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  • Christina Drummond

Lance Corporal Harold Ernest Frank Turner, the Hertfordshire Regiment

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1916, Lance Corporal Harold Ernest Frank Turner, the Hertfordshire Regiment, died from wounds received while on active service in France.

His parents’ eldest son, he had been employed as a watchmaker, and enlisted at the outbreak of the Great War. The day before his death he had been shot in the head by a German sniper - a doctor who had been in the front trenches attended to him almost immediately, but despite efforts to save him he died the following day in Bethune Hospital. Lieutenant and Adjutant A.R. Milne knew his family personally and wrote to his parents to tell them that the regiment lost a good soldier that day, “a cheerful young man I have known in peace and in war.” Many other messages were sent to his parents from officers and comrades alike, one such reads: “Harold, in spite of prompt and every attention, passed away in hospital from the wound received doing his duty for King and country, to protect those he loved at home. We ask that you receive our deepest sympathy with you all in your great sorrow, and pray and trust that He who is able to do all things will comfort you and give you strength to bear this sad trial. It will be a consolation to you to know that he was laid reverently to rest, and that we, with your son Horace, attended the funeral and carried him to his last resting-place. He was respected and loved by us all, and will be very much missed by us, as we had been closely associated with him for so long. We are glad to say that Horace* is bearing up bravely under the strain, and we hope and trust God will give him comfort and strength to return safely home again to his loved ones.” Lance Corporal Turner is buried in the Bethune Military Cemetry, Pas de Calais, in France.

*(Horace, Lance Corporal Turner’s younger brother – at the age of eighteen considered “one of the best” by his commanding officer - did return safely home and passed away in 1965 at the age of sixty-eight.)

Harold, from Bishop’s Stortford, was 19 years old.

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