HARRY WILLIAM CARRITT

 

Born: 23rd August 1887, Trowse cum Newton, Norfolk.

Died: 8th July 1916; age 27; KiA by a shell explosion – Contalmaison, France. A piece of the shell struck Harry on the back of the head. His body was not recovered from the battlefield.

 

Captain Stephen Grey Latham, of the Northamptonshire Regiment wrote to Harry’s father: I was the officer alongside Harry when he was killed. – Under orders from Major Williams, we advanced on Contalmaison. Harry’s company led. Leaving the trench, we made straight for the village, about 1,200 yards away. There was about 50 yards between the two company leaders, in order to enable the men to spread out. The enemy began to shell us when we had gone 100 yards, and the barrage increased as we advanced. Harry came right across the corner of the wood where I was, his men well spaced and backing him well, but our losses had been heavy. About 200 yards from the village we paused to allow the men to get breath. Then Harry and I ran forward, shouting to the men of the first line to follow. We had gone very few yards when a shell burst about 20 yards in the rear, and a piece of it struck Harry on the back of the head, killing him at once. His death caused others to hesitate, so that when I next stopped only one man was with me. Had it not been for your son’s death, and the loss of his leadership at that critical moment, I am confident that we should have taken the village. I was unable to get back till dusk, and went to see if there was any hope for Harry, and to collect his personal belongings, but the enemy saw me and re-commenced firing, so that I could do nothing beyond making certain that he had been killed instantly and painlessly at the bravest moment of a brave life. Western Daily Press – 11th August 1916. Lt.-Col. Stephen Gray Latham was KiA, 24th April 1918, at Villers-Brettoneux, France, aged 46.

Occupation: a Missionary at Tientsin Anglo-Chinese College, China for five years, and had hoped to resume that work after the war.

Residence: Orwell Lodge, Portishead, Somersetshire.

Cadet in the Bristol University, O.T.C. in 1914. Commissioned from the Bristol University Officer Training Corps to the 3rd Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment on 10th February 1915. Joined 2nd Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment in April 1915 as a reinforcement after the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in March 1915. An officer of “C” Company at Aubers Ridge on 9th May 1915. Appointed as a temporary Lieutenant on 10th June 1915. Appointed as temporary Captain on 28th February 1916. Fought at Aubers Ridge (“C” Company), Loos & Contalmaison. Believed to have served continuously with the battalion from April 1915 until his death in July 1916.

Harry was one of five of the Bristol University Officer Training Corps who were posted to the 3rd Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment as 2nd Lieutenants in February 1915.

He joined the 2nd Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment in April 1915 as a reinforcement after the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in March 1915.

An officer of “C” Company at Aubers Ridge on 9th May 1915.
Appointed as a temporary Lieutenant on 10th June 1915.
Appointed as temporary Captain on 28th February 1916.

In March 1916 Harry was gazetted Captain.

 

Rank: Captain

Regiment: Northamptonshire Regiment, 2nd Battalion.

Medals Awarded: Military Cross as a Second Lieutenant (temp. Captain) award for Distinguished service in the field., King’s Birthday Honours list. 

Gazetted 3rd June 1916.

 

Grave Reference:

Pier & Face 11A & 11D.

Thiepval Memorial,

Somme,

France.

 

CENSUS  

 

1891   Trowse Street, Trowse cum Newton, Norfolk.

 

Harry was 3 years old and living with his widowed father.

Thomas Alfred John Carritt, 39, a Congregational Minister, born Writtle, Essex.

1 housekeeper.

2 domestic servants.

 

1901   15, St. John’s Road, Ipswich.

 

Harry was 13 years old and living with his father and step mother.

Thomas, 48, a Congregational Minister.

Mary Ritchie Carritt (nee Prentice), 50, born Ipswich.

1 visitor (& former housekeeper).

1 general domestic servant.

 

Harry’s mother was Harriet Carritt (nee Bissill), born 1855, Hucknall, Nottinghamshire – died 1887, Trowse cum Newton, Norfolk.

 

Harry attended Northgate School, Ipswich.
Passed Matriculation Examination at University College London.
Spent some years as a missionary in China.
Student of Faculty of Commerce at Birmingham University (Summer 1913 to Winter 1914), studying to return to China.

The members and friends of the Church on the Hill, at Cabstand, Portishead erected a tablet in the church in memory of Harry.

Harry’s father the Reverend Thomas Carritt was the pastor at the church during the First World War years. The pastor went sometimes to preach in Bristol, under a scheme to help Bristol churches whose pastors were on active service as chaplains.

After the war Thomas Carritt retired from the ministry and settled in Ipswich. His parting shot to the congregation at Portishead was to chide them for not yet having women deacons – a development which had already been adopted in Ipswich, and which Mr Carritt clearly believed was the way forward for the church. He died in 1928.

Probate to Thomas Alfred John Carritt – father, a congregational minister.

Soldiers’ Effects to Rev’d Thomas Alfred John Carritt – father.

Harry is also remembered on the war memorial at St. Clement’s Congregational Church, Ipswich.

 

Northamptonshire Regiment, 2nd Battalion:

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