Harold Morritt

Harold Morritt

49050 Rifleman Harold Morritt,
2/7th Battalion (Leeds Rifles), The West Yorkshire Regiment

Rifleman Harold Morritt when serving with 2/6th Bn (Jan McLennan)

Harold Morritt was the youngest of 7 children born to the marriage of George Morritt, a Colliery Banksman employed by the Garforth Colliery Company, and Alice Harrison Pinder. The couple produced five daughters and two sons and these were Charlotte (b. 1865), Jane (b.1868), Harriet (b.1870), Ellen (b. 1873), Willie (b. 1876), Frances (b. 1878), and finally, Harold (b. 1883). The family lived at Pear Tree Cottages, on Town Street, which is now Main Street, however by 1901 they had moved the short distance into Chapel Lane.
Harold Morritt's original grave marker (Jan McLennan)

Unlike his father and brother, Harold did not become a Banksman at the colliery; he served an apprenticeship in Joinery. By the time he married Elizabeth Stead at the Parish church of All Saints in Barwick in 1909 he had served his time and was working as a Joiner, and it would appear from the 1911 Census that his joinery kept him employed in the building trade rather than in the colliery.

Harold Morritt's headstone. Bienvillers Military Cemetery.

Harold and Elizabeth had three children together. Their eldest daughter, Doris was born in 1911, less than a month before the census for that year was taken and she was still awaiting a first name according to that document. Five years later, twins George and Hilda were born. At this time the family was living in Elmet Cottage in Barwick in Elmet.
Harold Morritt’s service number is indicative of a man called up for service in June of 1917.
Morritt family grave in Barwick, including a memorial inscription for Harold Morritt

Harold Morritt died of wounds sustained in a week of very heavy fighting, when his brigade was in action against the advancing Germans in the opening stages of their Spring Offensive. It is probable that he was wounded when the battalion was fighting in the area between Achiet-le-Petit and Bucquoy and taken back to medical units working at Bienvillers.

 Note the discrepancy in Harold Morritt's service number on the original grave marker which shows 39050. The correct number was 49050.