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Harold Prescott Makin was born in Sutton, St Helens in 1896 and was the son of William and Jane Makin. The 1901 census lists the family at 103 Junction Lane, Sutton and shows that he had three siblings; two older brothers Alfred and George William, and a younger sister named Elizabeth.
By the time of the 1911 census Harold was 15 years old and was living with his 37 year old widowed mother and his sister at his maternal grandmother’s house at 61 Peckers Hill Road, St Helens. Harold was employed as a railway clerk.
Just one month after the declaration of War, 4th September 1914, he enlisted in the Army at St. Helens and joined the 10th (Service) Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment with the number 12976. He was 19 years old, single, still living with his mother and in the intervening years appears to have been employed as a moulder.
At the medical examination upon enlistment the records show he stood 5ft 7in tall and weighed 125lbs with a 36in chest.
Shortly after Harold enlisted his mother remarried, becoming Mrs Jane Latham, and moved to 225, Marshall’s Cross Road, Green End, St. Helens.
Despite having no previous military service Harold was obviously extremely capable. Whilst they were still training in the UK on 1st March 1915 he was appointed Lance Corporal and was promoted to Corporal on 5th June the same year. He sailed to France with the bulk of 10th Battalion men on 31st July 1915 and was placed into ‘C’ Company.
In September 1915 he spent 5 days out of the line recovering from influenza, and a re-occurrence of the same saw him out of action again in February 1916.
On 22nd May 1916 he was appointed Lance Serjeant and was transferred across to ‘D’ Company where he was promoted to Serjeant on 17th July 1916.
Between 21st August and 7th September a bout of enterocolitis (inflammation of both the small intestine and the colon) forced another stay in hospital for Harold and that wouldn’t be the last time he fell ill in France – between 8th December 1916 and 1st January 1917 he was back on the wards now with tonsillitis. During this period his mother wrote to the Army for information;
225 Marshalls Cross Road, St. Helens, Lancashire.
2nd Jan (1917)
Will you be kind to forward me any information respecting my son Sergt. H. P. Makin No 12976 D Coy 10 Batt Loyal North Lancs, British Expeditionary Force, France. I sent him a registered letter on the 14 Dec and it has come back registered with ‘Hospital’ on, do you think he is ill or wounded? Will you be kind enough to let me know if possible by return.
Oblige, J Latham.
Serjeant Harold Prescott Makin was posted as wounded and missing on 11th April 1917, his death later presumed to have happened on or since that date. He was 21 years old and had served two years 220 days in the Army.
The Battalion War Diary records;
Arras – 10th / 11th April 1917
During the night, orders were received that the L.N.Lancs were to continue the advance and attack at 05:00hrs going through East Lancs and attacking the trenches, having as our objective the ‘Green Line’ and in particular the wood (Tilloy).
Arras – 11th April 1917 – 05:00hrs
The Battalion having previously got into position for such advance, almost immediately came into full view of the enemy and was met with very heavy machine gun and shell fire.
Arras – 11th April 1917 – 05:30hrs
We received orders not to advance until barrage opened. By this time, we had carried by assault, the enemy trench in front (east of Sunken Road) and were establishing ourselves in shell holes 100 yards further east.
It was at this time that Captain Peskett, 2nd Lieutenant Ibbotson and 2nd Lieutenant Goodman were killed.
During this assault, we suffered very heavy casualties and were being enfiladed from Monchy Le Preux. The right flank, perceiving that they were in the air and appreciating the fact that if it remained as such, there was a likelihood of their being outflanked, boldly determined to risk all and assaulted a small trench running southwards from Cambrai Road in the direction of Guemappe and about 30 yards east of Sunken road before mentioned.
A tank apparently also appreciating the situation in a like manner, came to their aid.
On obtaining possession of the trench, Corporal Leonard and Lance Corporal R. Dinwoodie and six men were all that was left. These eight men boldly bombed along the trench southward killing more than a dozen Bosche, taking three prisoners and found themselves in complete possession. To their almost surprise, seven Bosche officers miraculously appeared apparently from nowhere. This was not a time to stand on ceremony, whereupon the officers suffered the same fate as their men. Two machine guns were captured in this gallant assault, but as the new garrison were so weak in numbers and fearing that they might eventually be in their turn evicted, they blew them up.
These men retained possession of this trench as did also Captain Gravett, ably assisted by Second Lieutenant Deacon (being the only two officers now left) and CSM Webster with sixty men, made themselves masters of the situation of the corresponding trench running northwards from the Cambrai Road. Here the garrison remained throughout the day, although there were signs of the enemy massing for a counter attack from the south.
It was about this time that Second Lieutenant Parker died after being badly wounded.
The Commanding Officer and Adjutant, having collected enroute stragglers of all Battalions to the number of about fifty, arrived on the scene. By this time, and with the assistance of the these reinforcements, Captain Gravett was the complete master of the situation. From this time onwards, reinforcements of officers and men from other Battalions kept arriving.
