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Henry Aspinall was born on the 11 August, 1899 and christened in the Catholic Church of St. Wilfred`s in the centre of Preston. His parents were George and Elizabeth Aspinall (nee Brennan) and they had married in the same church on the 7 September, 1898.

George Aspinall was a dock labourer originally from Ormskirk and Elizabeth was born in Preston. The 1911 Census records that the couple had ten children but only six were still living by 1911: Catherine (1898), Henry (1899)*, Francis (1901), Josephine (1905), Arthur (1908) and James Edmund (1910).

Henry and his family had moved from Brow Square where they originally lived to 21 Mount Pleasant Street West in Preston by 1911 and George Aspinall was still working on the docks. Henry and three of his siblings were all attending school.

After Henry left school he went to work as a cotton creeler in Horrockses Mill in Preston but by May 1915 at the age of 15 years and 8 months old he had managed to enlist into the Army. Unfortunately his service papers have not survived so we cannot be certain whether he lied about his age but it is likely. Henry was allocated the service number 20849 and at some point he was posted to the 6th Battalion.

Henry`s medal index card indicates that he went overseas to join the 6th Battalion after January 1916. Information in the newspaper article suggests that it was probably at some point in the first half of that year and he would have arrived with a batch of reinforcements for the battalion.

Sadly, Henry died as a result of some form of fever on the 16 March, 1917 just 5 months short of his eighteenth birthday.

His parents later submitted the following information with photograph of Henry to the local paper, the Preston Guardian.Aspinall 1

(Note: the news article states Henry died on the 21 March, 1917. The CWGC record states his date of death as the 16 March, 1917 and this date was also recorded on his Medal Index Card).

Henry was awarded the British War and Victory Medals. His name was later recorded on the Basra Memorial. He is also remembered on the St. Wilfred`s Church War Memorial in Preston, the church where his parents married and where he was baptised.

St. Wilfred 1St. Wilfred 2


Rank: Private
Service No: 20849
Date of Death: 16/03/1917
Age: 17
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 6th Bn.

Janet Davis
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