Private Harry Sydney Fillmore

Date of Birth 5 April 1897
Age at Death 20
Date of Death 9 April 1917
Service Number 23702
Military Service 9th Battalion East Surrey Regiment
Merton Address 1 Hillside, Wimbledon
Local Memorial Wimbledon Parish Church

Additional Information

Harry was born on 5 April, 1897 and baptised at St. Mark’s Church, Surbiton. The son of Henry and Kate Fillmore, he had two younger siblings, Victor and Doris. Harry’s father was an oil and Italian warehouseman, who stocked imported goods like olive oil, fruit and perfumes. By 1911 the Fillmore family had moved from 18 Ewell Road, Surbiton and settled at 1 Hillside in Wimbledon.

Following the outbreak of war, Harry enlisted as a private in the 7th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment. His unit was sent to France in June 1915 and fought in the Battle of Loos in September that year. This was the first time that British forces had deployed poison gas – unfortunately changing wind direction blew much of the chlorine vapour back over British lines, with disastrous effect.

Harry’s unit took part in some of the major offensives of the First World War, including the Battle of the Somme (July – November 1916) and the Battle of Albert (1 – 13 July 1916.) The 7th Battalion East Surreys also fought with distinction at the Battle of Arras (9 April – 16 May 1917.) Sadly on the first day of the offensive Harry was killed in action. He is buried at Ste. Catherine British Cemetery in the Pas de Calais region of France. His name also appears on a monumental inscription at Wimbledon Parish Church.


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