Harry Armstrong was born in 1896 in the Yorkshire village of Middleton Tyas, the youngest child of limestone quarryman, William Armstrong from Ovingham in Northumberland and his wife, Annie Armstrong nee Dobson, from Sunderland. Harry and Annie had eight children, one of whom died in childhood. The census return of 1911 recorded the couple, and their son, William, living in Middleton Tyas. The other surviving children had all left home, most had entered domestic service.
The two eldest sons, George and Thomas, were both working as footmen in Hammersmith, London. Shortly after the census was taken Thomas emigrated to New York, and following the end of the war his younger brother, Teasdale, also emigrated. Both fought in the US armed services in World War II. Harry followed his older brothers into domestic service becoming a footman to Capt. Robert Sheriffe at Goadby Marwood Hall.
Harry enlisted in the army at Melton Mowbray on 8th November, 1915. His medical examination record described him as 5 feet 9¼ inches, quite tall compared with many of his comrades. Initially posted to the 10th (2nd Reserve) Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment, he was transferred to the 8th Battalion joining in late March 1916. Harry fought with the ‘Goadby Boys’ at the Battle of the Somme and was killed in action on 15th July, 1916.
He was posthumously awarded the British War and Victory Medals and the 1914/15 Star which were sent to his parents in Middleton Tyas, together with a commemorative scroll. Harry is commemorated at the Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval, France.
Goadby Marwood Hall where Harry was employed as a footman by
Capt. Robert Sheriife. Two of Harry's 'Goadby Boy' comrades, who died in The Great War, also worked at The Hall, Albert Essery (butler) and Harry Bottrill (under-gardener).
CWGC Memorial - Harry Armstrong
To learn more about the individual soldiers of Goadby Marwood who gave their lives for their country follow the links below:
Herbert Scarborough KIA 22 Aug 1915
Harry Bottrill KIA 11 Mar 1916
Cecil Thomas Foister KIA 03 May 1917
William Henry Pizer KIA 17 Aug 1917
Albert Edward Essery KIA 01 Oct 1917
Gerald Edgar Ellis KIA 01 Oct 1917
Harry Armstrong KIA 15 Jul 1916
John Thomas Pears DIED 02 Sep 1918