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Surname: PURCELL

Forename(s): Harry

Place of Birth: Shrewsbury, Shropshire

Service No: 12429

Rank: Private

Regiment / Corps / Service: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Battalion / Unit: 2nd Battalion

Division: 5th Division

Age: ---

Date of Death: 1915-04-18

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: Panel 20.

CWGC Cemetery: ---


Non-CWGC Burial: ---


Additional Information:

Harry Purcell was the son of Thomas and Annie Purcell, née Bowker. Thomas was born at Shrewsbury, Shropshire and Annie at Topsham, Devon.

1881 Shrewsbury, Shropshire Census: 97, Frankwell - Harry Purcell, aged 2 years, born Shrewsbury, son of Thomas and Annie Purcell.

1891 Bacup, Lancashire Census: 5, Long Lane - Henry Purcell, aged 12 years, born Shrewsbury, Shropshire, son of Ann and [stepson of] Thomas Tattersall. [Ann (Ann Elizabeth) had married Thomas Tattersall in 1888.]

1901 Bacup, Lancashire Census: 19, Alma Street - Harry Purcill, aged 22 years, born Shrewsbury, Salop, nephew of James and Margaret Aspinall.

Harry was married to Betsy Crowther in 1901. Their son, Thomas, was born at Barnoldswick, Yorkshire, in 1905.

1911 Bacup, Lancashire Census: 29, Inkerman Street - Harry Purcell, aged 32 years, born Shrewsbury, Shropshire, husband of Betsy Purcell.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Pte Harry Purcell, 3/12429, W. Rid. R. Theatre of War first served in: (1) France. Date of entry therein: 25.3.15. Died 18.4.15.

British Army WW1 Medal and Award Rolls: Pte Harry Purcell, 3/12429, 2 W. Rid. R. Pres. dead 18.4.15.

Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects: Pte Harry Purcell, 12429, 2nd Bn West Riding Regt. Date and Place of Death: Officially accepted as on or since 18.4.15. To whom Authorised/Amount Authorised: Widow - Betsy. £3 13s. 10d. Self and children. Widow - Betsy. £3 0s. 0d. Self.

UK, WW1 Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923: Pte Harry Purcell, 12429, West Riding. Date and cause of death: 18.4.15. Reported wounded and missing. Date of notification of death: 14.4.16. Widow: Betsy, born 22.7.78. Children: Thomas, Date of birth: 15.6.05. Date of expiry: 15.6.21; Ida, Date of birth: 11.10.09. Date of expiry: 11.10.25; Eleanor, Date of birth: 6.9.13. Date of expiry: 6.9.29.

A short biography of Harry is included in: ‘Barnoldswick - A small Town’s part in conflicts 1800 to 2014’ by Peter Ian Thompson (2014).

Photograph courtesy of the website:

Data Source: Local War Memorial


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


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Private Harry PURCELL

Private Harry PURCELL

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 5th Division

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 5th Division

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

Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records

Surname: PURCELL

Forename(s): Harry

Born: Shrewsbury

Residence: Burnley, Lancs

Enlisted: Keighley, Yorks

Number: 12429

Rank: Private

Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Battalion: 2nd Battalion


Died Date: 18/04/15

Died How: Killed in action

Theatre of War: France & Flanders


Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records

Surname: PURCELL

Forename(s): Harry

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number: 12429

Rank: Private

Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Unit: 2nd Bn.



Died Date: 18/04/1915

Additional Information:

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‘Burnley Express’ (19 April 1916)

(Kindly supplied by the website: Burnley in the Great War)

[Untitled article]

Information has been received of the death of Pte. Harry Purcell, 37, of Inkerman-st., Bacup. Deceased, who leaves a wife and three children, enlisted on December 29, 1914, in the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. He was a winder-on at Springholme Mill prior to enlisting, and took an active part in local politics, being a member of the Irwell Ward Liberal Committee, and a member of the Victoria Workmen’s Club.

'Bacup Times' (22 April 1916)

(Kindly supplied by the website:



It is our regrettable duty to report the facts which have just come to hand concerning the death of another Bacup soldier in the person of Private Harry Purcell, aged 37 years, of 29, Inkerman Street, Bacup, whose wife on Monday received official intimation of her husband’s death, accompanied by a letter of condolence from H.M. the King.

Private Purcell, who leaves a wife and three young children, was born in the Shrewsbury district and came with his parents to Bacup when a youngster of about four years of age. Subsequently he became a cotton mill operative and for about nine years was employed at Springholme Mill as a winder on. He enlisted on 28th December 1914, in the Duke of Wellington’s Own Regiment, and proceeded to Newcastle and then to Rouen, in France. He was in France as early as the 15th-16th March 1915, and was reported wounded and missing on April 18th last year, having taken part in the allies offensive around Hill 60. His wife had received no word from her husband since April 1915, and general sympathy will be evoked by the sad intelligence, which now places him among the list of killed. It is fairly clear that he was fatally wounded on April 18th when fighting round Hill 60, for he was officially reported as wounded and missing at that time.

It may be added that Private Purcell, who had never been home on furlough from the time he had enlisted, was well known and highly respected in the town, and by none more so than by the Irwell Ward Liberal Committee. In connection with which he did much appreciated work, and members of, which in addition to the Mayor, Councillor J.H. Lord, have forwarded to Mrs. Purcell expressions of sympathy and testimony to the excellent services Mr. Purcell had rendered. He was also a respected member of the Victoria Working Men’s Club.




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