Second Lieutenant Harold Lockwood Lewis

Discussion in 'Looking for someone' started by liverpool annie, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Can anybody can add anything please ? .....

    Lewis, Harold Lockwood
    - 24th (Tyneside Irish) Bn. Northumberland Fusiliers. - Tyne Cot Memorial Born Kingstown St. Vincent 1898.

    In Memory of
    Second Lieutenant HAROLD LOCKWOOD LEWIS

    24th (Tyneside Irish) Bn., Northumberland Fusiliers
    who died
    on 23 October 1917

    Remembered with honour
  2. forester

    forester New Member

    Have you found his MIC yet Annie?

    It is indexed in his full name Harold Lockwood Lewis, Pte 762561, 28th London Regiment (Artists Rifles) and 2nd Lt, Northumberland Fusiliers.

    ODGW adds that he was Temp 2nd Lt and killed in action.

  3. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    No I haven't ...... ! *A won't let me !!!!! :confused:

    But I'd be interested to see it ! or anything else you could find !!

    Annie :)
  4. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Thanks for the MIC Phil !! :)

    I thought *A was till the end of April ?? ... I didn't get a chance to sit down and look for mine .... :p too much chaos here !! :)

    Attached Files:

  5. forester

    forester New Member

    It's still working this side of the water Annie.


    By the way, that was a great find of Scrimnets. :)

  6. mreilly169

    mreilly169 New Member

    Harold Lockwood Lewis was born April 13, 1898 in Kingstown, St. Vincent, then the colonial capitol of the Windward Islands, British West Indies, now the capital of the nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Harry Lewis’ parents, Edward Cornewall Lynch Lewis and Julia Leonora Lewis, née Biddy, were both native-born Vincentians, and his ancestors trace back in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the beginning of their status as British colonies, the late 18th century, if not earlier. Harry Lewis’ maternal grandmother Favorita Rose was a daughter of William Rose, the owner of the Union Estate, a sugar cane plantation on the island of Bequia. Her grandfather, also William Rose, was a Scot from Aberdeen who started his career as a merchant sailor and ended up as owner or part-owner of all the plantations on Bequia. Harry’s maternal grandfather, Benjamin Biddy, was born and raised in in Port Elizabeth, Bequia, and was a pharmacist and merchant in Kingstown from about 1850 to 1879. All told, the Biddy family had a store in Kingstown for about 70 years. After Benjamin Biddy’s death it was run by his sons as B.K. Biddy & Co., and after the bankruptcy of B.K. Biddy & Co. in 1900 it remained as the drugstore of Ernest Biddy, until Ernest’s death in 1917. Harry Lewis’ paternal grandfather Allan Lewis was a career civil servant, occupying the posts of a Magistrate, Postmaster, and Registrar of the Windward Islands. He and Benjamin Biddy were friends, and his son married Benjamin Biddy’s daughter.

    Edward C.L. Lewis followed in his father’s footsteps as a civil servant. He was a Magistrate and Assistant Registrar and Postmaster in St. Vincent, and then he was appointed Assistant Postmaster General of South China, in Hong Kong. So after spending his earliest years in St. Vincent, Harry Lewis lived in Hong Kong. But his father was unable to maintain his family in Hong Kong on his civil servant’s salary, and he sent his wife and children to Britain in about 1910, for financial reasons and because Julia was pregnant with their last child and it was a difficult pregnancy. His family hardly saw him again. Edward C.L. Lewis died in his mid-40s in Hong Kong just as the War was breaking out. The Lewis family lived in the Richmond Hill area of London, a city in which they probably knew no one at first.

    Harry Lewis had two older brothers, Howard, born in 1894, and Frank, born in 1896. Howard served in the Army as an officer in the First World War, survived, and re-enlisted to serve in the Second World War as well, surviving the Second World War as well. Frank was a conscientious objector, joining the Royal Ambulance Corps and serving on the Western Front where he was wounded and his health ruined. He died of tuberculosis while studying for the ministry at Cambridge in the early 1920s. Possible Harry felt he had something to prove, as a result of one brother or the other. As soon as he turned 18, (April 1916) he enlisted as a private in the London Regiment (Artists Rifles). Till then he had been a student, and had worked as a bank clerk. According to his service records Harry Lewis was about five feet nine inches, 130 pounds, and not in especially robust health. He had plans to study for the ministry, like his elder and younger brothers. After some months’ training, and service as an enlisted man, Harry was able to obtain a commission as a Temporary Second Lieutenant and assigned to the Northumberland Fusiliers, Tyneside Irish Brigade, which was stationed in Flanders. To obtain his commission he had to sign an affidavit certifying that he was “Of Entirely European Ancestry,” which wasn’t entirely true.

