Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1917, Able Seaman Harry Robert Hamblin, Drake Battalion, the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, died of wounds received in action on the Western Front.
One of a family of five children, he had worked as a railway porter before enlisting in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in November of 1915. Just over a year later he joined the Drake Battalion and was sent to the front. Suffering from trench foot in January of 1917, Able Seaman Hamblin was invalided home, and returned to the fighting at the end of July.
On the day of his death he was wounded by shellfire, suffering two broken femurs and other wounds. He was being taken to 149th Field Hospital but was reported to have passed away on the journey. The lieutenant commanding his section wrote to Able Seaman Hamblin’s mother expressing his deepest sympathy. He also told her that her son had been conscious when the stretcher bearers took him from the trench, and how those present had hoped that he would be all right. The officer wrote “Your son bore his wounds magnificently, and was awfully plucky. He said he would bear up because he was an Englishman. I am sorry I did not know him more, for I know tht a man who could die as he did was worth knowing.” He lies buried in the Point du Jour Military Cemetary at Athies, near Arras in France.
Harry, from Bury in Lancashire, was 20 years old.