Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1917, Corporal Harry William Hyett, 1st/5th Battalion, the Gloucestershire Regiment, was killed in action at Lempire in France.
One of eleven children of a baker, he gew up living with his grandparents, and after leaving school was employed as a clerk in the office of the Ind Coope brewery in Gloucester. He enlisted in September of 1914 and volunteered for service overseas, while his father enlisted in the Army Service Corps and served on the home front.
On the 29th of March, 1915, Corporal Hyett arrived in France with his battalion. He saw action during the Battle of the Somme in 1916, and in April of 1917 his battalion pursued the enemy as they made a strategic withdrawal towards the Hindernberg Line. On the day of his death the Germans made a stand, and Corporal Hyett’s battalion was involved in an attempt to capture the village of Lempire. Although successful, the battalion suffered fifty-seven casualties, one of whom was Corporal Hyett. It was reported that he was killed instantly by a bullet as he was loading his Lewis gun, and he was remembered as “always very cheerful with a complete devotion to duty”.
Corporal Hyett’s body was recovered and buried at first in La Paurelle British Cemetery at Ronssoy, but after the Armistice his remains were transferred to the Unicorn Cemetery, Vend-huile in France. In the two years after the war four of his siblings died, three being small children, the youngest just six days old; and his brother Edward, who had been born in 1916, was killed in action while serving as a Flying Officer with the R.A.F. in 1943.
Harry, from Ross in Herefordshire, was 22 years old.