Date of birth: 3rd quarter 1894
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: 240573
Regiment / Division: Hampshire Regiment
Battalion: 1/4th (T/F.) Battalion
Died: 21st January 1916 aged 22 years
Death Location: Mesopotamia
Before the War
Harold was born in 1894 to Bernard (25/05/1855 – 14/05/1926) and Louisa Eliza Copp (nee Gordon 13/08/1857 – 07/05/1945). His parents were married in Southampton on18th September 1889. Harold’s father was a Captain in the Merchant Service.
Harold’s siblings were:
William Bernard (1890 – 25/09/1915)
Edna Lyddon (1898)
Lorna Lyddon (1903 – 02/02/1961) Married James Royle in Hove, Sussex in 1948.
William served in the Devonshire regiment and was killed in action in France on 25th September 1915. He is named on the Cenotaph and Memorial Wall.
On the 1901 Census Harold and his family are living at ‘Beechbourne’, Regents Park, Southampton.
His father is now retired from the Merchant Service.
On the 1911 Census the family is living at ‘Mayberry’, Regents Park, Southampton. Harold is employed as an assurance clerk and his brother William is a bank clerk. Edna and Lorna are at school.
When he died Harold was serving in the 1/4th (T.F.) Battalion. This was part of Hampshire Brigade in the Wessex Division which was a formation of the Territorial Force. The battalion sailed to India and landed at Karachi on 11th November 1914. On 18th March 1915 the battalion landed at Basra and remained in Mesopotamia and Persia for the rest of the war.
Harold was killed in action on 21st January 1916 in Mesopotamia. This was the date of the Battle of Hanna, which was part of the siege of Kut-al-Amara (7 December 1915 – 29 April 1916). 2700 British troops were killed or wounded at Hanna.
Harold was awarded Victory, the British War and the 1914 – 1915 Star Medals.
Harold is remembered at the Basra memorial. Panel Reference Panel 21 and 63. The Memorial was originally located on the main quay of the naval dockyard at Maqil, which is north of Basra, but was moved during Saddam Hussein’s regime. This was a huge undertaking as the entire Memorial was re-erected. It is now located in what was a major battleground during the first Gulf War, along the road to Nasiriyah. More than 40500 members of the Commonwealth forces, who died in Mesopotamia between 1914 and 1921, are commemorated here.
A two volume Roll of Honour has been produced which lists all casualties buried and commemorated in Iraq. These volumes are on display at the Commission’s Head Office in Maidenhead and are available for the public to view.
Brother William’s War Service
When he died William was serving in the 8th (Service) Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment. On 26th July 1915 the Battalion landed at Le Havre, France and on 4th August 1915 came under orders of the 20th Brigade, 7th Division. The 7th Division took part in the initial assault at the Battle of Loos which started on the 25th September 1915. Gas was used for the first time by the British at this Battle and many of their own troops suffered from the affects because the wind blew the gas in their direction. William was killed in action on the 25th September 1915, the first day of the Battle.
Please select the link to William’s name if you would like to read more of his story.