Harold Frederick Bath

Harold Bath ©

Harold Bath ©

Date of birth: 1895
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: 331030
Rank: Rifleman
Regiment: Hampshire
Battalion: 1/8th (Territorial Force)
Died: 18th April 1917 aged 21 years
Death location: Gaza





This photograph is © Richard Taunton Sixth Form College. Southampton Cenotaph Families and Friends Group have received permission to reproduce this photograph and extracts from the narrative on the Old Tauntonians’ online War Memorial:http://www.ota-southampton.org.uk/memorial/index.html

Please do not reproduce the photograph or any wording from this page.  If you want permission to use this photograph or narrative please contact the College on email@richardtaunton.ac.uk.


Life before the War

Harold was the eldest of two siblings born to Frederick and Evelyn Isabella, nee Keffen.  Both parents were born in Southampton, Frederick in 1868 and Evelyn in 1873, and they married in the city in 1894.  Frederick was a Master Baker and they lived at 39 Wellington Road, Shirley.

Both parents made at least three return trips to South Africa, but home was in Southampton, where Fredrick held the post of Mayor in 1921.

Frederick passed away in Southampton in 1955 aged 87 years, the couple living at 114 Paynes Road, Shirley at the time.

Harold’s sister, Doris Eva, was born in 1897.  She married Lars Albert Norenius in South Africa in 1922 and the couple settled in Dundee, South Africa.

Evelyn moved to South Africa after the death of her husband, and lived with her daughter’s family until her death on 27th August 1960, aged 87 years.

Doris and her husband both died in South Africa in 1974.

War Service

Harold is shown as enlisting in Canterbury but this is difficult to ratify.  The Battalion was based in Newport, South Wales on 4th August 1914, before moving to the Isle of Wight later that year.

The 1/8th joined the 163rd (Norfolk & Suffolk) Brigade of the 54th (East Anglian) Division and moved to Bury St. Edmunds, before quickly relocating in Watford.

The Division was mobilised for war in July 1915 and embarked on the Aquitania in Liverpool on 30 July, bound for Gallipoli.  They landed at Surla Bay on 9 August and the 163rd Brigade were immediately involved in an attack on Turkish positions on Anafurta Ridge. This action was poorly planned and many men were lost.

Harold lost his life during the Second Battle of Gaza, which left the Turks in charge of the town.

The ruined and deserted city was finally “captured” by the Allied forces on 7 November 1917.

Harold lies in the Gaza War Cemetery, Isreal, Plot XX  Row G  Grave 8.  This Cemetery holds the graves of 3,217 Commonwealth soldiers.


Old Tauntonians’ Memorial Roll

Time at Taunton’s School:  1908 – 1911

Education & Employment:  Harold was born on 7th September 1895 in Southampton.  He attended Freemantle school before joining Taunton’s.

Life during the War:  Harold was born in Southampton and lived in the Shirley / Freemantle part of the town until he joined the army.  His father was a Master Baker, but also a Councillor and later Mayor of Southampton.  Harold served as a rifleman in the 1st / 8th battalion of the Hampshire regiment.  He died during the battle of Gaza.

Harold died on 18th April 1917 aged 21 years.


Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published.: 1st December 2014
Updated: 20th January 2015 with photograph.

If you have any additional information about the person named above please complete the Comments section below.

3 responses to “Harold Frederick Bath

  1. Ruth Ford

    It was really interesting to find this entry. There are a couple of inaccuracies, and I offer the following information for your consideration. Doris Eva Bath was my maternal grandmother. She was Harold Bath’s sister, having been born in 1897. She married my grandfather, Lars Albert Norenius, in 1922, in South Africa, and she settled in Dundee, South Africa after this. Her parents, Frederick and Evelyn Bath continued to live in Southampton. Frederick Bath, my great grandfather, was the mayor of Southampton in 1921. On his death in 1955, Evelyn Isabella, settled with my grandparents in South Africa, and lived with them until her death in 1960. Doris Eva Norenius (nee Bath), and her husband died in 1974. My mother, Doris Helga Taylor (nee Norenius), was the eldest of three children, and she was born in 1924. She died in 1997. She travelled to England several times to visit her grandparents in Southampton. The last time was during 1951 when she spent a year on teacher exchange at Rookesbury Park School. At that stage, the Baths lived at 114 Paynes Road, in Southampton. I know that Harold Bath attended Taunton school, and prior to that attended the choir school associated with Christ Church in Freemantle, Southampton.

    • Ruth Ford

      Just a further note… I’m wondering if Harold attended the choir school at Winchester, rather than the Freemantle one, prior to his time at Taunton School. My mother always said he did, emphasizing that because he was a boy, his parents invested in his education, whereas my grandmother left school at 14, and lived at home until,she married. It would be interesting to know, but being so far away makes it difficult to trace these details.

  2. Ruth Ford

    Hi there,
    I was so interested to read this entry. Wonderful to come across such readable material, and get the background on the soldiers and their families. I sent you a couple of updates yesterday, and include a link to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission with specific details of the home address of Harold Bath. 6 Waterloo Road, not 39 Wellington Road.
    Harold Bath would have been my great-uncle.
    Ruth Ford

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