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Corporal Harry Beetham Holmes


Harrogate Herald - 24th November 1915

W H Breare letter

You will remember that Lance Corporal H Holmes, son of Mr Harry Holmes, of St Mary's Walk, was wounded some time ago at Ypres by shell in the right leg. For some time he has been in the Bath Hospital, Harrogate. On Friday he came in to see me, looking extremely well. Just a little paler, but full of life, and spirits as ever. He expects shortly to be able to return to the Front. In the meantime he desires to be remembered to all the boys who know him and to wish them the best of luck.


Harrogate Herald - 3rd January 1917

Private E Watson, writing on Christmas Eve, expressed what pleasure the Herald gives him out at the front, and adds : 

I am not the only one who looks forward to your paper, as my bed chum (also a Harrogate chap) shares the pleasure of reading it. His name is A Johnson, of Regent Estate. I have no doubt you will know him. We have been together since enlistment, and we get on very well together, and apart from our rough life we have had some good times. We have met one or two Harrogate fellows since we came out. The first night we arrived in France we were having a walk round when we met Frank Clark, of Skipton Street, which was a great pleasure, also a surprise. I was very sorry to receive news of one of my old chums, Harry Holmes, who was reported missing some time ago. I hope some news has been received of him, also that he is safe and well. We are having dreadful weather at present, raining every day, but we must expect it this time of the year. You will notice my address has changed. I left the last about a week ago. Hoping to receive your paper as regular in future as in the past, and closing with kindest regards and wishing you and your paper every success.


Harrogate Herald - 5th September 1917

Concert Organiser Makes a Great Sacrifice

Corporal H B Holmes, son of Mr & Mrs H A Homes, of Harrogate, who, during the latter part of 1915, spent seven months in the Royal Bath Hospital recovering from wounds, has been officially posted as having been killed in action. After returning to France following upon his discharge from the Royal Bath Hospital, he was reported wounded and missing. While a patient at the Royal Bath Hospital, Corporal Holmes successfully organised a RBH Concert Party. These entertainers gave concerts at Ripon, Boroughbridge, Wetherby, Knaresborough, Starbeck, and Boston Spa, the last concert being given at the Grand Opera House, Harrogate, on March 1st, 1916. So successful were the concerts that the funds of the hospital were augmented by 200. He made many new friends in the district while in hospital.


Harrogate Herald - 5th September 1917

W H Breare letter

On Thursday a message came from the War Office assuming the death of Harry Holmes, who has been missing so long. You will remember that he is the son of Harry Holmes, joiner and builder, who has been long principal alto at St Peter's Church. You see, even yet, there is nothing definite. It is only an assumption after the lapse of time. I for one am still preserving faith.

Speaking of Corporal Holmes reminded me that he was always a good sportsman, and played the game just as he has played it in his last great event. He and Private Harold Carr, who, by the way, has twice been wounded, but now, I am glad to say, all right so far, were very close friends previous to the war, and they have boxed together many a time in Harry Holmes senior's workshop. They little thought at the time how soon they would have to take the gloves off to the Huns.


Harrogate Herald - 5th September 1917

Roll of Honour

We regret to state the Mr & Mrs H A Holmes, of 15 St Mary's Walk, Harrogate, have received an official intimation from the Record Office at York that their eldest son, Corporal Harry Beetham Holmes, of the 1/5th West Yorks, was killed in action on or about September 28th last year. He was reported missing on that date, and was last seen by his comrades, wounded, endeavouring to make his way back to the dressing station.

Mr & Mrs Holmes have received a message of sympathy from their Gracious Majesties the King and Queen, and also a sympathetic expression of regret from the Army Council at the death of Corporal Holmes in his country's service.

Corporal Holmes enlisted in the Harrogate Pals Battalion in August 1914, and after completing his training went to France, and was wounded on August 1st, 1915, as a result of which he was seven months in the Royal Bath (Auxiliary Military) Hospital at Harrogate, from which he was discharged in March of last year. He trained recruits at Clipstone, and afterwards volunteered for active service, and again went out to France in July 1916. He was reported wounded and missing on September 28th of that year, and was acting sergeant at that time. Whilst in hospital at Harrogate, he organised the RBH Concert Party, who gave concerts at Boroughbridge, Wetherby, Knaresborough, Starbeck, Ripon, and Boston pa, the last concert being given at the Grand Opera House, Harrogate, on March 1st, 1915. So successful were the concerts that the funds of the hospital were augmented by 200.


Harrogate Herald - 17th January 1917

H Breeden, acknowledging the Xmas parcel from Mr Ogden and friends, says : 

Please pardon the liberty I am taking in writing to you, but I have just received a parcel, and as I have no idea who the kind donor is, I though you might happen to know. It is really a splendid parcel, and I hope the person who sent it will accept my warmest thanks. The many kindnesses I have received from friends during the last few months make me more than ever resolved to do my bit to the best of my ability. As conductor of the Harrogate Borough Band, I am proud of the part the lads are plying in this war. Some of them have died in France, some have been wounded, and one lad, who was very dear to us all (Harry Holmes), is missing. With such examples before us, I am sure the rest of us will uphold the honour of the old band, whatever par we may be called upon to play. I feel I cannot close this letter without a word of thanks for what you have done, and are doing, for the Harrogate Boys. Your cheery letters in he Herald are like a tonic to us when we are feeling a bit "fed up". I will now close with the hope that the time is not far distant when we shall be back in Harrogate playing for the peace rejoicings.



Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment), 1/5th Battalion

Corporal Harry Beetham Holmes 200603

Born : Harrogate

Enlisted : Harrogate

Residence : Pontefract

Died : 28th September 1916

Killed in action  :  France and Flanders



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