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Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
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
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

L/Cpl 17998 Harold George Bagnall


  • Age: 24
  • From: Liverpool
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 19th Btn
  • K.I.A Sunday 30th July 1916
  • Commemorated at: Thiepval Memorial
    Panel Ref: P&F1D8B &8 C.
Born Harold George Bagnall on 01st March 1892 at 30 Bryanston Road, Toxteth, Liverpool to Stafford born Wine Merchant Manager, Albert Edward Bagnall and Droitwich born Harriet Elizabeth Bagnell (nee Bennett). They married 21 August 1883 in Worcester and had 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls.Harold was their 5th child of 6. He was baptised on 3 April 1892 at St. Michael in the Hamlet Church in Toxteth 
 
At age 5 he was enrolled on 27 April 1897 at Clint Rd Council School by his father listed as a Wine and Spirit Merchant at 66 Prescot Road. On 17 October 1898 he is transferred from Clint Rd Infants to the Juniors.
 
On the 1901 Census aged 10 Scholar Harold is listed with his parents and siblings still at 66 Prescot Rd.
 
On 25 August 1905 he is recorded as leaving Clint Rd School aged 13 reason stated "now working". In fact in September 1905 his father now at 3 Onslow Rd, Fairfield enrols him into the Liverpool Institute High School /Grammar School (where 50 years later George Harrison & Paul McCartney enrolled)
 
1911 Census shows Harold aged 19 at 3 Onslow Rd Fairfield as a Printers Clerk still living with his parents and siblings. 
 
On 01 September 1914 his elder brother by 2 years Albert Edward Bagnall aged 24 years 120 days enlists into the 17th Pals as Private 15147 having previously served in the 6th King's from 1908 to 1912. On 31/08/1915 he was discharged from the King's to attend Officers Training Course with the 89th Infantry Brigade from 21/06/1915. 
 
On 24 September 1914 aged 22 years and 6 months Harold enlisted also in Liverpool into the 19th (Pals) Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment as Private 17998
  •  He was 6 foot 6 inches Tall
  •  weighed 152 lbs 
  • 38 and half inch Chest 
  • Grey Eyes 
  • Brown Hair
  • Religion Church of England 

Formed on 07th September 1914 the 19th Battalion trained locally at Sefton Park and remained living at home or in rented accommodation until November 1914. They then moved to the hutted accommodation at Lord Derby’s estate at Knowsley Hall. On 30th April 1915 the 19th Battalion alongside the other three Pals battalions left Liverpool via Prescot Station for further training at Belton Park, Grantham. They remained here until September 1915 when they reached Larkhill Camp on Salisbury Plain. He arrived in France on 7th November 1915.

His service papers record the following information:

On 04 /12/1914 at Knowsley Camp he received 3 days corporal punishment for disobeying an order.
 
On 16/01/1915 he was promoted to Temporary Lance Corporal 
 
On 05/11/1915 he was promoted to full Lance Corporal 
 
On 06/11/1915 after 1 year 44 days at home, training, he and his Battalion were shipped off to France arriving on 7/11/1915 for the next 266 days of his life.
 
On 20/05/1916 he was admitted to Hospital for 7 days with Influenza 
 
On 27/05/1916 he returned to his Unit
 
On  03/06/1916 he was wounded in combat but remained on duty
 
On 30 July 1916 he was in action with his Battalion at Arrow Head Copse near the village of Guillemont.

19th Battalion Diary 30th July 1916

MALTZ HORN FARM

BATTLE begun. ZERO hour 4:45 am. The Battalion reached its objective, but suffered heavy losses, and had to evacuate its position owing to no reinforcements.

