Private Henry James Gover

Date of Birth 13 May 1875
Age at Death 40
Date of Death 28 September 1915
Service Number 2854
Military Service 1/23 Battalion London Regiment
Merton Address 46 Inglemere Road, Gorringe Park, Mitcham
Local Memorial Mitcham War Memorial

Additional Information

Born on 13 May 1875 and baptised at St. Luke’s Church, Chelsea, Henry was the eldest child of Henry and Rebecca Gover. The couple also had four younger children - Albert, Martha, Ellen, and Elizabeth. Initially the family lived in Christ Church Road, Chelsea but later moved to Palmerston Street, Battersea. Henry’s father worked as a blacksmith and engine smith, but sadly died at some point between 1883 and 1891. His widow, Rebecca, then began work as a charwoman, or cleaner in order to support her young children. By the time Henry was 15, he and his brother were also supplementing the family income by working as errand boys.

Henry married Ellen Green at St. George’s, Hanover Square, London in 1897. The couple set up home at 2 Vanderbilt Road, Wandsworth, but later moved to a four room house at 46 Inglemere Road, Mitcham. They did not have any children. Henry worked as a blind maker but joined the army on 15 March, 1915, becoming a private in the 23rd battalion, 1st London Regiment. His unit was sent to serve in France and Flanders soon afterwards.

Henry and his unit would have seen action at the Battle of Festubert in the Artois region of France (15 – 25 May, 1915). This was a concentrated assault on German trenches in an attempt to capture Aubers Ridge. Over 16,000 British and Commonwealth troops died during the battle. The 1/23 London Regiment also fought in the Battle of Loos (25 September – 14 October). This was the largest British offensive of 1915 and involved a combined British and French assault on German defences in Artois and Champagne. After three days of fighting, Henry was killed in action on 28 September 1915. His body was never identified.

Henry is commemorated on the Loos Memorial in the Pas de Calais region of France. His name also appears locally on the Mitcham War Memorial and on a wooden memorial plaque at St. Barnabas Church, Mitcham.


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