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Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916

CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916

Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916

Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916

Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Pte 21412 Henry Fletcher Kelly

  • Age: 26
  • From: Liverpool
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 19th Btn
  • K.I.A Tuesday 11th July 1916
  • Commemorated at: Thiepval Memorial
    Panel Ref: P&F1D8B &8 C.

Born in 1890, Henry Fletcher Kelly was the son of Joseph William and his second wife, Ann Elizabeth (nee Wills). Henry’s first marriage at St Nicholas Church, Liverpool on 01st April 1872 was to Elizabeth Coppack Griffiths and they had two children – a son, John James, born 1875, and a daughter, Elizabeth, born in 1877 but died that same year, as did his wife, Elizabeth.

On 7th November 1882, Henry married Ann Elizabeth Wills, again at the church of St Nicholas, and they went on to have 8 children, including Henry Fletcher Kelly who was the fifth of their children, all of whom survived.

In 1881 the family as it then was lived at 4, Kent Square, Liverpool.

In 1891 the family are living at Underley Street, Liverpool. Henry is not yet one year old and lives with his parents and his five siblings. His father is a 39 year old plumber born in Liverpool, whilst his mother is 36 years of age and was born in Dartmouth, Devon. His siblings are recorded as: John J. a 16 year old telegraph messenger, Elizabeth A. aged 10,  William J. aged 7, Daisy L. aged 5 and Florence G. aged 3.  

The 1901 Census shows the family living at 9 Underley Street. Henry F. is now 10 years of age and lives with his parents and seven siblings. His father is now a caretaker, his siblings are listed in the household as; Elizabeth A. aged 20, William J. a 17 year old commercial clerk, Daisy L. 15, Florence G. 13, Mabel E. 8, Margaret J. 6 and Herbert V. is 4.   

Henry was educated at Earle Road Council School.

In 1911, the family are still living at 9 Underley Street. Henry is now aged 20 and is employed as a merchant’s clerk. He lives with both parents, his father is now recorded as a school caretaker, and five of his siblings; Daisy L. is a school cleaner aged 25, Florence G. is aged 23 and is also a school cleaner, Mabel E. is 18, Margaret J. 16 and Herbert V. is 14 and at school.
Henry’s youngest brother, Herbert Victor, died in 1913 aged 16 years.

Henry enlisted at Liverpool on 24th September 1914 joining the 19th Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment as Private 21412. he gave his age as 24 years 113 days and his occupation as clerk, naming his next of kin as his father, Joseph William, 9 Underley Street. He was described as being 5 ft 7" tall, weighing 130 lbs with a 36 inch chest,  a fresh complexion, hazel eyes and brown hair. He stated his religion as Presbyterian.

Formed on 07th September 1914 the 19th Battalion trained locally at Sefton Park and remained living at home or in rented accommodation until November 1914. They then moved to the hutted accommodation at Lord Derby’s estate at Knowsley Hall. On 30th April 1915 the 19th Battalion alongside the other three Pals battalions left Liverpool via Prescot Station for further training at Belton Park, Grantham. They remained here until September 1915 when they reached Larkhill Camp on Salisbury Plain. He arrived in France on 7th November 1915.

Henry was one of those killed in the action at Trones Wood and his date of death was assumed as 11th July 1916.

The murderous fighting that went on inside Trones Wood rendered it impossible to put specific dates on some of the casualties which is why many of the 17th Battalion losses have been bracketed as killed in action between 10th – 12th July 1916. The conditions are best described in the following passage from Everard Wyrall’s book “The History of The King’s Regiment (Liverpool) Volume II.”

“The remembrance of Trones Wood in July 1916 to those who passed through it is of a noisome, horrible place, of a tangled mass of trees and undergrowth which had been tossed and flung about in frightful confusion by the shells of both sides. Of the ghastly dead which lay about in all directions, and of DEATH, lurking in every hole and corner with greedy hands ready to snatch the lives of the unwary. The place was a Death trap, and although the attacks were made with great determination, the presence of snipers who could not be detected and often fired into the backs of our men made the clearing of the wood impossible.” 

His death was reported in the Liverpool Evening Express on 17th August 1916

Pte.Henry F.Kelly,of the Pals,son of Mr.and Mrs.Kelly, of 9, Underley-street,Liverpool. A chum writing to Pte.Kelly's parents of his death, said he lived a clean, straight life and died without pain, doing his duty not only to his King and country, but to his God.He was an old scholar of Earle-road Council School.

Henry has no known grave and is amongst the thousands of men commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.

The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. 

On 01st August 1932 the Prince of Wales and the President of France inaugurated the Thiepval Memorial in Picardy. The inscription reads: “Here are recorded the names of officers and men of the British Armies who fell on the Somme battlefields between July 1915 and March 1918 but to whom the fortune of war denied the known and honoured burial given to their comrades in death.”

Harry was remembered by his family on the first anniversary of his death in the Liverpool Daily Post on 11th July 1917:

KELLY - In loving memory of our dear Harry (3rd K.L.R.), killed in action, July 11, 1916.
Gone home.
Our Lord Himself had opened wide the gate for him to come.
And through his blood, accepted and complete,
He dwells with him in his eternal home.
(Sadly missed by Father, Mother, Willie, Mabel and Maggie - 9 Underley Street.

Soldiers Effects to father Joseph W., Pension to mother Ann Elizabeth, 7 Underley St, Edge Hill.

Henry's three medals were received by his father whose sworn declaration in June 1920 showed that Henry had a brother, William Joseph, living in Toronto, Canada; a half-brother, John James, living in Claughton; 3 married sisters living in Liverpool; and two unmarried sisters who lived with their father. 

His father died in the March quarter of 1921, aged 68.

His mother died in the March quarter of 1936, aged 81.

Killed On This Day.

(108 Years this day)
Tuesday 18th July 1916.
Pte 27346 John Mawdsley
34 years old

(106 Years this day)
Thursday 18th July 1918.
Cpl 106108 William Alexander Unsworth
38 years old