Menu ☰
Liverpool Pals header
Search Pals

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 21413 Harold Kingston

  • Age: 23
  • From: Sandbach, Cheshire
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 19th Btn
  • K.I.A Tuesday 11th July 1916
  • Commemorated at: Bernafay Wood Brit Cem
    Panel Ref: A.9
Pte 21413 Harold KINGSTON, 19th Battalion KLR.

Harold was born on 26th November 1892 in Sandbach, Cheshire, the eldest son of James Kingston, a butcher, and his wife Annie Maria (nee Lovatt) who were married 26th September 1888 at St Mary’s, Nantwich. He was baptised on 21st October 1896 at the Wesleyan Methodist church, Barthomley, Sandbach.

The 1901 Census shows that the family lived at the Butchers Shop, High Town, Sandbach. His father James is aged 37 born Willaston, and is shown as a butcher by trade and lives with his wife Annie 39 born in Nantwich, and three sons – Harold, Fred aged 5 and newborn Kenneth. They employ a general servant and a butcher. Their daughter, Ada, born 1890 is shown at her maternal grandparents’ home in Willaston.

In 1905, Harold became a pupil at Sandbach Grammar School, High Town, Sandbach.

By 1911 the family have moved and are living at 58 Eastbourne Road, Birkdale, Southport. His father, James, aged 47 is still a butcher, his mother is 49. They state that they have been married for 22 years and have had five children, one of whom had died. Harold now aged 18 is a butcher’s assistant. Also listed are his elder sister Ada 21 and his two younger brothers Fred a 15 year old grocer's apprentice and Kenneth aged 10.

His father James died in the March quarter of 1913, aged 49. His death was registered in Ormskirk.

Harold enlisted on 24th September 1914 in Liverpool as Private 21413 joining the 19th Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment. He gave his age as 21 years 303 days and his occupation as draper’s assistant. He was described as being 5’ 5” tall, weighing 112lb (just 8 stone), with a sallow complexion, brown eyes and dark brown hair. He stated his religion as Church of England.

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.

His record shows that he was in hospital in France suffering from influenza between March and 21st May 1916, when he rejoined his Unit. 

Harold was yet another of those presumed to have been killed at Trones Wood on 11.07.1916. His record shows that he was believed to have been wounded on 11th July and then reported missing.

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.”

On 11.07.1916 he was reported as having been wounded and taken to a Field Ambulance but was subsequently reported missing.

He was reported as wounded in the Liverpool Daily Post on 28th August 1916;

Private H. Kingston, Pals, Cemetery Road, has been wounded.

Attempts to identify the Field Ambulance failed but the War Office subsequently wrote to Mrs Kingston to inform her that her son’s grave had been located ¾ mile east of Montauban and 2 ½ miles west of Combles and he was now officially declared dead.

Harold now rests at Bernafay Wood British Cemetery Grave A 9. It is likely that he was initially buried in Bernafay Cemetery North, which came into use in July 1916, and following the Armistice was moved to his present location.

Montauban village was taken by the 30th and 18th Divisions on 1 July 1916 and it remained in Commonwealth hands until the end of March 1918. It was retaken on 25 August 1918 by the 7th Buffs and the 11th Royal Fusiliers of the 18th Division. The Bois De Bernafay is a pear-shaped wood close to the east end of Montauban village. It was taken on 3 and 4 July 1916 by the 9th (Scottish) Division. On 25 March 1918, in the retreat to the Ancre, the same Division was driven from the wood but recaptured it for a time. On 27 August 1918 it was finally regained by the 18th Division. The cemetery was begun by a dressing station in August 1916 and used as a front-line cemetery until the following April. It contained at the Armistice 284 burials but was then increased when graves were brought in from Bernafay Wood North Cemetery and from the battlefields immediately east of the wood. BERNAFAY WOOD NORTH CEMETERY was opposite the North edge of the wood, a little East of the Longueval - Maricourt road. It was begun by an Advanced Dressing Station, and used from July to October 1916. It contained the graves of 80 soldiers from the United Kingdom and 1 German prisoner. Bernafay Wood British Cemetery now contains 945 burials and commemorations of the First World War. 417 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 11 soldiers known or believed to be buried here. Other special memorials commemorate 12 soldiers buried in Bernafay Wood North Cemetery whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

Soldiers Effects and Pension to mother Annie M.

The Declaration signed by his mother following his death shows that his immediate relatives are his mother, living at 24 Cemetery Road; his two brothers - as Frederick, living with his mother, and Kenneth, living in Middlesborough with their sister, Ada. 

Harold had no effects but his 3 medals were sent to his mother in May 1919. 

Harold is commemorated on the following Memorials:

Southport Civic Memorial

SS Philip & Pauls C. of E. Church, Southport

He is also commemorated on the family grave at St Mary’s, Sandbach


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