Arras – 11th April 1917 – 13:50hrs
The Commanding Officer sent in a report to the General informing him that the situation had improved considerably and he had made plans for bombing parties to proceed along both sides the Cambrai Road and to attack the enemy trench after nightfall, which was about 300 yards in front of our line, as it was not deemed advisable at the moment to advance further, knowing full well that we were well in advance of all troops on our right and left, besides which in our present position we had command of a good field of view.
During this period Second Lieutenant Deacon received two wounds, but would not desert his Captain or his men.
About three hours after entering the trench, some of the 3rd Dragoon Guards, acting as Infantry, came up on their left. This gave them some breathing space.
During this time men of the East Lancs and 10th L.N.Lancs oozed from shell holes and thickened the line of fire to our front line and could also enfilade the enemy on our right where the troops on that flank would advance further.
Arras – 11th April 1917 – 17:00hrs
We received orders that we would be relieved at 18:30hrs and immediately informed Captain Gravett to hold himself in readiness to be relieved. This relief was not completed until 01:00hrs. The men being in a very exhausted condition withdrew to Tilloy where we spent the remainder of the night.
Tilloy Wood – 12th April 1917 – 08:00hrs
Roll Call. Only a few of the brave fellows left. Our loses were estimated at 13 Officers and 286 men. That is over 60% of our fighting strength.
Harold’s mother took receipt of her late son’s effects comprising two photographs, and later received the following letter from Captain James Arthur Gravett
30th July 1917
Dear Mrs Latham,
I am very sorry I have not answered your letter before, but we have been in the fighting line and have had no time. The last I saw of your son was on the early morning of the 11th of April near Monchy le-preux, east of Arras. He was very badly wounded in the arm and back but he was conscious and he recognised me and asked me if I could get him a stretcher as soon as possible. Two stretcher bearers came up and took him towards the aid post. I am afraid they must have been all killed as no further news has been heard of the stretcher bearers and they are both reported missing. I am very sorry indeed to tell you this but I can assure you that there is no hope at all. If he had reached an aid post or dressing station we should have heard.
When I saw him lying wounded in a roadway he was right in the front of his platoon and it will be some consolation to you to know that he did his duty extraordinarily well both in action and also when out of the line. I recommended him to the Colonel for gallantry but awards are very seldom given to men who are casualties and we have heard nothing further.
He was simply a splendid fellow and I sympathise most deeply with you in your great loss.
J.A. Gravett, Capt. O.C. D Coy
Harold Prescott Makin is remembered on the Arras Memorial and, in the UK, on the All Saints War Memorial at Sutton.
Service No: 12976
Date of Death: 11/04/1917
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 10th Bn.
Memorial: ARRAS MEMORIAL
Paul McCormick is the creator and administrator for the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment website. Since 2010 he has been researching the soldiers that served during the First World War and sharing their stories on his website. You can contact Paul through the website 'Contact Me' page or on Twitter and Facebook.
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- 12153 PTE. H. DAGGER. L.N.LAN.R 6 Comments
- 12638 PTE. W. HANLON. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 12641 PTE. R. STOPFORTH. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 12703 LCPL. W. H. SMITH. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 12736 PTE. J. ROSCOE. L.N.LAN.R. 1 Comment
- 12739 PTE. J. HACKING. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 12741 PTE. E. MCPARTLIN. L.N.LAN.R. 1 Comment
- 12746 CPL. T. DOWNS. L.N.LAN.R. 1 Comment
- 12774 SJT. T. CROSS. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 12784 LSJT. A. DANSON. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 12874 PTE. R. WALSH. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 12883 PTE. T. H. BAINES. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 12944 PTE. W. MOSS. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 12949 PTE. H. LEAVER. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 12976 SJT. H. P. MAKIN. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 13115 PTE. C. J. STEWART. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 13229 PTE. G. HESKETH. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 13245 PTE. T. WHALLEY. L.N.LAN.R. 1 Comment
- 13284 PTE. H. NIGHTINGALE. L.N.LAN.R 3 Comments
- 13394. SGT. W. HOLME. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 13395 PTE. A. GRAY. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 13421. PTE. W. MEE. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 13426 LCPL. J. PEAK. L.N.LAN.R 7 Comments
- 13458 CPL. F. SWALES. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 13460 CPL. W. HALLIWELL. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 13470 SJT. W. E. BUTLER. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 13530 LCPL. J. H. ADAMS. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 13588 SGT. J. ROTHERHAM. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 13693 PTE. W. LORD. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 13814 PTE. J. BILLINGTON. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 13831 PTE. A. HANRAHAN. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 13881 PTE. A. E. FISHER. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 13896 PTE. G. WOODCOCK. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 13911 PTE. T. H. TAYLOR. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 13985 PTE. R. SEYMOUR L. N. LAN. R. 0 Comments
- 13994 PTE. S. BRIGGS. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 14000 PTE. T. ATKINSON. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 14017 PTE. J. BOTTOMLEY. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 14041 CPL. G. T. WHITTLE. L.N.LAN.R. 2 Comments
