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Cross placed on grave of Burton boy soldier

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 05, 2014

27/03/14 Cross on unmarked grave Cross placed on grave of Harry Davis in Stapenhill Cemetery.......

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A SINGLE wooden cross now marks the final resting place of a formerly unknown Burton boy soldier.

Harry Davies served as a territorial soldier in the 1/6 North Staffordshire Regiment before he died from pneumonia in September 1914.

But the 17-year-old teenage Tommy’s pauper’s grave in Plot H of Stapenhill Cemetery had been left unmarked - until now.

Jackie Morris, a senior officer at the cemetery, placed the cross after hearing about the tragic tale from military historian Malcolm Goode, who uncovered the tragic tale as part of a book he is writing on the war.

Mrs Morris said: “I decided to place the cross there after talking to Malcolm who has done the investigation.

“He is hoping there will be a proper headstone place there, but in the meantime this is there to mark it.”

Harry Davis was sent home sick after the territorial unit arrived in Luton just weeks after war was declared on Germany in 1914.

Mr Goode said an obituary notice said Harry, of Broadway Street, died on September 30, and was buried three days later.

He said: “This is not right. If it is at all possible, Harry should be given a marked grave.”

It is not yet clear why Harry’s grave has remained unmarked for 100 years.

But Mr Goode said his efforts to research the soldier were hampered because early records about him had been lost or destroyed.

It is also now believed Harry’s surname is Davies, not Davis as previously thought.

Harry had six brothers, William, Percy, John, Ernest, Joseph and James. He also had a sister, Alice.

Mr Goode has also written to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in the hope of a permanent headstone being put in place.

A spokesperson from the commission said it would look into the case.

Anyone who thinks they might be related to Harry is urged to get in touch with Mr Goode by calling him on 07890206185.

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