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Henry Singleton was born in Preston in 1892, the son of Henry and Mary Ellen Singleton (nee Parker).

At the time of the 1911 Census Henry was at home with his parents and a sister Monica (b.1885) living in a four roomed house at 357 North Road, Preston. Henry`s occupation was an apprentice butcher. The Census record confirms that Henry and Mary Ellen had 9 children born and of those 7 had died leaving just Henry junior and his sister Monica as the two surviving siblings.

Henry attested at Preston on the 8th December 1915 and was given the service number 5254 which would later become 202348. He was 5`4” tall and he weighed 127lbs.

On the 25th March 1916 Henry was mobilised and posted into the 3/4th Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

On the 19th June 1917 Henry embarked at Folkestone bound for France. Just over two weeks later on the 5th July 1917 he was posted into the 8th Battalion. A few months later on 6th February 1918 after the 8th Battalion were disbanded he was sent to join the 9th Battalion.

Henry was granted leave to the UK from the 12th March 1918 till the 26th March 1918.

Henry returned to France and five months later on 10th August 1918 after the 9th Battalion had been disbanded he joined the 2/4th Battalion.

The 2/4th Battalion were to take part in the Battle of Cambrai-St. Quentin which opened on the 27th September 1918.

Extract from an account of the events made by the Battalion;

25th September 1918

The Battalion moved by rail and road and by way of Saulty to bivouacs at Noreuil.

27th September 1918, 0430 hrs

Moved forward through Pronville to Tadpole Copse and crossed the Canal du Nord at noon, then halting for three hours to allow the artillery to cross and take up positions. By 9 p.m. we were in position in the Sunken Road near Graincourt where the night was spent.

28th September 1918, 0600 hrs

Moved forward under harassing fire from the enemy in support of the 2/5th King`s Own Royal Lancaster. On reaching Marcoing Trench `A`, `B` and `C` Companies formed up for attack with `D` Company in reserve, our left flank on the Bapaume-Cambrai road and our right on La Folie Wood. The advance was carried out by short rushes under heavy machine-gun fire until 11.30 when we were held up by a very severe bombardment in front of the enemy wire.

29th September 1918, 0800 hrs

Battalion, having suffered many casualties, was withdrawn to refit and reorganise in a position to the south of Anneux.

30th September 1918, 0500 hrs

Moved forward again to a position at La Folie Wood, in the evening relieving the 8th King`s Liverpool in the line

Private Henry Singleton received a gunshot wound to his inner thigh at some time on the 29th September. He died from his wounds on 1st October, 1918.

The following article appeared in the Preston Guardian;


Several items were returned to Henry`s family which included:- letters, photographs, 1 pipe, wallet containing some religious books, metal cigarette case, crucifix, wallet, notebook and 1 card.

Henry`s father signed for his son`s effects but it would appear from the note he made on the official paperwork that he was rather anxious to have all of his sons property returned. In the note he states:-

But there are several other things that he had, that we have not yet received, namely, gold ring, safety razor, money, disc, pay book, rosary beads etc. Kindly give this your immediate attention and oblige……signed H. Singleton

Private Henry Singleton was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and is buried with honour at the Sunken Road Cemetery, Boisleux-St. Marc.

Rank: Private
Service No: 202348
Date of Death: 01/10/1918
Age: 26
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 2nd/4th Bn.

As researched by Janet Davis

Janet Davis
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