Private Harry Duffell

Harry Duffell

Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.

Harry Duffell Birth Registration Transcription
Harry Duffell Baptism Certificate

Harry Duffell was born in the 2nd quarter of 1893 in Dorking, Surrey to Henry and Mary Ellen (nee Stemp). He was baptised on 9th July 1893 at St John’s church, North Holmwood, Surrey. At the time of the baptism, the family resided in Holmwood and Henry was working as a labourer.

Harry’s father Henry was born on 10th July 1862 in Leatherhead, Surrey to shepherd and labourer Jonathan, born about 1824 in Betchworth, Surrey and Mary, born about 1825 in Shere, Surrey. Henry was baptised on the 16th of August 1862 at St Mary & St Nicholas’s church in Leatherhead. His mother Mary Ellen was born in the 4th quarter of 1867 in Westcott, Surrey to labourer Allen, born about 1840 in Cranleigh, Surrey and Mary, born about 1842 in Dorking. Mary Stemp was baptised on 12th January 1868 in Westcott. During the 1881 Census, Mary was a servant to beer-house keeper Richard Jordan of Stephen Langton Beer House, Friday Street, Abinger.

Henry and Mary married on 18th October 1890 at St John’s church in North Holmwood. At the time of the marriage, the couple lived in North Holmwood.

During the time of the 1891 Census, the family lived at Bentsbrook Cottages in Holmwood. Henry was working as a cowman and Mary was at home.

Harry Duffell had four known siblings: Annie born in the 3rd quarter of 1891; Rose Ellen born in the 1st quarter of 1895, both in Dorking. Ivy May born in the 1st quarter of 1901 in Norbiton, Kingston upon Thames and Alfred Allan born in the 1st quarter of 1906 in Charlton.

Harry Duffell 1901 Census

At the time of the 1901 Census, the family lived at Cottage No 2, Pages Farm, Coombe Lane, Coombe, Surrey. Henry was working as a cowman on a farm and Mary Ellen was looking after their children: Winifred, Annie, Harry, Ivy May. The household also comprised of boarder Joe Diskett, a cowman on a farm.

Harry Duffell 1911 Census

At the time of the 1911 Census, the family lived at 1 Branford Cottage, Kingston road, Ewell, Surrey. Henry was working as a cowman and Mary Ellen was at home. Of their children, Harry was working as a farm labourer and Ivy and Alfred were at school. Mary Ellen stated that she had given birth to eight children of whom two had died. The accommodation had five rooms.

Harry Duffell enlisted in Cranleigh, Surrey into the 8th Battalion, the Royal West Surrey Regiment. He was a private with a regimental number 2254. At the time of enlistment he resided in Horsham.

Harry Duffell Wounded Notice © Dorking Advertiser

Harry disembarked on 31st August 1915 to France. He was wounded in October 1915. Later, he was transferred into the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Irish Regiment. He was a private (Lance Corporal) with a regimental number 18562.

Harry Duffell was killed in action on the 21st of August 1918 during the Second Battle of Bapaume in France.

Harry Duffell
Achiet-Le-Grand Communal Cemetery Extension
Roll of Honour


Harry Duffell Headstone © Andrew Bailey 2016
Harry Duffell Headstone
© Andrew Bailey 2016

He was buried at the Achiet-Le-Grand Communal Cemetery Extension in Fance. His grave reference is: III.J.5. Harry is also commemorated on both the Okewood Hill War Memorial Plaque and the Ewhurst War Memorial and listed in the Ewhurst Book of Remembrance.

Harry Duffell Medal Roll Index Card
Harry Duffell 1914-1915 Star Medal Award Roll
Harry Duffell Medal Scroll and Medals

Harry received the British War and Victory medals and the 1915 Star. He was also awarded the Military Medal and the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

Harry Duffell Citations of Distinguished Conduct Medal ©
Harry Duffell Citations of Distinguished Conduct Medal ©

Harry received the D.C.M. post mortem on 30th October 1918. He was awarded for “conspicuous gallantry and determination during a raid. He was in charge of a Lewis gun section forming a right defensive flan after the first objective had been gained. Owing to an enemy machine gun opening fire from the other flank, one Lewis gun was despatched to silence this. The No. 1 was wounded and Lance Corporal Duffell brought the gun on alone and brought it into action. The fire from the enemy machine gun at once ceased and four dead enemy were found by the gun.”

Harry Duffell Soldiers Effects ©
Harry Duffell Soldiers Effects ©

Harry’s mother Mary Ellen Duffell received £26, 4s and 10d on 10th February 1919 and £19 on 9th December 1919 in Soldier’s Effects.

Born Dorking, Surrey
Lived Horsham, Sussex
Son of Henry and Mary Ellen Duffell (nee Stemp)
Enlisted Cranleigh, Surrey
Regiment 2nd Battalion. Royal Irish Regiment
Number 18562
Date of Death 21st August 1918
Place of Death France
Cause of Death Killed in Action
Age 23
Cemetery Achiet-le-Grand Communal Cemy Extension, France
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