1885 - 1916
CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916
Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916
Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Pte 52804 Harry Abrahams
- Age: 20
- From: Broughton, Manchester
- Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 17th Btn
- K.I.A Thursday 12th October 1916
- Commemorated at: Thiepval Memorial
Panel Ref: P&F1D8B &8 C.
Harry’s Grandparents Moses and Rachel Abrahams were migrant Russian Jews who moved to Prestwich, Manchester in the mid-1860s. Moses was by profession a Photographer and this would be in the early days of photography.
They had 4 children born in Manchester after their arrival there. Their 2nd Child was a Son Levi Abrahams born there in September Quarter 1870.He was also known as Louis or Lewis he became a Merchant in Cotton goods.
In December Quarter 1892 Louis married Sarah Rebecca Simon also sometimes recorded as Simons. They married in Leeds which was Sarah’s home but they lived at 15 Broughton Terrace, Prestwich, Manchester and it was here in June Quarter 1896 their second child Harold Abrahams was born. He had and older sister Beatrice Abrahams born 1893 and a younger brother Alfred Abrahams born 1902
The Kelly's Trade Directory for 1905 shows Louis Abrahams at 26 Sussex Road, Southport.
As per his self-completion of the 1911 Census at 19 Chambres Road, Southport,
Louis lists himself still a Cotton Merchant, his wife Sarah, together with his children, 15 year old scholar Harold and 9 year old scholar Alfred. Presumably 18 year old daughter Beatrice was recorded somewhere else away from home.
Also living with Louis and Sarah was his younger brother Benjamin Abrahams also a Cotton Merchant.
Harry had been educated at the Modern School in Southport and prior to enlisting he was working in his father’s business; Messrs R Abrahams and sons based at 84 Mosley Street, Manchester.
In late 1914 Harold aged 18 appears to have enlisted locally in Southport, strangely under the name Harry Abrahams rather than his full birth name Harold.
His Attestation Papers and Medals Cards haven't survived. However, we know that he joined the 17th Battalion of The Kings Liverpool Regiment as Private 52804.
This was part of the 89th Brigade and after training the 17th was sent to France, alongside the other 3 Battalions of the Liverpool Pals.
In October 1916 Harry and his Battalion took part in The Battle of Flers which was part of The Battle of Le Transloy.
On 12th October 1916 at Zero hour 2.5 p.m. he and his 17th Pals Battalion went over the top into No Man’s Land.
"The extreme left of the 17th found the Enemy's barbed wire uncut, which held up the progress of the assaulting troops, during which hostile machine gun fire took a heavy toll of the attackers, who were because of the lay of the land silhouetted, making them easy targets and they finally forced back to their original trenches!
Generally, the attack was an utter failure, largely caused by the skill which the Enemy employed his machine guns.
These had not been put out of action by our Artillery Barrage that morning, because of the Mud, they could not be brought forward enough distance and were firing short onto our own troops. During the afternoon the supporting Battalion, the 20th Pals Kings arrived and preceded to consolidate the small gain of some 150 yards taken by some of the 17th Btn who were relieved by Pals 19th and 20th Btn’s during the night of the 12th/13th October 1916"
Their Losses had been very heavy:-
6 Officers and 38 Other Ranks were Killed in Action that afternoon including 20 year old Harry Abrahams.
Also 5 other Officers and 225 Other Ranks were Wounded or Missing.
Harry’s body was not recovered from the battlefield or was subsequently lost and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme at Pier and Face 1 D 8B and BC.
The UK Army Register of Soldiers Effects are the only Military Record surviving for Harry Abrahams. It shows, sadly, that they sent 8 Shillings and 9 Pence to his Father Louis a year later in November 1917 from the Preston Depot.
A War Gratuity W5070 was authorized 9 July 1919
Grateful thanks are extended to Alan Chapman for the detailed biography