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Forename(s): Harry

Place of Birth: Burnley, Lancashire

Service No: PS/5070

Rank: Private

Regiment / Corps / Service: Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)

Battalion / Unit: 20th (Service) Battalion. (3rd Public Schools)

Division: 33rd Division

Age: ---

Date of Death: 1916-07-27

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: A. 4.


CWGC Memorial: ---

Non-CWGC Burial: ---

Local War Memorial(s): Not Listed (View Names Not Listed on a Local War Memorial)

Additional Information:

Harry Holdsworth was the son of Henry and Betty Holdsworth, née Dearden. Henry was born at Horton-in-Craven, Yorkshire, and Betty at Briercliffe, Burnley, Lancashire.

1901 Burnley, Lancashire Census: 1, Park Avenue - Henry Holdsworth, aged 9 years, born Burnley, son of Henry and Betty Holdsworth.

1911 Burnley, Lancashire Census: Thorndyke, Manchester Road - Harry Holdsworth, aged 19 years, born Burnley, son of Betty Holdsworth, widow.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Pte Harry Holdsworth, PS/5070, R. Fus. Theatre of War first served in: (1) [France]. Date of entry therein: 14.11.15.

British Army WW1 Medal and Award Rolls: Pte Harry Holdsworth, PS/5070, 20 R. Fus. D. 27.7.16.

Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects: Pte Harry Holdsworth, PS5070, 20th Bn R. Fus. Date and Place of Death: 27.07.16. P. of W. Caudry. To whom Authorised: Mother - Betty. Amount Authorised: £9 13s. 3d.

Harry is commemorated on Burnley Grammar School Roll of Honour.

Photograph: ‘Burnley Express’ (29 July 1916).

Data Source: Memorial Inscription on Family Gravestone


Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record: ---


Click the thumbnail below to view a larger image.

Private Harry HOLDSWORTH

Private Harry HOLDSWORTH

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 33rd Division

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 33rd Division

Data from Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 - 1919 Records

Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records


Forename(s): Harry

Born: St Peters, Burnley

Residence: Burnley

Enlisted: Manchester

Number: 5070

Rank: Private

Regiment: Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)

Battalion: 20th Battalion


Died Date: 27/07/16

Died How: Died

Theatre of War: France & Flanders


Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records


Forename(s): H

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number: PS/5070

Rank: Private

Regiment: Royal Fusiliers

Unit: 20th Bn.



Died Date: 27/07/1916

Additional Information:

View Additional Text

View Additional Text For Soldier Records

‘Burnley Express’ (29 July 1916)

(Kindly supplied by Robert S. Richardson)




One of these is Pte. Harry Holdsworth, of Burnley, son of the late Mr. Harry Holdsworth, butcher, and of Mrs. Holdsworth, “Meadowbank,” 274, Manchester-road. He joined the 20th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, and was at the time of this last battle awaiting a commission. He was with his brother Richard (now in the East Lancashire Regt.) in a yarn business in Manchester, and was exceedingly well-known in Burnley and district, being of fine physique.

The news concerning him is contained in a letter from Pte. Alan Proctor, of Scott Park-road, Burnley, one who went through the affair successfully. In this letter, which gives an account of the fighting in which they took part. Mr. Proctor says addressing his letter to Mr. R. Holdsworth: –

France, July 22nd,

“My dear Dick, – I wish to tell you a very sad story – it is about Harry. I don’t know whether you will have heard anything before now or not, but I will tell you all I know, and what chaps say who were near him when he was wounded. Our battalion was told off to take a wood which the Germans held. Harry, who was in the same platoon as myself, rushed into the wood with the rest of the battalion, and by the time we had got half way in the wood everybody was mixed up, myself getting on the right, and Harry in the centre of the wood. We were to go right through and dig a trench at the other side, and from it hold the wood. Well, Harry got well in front of the rest of the chaps, and started to dig about ten yards in front of the line the battalion was making. We had been out about ten minutes when he was wounded in several places about the waist by machine gun fire. He shouted for someone to pull him in. By now, the Germans got word of what we were doing, and rained shells and bullets into the trench we were building. Anyhow three men tried to bring Harry in, and were killed in doing so, after which others got a spade, which was held out to Harry, and pulled him in a shell hole in front of the trench, where he was bandaged up. He was very cheerful, but was bleeding badly. It was impossible to get him out of this hole on account of the fire. The stretcher bearers were sent for, and while they were after a stretcher the order came to fall back on account of the very heavy shell fire, so the men had to fall back and leave Harry in the shell hole; and as far as I can gather nobody either saw or heard of Harry being brought down afterwards. He has since been reported killed, but for that I cannot truly say. I am telling you the true facts, and I do not know whether he is alive or dead, but his wounds were very bad. Now let me tell you of the deep sorrow of all who knew him. He was the most cheerful fellow in the platoon, and was liked by all knew him…. I consider myself very lucky, I can tell you. I might tell you we got the wood, and still hold it.”

‘Burnley Express’ (30 September 1916)

(Kindly supplied by Robert S. Richardson)



News of Burnley Public School Boy

At the time when the Public School boys of the Royal Fusiliers attacked a highly fortified wood in the advance on July 20, many local young men were reported killed and missing, and one of those supposed to be killed was Pte. Harry Holdsworth, son of the late Mr. Harry Holdsworth, Meadowbank, 274, Manchester-road, Burnley. After two months of anxiety, during which the family have had no information beyond that published in the “Express” of July 29th, Mr. John Holdsworth, his brother, yesterday received news which shows that Pte. Holdsworth must have been captured, severely wounded, and that he died a week afterwards.

The following is the letter received from the British Red Cross Society by Mr. Holdsworth:–

September 27.

Dear Sir, We deeply regret to have to inform you that according to a German list dated 26/8/16, received by us from Geneva, Pte. Harry Holdsworth, of the Royal Fusiliers, is reported to have died and been buried on the 27th July in the cemetery at Caudry. As no number was given on the list, we forwarded this information to the War Office, and they have to-day written that they have identified this man as being No. 5070. We send you this information to confirm any news you may have already received, and should say further details come to hand we will at once let you know. Please accept our sincere sympathy, – Yours sincerely, Hon. Secretary, Prisoners’ Department.”

The late Pte. H. Holdsworth was with his brother Richard (now in the East Lancashire Regiment) in a yarn business in Manchester, and was exceedingly well known in Burnley and district. He was an old Grammar School boy. He was awaiting a commission. Another brother, Tom, is a second-lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers.

England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966


HOLDSWORTH Henry of 1 Carr-road Burnley butcher and farmer died 16 August 1902 Probate London 4 October to Betsy Holdsworth widow and William Parker farmer. Effects £10271 2s.


HOLDSWORTH Betty of 274 Manchester-road Burnley widow died 12 June 1926 Probate London 21 August to John Hewitt Holdsworth butcher and Tom Holdsworth architect. Effects £2866 17s. 8d.


HOLDSWORTH Harry of 274 Manchester-road Burnley died 25 July 1916 at Caudry France Administration London 27 July to John Hewitt Holdsworth butcher. Effects £724 19s. 6d.

View Additional Image(s)

Additional Photo(s) For Soldier Records

St Mary-le-Ghyll Churchyard, Barnoldswick

St Mary-le-Ghyll Churchyard, Barnoldswick

Family gravestone

St Mary-le-Ghyll Churchyard, Barnoldswick

St Mary-le-Ghyll Churchyard, Barnoldswick

Family gravestone - detail of memorial inscription

Burnley Grammar School Roll of Honour

Burnley Grammar School Roll of Honour

© Mike Townend (WMR-10653)



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