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
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 AIRMANS
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,