Cyril Henry

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Cyril Henry

Postby Jon Orrell » Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:40 pm


Can anyone help with more information concerning Lieutenant Cyril Charles Henry of the 2nd Battalion, aged 21, killed at the battle of Loos on the 26th September, 1915. He has no known grave.

In 1916 Cyril Henry Nursery School was founded in Woolwich as a Day and Night Nursery for children of local munitions workers in the Royal Arsenal. The nursery was funded by Lieutenant Henry’s mother Lady Julia Henry nee Lewisohn who part of a wealthy and philanthropic New York Jewish family. His father was Sir Charles Henry was a baronet and Liberal MP. He was their only child.

The work of the Nursery was depicted in a painting by Sir John Lavery, a WW1 war artist (currently in the Imperial War Museum). The building became a clinic following the war and then reverting to a Nursery during WW2 but always bearing the name Cyril Henry. In 2005 the Nursery was merged with Mulgrave Primary School and moved to new premises. The old building a rather interesting and well maintained wooden bungalow was sold and demolished.

Following this act of municipal vandalism I am anxious that the memory of Cyril Henry and his nearly 90 years of ‘service’ to the people of Woolwich is not forgotten and that the children at Mulgrave School are aware of his history.

There is a fair amount of the family history on the internet including good works by Lieutenant Henry’s parents in the field of education and child welfare. They instigated, by bequest , the Henry Fellowship a scheme similar to the Rhodes Scholarship whereby Oxbridge, Yale, Harvard, and Princetown post graduates are able to study on the opposite side of the ‘pond’. This is still running today.

I would be delighted if you can add further to this history. I have information that Lieutenant Henry was a career soldier and in 1914 was posted to the Colonial Office. He rejoined his regiment the 1st Battalion (your record shows 2nd Battalion) and was killed in action in 1915, ‘perhaps in the action in which the 1st Battalion lost 19 of their 26 officers in a single day.’

Jon Orrell
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Postby scully » Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:06 pm

Hi Jon,

Lieutenant Cyril Charles Henry was originally with the 4th Battalion (Queen's Own) Hussars with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant (on probation). On the 11th May 1915 he was transferred to the Worcestershire Regiment again with the rank 2nd Lieutenant (on probation). He joined the 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment.

On the 26th Sept. 1915 the 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment launched an attack on a quarry which was about 200 yards west of the communications trench "St. Elie Avenue". Some 800 yards further to the west was the village of Cité St. Elie. At nightfall after the attack it was reported that half the battalion had fallen some 13 officers and more than 300 other ranks had been killed or wounded. 4 of the officers were reported as killed and 9 officers reported wounded - initially Lieut. Cyril Charles Henry was one of those reported wounded as he was missing. He was later reported on the 29th September 1915 to be assumed killed as his body was never found.


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Postby allanp » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:40 pm

Hi Jon/Louis

I have found a Lieu C. C. Henry reported Killed in the 15th April 1916 edition of the Worcester Herald. I can only asume that after 6 months he was officially reported Killed.

Regards Allan
12631 Lance Sergt George William Hill. KIA Vimy Ridge, 28 April 1916 3rd Battalion
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