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Harold Davenport

Birth

Harold Davenport was born on October 28, 1887 in Sutton, a village just outside Macclesfield, in Cheshire. He was the third child and eldest son of William and Lucy Ann Davenport (née Moss). Sutton was famous for silk manufacturing and William and his family worked in the silk mills for most of their lives.

Early Life

By 1891, the family had moved to Macclesfield itself and were living at 46 Buckley Street. William and his eldest daughter, Alice Ann (aged 13), were both working in a local silk mill. The second daughter, Florence (aged 7) was at school. Harold was 3 years old and his younger sister, Ethel, was one year old. The family also contained Leonard Simpson (aged 4) who was described as a ‘boarder.’

In 1901, the family were at 20 Knight Street in East Macclesfield. William was then an Overlooker at a silk mill and Alice Ann was employed as a Silk Warper, as was Florence. Harold was also working at a silk mill as a Piecer. Ethel was still at school and the family had grown with the addition of George William, born in 1892; Lucy, born 1893; Winnifred, born in 1897; Hilda born in 1889 and Elsie born in 1901.

Chester College

In 1907, Harold attended Chester College to train as a teacher and left in 1909. The following year he married Florence Kirk Lee in Macclesfield. In 1911, the couple were living at 32 Littlewood, Shaw Side, in Royton, Oldham. Harold was employed by the Oldham Education Committee as an Assistant Teacher in an elementary school. The couple had one child who sadly subsequently died.

Military Service

Harold attested at Manchester on November 20, 1915, possibly under the provisions of the Derby Scheme, as Gunner 92928, Royal Garrison Artillery. On March 14, 1917, he was sent back from France to go on home leave prior to beginning officer training at Fort Brockhurst, in Gosport. After completing his training and obtaining his commission, Harold served with the 122nd Siege Battery.

Lest We Forget

Harold was killed in action on March 21, 1918 in Ribecourt-la-Tour, a village about 10 kilometres south-west of Cambrai. His widow was officially notified by telegraph of his death on March 29. Ribecourt-la-Tour had been in British hands until the German Spring Offensive, which started on March 21.

Post Mortem

Harold was awarded the British War and Victory Medals for his service to King and Country.

He is commemorated at Pozieres Cemetery in France, between Amiens and Cambrai.

The Memorial commemorates over 14,000 casualties of the United Kingdom and 300 of the South African Forces, who have no known grave and who died on the Somme from March 21 to August 7, 1918.