Harrison J.C.


35387 Private John Chapman Harrison, 12/13th battalion, the Northumberland Fusiliers was killed in action 4 January 1918 and is buried at Heudicourt Communal Cemetery Extension, France.[1]  He was 22 years old and is commemorated on the Etherley War Memorial and the Roll of Honour in St. Cuthbert’s Church, Etherley.

Family Details

John Chapman Harrison was born 1895[2] at Woodside, near Witton Park the son of Robert and Sarah Harrison.  There were at least 11 children:[3]

  • Jane bc.1881 at Bishop Auckland
  • James bc.1883 at Bishop Auckland
  • Robert bc.1887 at Bishop Auckland
  • Margaret bc.1888 at Witton Park
  • Allan bc.1891 at Witton Park
  • Mary bc.1892 at Witton Park
  • Alice bc.1893 at Woodside
  • Thomas bc.1895 at Woodside
  • John Chapman born 1895 at Woodside
  • Edith bc.1896 at Woodside
  • Doris bc.1902 at West Auckland

By 1901, the family lived at Etherley where Robert was employed as a colliery carpenter/joiner. [4] By 1911, Robert was a widower and his daughter 23 year old Margaret was the housekeeper.  Robert worked as a colliery joiner and 15 year old John worked as a joiner for a builder.[5]  By 1922, Robert Harrison lived at Street House, High Etherley.[6]

Service Details

John Chapman Harrison enlisted at Bishop Auckland into the Durham Light Infantry being given the regimental number 3529.[7]  Later, he was transferred to the 12/13th Northumberland Fusiliers.  Private J.C. Harrison did not enter France until after 31 December 1915.[8]

The 12th (Service) and 13th (Service) Battalions Northumberland Fusiliers were formed at Newcastle in September 1914 as part of K3, Kitchener’s New Army and came under the orders of the 62nd Brigade 21st Division.  The 62nd Brigade comprised the following units:

  • 12th (Service) Bn., Northumberland Fusiliers
  • 13th (Service) Bn., Northumberland Fusiliers
  • 8th, East Yorkshire Regiment left November 1915
  • 10th, Yorkshire Regiment disbanded February 1918
  • 1st, Lincolnshire Regiment joined November 1915
  • 62nd Machine Gun Company joined March 1916 left to move into 21st MG Battalion February 1918
  • 62nd Trench Mortar Battery joined June 1916
  • 3/4th, the Queens August 1917 to February 1918
  • 2nd Bn, Lincolnshire Regiment joined February 1918

In September 1915 the 21st Division landed in France and served on the Western Front for the remainder of the war, taking part in many of the significant actions: [9]

25 September – 8 October: The Battle of Loos

1 – 13 July: The Battle of Albert*
14 – 17 July: The Battle of Bazentin Ridge*
15 – 22 September: The Battle of Flers-Courcelette*
25 – 28 September: The Battle of Morval* in which the Division captured Geudecourt
1 – 18 October: The Battle of Le Transloy*
Battles marked * are phases of the Battles of the Somme 1916

14 March – 5 April: The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line

9 – 14 April: The First Battle of the Scarpe**
3 – 4 May: The Third Battle of the Scarpe**
20 May – 16 June: The flanking operations around Bullecourt**
Battles marked ** are phases of the Arras offensive 1917

10 August 1917: the 12th and 13th Battalions amalgamated becoming the 12/13th Battalion.[10]

26 September – 3 October: The Battle of Polygon Wood***
4 October: The Battle of Broodseinde***
26 October – 10 November: The Second Battle of Passchendaele***
Battles marked *** are phases of the Third Battles of Ypres

30 November – 3 December: The Cambrai Operations

21 – 23 March: The Battle of St Quentin+
24 – 25 March: The First Battle of Bapaume+
Battles marked + are phases of the First Battles of the Somme 1918

Private J.C. Harrison’s service record has not been researched therefore it is not possible to record with any certainty where he served.  He was killed in action 4 January 1918 along with 20087 Corporal Ralph Hall.  There was no major battle taking place at this time therefore it is likely that they were victims of the usual violence of warfare – hit by shell fire, machine gun fire or sniping.

Private J.C Harrison was awarded the British War and Victory medals.[11]


Private J.C. Harrison is buried at grave reference F.5 Heudicourt Communal Cemetery Extension and Corporal Hall is buried at F.6.  Private J. C. Harrison’s father Robert organised for his headstone to be inscribed:

“Rest in Peace”

There are 85 burials.[12]


[1] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[2] England & Wales Birth Index 1837-1915 Vol.10a p.195 Auckland 1895 Q4

[3] 1901 & 1911 census

[4] 1901 census

[5] 1911 census

[6] CWGC

[7] Soldiers Died in the Great War

[8] Medal Roll card index

[9] www.1914-1918.net/21div.htm & http://www.warpath.orbat.com

[10] http://www.1914-1918.net/northfus.htm

[11] Medal Roll card index

[12] CWGC


HARRISON J.C. Headstone


HARRISON J.C. Medal Roll

Medal Roll

One thought on “Harrison J.C.

  1. Pingback: ETHERLEY | The Fallen Servicemen of Southwest County Durham

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