Record Detail

Burngreave Cemetery: Harry Willis, Boy Telegraphist, RRN J/33526 HMS Melpomene, 23rd July 1916 age 17

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Burngreave Cemetery: Harry Willis, Boy Telegraphist, RRN J/33526 HMS Melpomene, 23rd July 1916 age 17
Pete Evans

From Commonwealth War Graves Commission website: Son of Edward and Eliza Willis, of 17/5, Hodgson Street, Sheffield.

From Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 29 Jul 1916 (page 5): The funeral of the young sailor, Harry Willis, of Hodgson Street, Sheffield, who was struck by a German shell during the running fight in the North Sea last weekend, and died in Harwich Hospital, took place at Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield yesterday afternoon.  The coffin was placed on a gun carriage, and covered with the Union Jack, a contingent of RAMC from Hillsborough barracks attending as bearers.  The service was read by the Rev G. H. McNeal, Victoria Hall, who in a brief address said that he felt certain that the fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, and lovers, who had given their dearest and best to die for their country in this war, would in the future be regarded as the real aristocracy of the nation.  In times past it had been said that the youth of the country was decadent, but over five million of such as Willis had given up everything that they might fight this battle for us.  God grant that we might prove worthy of their great sacrifice.

The chief mourners were the father and mother, Private William Willis Y. and L. [York and Lancaster] (brother), Mr and Mrs Arthur Pashley, (brother-in-law and sister), Mrs Brookes, Mrs Booth, and Mrs Shor (aunts).  The deceased, who was sonly 17 years of age, was formerly a member of the 6th Troop Sheffield Boy Scouts, and members of the troop, under Scoutmaster F. H. Winks, followed the coffin to the grave.

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