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War Memorial at Harby

The war memorial cross was erected in honour of the Harby soldiers and sailors who participated in the First World War.

The accepted plans were drawn up by Mr T. Burbidge and the work was entrusted to Mr S. Squires of Bingham.
The height is nearly 15 ft, the lower of the two bases being 8 ft square. The stone above is 4 ft square and 2 ft in height, containing 99 names, 19 on the front face being those who were killed in action or died on service. The remaining 80 are those who enlisted from the village and survived.

Surrounding this stone is an old shaft and base from an ancient village cross, capped with a new cross suggesting what the original may have looked like, drawn by a former rector, Rev. Manners Octavius Norman. The whole, old and new, is of Portland stone. This relic of the old village cross stood originally on the village green, some yards from its present position. It was moved to the churchyard when the school was built in 1860. The arrow marks where the new cross was fitted to the old. The steel brace which joins the two parts together was made by Mr. Martin Stead, the village blacksmith."

The unveiling ceremony on the night of Thursday, 20 May 1920, was performed by the Rev. E. H. Stone, Rector, in the presence of 200 people and of the church and chapel choirs. Sixty ex-servicemen formed a guard of honour

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Harby War Memorial 1920


Pte 1822 Frederick Walter Mabbott & Pte 1827 John William Hoyes

Both serving with The Leicestershire Yeomanry

Killed in Action 13th May 1915

Commemorated on the Menin Gate Panel 5

Grantham Journal 22nd May 1915

WAR VICTIMS, - It was a sad object lesson of the trials of the great war some weeks ago three of our Harby boys suffering from wounds, but on Tuesday morning last the entire village was thrown in the deepest gloom when news arrived from two of their comrades at the front that Troopers Jack Hoyes and Fred W Mabbott had been shot in a bayonet charge on Thursday, when so many of our Leicestershire Yeomanry were either killed or wounded. Both were Troopers in the Belvoir Squadron of the Leicestershire Yeomanry previous to the war, and nobly volunteered at once for active service. Good accounts came to hand of all the Harby boys, even up to Monday morning last. Letters were received on Thursday morning by the parents from Quartermaster – Sergt Major Fred Pepper*, giving details of the death of each. Hoyes was a stretcher- bearer and during charge was picking up his wounded officer, Captain Codrington, when he was struck on the head with shrapnel and killed. Mabbott was in the trenches, when he was struck by a snipers bullet in the forehead, and died instantaneously. The deepest sympathy is felt for the bereaved parents, but their sorrow is to some extent mitigated by the knowledge that their sons died nobly doing their duty as brave soldiers.


On the same page the Cricket Club AGM report states that; - No less than fourteen or fifteen members of the Club are now serving King and country, several of them being at the front. Since the meeting, we have to record the death of two prominent members, viz., Messer’s F W Mabbott and J Hoyes.


Grantham Journal 29th May 1915 reports under ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:-Mr and Mrs Hoyes parents of Trooper Jack Hoyes, Leicestershire Yeomanry killed in action May 13th, wish to thank all kind friends for the sympathy shown them in their sad bereavement.I thought it appropriate to show families side by side as the newspaper report covers both their deaths and they are both commemorated on panel 5 of the Menin Gate Memorial with only a few names separating them * Fred Pepper was postmaster at Harby for many years

8273 L/Cpl Moulds George Henry. D.C.M.

2nd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment.

Died 28th January 1916 in Mesopotamia

Commemorated on panel Xll.J.6 in The Amara War Cemetery.

George Henry was born at Harby in 1890, son of Harry and Sarah Ann living in Exchange Row.

The 1901 census records George Henry aged 10 years living with parents and 3 more siblings at Stathern Road possibly in Gas Walk.

The 1911 census records George Henry serving in India with the 2nd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment whilst at home he had 6 more siblings including Alec just 2 months old*

In early 1915 the 2nd Battalion had moved to France as part of the Garhwal Brigade of the 7th Indian Division and took part in the battle at Neuve Chappell where George Henry was awarded the D.C.M. The citation for his award reads thus: -

8273 Pte G.H. Moulds 2nd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment. For gallant conduct at Neuve Chappell on 11th and 12th March 1915, in handling his machine gun, with coolness and ability under fire. He also showed great courage in building gun emplacements under heavy fire (3.6.15)

In the winter of 1915/16 the 2nd Battalion transferred as part of the 7th Indian Division to Mesopotamia Sadly George Henry was killed on the 28thJanuary 1916.

*In 1936 whilst serving in the Army with the 1st Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters George Henry’s youngest brother Alec died in hospital whilst suffering from a serious illness, he is commemorated on a family gravestone in Harby Church yard.

S/3521 Rfn Albert Edward Moulds12th Bn Rifle Brigade

Killed in Action 14th April 1916

Commemorated on Menin Gate Panel 46-48 & 50

In 1901 Edward as he appears to be known as, aged 8 is living with his Mother and Step Father Sarah Elizabeth & Albert Smith in Harby with siblings Percy, Mary Ann & Frances Maud.The 1911 census shows Sarah as a widow, Albert Edward working as Bricklayers Labourer his 3 siblings plus Claude aged 7 all living at 21 Stoney Street, Beeston, Nottingham.On September 8th 1914 Albert Edward enlisted at Nottingham stating his father was deceased and using the surname Moulds. He was killed in Action on the 14th April 1916 and is commemorated on panels 46-48 & 50 of the Menin Gate Ypres Belgium. 

