Lieutenant James Harrison,

53 Squadron, Royal Air Force.


Killed in action on the 29 June 1918.

Buried in Cinq Rues Military Cemetery, Hazelbrook, France. Grave number 8, Row H.

The register does not record any personal details.

“The sky their battlefield” by Trevor Henshaw shows that Harrison was an Observer in a RE 8 (Serial number 04834 WF) on artillery spotting duties over enemy lines. It was seen to be going down in flames at approximately 7 p.m. on 29 June 1918. The map reference is shown as Sheet 36A, D5c O6.
The pilot – Lieutenant James Noel Gatecliff, of the Royal East Kent Yeomanry, and a native of Birchington, Kent – was also killed and lies in the grave next to Lieutenant Harrison.

Reported in the Burnley Express. HAPTON AIRMAN’S DEATH. Brought Down During a Fight. Last week Mrs. Harrison of 50, Wordsworth Street, Hapton, received a note from the Air Ministry, regretting to inform her that her son 2nd Lieutenant James Harrison, Royal Air Force, had been reported killed on June 29th.
At the same time the wife of 2nd Lieutenant Harrison, who is staying at 212, Central Drive, Blackpool, received the following letter from Major G. Henderson: - “Dear Mrs Harrison - I am very sorry to tell you that you husband was killed in action on the evening of the 29th. He was doing a shoot, and was either shot down by enemy anti-aircraft fire or by a hostile machine – there is no direct evidence to suggest which. He fell over our lines and was buried with his pilot Lieut. Gatecliff, yesterday afternoon. I will let you have a photograph of his grave as soon as it can be arranged. Please accept the sincere sympathy of the whole squadron. Your husband did very good work with the squadron, and was one of my best observers, as he was always very keen and cheery and so very reliable. His death is a great blow to us all. There is only one small satisfaction, that is, he died for his country”.
Lieutenant Harrison enlisted shortly after the outbreak of the war into the South Wales Borderers, and quickly gained promotion. As he became interested in the air services, he was eventually transferred, and soon promoted 2nd Lieutenant. He was over for a short furlough to Hapton about three weeks ago, and on his return he wrote home to say he had flow back over the English Channel, to his squadron, and found it more convenient than the train and steamer. He as three other brothers serving, all in the East Lancashire Regiment – Ralph and Walter who are at the front, and Wilfred.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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