unit: C Company, 10th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment. Death: 03 May 1917 Missing Western Front. Son of William and E. J. Johnson, of 35, Raglan St., Hull. Head portrait press cutting.
The attack on Oppy Wood, part of the Battle of Arras, was a significant battle for the East Yorkshire Regiment and particularly for the city of Hull. All four Hull Pals battalions were involved on 3 May and all suffered heavy casualties, with 40% of those present killed or injured. 2nd Lieutenant Jack Harrison, a local teacher and rugby player with Hull FC, won a posthumous Victoria Cross for his bravery in rushing a machine gun position to protect his platoon. His body was never found.The village of Oppy in France had been in German hands since October 1914 and was part of a formidable defensive system including trenches, dug-outs and thick barbed wire defences. During the Battle of Arras, which began in April 1917, the British tried to take Oppy. The first attack was a failure. A second attack was partially successful. The third attack on 3 May, known officially as the Third Battle of the Scarpe, was again unsuccessful with significant loss of life. The troops were ordered to attack at 3.45am, rather than at dawn, and the defending Germans could easily see the line of British soldiers clearly lit by the full moon. The British continued to attack Oppy and were finally successful the following year. The City of Hull Memorial at Oppy was unveiled in 1927 and commemorates the men of the Hull Pals who were killed on 3 and 4 May 1917.