    Being a West Indian arrived in England by way of Hong Kong, Harry would have had almost as little in common with the men he was assigned to command as if he had come from another planet. He had probably never set foot in Newcastle upon Tyne, and may never have met any kind of Irishman. Given the timeframe, he can’t have had very much training either. By the time he was assigned to the Tyneside Irish Brigade, many of the original Tyneside Irish had been killed, the largest number at the Battle of the Somme, almost as soon as they first went into action. The Brigade’s losses were undoubtedly made up from recruits taken from anywhere available, so Harry may not have stood out too much as an outsider, but as a teenage Second Lieutenant in charge of enlisted men in their 30s and 40s, his position must have been difficult. Harry’s service record indicates that he lasted about nine months at the Front. He was gassed twice, and returned promptly to active duty both times.

    Harry was one of the 140,000 British soldiers who gave their lives to capture about five miles of territory in the Passchendaele offensive, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, between July and November 1917. That works out to about one dead soldier per two inches. He was killed during a followup action, after the Battle of Poelkappelle on October 9 and the First Battle of Passchendaele on October 12. According to Wikipedia (Battle of Passchendale):

    The British First Army undertook two minor operations on the 22 October, one with the French First Army at Houthulst Forest, the other east of Poelcappelle. The objective of the attack was to maintain pressure on the Germans while the Canadian Corps prepared for their assault, as well as supporting the French attack on Malmaison. The attack commenced at 5:35 am, with the French 1st Division and the British 35th Division attacking towards the Houthulst Forest and the British 34th and 18th Divisions attacking from Poelcappelle. The French 1st Division successfully covered the left flank of the attack towards the Houthulst Forest, while the British 35th Division initially managed to seize its first objectives but was forced back to its starting line by German counter-attacks. The left flank of the attack by the British 34th Division was unsuccessful, while the right flank managed to keep up with the attacking forces of the British 18th Division.​

    It was the Canadians who ultimately took Passchendaele on November 6, 1917. The Germans recaptured all the territory gained in March 1918 and held it till near the end of the War.

    Although he is not identified by name, an account of Harry Lewis’ death can be found in John Sheen’s Tyneside Irish, Pen & Sword Books Limited, Barnesly, South Yorkshire, 1998. At pages 157-158, a letter from Private Morris Jenkinson, of the 24th Battalion, Tyneside Irish, describes how on October 23, 1917, he and his friend Bob Quinn were badly wounded by German shellfire as the 24th Battalion advanced toward Poelkappelle. Jenkinson realized Quinn, whose leg was severed, would soon die if he did not get medical attention, and so he crawled back toward the British lines to summon help, being unable to walk with one leg disabled from his wounds:

    I crawled from shellhole to shellhole until I came upon an officer. I reported the position to him and asked him to help, but he said it was impossible and that I should make my way back to the dressing station. With that he looked up over the lip of the shellhole and was shot in the forehead. His body slumped against me and I had a job to shove him off. As I was sitting there I noticed he had a pearl handled revolver and as I had left my rifle behind I armed myself with this instead. ​

    Jenkinson promptly had the revolver stolen from him at the dressing station. Two officers of the Tyneside Irish Brigade were killed that day, but this account accords with what was told to Harry’s family, that he had been sent across No Man's Land with a message for the commander of the adjoining unit, the 18th Battalion of the Norfolk Regiment. A gap had opened in the British lines and probably his message was intended to inform neighboring units of it. There doesn’t seem to be another reason why he would have been alone in No Man's Land taking cover in a shellhole. Whether he delivered the message and was returning, or never got there, is apparently not known. It seems likely he refused to help Jenkinson because he was intent on fulfilling his mission, however, so chances are he never delivered his message. His body was never found. Most likely he was buried where he lay, in the shellhole, by earth thrown up by a subsequent shell, and most likely he is still there, somewhere East of Poelkappelle, Belgium. Harry Lewis was 19 years old when he died.

    Harry Lewis is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing near Zonnebeke, Belgium, and on the First World War Memorial (known locally as the “Iron Man”) in Kingstown, St. Vincent. His oldest brother, Howard Cornewall Lynch Lewis, became a banker after his military service and died in Ireland, where he had retired, in the late 1950s. His younger brother Edward Balfour Lewis, too young to have served in the War, became a minister in the Church of England and served many years as Vicar of Kennington, Ashford, Kent until his death in the early 1970s. His descendants still live in England. Harry’s first cousin William Vincent Beach, left an orphan in St. Vincent, arrived in England to stay with the Lewises just about at the time of Harry’s death. Beach was shortly driving a London bus at the age of 15 despite having hardly seen a motor vehicle before arriving in England, due to a strike and the wartime shortage of manpower. Eventually he went to medical school, joined the Royal Navy, and retired after many years of service with the rank of Surgeon Rear Admiral and an O.B.E. Probably anyone surnamed Biddy whose family traces to St. Vincent is a relative of Harry Lewis, and probably most of the Lewises of St. Vincent are related to him as well as Beach cousins in the U.K. and the U.S. He has many living collateral relatives, but no descendants.

    Marcos Reilly
  7. mreilly169

    mreilly169 New Member

    Harry Lewis with his mother, about 1914, London.

    Attached Files:

  8. mreilly169

    mreilly169 New Member

    Harry with his father and brothers, about 1911.

    Attached Files:

  9. Akolt

    Akolt Member

    that was a great find of Scrimnets.

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