Harold Henry Salt

Place of Birth                      Burton on Trent. Staffordshire.
Date of Birth                       1891
Service Number                 8881
Rank                                     Private
Regiment                             Durham Light Infantry.
Battalion                              Bandsman.
Died                                      9th August 1915
Death Location                   Ypres.

Family Life Before The War

Harold was born in 1891 in Burton-upon-Trent. Staffordshire. His mother was Elisabeth Ann (Holland) Salt born in Carlton.Nottingham(1874) and his father was James Edwin Salt born in Kedleston. Derbyshire (1867). 

Harolds’ father James Salt started his career as a railway clerk but later became a professional musician for the Municipal Band. In 1901 with Elisabeth they were living at 12 Row 11 in Great Yarmouth.Norfolk. He died in 1923 in Southampton aged 53, he was living at 1A Chilworth Road.Southampton

He had 2 brothers Alfred Edwin Salt (1889) born in Winshill Stafford and  Sidney James Salt born in Great Yarmouth (1908) he left Britain on 26th February 1934 to travel to Hawaii. Alfred also had 2 sisters Hilda Gertrude born in Winshill Staffordshire (1893) and Evelyn Annie born in Winshill Stafford. (1895).

Harolds’ grandfather was Edwin Salt (1829) born in Kedleston Derbyshire – he was a blacksmith and farmer of 156 acres he employed 3 agricultural labourers, his grandmother was Sarah Salt(1836) who was born in Hampshire, they had 3 children – James E(1867) George E(1868)an Eliza (1870). Edwin died in 1881 and Sarah became the owner of the farm and continued to run it.

Harolds’ brother Alfred Edwin moved and lived his life in Southampton until he died in 1986 aged 97. Sister Evelyn Annie married Frederick Penny in Southampton July 1920. In 1911 Hilda Gertrude worked as a domestic and was living at home with her family at No 8. Row 104. Great Yarmouth.

When Harold was killed on 9th August 1915 his mother Elisabeth Ann was living at 53 Warren Avenue.Shirley . Southampton.

Military Service

Harold joined the Durham Light Infantry in 1904 at the age of 14 years, he became a bandsman,and in 1911 he was stationed at Hyderabad Barracks. Military Road and Mersea Road. Colchester. Essex. He served as a Private.

He joined the theatre of war on 8th September 1914 with the Durham Light Infantry and took part in the battles on the Western Front from 23rd August 1914. The front settled into a period of trench warfare. Casualties were extremely high. During the First World War the Durham Light Infantry raised 43 battalions with 22 seeing active service overseas on the Western Front, Italy, Egypt, Salonika and India.

From April 1915 the Germans used poisoned gas into the trenches, this was the first time gas had been used by either side.

During July – August 1915 when Harold was killed, the British had recaptured the trenches at Hooges.
Trench warfare was devastating. Part of the procedure was “Stand To”- a practice all troops were ordered to use.Men had to equip themselves with their kit and to man their posts ready to create an attack, this took place half an hour before dawn, when the men were at their most vulnerable, as the enemy would use the change in the light at dawn to their advantage.

During this time trenches to the south of the Menin road started to see the attacks from the east stopped by defensive fire, but it was then followed by very heavy machine gun and shell fire. The Germans who had captured the crater area at Hooge then went over the Menin Road and attacked the G3 trenches in the rear and from the south. At the same time just above Sanctuary Wood the Germans were launching a flamethrower attack on G1 – a very exposed position – The Sap. The Germans that tried to rush the 20 yards between the trenches were hit by the fire from the British, they then used bombs against the British and again failed.
At the same time in the trenches between Zouave and Sanctuary Woods unbelievable chaos and individual initiative was taking place as bombing, and counter-bombing was taking place.

Since the Second Battle of Ypres Hooge had become the vital point of the Ypres Salient and the focus of attention, bitter fighting took place. Although the British defended and supported here without excessive casualties, the Germans dominated this section

After the chaos of the events of 30th and 31st July it was decided that nothing but a carefully worked-out plan would resolve the impasse at Hooge which existed, bitter fighting, took place with liquid fire being used – as both sides struggled to get maximum benefit. For the British this meant the line could be both defended and supported without excessive casualties.

On 9th August 1915 the line here was recaptured and remained fairly stable until it was lost by the Canadians in June 1916.Harold Salt was killed on this day.He was awarded  the Victory Medal, British Medal and 14th Star.



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