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Harold Dagger was born in Garstang in July 1895. His father, a police constable, was named Richard. His mother was named Margret and he had five sisters, and five brothers.

In 1911 the family were living at 7 Orchard Lane, Leigh, Lancashire. Harold, aged 16 was working in a cotton mill as a little piecer, mending broken threads during spinning.

It is likely that Harold enlisted in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment on 31st August 1915. He was given the service number 12153 and posted into the newly formed 10th (Service) Battalion as a signaler.

The 10th Battalion moved to Eastbourne as Army troops attached to 22nd Division. Below are two photo of Harold at Eastbourne Camp.

Harold sailed for Boulogne with the 10th Battalion on 31 July 1915 as part of 112th Brigade, 37th Division.

The next five months were spent on rotations between the trenches at Hannescamps and returning to billets at Bienvillers and Humbercamps.  Harold was in ‘A Company’, responsible for trenches 59 – 61 (see map).  It was a relatively quiet period with no major actions. Late in November the rotation cycle had been changed to three days in the trenches, three days in billets.

On 07 December 1915, having returned to Bienvillers the previous day, the German artillery again focused their attention on the billeting area ‘behind the lines’. This tactic had also been seen the last time the Brigade were billeted on 02 December. Harold and two others were wounded in this attack. The following diary entry refers;

 Bienvillers, 7th December,

Enemy artillery again active on our billeting area: ‘A Company’ mess receiving the 4th shell. Three men wounded (1 died of wounds)

A local Lancashire newspaper gives further details about the incident;

On 29 December 1915 the following list also appeared in the Manchester Courier.

There is information to suggest that Harold was later taken prisoner of war. Unfortunately as no service papers are available for Harold, details of the events surrounding his capture are unknown.

Harold survived the war and was discharged to Class Z reserve.

After the war Harold settled back into civilian life as a tram driver. He married Elsie Clewes in 1922 they had three children Edna (1923);  Richard (1927) and Dorothy (1933).

During WW2 he served as a Sergeant in the Platbridge Home Guard part of his duties was teaching morse code.

Harold died in Atherton in 1974.

Thank you to Harold’s granddaughter Lorna for supplying this information and photograph.

Paul McCormick
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7 Responses to 12153 PTE. H. DAGGER. L.N.LAN.R

  1. […] Back right is 12153 Private Harold Dagger. […]

  2. Christopher Boardman says:

    My Grandfather served in 112th Brigade 8th East Lancs and also died in Atherton in 1968 ,James Fleming.

  3. Lorna says:

    Through Red Cross Prisoners of War records I found these details of my grandfather Harold he was taken in Roisel on 22 March 1918 and the camps mention are Dulman on 24 April 1918 & Munster III on 14 June 1918. My father said that he had been in others but as yet no documented proof.

  4. Mark Morris says:

    Hi I am pretty sure my great uncle William Shepherd would have been with Harold Dagger when he was wounded. My uncle served in the 10th Battalion and died of wounds received on the 7/12/15. This according to the diary were the only casualties that day for the 10th Battalion. If anybody can confirm it would be much appreciated.

  5. Mark Morris says:

    Hi I think my great uncle William Cooke Shepherd was wounded at the same time as Harold Dagger – he dies of his wounds a few days later. According to the war diary these were the only 10th battalion casualties that day. Any further information would be appreciated

  6. Mark Morris says:

    Trying to trace records of PTE William Cook Shepherd, who we believe was also wounded with Pte H Dagger but who died of these wounds later.
    Any leads would be appreciated.

    • Lorna Tappern says:

      Hi Mark

      My grandfather Harold received wounds to his hands during this event and according to my aunt even though wounded helped carry out the wounded. He too has no service records which we believe were destroyed in bombing during WW2.

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