Harry Ormerod


Acting Serjeant L/904
Royal Field Artillery

Harry was born in Burnley on 3 October 1888, the son of John Ormerod and Mary Ann Alice (née Sykes). His ancestry can be traced back through the Ormerods of Foxstones.

Although christened Henry he was known as Harry throughout his life.

He is shown living at 103 Brunshaw Rd, Burnley, at the time of the 1891 Census, and was living at 101 Brunshaw Rd, Burnley, at the time of the 1901 Census.

Harry was a Sergeant during the First World War, in the Accrington and Burnley Howitzer Brigade, in which he enlisted on 18 February 1915.

Harry won the Distinguished Conduct Medal during this conflict, and served in France between 1 February 1916 and 1 April 1919.

The following information is taken from the London Gazette (2 September 1919):
"L/304 . Cpl. H. Ormerod, C/157th Bde., R.F.A. (Burnley).
During the period 25th February to 16th September, 1918, he has shown great gallantry and devotion to duty, and has done most excellent work, particularly when his battery was heavily shelled at Poelcapelle on 25th February 1918, he showed the utmost disregard of his own safety, controlling his gun detatchment and keeping his gun in action. Again on 26th March, near Bray, he was left in charge of a gun, fighting a rearguard action. Though under heavy shell fire he continued in action until he had finished his ammunition, inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy, and then retired as ordered."

The 157th Brigade, R.F.A. was attached to the 35th Division, a New Army Division, from its formation in April-May 1915.
Harry's Statement of the Services gives his unit as C Bty, 158th RFA, which was also attached to the 35th Division.

Harry's brother, Herbert Ormerod, also served with the Royal Field Artillery during the First World War.

Distinguished Conduct Medal

The D.C.M. is a rare and coveted medal awarded to Army N.C.O.'s and men for bravery in the field. It dates from 1854. It is sometimes given when a V.C. is almost, but not quite justified.