Alfred Edward Harris

Date of birth: 1876
Place of birth: Southampton
Regiment: Royal Army Medical Corps
Battalion: 39th Field Ambulance
Rank / Service No: Private, 91915
Died: 16th June 1918, aged 41 years
Buried: Baghdad War Cemetery, Iraq (Plot IV, Row B, Grave 4)


Alfred was the fifth of 9 siblings born to Samuel George and Harriett Harris, who married on 25 May 1863 at St. Judes Church in Bristol.


Samuel was born in Bristol in 1842 and he died in Southampton in 1892.

Harriett was born in Southampton in 1843 and she passed away in the city in 1916.



Charles Samuel   b. 1867 Southampton   d. 20 October 1923 Devon   Married Elizabeth Ann Hitchings in Southampton in 1897. Charles died of aortic regurgitation whilst aboard SS Nivose, when laid up on the River Tor in North Devon.

Eliza Rebecca   b. 1869 Southampton   d. 1917 Fareham   Married James John Masterman in Southampton in 1899. Married Robert Clark in Southampton in 1910.

Samuel Walter   b. 1871 Southampton   d. 1899 Southampton

James William   b. 1873 Southampton   d. 1960 Southampton   Married Charlotte Ann Dawkins in Southampton in 1895.

Alfred Edward

Harriet Esther   b. 1878 Southampton   d. 1952 Northallerton   Married Alfred J. McGregor in Southampton in 1929.

Lillian Arabella   b. 1880 Southampton   d. ??   Married George William Hunt in Southampton in 1903. Married George A. Stephens in Southampton in 1945.

Edwin George   b. 1883 Southampton   d. 1966 Southampton   Married Lily Agnes Moody in Eastleigh in 1908.

Sidney Albert   b. 3 September 1884   d. 1957 Surrey   Married Bertha Budd in Southampton in 1908.


Alfred married May Jessie Leah Handcock in Stockwell on 12 August 1917, presumably whilst home on leave from his unit in Iraq.

May was born in 1880 Walsingham, Norfolk and she passed away in Camberwell in 1945; the couple are not known to have had any children.



The 39th Field Ambulance was attached to the 13th (Western) Division when they left for Gallipoli on 13 June 1915, via Alexandria.

The entire Division landed at Anzac Cove between 3 – 5 August 1915.


On 8 January 1916, the Division was evacuated from Helles and, by 31 January, was concentrated near Port Said in Egypt.

On 12 February, the Division began its move to Mesopotamia, joining the force being assembled to try and relieve the besieged garrison at Kut.


The Division took part in all the major actions of 1917 and was part of the force that took Baghdad.


By 28 May 1918, the Divisional HQ had move to Dawalib in northern Iraq, an inhospitable place where temperatures regularly hit 111 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade.

It is probable that Alfred succumbed to sickness, which was rife in Iraq amongst the Commonwealth forces.


Alfred’s headstone reads: “ Gone but not forgotten.”



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 6th September 2016


If you have any additional comments on the person named above, please complete the comments section below.