Harold Warren, Private 2382, 1/7th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 3rd September 1915 in Gallipoli, Turkey, aged 24
Harold Warren was born on 22 September 1890 in Sutton, Macclesfield, the son of Elizabeth, a confectioner, and Joseph Warren, a builders foreman, of Fountain Street, Sutton, Macclesfield. In 1891, six month old Harold was living at 15 Fountain Street with his parents and siblings John (15), George (12), Percy (8), Frederick (4) and Alice (3).
Harold was educated at Sutton St George’s Primary School, joining the junior school in November 1897, and later attended St Peter’s School in Windmill Street.
By 1901 the family had moved to 44 Heapy Street and Harold had two more sisters, Annie and Ada. After leaving school, Harold attended the Macclesfield Technical School in 1905 and 1906 to further his education, and in 1906 he was employed as a warehouse boy at Backhouse & Coppock, Sutton Mills.
By 1911 Harold had his own business as a newsagent in Park Green whilst still living in the family home at 46 Heapy Street, and later that year he married Annie Potter at St Peter’s Church, Macclesfield. A daughter, Phyllis, was born in 1912 and a son, Harold, was born in late 1915 after the death of his father.
Harold attended St Peter’s Church and Sunday School.
Harold enlisted in Macclesfield in 1914, joining the 7th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment, and following a period of training in various locations in the south of England, the 7th Cheshires, as part of 159th Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division, received orders to equip for service in an undisclosed location in the Mediterranean. In July 1915 they sailed from Devonport to Alexandria in Egypt, then on to the island of Lemnos on the 4th August.
On the evening of 8th August, the Battalion arrived off the coast of Gallipoli and the following day landed at “C” Beach, Suvla Bay. Having landed, they came under shell fire at about 8.30am and so moved north along the edge of the bay; they then received orders to attack in the direction of a dip in the hills behind Anafarta Saghir.
At 8am on 10th August the Battalion was ordered to attack Hill 70. This was unsuccessful and the Battalion suffered severe losses. A second unsuccesssful attack took place at 5pm.
The following day at 2.30pm the Brigade moved north, but the 7th Cheshires and 4th Welsh Regiments on the left were under attack so had to pull back. The 7th Cheshires remained in this position in trenches for several days. Harold was killed in action on 3rd September 1915 whilst fetching water from a well with William Cooke, who also died, and one other comrade who was wounded.
Harold’s death was reported in the Macclesfield Times of 24th September, 1915:
“FORMER LOCAL NEWSAGENT – KILLED WHILE FETCHING WATER
Mrs Warren, 96 Bridge Street, Macclesfield, was officially informed on Tuesday that her husband, Signaller Harold Warren, 1/7th Battalion Cheshire Regiment, was killed in the Dardanelles on September 3rd. According to a letter from Quartermaster-Sergt W Moores, of Park Lane, the deceased was one of a party of three detailed to fetch water. A shell burst over them, killing two (including the deceased) and wounding the third.
Private Warren was the youngest son of Mr and Mrs Joseph Warren, Heapy Street, Macclesfield. One of his brothers is abroad and the other three are employed on the railway.
Deceased, who was 25 years of age, was educated at St Peter’s School. As a boy he was employed by Messrs Backhouse & Coppock, Sutton Mills. He met with an accident and at the age of 17 took over a newsagent’s and tobacco business in Park Green. He carried on this establishment until last September, when he disposed of it to Mr Miles upon enlisting in the local Territorials. Private Warren was married about four years ago to Miss Annie Potter, Henry Street, and there is one child. Deceased attended St Peter’s Church and was a member of the Bible Class.”
Harold’s death was also reported in the Macclesfield Courier of 25th September, 1915 – there is some variation in the details:
“On Tuesday Mrs Warren, who is living with her mother at 96 Bridge Street, Macclesfield, received official information that her husband, Private Harold Warren, of the 1/7th Cheshires, had been killed in action in Gallipoli. Private Warren left the trenches to fetch water, and when he had been away a few minutes his comrades heard a shell burst in the direction in which he had gone. After he had been missing about two hours a search party went out to look for him, and they found him lying on the ground in an unconscious condition, having been hit in the head with shrapnel. He never recovered consciousness. He was apparently on his way back with the water when the shell burst.
Private Warren, who was 24 years of age, was prior to enlisting last November a newsagent on Park Green, and a member of the Macclesfield Newsagents’ Association. He attended St Peter’s Church and Sunday School. He was married about four years ago and leaves a wife and one child.”
Private Harold Warren has no known grave and is commemorated on panel ref. 75 to 77 of the Helles Memorial, Turkey. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Harold Warren, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.