Harold Stark

Service:                Army

Rank:                    Private

Service No:           27182

Unit:                     1st Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment

Harold was born in Shepton Mallett Somerset in 1892.  He was the 1st child of Thomas & Clara Stark.  In 1901 he was living with mother and 3 siblings at Hudson House, Herbert Street Bristol; his father was probably working away. On the 1911 census the family are still at Herbert Street no 12, the father not recorded with them, Harold’s occupation shown as a shop assistant. In 1912 Harold married Clara Hobbs who was a cardboard box maker at Mardon’s. A son Kenneth was born in 1913 & a daughter in 1914.

In August 1914 the 1st Battalion was stationed in Bordon, part of the 3rd Infantry Brigade, 1st Division, and was among the first British troops to disembark in Le Havre, on 13th August. The battalion saw action in the early battles of the war – Mons and the retreat, the Marne, the Aisne, First Ypres and Givenchy.

 From 12th September 1914 the German Army began to “dig in” on the high ground of the Chemin des Dames ridge on the north bank of the river Aisne. The Germans dug defensive trenches with the intention of securing the position and preventing any further possibility of withdrawal. This battlefield area witnessed the beginnings of entrenched positions and the change from a mobile war to a static deadlock between the opposing forces. From this date the entrenchments would gradually spread along the whole length of the Western Front, would become deeper and more impregnable and would characterize the siege warfare fighting of the Western Front for the following three and a half years.

1st Division continued in the final advance in Picardy and in particular the Battle of the Sambre, in which the Division fought the Passage of the Sambre-Oise Canal 4th November 1918.

Harold died on 5th November 1918, likely of wounds sustained in the previous day’s battle. He is buried and remembered with honour in the Permont British Cemetery Plot III.A.3.

 

Image by the kind permission of CWGC.

Harold was awarded The British War Medal & The Victory Medal.

References

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Wikipedia

The Long, Long Trail

1901& 1911 UK census