Walter Harris was the son of Walter and Elizabeth Harris of Halesowen and was born on the 26th December 1878. He was educated at Old Swinford Hospital, Stourbridge, and apprenticed to W. Hughes, a printer, in 1893. He was married to Ida Florence by 1914 and living at 32 Offmoor, Halesowen. He enlisted after 1916 and was serving in 1918 in the 54th Battalion (Central Ontario Regiment) of the Canadian Infantry. The Canadians fought with great energy and Walter Harris was part of their great success in the 1918 Advance to Victory. On the 2nd September they broke through the Hindenburg Line extension but were then faced with crossing the fortified Canal du Nord, the strongest section of the Hindenburg Line. Their attack began on the 27th and went on until the 30th September when they captured the Canal. Two Victoria Crosses were awarded to men of the 54th Battalion and the Division took 5,500 prisoners. However, Private Walter Harris was killed in action on the 27th September and is buried in Quarry Wood Cemetery, Sains les Marquion (II C 3). He was 39 years of age and his name is commemorated on the Halesowen Memorial and on the Roll of the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.
ST JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH,High St,Halesowen,Dudley,West Midlands,B63 3BB,England, B63 3BB
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