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  • Christina Drummond

Second Lieutenant Harold Housecroft, 1st Battalion, East Surrey Regiment

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1914, Second Lieutenant Harold Housecroft, 1st Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, was killed at La Bassee on the Western Front.

Educated at the City of London School, he went on to gain a First Class at the College of Preceptors (founded as the Society of Teachers in 1846, it was an examining body and learned society of teachers, professors and associated professionals). He had also been a sergeant in the Cadet Corps. Joining the army immediately war was declared, his commission dated the 14th of August, 1914, he was sent to France and arrived at the Battle of La Bassée, which was being fought by German and Franco-British forces at that time.

On the morning of his death, he left a front firing trench to visit a support trench as he wanted to arrange a better distribution of rations – he managed to avoid sniper fire on the way, but as he reached the support trench he was shot and killed.

He is buried in the Wulverghem-Lindenhoek Road Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Harold, from Balham, had just turned 19 years old.

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