ISON, Harold

No.328071, Private, Harold ISON
Aged 22

1st Battalion, Cambridgeshire Regiment
formerly No.6748, Cambridgeshire Regiment
Killed in Action on or since Tuesday, 31st July 1917

Harold ISON was born in Quy in 1894 (Chesterton Q1-1894 3B:446), son of Josiah and Charlotte ISON (née WRIGHT).

1901 census...Aged 5, he was at Stow End, Quy with his father Josiah ISON [35] shepherd; his mother Charlotte [33]; brothers Herbert [7], Roger [2],Joseph F [6 months]; sister Florence [4]. All were born in Stow cum Quy.

1911 census...Aged 15, a farm labourer, he was still at Stow End, Quy with his parents; brothers Herbert Josiah(farm labourer), Joseph Frank, George [5] and John [3 months]; sisters Ellen [7] and Ethel[4]. All 9 siblings survive. Sister Florence Elizabeth and brother Roger were patients in Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge

His brother Roger ISON died of wounds in Belgium in 1918 serving in The Queens... click here ...and cousin Frank ISON died in Salonika in 1918, serving in Welsh here

He enlisted in Cambridge.

31st July 1917 was a day of death and glory for the 1st Cambridgeshires. The 1st day of 3rd Ypres (Passchendaele) they had seized Border House, near St Julien but then two platoons of C Coy held off German counter attacks against 118th Brigade, 39th Division, while the remnants of the attacking battalions fell back and consolidated on the Steenebeke.
One report enlarges on this aspect:
" During the offensive at St Julien. C Company had attacked and captured Border House, its objective, beyond the Hanebeek but, at a later stage, the position was outflanked and the survivors of the Company were ordered to fall back. A Runner with a bandaged head brought this message to Battalion Headquarters; 'I received a message by Orderly to retire, but as Capt Jonas, before he was killed, said we were not to retire without written orders from the CO, I am holding Border House. There are only three of us left alive and two of those chaps is wounded. I am holding Border House until I get written orders to retire. (Signed) Private Muffet. 7.30 pm.' Of the 65 men of the battalion killed that day, only 9 have identified graves, the rest are commemorated on the Menin Gate

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Harold Ison is commemorated on the Menin Gate,Ypres, Belgium, panel 50 and 52

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details