- 14173 PTE. T. NELSON. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 14179 PTE. J. SWARBRICK. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 14193 PTE. T. HATCH. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 14238 PTE. J. WILLIAMS. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 15111 PTE. A. FERGUSON. L.N.LAN:R 0 Comments
- 15490 PTE. L. BIRD. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 15628 PTE. A. WISEMAN. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 15666 PTE. T. HIGSON. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 15709. PTE. T. POWER. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 15750 PTE. W. BAILEY. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 15793 CPL. T. A. HOGARTH. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 15821 WOII. E. O'HARA. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 16346 SJT. J. NUTTALL. L.N.LAN 2 Comments
- 16419 LCPL. G. ELLISON. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 16637 SJT. F. TAYLOR. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 16739 PTE. R. PENDLEBURY. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 16757 PTE. W. BILSBOROUGH. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 16762 PTE. R. CLEGG. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 16780 PTE. A. RABY. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 16915 PTE. J. R. HAYES. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 17462 PTE. J. CLARKE. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 17534 PTE. R. HALSHAW. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 17615 PTE. J. LOWE. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 18116 CPL. T. H. HOOPER. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 18995 CPL. J. WALTON. L.N.LAN.R 4 Comments
- 19574 PTE. R. DERBYSHIRE. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 19736 PTE. J. J. BARNES. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 19781 PTE. A. RIGBY. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 19812 PTE. R. GILLETT. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 200402 PTE. T. MCCUE. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 201732 PTE. H. WILSON. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 20202 PTE. C. PICKLES. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 203470 PTE. E. DALEY. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 203522 PTE. J. GREGSON. L.N.LAN.R. 2 Comments
- 203593 PTE. A. BRIERLEY. L.N.LAN.R. 1 Comment
- 2037 PTE. R. SUTTON. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 21607 CPL. C. DUNN. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 22357 PTE. J. BRETLAND. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 22405 PTE. W. MILLER. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 22501 PTE. T. JACKSON. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 22615 PTE. L. CARDWELL. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 22715 PTE. J. ROBINSON. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 22797 PTE. W. JACKSON. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 23195 PTE. H. DAWSON. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 23579 PTE. W. HELMN. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 241301 PTE. A. NUTTALL. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 24615 PTE. A. J. MOSS. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 24648 PTE. J. DOOLAN. L.N.LAN.R. 4 Comments
- 24683 LCPL. R. BLEASE. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 25307 PTE. T. BARNES. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 25413 PTE. E. A. BARKER. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 25724 PTE. F. KEEN. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 25748 PTE. H. HALL. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 25858 PTE. J. DUNN. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 27588 PTE. R. PHILLIPSON. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 27612 PTE. A. J. DAMSELL. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 27627 PTE. S. TITTENSOR. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 27639 PTE. R. BANKS. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 28739 PTE. H. MERCER. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 29717 PTE. G. H. BELLAMY. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 2nd Lieutenant Reginald Frederick Squibb 3 Comments
- 2nd Lt. Claude Arthur Stephen Bidwell 3 Comments
- 2nd Lt. Harold Stephen Boxer 1 Comment
- 32033 PTE. W. HARRISON. L.N.LAN.R. 5 Comments
- 32491 PTE. A. JELLICOE. L.N.LAN.R. 1 Comment
- 33198 PTE. J. LEAVER. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 33813 PTE. F. J. BARKER. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 33859 CPL. T. H. MAXFIELD. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 33921 LCPL. A. W. BULL. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 34090 PTE N. S. TOWNSLEY. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 36921 PTE. G. PEMBERTON. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 3737 WO II. J. LAWTON. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 6446 SGT. W. EDDLESTON. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- Captain Francis Desmond Talbot Coke 11 Comments
- Captain George William Ainsworth 7 Comments
- Captain James Arthur Gravett 2 Comments
- Captain Leo Jude 0 Comments
- Captain Richard Molesworth Dennys 2 Comments
- Lieutenant William Enoch Crossley 0 Comments
- Maj. Alexander McCallum Webster 1 Comment
- QM & Lt. J. Watkinson M.C. 1 Comment
- The case of Serjeant James Hetherington Pearson 0 Comments
- The Durham Brothers 2 Comments
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- Second Lieutenant James Albert Tinsley DCM MM
- 242529 LCPL. R. MONKS. L.N.LAN.R.
- The Royse Brothers of Bolton
- 426279 ACPL. W. H. THOMAS. R.E.
- 13509 PTE. A. FARNWORTH. L.N.LAN.R.
- 201200 PTE. T. ALMOND. L.N.LAN.R.
- 3745 PTE. W. NELSON. L.N.LAN.R.
- 23580 PTE. J. H. SHARPLES. L.N.LAN.R.
- 25872 PTE. G. A. RABY. L.N.LAN.R.
- 203806 PTE. J. ROBERTS. L.N.LAN.R.
What do these fellows mean by saying ‘ I’ve done my bit’? What is their ‘bit’? I don’t consider I’ve done mine yet.
Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Hindle DSO in 1917
Officer Commanding 1/4th Battalion. Wounded twice in 1915. Killed in action at Vaucellette Farm on 30th November 1917.
- What do these fellows mean by saying ‘ I’ve done my bit’? What is their ‘bit’? I don’t consider I’ve done mine yet. Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Hindle DSO in 1917
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