Everard Wyrall gives details of the attack in his book The History of The King’s Regiment; 

"The 2nd Attack on Guillemont- 29th July 1916 the 89th Brigade the 20th King's were to attack on the right and the 19th on the left. During the evening of the 29th the night was dark and foggy when the Battalions moved off and the 19th with Lt Col G Rollo commanding, when passing the South east of the Briqueterie they were heavily shelled first with H E and then with a new kind of asphyxiating Gas shell which had curious results, at first it had no nasty effect but about 8 hrs later men began to fall sick with violent headaches and pains in the stomach. All ranks had to wear gas masks which in the darkness and mist made the going terribly difficult. It was indeed wonderful that they were able to reach their Assembly point at all. But they did and by 2.45 a.m. on the 30th July 1916 the Btn was assembled having suffered about 30 Casualties on the way up ready for the Zero hour at 4.45 a.m.

It is known that the two left Companies of the 19th under Capt. Dodd and Capt. Nicholson advanced in touch with the 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers on their left although they suffered many casualties from Machine gun Fire did not encounter many Germans and reached their final objective about the time allocated, beginning at once to dig in south of the orchard on the South east corner of Guillemont.  

On the left of the 19th the Scots Fusiliers most gallantly forced their way through Guillemont to the eastern side of the village but were soon overwhelmed by the enemy and few returned. 

At 8 a.m. finding that the village was not held the two left Companies of the 19th received no word from the rear or either flank believed themselves to be totally isolated so were forced to fall back and dig in, their position being untenable.

At midday the effective fighting strength of the 19th Btn was just 7 Officers and 43 other ranks" 

When darkness fell on the battlefield the 30th Division held a line from the railway on the eastern side of Trones Wood , southwards and including Arrow Head Copse, to east of Maltz Horn Farm. On this line the division was relieved by the 55th Division during the early hours of the 31st July. 

Casualties in the 19th Battalion were 11 Officers and 435 Other Ranks 

The events of 30th July 1916 were regarded at the time as Liverpool’s blackest day. There follows an extract from The History of the 89th Brigade written by Brigadier General Ferdinand Stanley which gives an indication of the events of the day.

Guillemont

Well the hour to advance came, and of all bad luck in the world it was a thick fog; so thick that you couldn’t see more than about ten yards. It was next to impossible to delay the attack – it was much too big an operation- so forward they had to go. It will give some idea when I say that on one flank we had to go 1,750 yards over big rolling country. Everyone knows what it is like to cross enclosed country which you know really well in a fog and how easy it is to lose your way. Therefore, imagine these rolling hills, with no landmarks and absolutely unknown to anyone. Is it surprising that people lost their way and lost touch with those next to them? As a matter of fact, it was wonderful the way in which many men found their way right to the place we wanted to get to. But as a connected attack it was impossible.

The fog was intense it was practically impossible to keep direction and parties got split up. Owing to the heavy shelling all the Bosches had left their main trenches and were lying out in the open with snipers and machine guns in shell holes, so of course our fellows were the most easy prey.

It is so awfully sad now going about and finding so many splendid fellows gone.         
 
On 05/08/1916 he was reported Missing and his family informed.
 
On 11/09/1916 they placed a request in the Liverpool Echo asking if anyone had information about his whereabouts.
 
On 16/08/1917 a death notice was placed in the Liverpool Echo after the military authorities officially confirmed his death as the previous year. 
 
His body was never found but some of his personal belongings (wallet & notebooks) were found and returned to his father along with his 3 medals. 

Harold is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. He was 24 years of age when he was killed in action. 

His Army pay and War Gratuity was sent to an Annie Lloyd one of the beneficiaries of his Estate in his Will.
 
His elder brother Albert Edward Bagnall survived the war, whilst his eldest brother John Bagnall went on to become Director of the Straits Company and was Knighted in 1936. In February 1942 at the Fall of Singapore, John and a few others avoided capture by the Japanese and escaped in a boat living wild for a month on uninhabited islands on route to Sumatra.
 
Harold's younger sister, Winifred, became Lady Fergusson in 1931 after marrying Sir Ewen MacGregor Field Fergusson they had 2 sons and a daughter. Their eldest and first born was a 2nd Lt in the King's Rifles and became Chairman of Coutts Bank. He was capped 5 times for Scotland in International Rugby Union and he was also Chairman of Rugby School. He became a British Ambassador and was also Knighted in 1987.