Richard Harris

Labour Corps

Personal Details

Born: 1 July 1884 in Whitchurch, Shropshire and baptised on 6 August 1884.

Family: He was the fourth of five children of Samuel Harris, a tallow chandler, and his wife Emma. He married Elizabeth Fowles in 1911 in Whitchurch and together they had eight children – Edward R, Alfred G, Samuel C, Annie, Susan M, William N, Dorothy M and Cyril J.

Residence: The family were living in Waymills at the time of Richard’s baptism; by 1891 they had moved to Wrexham Road, Whitchurch, Shropshire and the 1901 census showed them living at 168 Wrexham Road. By 1911 Richard had married and was living with his wife and young family at 170 Wrexham Road. This is the address shown for him throughout the rest of his life.

Employment: The 1901 census shows him as a saddler. In 1911 and 1939 his occupation was bricklayer.

Died: In 1962 in Whitchurch, aged 78. He was buried on 24 December 1962 in Whitchurch cemetery.

Military Details

Regiment: Labour Corps (previously Shropshire Light Infantry)

Rank: Private

Service Number: 44689 (previously 5231)

Date of Enlistment: Not known

Date of Discharge: Not known

Reason for Discharge: Not known

Medals and Awards

Richard was awarded the Campaign Medals (British War Medal and Victory Medal).

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

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