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1878 - 1937


Photograph of William

Parents: William Harrison, a Blacksmith and Ellen (nee Barr). William was born in Foleshill on the 16th Dec 1878, but no christening has yet been found.


Early Years: William was one of 4 children, having 3 brothers. As a toddler he lived at Courthouse Green in the district of Foleshill, 2 and 1/2 miles north of Coventry centre, but soon moved a short distance to Church Lane, Bell Green.

Occupation: Coal Miner until he lost an arm in the war. His death certificate states he was then a Night Watchman at a Motor works.

Marriage : At the age of 23 he married his childhood friend Gertrude Rawson SMITH, from Bell Green, on 26th Apr 1902 at St. Laurence's Church, Foleshill, Coventry. The witnesses were W.Harrison and L.Wilmott.

In the First Great War William enlisted in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (now known as The Royal Greenjackets) and fought in the historic battle of the Somme. He was wounded twice. The first time he received a bullet in the leg and the second time he had an arm blown off.

Later he earned the nickname of "Roguey" due to his liking for ale.

Children: The couple had 8 children:

Walter Leonard 28th Nov 1903 'Len' marr. Mabel Ashford in 1928. One daughter, Jean
Ellen 20th Apr 1905 'Nell' marr. Norman French in 1927. Children Doreen and Graham.
Elsie 22nd Jan 1906 Elsie marr. George Cakebread in 1929 ... sons Ronald and Dennis
Hilda Gertrude 1909 Hilda marr.Sidney Alsop in Sep QTR 1931..dau. Dianne
Margery 1910 Died at age of 8 in Sep QTR 1918, reg at Coventry.
Charles William 10 Oct 1911 'Bill' marr. Edith Ison in Sep QTR 1935..children Clive, Maurice, Sylvia
Gertrude 29th Oct 1913 'Gert' mar. Edward C. Cooper in Dec QTR 1937...children David, Marion and James
Dorothy 1919 'Dolly' married Leonard Pittaway in 1941. One son James.

Known Places of Residence:
William lived at Bell Green for much of all his life until he later moved a short distance nearer to the centre of Coventry. After their marriage the couple lived at 110 Church Lane, in the district of Foleshill about 3 miles north of Coventry centre.
They stayed in Church Lane but had moved to number 68 from 1914-1927.
By 1930 they had moved again to 6 Ordnance Road, much nearer to Coventry centre, where they stayed until his death.

Death: William died aged 59 in March 1937, and was buried at Windmill Road Cemetary, Longford in Grave 42 E.

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