Topic: Harry Brian Fletcher

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Harry Brian Fletcher (Service no. 2/1345) was a First World War soldier with links to Sumner

Harry was born Thursday 13August 1885, the youngest child of John Johnston Fletcher (the Owner/partner of Fletcher, Humphreys and Co., Cathedral Square, Christchurch) and Frances Ann Fletcher (nee Stamper) of South Devon, England. Harry had 5 siblings; Florence (b.1865), Edwin (b. 1866), Caroline Mabel (b.1869), Kathleen Muriel (b. 1878), and Constance Ruby (b. 1881).

At the time of his enlistment, on the 15 February 1915, Harry was a single 29 year old Anglican man. He was described as being 5’6 ½” tall with a fair complexion, Brown hair and Blue eyes, and a scar on his left calf near the knee. Harry was an old boy of Christ College Christchurch.  He worked in Christchurch as a Marine Engineer for the British India Steam co. (of Bombay) and lived in Head Street, Sumner.

On enlistment Harry was assigned to 5th Battery 2nd Brigade of the New Zealand Field Artillery and was promoted to the rank of Bombardier on 25 February 1915. The Brigade trained at Trentham before departing from Wellington on HMNZT-22 Knight Templar  on 17 April 1915 in convoy with Willochra (HMNZT 21) and Waitomo (HMNZT 23) and arrived in Egypt on 25 May. They then embarked for the Dardanelles on 20 August. On 3January 1916 they were evacuated back to Alexandra aboard HT Novian before embarking for France on 7 April aboad the HMT “Eboe”.

Bombardier Harry Fletcher was wounded in action in the field on 17 October 1916 where he received a compound fracture to the femur.  He was transferred by 37th Field Ambulance to the Casualty Clearing Station on the 18 October and then to the St John Ambulance Brigade Hospital in Étaples on 20 October. Two days later he was transferred to the Hospital Ship Cambria bound for the London General Hospital, England, where he died on October 25 from his wounds, a secondary haemorrhage and shock. He was 31 years of age.

Bombardier Harry Fletcher was buried on 28 October 1916 in the Kensal Green Cemetery London (Grave no.10 sq213 Row 5).

He was posthumously awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and  the Victory Medal which were delivered to his mother Mrs Frances Ann Fletcher in October 1923. 

Harry is remembered on the Sumner war memorial.

 

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Harry Brian Fletcher


First Names:Harry Brian
Last Name:Fletcher
Place of Birth:Christchurch New Zealand