Commonwealth War Graves - Harold Sidney Freeman

Author: Doug Larsen
Date published: 08/11/2011
© Doug Larsen

Commonwealth War Graves

Name:

Freeman, Harold Sidney

Place and Date of Birth:

~1891, Greenham

Place of Residence:

Brent Knoll, Queen’s Road, Newbury

Family:

Son of Reuben and Pamela, brother of Mabel and Stanley

Military Record

 

Rank:

Private

Service Number:

11324

Regiment/Service:

Royal Berkshire Regiment, 6th Bn

Date of Death:

September 6th, 1916

Age at Death:

26

Additional Information:

Harold Freeman was educated at the British Boys School and had completed his apprenticeship as a pattern maker at the Eagle Iron Works. Directly when war broke out he considered it his duty to enlist in August 1914 and was in the battle zone in July 1915.

A note home to his father said “ One shell dropped clean through the roof of a house, luckily the men were out of theirs or theirs would have been s****.”

(Over)

 

Freeman was fighting on the first day of the “Big Push” while acting as signaller in a forward position.

He returned to report to his Captain who said ‘you have done well my boy. Get back into the trench slippy, or they will have you.’  As he was dropping for cover into the trench an expanding bullet struck him in the shoulder, piercing his lung. Sent home to England in July 13, 1916 he was treated in the Metropolitan Military Hospital where he died of his wounds two months later after great efforts to save his life. At first it was suspected that a fragment of bullet was causing the continuous loss of blood that was weakening him but a post mortem revealed that a smashed rib had penetrated his lung, preventing healing.   

His parents declined an offer of a full military funeral so he was attended by a party of Bearers under a Sergeant Crutch with the service concluded by a bugler sounding the last post.

He is named on memorials outside St. Nicolas’ and Baptist Churches.

Sources:Personal research, CWG

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