On this day in 1916, Henry ‘Harry’ Thomas Churchman (1895-1916) was killed on the Western Front. He was 21.
A private in the 8th Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry, Harry died just 27 days after his older brother, William John, lost his life in the war.
Harry’s death was reported in The Exeter and Plymouth Gazette on November 3, 1916.
The newspaper said he had ‘only recently gone into action’.
Harry is remembered at the Bois-de-Noulette British Cemetery in Aix-Noulette, near Bethune.
A year after his death, his wife Edith Mary published a heart-warming tribute to him in The Devon and Exeter Gazette as a ‘sorrowing wife’.
She wrote: ‘One year has passed, but hearts still sore. As time goes on, I miss him more. I think of him in silence, no eyes may see me weep. But deep within my heart, his loving memory I keep.’
Born in 1895 in West Hill, Ottery St Mary, Harry married Edith Mary Snell (1896-1985) at St Michael’s Parish Church in West Hill on January 5, 1916. Edith, who was living in West Hill at the time of Henry’s death, married colliery worker Reginald William Cornick (1897-1977) in St Thomas, Exeter in 1920 and they lived in Frome in Somerset for many years. Reginald served in the Great War as a field ambulanceman in the Balkans with the Royal Army Medical Corps.
Edith was the daughter of Daniel James Snell (1862-1921) and Miriam Ellen Crooke (1860-1907). Daniel was the son of John Snell (1822-1865) and Sarah Pridham (1826-1898). John was the son of Robert Snell (1790-1854) and Ann Adams (1799-1824). Robert was the son of Sarah Roberts (1760-1837) and Robert Snell (1754-1838). Sarah was the daughter of William Roberts (1738-), my great-great-great-great-great grandfather.
Bois-de-Noulette British Cemetery, where Harry is remembered. Pictured on October 6, 2013 by Wernervc (CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons). https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bois-de-Noulette_British_Cemetery_8.jpg