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Henry Eastham Cornall was born in 1890 in Fleetwood the son of Matthew and Elizabeth Cornall (nee Eastham). His parents married in St. John the Devine Church in Lytham on the 15th August 1877 and they went on to have ten children together including Henry, the others being; Alice (1877), Agnes Ann (1879), Edith (1881), Elizabeth (1883), Emily (1885), Bertha (1886), Mary (1889-1892), John (1892-1893) and Margaret Ellen (1896). The first six girls had all been born in Lytham before the family moved first of all to Poulton le Fylde where Mary was born and then on to Fleetwood where Henry and his only brother John were born. In 1891 the family home was in Wyre Street in Fleetwood where Henry`s father was working on the railways as an engine driver.

By the time Henry`s youngest sibling Margaret Ellen arrived in 1896 the family had relocated to 4 Jackson Street in Bamber Bridge, Matthew Cornall was still working on the railways as a driver and Edith, Elizabeth, Emily and Bertha had all gone to work as cotton weavers in one of the local mills. By 1911 only Henry and two of his sisters, Bertha and Margaret Ellen remained at home with their parents, the family now living at 254 Station Road in Bamber Bridge. Henry had followed his father onto the railways and was now a railway engine cleaner employed by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway.

At the outbreak of war Henry enlisted into the Army at Preston, signing his papers on the 1st September 1914 and joining the 8th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment with the service number 13862. The 8th Battalion came under the Command of the 74th Brigade in 25th Division and in December 1914 they moved to Boscombe for training and then at some point during January 1915 they moved on to Bournemouth. However, prior to the Battalion`s move to Bournemouth, Henry, according to the list of British Army Deserters & Absentees in the Police Gazette was reported `missing on the 13th January 1915 from Boscombe. The list confirms his enlistment date, birthplace, service number and his description; he was five feet six and a half inches tall, had brown hair and grey eyes and his occupation was noted as `clerk`. As none of Henry`s service papers have survived there is unfortunately no other information about his service other than he obviously returned to the 8th Battalion at some point because his Medal Index Card notes that he embarked for France with the 8th Battalion on the 25th September 1915.

At some point during his service with the Battalion, Henry achieved the rank of Sergeant but sadly he was severely wounded, probably in the autumn of 1916 and was brought back to England where he was admitted to the King George Hospital, Stamford Street in London. Henry did not survive and passed away on the 16th November 1916 in hospital.

Henry`s body was returned to his home town of Bamber Bridge and he was laid to rest in St. Saviour`s Churchyard in the town;

On the first anniversary of his death, his family placed the following notice in the Lancashire Evening Post;

CORNALL – In loving memory of our dear son, Sergt. H.E. Cornall (Harry) who died of wounds November 16th, 1916 L.N. Lancs. Regt.

“We think of him in silence, 

His name we oft recall;

But there is nothing left to answer,

But his photo on the wall”

From Father, Mother and Sisters

After the war Henry`s parents would take receipt of their sons` 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals and would also receive his Memorial Plaque and Scroll in recognition of his sacrifice.

Rank: Serjeant
Service No: 13862
Date of Death: 16/11/1916
Age: 27
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 8th Bn.

Janet Davis
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