A Rifle Volunteer who re-enlisted into the Territorial Force
Served in Ireland and arrived in February 1917; killed in action in December 1917
Harry Slack was an original member of “E” Wirksworth Company and enlisted in April 1908 having served with the 2nd Volunteer Battalion. He served in No. 4 Section of 2/Lt Francis Edward WIntle’s Left Half Company.
Harry was transferred to the 2/6th Battalion and after serving in Ireland proceeded to France with them in February 1917. He was killed in action on the 1st December 1917 during the Battle of Cambria. He was aged 32 and the Son of Mr and Mrs William Slack of Rise End, Middleton, Wirksworth in Derbyshire. Harry has no known grave and is Commemorated on the The CAMBRAI MEMORIAL at Louverval.
War Diary entry for the 1st and 2nd December 1917 describing the German attack on the British front line positions.
Defensive positions of the 2/6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters during the 1st and 2nd December 1917. The location of the old German front line is indicated by white circles, whereas the Flank (F) and Reserve (R) Companies are indicated by white boxes. Harry was most likely killed during the German attack on these positions.
A view down the sunken road at R.15.B.3.2. where the ‘flanking’ Company of the 2/6th Battalion held off the German attack.
Memorial Plaque or “Dead Man’s Penny” issued to Harry’s next of kin
In total 2/Lt Harry Herbert Hall and 29 NCOs and men were killed during these two days of fighting. The body of Harry Hall was removed at the time and he is now buried in Sunken Road Cemetery in Villers-Plouich, whereas the bodies of his men were not and they are all Commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial at Louverval.
For a full list of men killed in action see here – 1st-december-1917 Casualties.
Interestingly, of the 29 men killed in action, 16 were men that had originally arrived with the 2/6th Battalion in France in February 1917 and have a 24**** Regimental Number.