SD/3145 L/Cpl Herbert (Bertie) Hand Royal Sussex Regiment

KiA 30th June 1916

Commemorated on the Loos Memorial Panel 69 to 73

The 1901 census records Herbert aged 8, as being born at Plungar and living at Harby as a “Nurse Child” with S Rebecca Musson 47, Sarah Musson 59, May Ellen Musson 32, Frances Elizabeth Musson 16, and John Starbuck 1.The 1911 census shows Herbert working as servant/farm labourer at Holwell and living with William & Sarah Anne Spencer, their siblings Annie May, Violet Eleanor, Frances Mary, Eva & Margret. Also in the household were Ann Manchester, Florrie Dickman & Wilfred Holroyd.The Grantham Journal of 21st August 1915 reports in the Harby column Military Notes,- There has been quite an influx of natives to their homes just recently. Privates Bertie Hand and Tom Rawlings have obtained leave for harvest work. At the Sunday evening service in the Parish church, seven Harby soldiers were present.The Grantham Journal of 20th May 1916 reports the promotion of Sam Furmidge, Alec Coy and Bertie Hand to the rank of Lance Corporal. These are all serving with the Royal Sussex Regiment.The Grantham Journal 28th April 1917 reports under the heading HarbyMEMORIAL SERVICE- News reached the village last week that Bertie Hand who had been reported missing since June 30th, when other of his Harby “pals” were wounded, has now been officially reported as dead, and a memorial service was held on Sunday morning, when there was a large congregation to show respect for the dead soldier and sympathy with the sorrowing relatives. A muffled peal was rung on the bells, and at the close of the service the “Dead March” was played. Deceased was in his 25th year, and leaves a widow and one child.

40203 Pte William (Willie) Wright 8th Bn Leicestershire Regiment

KiA 25th September 1916

Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial Pier/Face 2C & 3A


The 1901 census records William (5) visiting Joseph & Mary Marley & their three daughters who lived in Little Lane Arnold.The 1911 census records Willie (15) living with his parents Henry (53), Emma (47) and siblings Ruth Ellen (12), George Ed (9) and Mary Elizabeth (3) in Colston Lane Harby, (may have been Mill Bridge as mentioned in CWGC records). This area was known locally as “Little Harby”.The Grantham Journal of 24th June 1916 reports that Willie Wright had been home on leave.The Grantham Journal of 25th November 1916 reports under the heading Leicestershire Regiment Casualties, Missing Pte W Wright, 40203 of Harby.The Grantham Journal of 1st September 1917 reports:-A Memorial Service was held on Sunday evening, in the Parish Church, for Pte Willie Wright of the Leicester’s, son of Mrs Wright, widow of Harby Bridge Cottages. Missing since 25th September 1916, Pte Wright has now been officially reported dead. There was a large congregation, to do the honour to the memory of one of our brave soldiers, and show sympathy with the widow and sisters and brothers one of the latter of whom is in the Army. A solo from the “Crucifixion” was effectively sung by Mr J Watson, and sympatric pulpit reference was made. A muffled peal was rung on the bells before the service, and at the close of the service the “Dead March” was played and the National Anthem sung.Pte 40203 W Wright is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial which suggests he has no known grave and gave his life fighting on the Somme.Note the census and the original Roll of Honour in St Mary’s recorded him as Willie.

28061 Pte Frank Williamson Wesson

1st Bn Leicestershire Regiment

Died of Wounds 20th April 1917

Commemorated Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery, lV.B. 56, St Omer

Frank was born at Harby in 1881son of James and Malia, one of eight surviving children. The 1901 and 1911 census records Frank living at home, single and working as a farm labourer. Frank was accepted for service in The Leicestershire Regiment on the 14th April 1916, his enrolment paper records as single and a farm labourer.

The Grantham journal of 28th April reports,


Pte F Wesson of Harby

The village of Harby is indeed paying its toll in the process of war, it being our sad duty this week to record the death of another Harby soldier-the eighth since the outbreak of war. On Tuesday morning last, the War Office announced to his parents the death of Pte Frank Wesson of this village.

Joining the colours in April of last year, he went abroad in September last, and was wounded in October. Recovering he was again in action this year and died from the effects of wounds on 20th April. Deceased was thirty-six years of age, and had worked in the village most of his life. The deepest sympathy is felt by everyone for his sorrowing relatives and bereaved parents, both of whom are of advanced years.

On Wednesday morning the parents received a letter from the Assistant Matron of the hospital where he died. This lady states:-“It is we deep regret that I write to inform you of the death of your son, Pte F Wesson 28061 of the Leicester’s. He was admitted to this hospital suffering from wounds to the arms and legs. He will be given a military funeral. A small wooden cross, with his name and regiment on, will mark his grave. …. With deep sympathy for you in your sad bereavement, yours truly-----, Assistant Matron”.

Of a quiet unassuming character, deceased was most highly respected in the village, and had a large circle of friends, by whom his loss will be keenly felt. A prominent member of the village Cricket Club, he did good work with both bat and ball, and is the sixth member of the Club who has nobly laid down his life for his country.

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