Lance/Corporal Harold Couch MM
439920 Royal Engineers 42nd Div Sig Coy
Killed in Action 28th October 1918, aged 25
Lived at 53 North Street
Buried in Belle Vue Cemetery, France
Original Grave photograph
St.Andrews Memorial, Burnley
Commemorated on the Cameron Mill Memorial
Burnley Express 9th November 1918 - 9th November 1918 - 15th November 1919


formerly 1998 East Lancashire Royal Field Artillery, 42nd Divisional, Signal Company
Son of Philip and Mary Ann Couch, of 53 North Street Burnley, Born & resided Burnley, enlisted Blackburn.
The Military Medal for bravery was awarded 17th June 1919 in the London Gazette.


PROMISING CAREER CUT SHORT Heroic Devotion to Duty. (Burnley Express 09/11/18)

In the death of Lance Corporal (Signaller) Harold Couch, 439920, Royal Field Artillery, the town has lost one of its most promising young men. He was a weaver at Grey’s Cameron Mill, but in his younger days, always of a studious nature he was a student at the textile classes at the Burnley Technical School, and won high honours, ending by “passing out” of Manchester College, thus qualifying for the position of manager, which he would probably have attained to but for the war.
At Whitsuntide 1915, he regarded it as the duty of all young men to help their country, and volunteered, joining up at once. Going out to Egypt at Christmas 1915, he spent twelve months in the desert, and saw service in Palestine, after which he was drafted to France, where he has been for a year and ten months. In that period he was twice slightly gassed, and was wounded slightly the Monday before he was killed.
On joining the Forces he was a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery (Blackburn), and was transferred to a signaller, passing first class while in Egypt, and later while in France, he was transferred to the Royal Engineers, but still attached as a signaller in the Royal Field Artillery. The deceased soldier, who was 25 years of age in September was the older of two sons, and was highly respected.
Mr & Mrs Couch, who reside at 53 North Street, have received beautiful letters of sympathy, etc, from his Officer, Chaplain, and a comrades bearing testimony to the respect in which he was held by the Battery, and giving details of the sad event. The Reverent C. R. Duppey, stated that the soldier was killed early in the morning of October 23rd. They were living in a large cellar, or basement and the writer was in the next room. There was a heavy shelling, and a shell went through the roof and splinters spread and killed Lance Corporal Couch instantly. He was a favourite with everyone, being always bright. “Only on the previous Saturday,” the Chaplain writes, “I went with him and his Officer to within a short distance of our front line, preparing for an important and difficult piece of work the next day which was duly carried through, and all were delighted when all engaged came back safely. Your son did splendidly. He was hit by a splinter, but not much hurt, and to the end carried on his work as cheerfully as ever. The brightness of your boy’s life will be an inspiration to others”.
Second Lieutenant Wilson wrote:-“I was struck by the splendid way he worked, and he was killed after over 56 hours of splendid work, and devotion to duty. On the 22nd he went out with me following up the infantry for information and risking his life many times. He was a splendid fellow, and his loss grieves me as much as the rest of the boys.”
Bombardier Benvie said he had lost a friend indeed “to meet him was one of the bright spots in my life, and I have lost that which promised to be a life long friendship.”
The deceased soldier attended St Andrew’s Church and Sunday School, and was on the roll of honour. A memorial services to be held tomorrow morning. He was home on leave seven weeks ago, and sent home a postcard the day before he was killed.
Lance Corporal Couch is the fifth member of the family to lose his life, and Mr & Mrs Couch have eight nephews serving, and other relatives still serving.



ROLL OF HONOUR
COUCH-Killed in action, October 23, 1918, Lance Corporal (Signaller) Harold Couch, 439920,
East Lancashire Engineers, attached Royal Field Artillery, aged 25 years.

In our home you are fondly remembered,
Sweet memories cling round your name;
True hearts that way always loved you,
Will always be the same.
-From sorrowing Farther, Mother, and Brother, 53, North Street.

 

 

 

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