Born: April 1884, Hucknall, Notts
Died: 4 July 1915, Hertford British Hospital, Paris
Buried: Le Vallois-Perret Communal Cemetery, Paris
Address: 4 Wellington St, Leeds Road, Windhill
Parents: Ephraim and Emma
Spouse: Mabel, nee Houghton
Siblings: Herbert, Mark, Mrs Thos Wright, Mrs James Green
Occupation: formerly a miner in Hucknall
Rank: Pte
Rolls of Honour: Christchurch, Windhill
Regiment: Grenadier Guards
Henry ‘Harry’ Deakin
A touching tribute to a brave soldier, Pte Henry Deakin of the Grenadier Guards, who was mortally wounded in action last November and who recently passed away at a hospital in Paris, is contained in a report from Mr W H Hearn, the British Consul General in France. The late Pte Deakin was a son of Mr and Mrs Ephraim Deakin, formerly of Hucknall, near Nottingham, who now reside at 4 Wellington Street, Leeds Road, Windhill. Mr Hearn writes as follows: ‘I regret to inform you that there passed away in the Hertford British Hospital in Paris, on Sunday, the 4th July, one of the finest and bravest Nottinghamshire men it has been my fortune to meet. ‘Henry Deakin was born at Hucknall in April 1884, the won of Ephraim and Emma Deakin. From the age of 13 to 20 he worked in a coalmine in Hucknall but when he married at the age of 24, Mabel Houghton of Edingley, they went and lived at Edwinstowe. ‘At 21 he enlisted in the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards in which he served three years. He later joined the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards and with them came to France in the Expeditionary Force and they
formed part of the Fourth Guards’ Brigade, which was engaged in the first battle of Ypres. ‘Henry Deakin was wounded there on 12 November 1914 by shrapnel in the base of the spine and was brought to the British Red Cross Hospital in Paris where he arrived on November 16th and, paralysed in his lower extremities, remained there until that hospital was closed. ‘On 3 February 1915 he was moved to the Hertford British Hospital where he remained until he passed away. ‘His case was hopeless from the first and in March his wife came out to him and passed her time in making him comfortable and happy for the four months that he lingered on after she arrived at the hospital. Deakin endeared himself to everyone in the hospital and to all who visited him there. Helplessly bed-ridden and often suffering intense pain and discomfort he was always cheerful and had a kindly word for everyone and a ready wit, especially when it concerned a too
pitying or sanctimonious visitor. ‘He was as brave in his bed as he had been in the trenches and bore his cross with exemplary patience and unselfishness and during the six months I knew Henry Deakin I felt that it was a privilege as well as a pleasure to visit him and that he could not but exercise a good influence on those who came in contact with him. ‘He was buried this morning, July 7, in the plot of the cemetery at Lavallois-Perret given by the municipality for British soldiers. The funeral was attended by the Mayor, the chief of the veteran soldiers, the doctors and nurses of the Hertford British Hospital, by myself and many of those who had known him well during his last months here. ‘The Rev Arstruther Carden officiated and the Mayor of Levallois-Perret and the chief of the veteran soldiers made patriotic and friendly addresses at the graveside. The coffin was covered with the Union Jack and many flowers and a
contingent of British and French soldiers acted as escort and bearers.’ The dead hero was one of three brothers serving in the Forces. Mark Deakin is a corporal in the 2nd Battlion of the Sherwood Foresters, while Herbert Deakin is serving in the West Yorkshire Regiment. The family consists of five sons and seven daughters. Two of the married daughters have lived in the Shipley district for several years – Mrs Thomas Wright in Piccadilly and Mrs James Edgar Green in Valley Street, Windhill. Mrs Green’s husband is serving in the Royal Field Artillery and she is now residing at Kippax. Shipley Times & Express 23 July 1915
‘He was as brave in his bed as he had been in the trenches and bore his cross with exemplary patience and unselfishness’
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It is always gratifying when this site helps people find the story of ancestors who fought in WW1. We were delighted to receive this email from Richard Hogan: A few years ago my partner, Sarah Myers, decided to research her family tree. After a few hours we hit upon her Great Uncle Henry Deakin. I Googled his name and was immediately hit with the front page story of his death in 1914. We had decided to take a family holiday to France in the summer so we added a few days to visit where he fell in Belgium.
On arrival at roughly area where he fell, we walked around the now semi-urban area just outside Ypres. After a while a local asked us what we were doing and on explanation led us down a long and hidden path that led us to a small clearing where a memorial stood to an officer of Henry's who died the same day as he was injured. Blessing our good luck, the following day we went into Ypres where again a local guide, on hearing our tale, walked us to the hospital Henry was immediately taken to on injury. After a few days of museums and battlefield walks we left for France. We had booked a small campsite an hour or so outside of Paris with the intention of visiting Disney land so we decided to visit Henry's grave which is in Paris too. As I'm sure you can imagine this was incredibly moving for all of us as we'd by now been able to put a face and a story to our poor Uncle. On the last night of our holiday my wife and I decided to have a couple of hours on our own and set off for a drive.
We'd booked the holiday long before any thought of family tree research came into our heads so we thought after Paris that would be where the story regarding Henry ended. However on our drive passed a small military cemetery which we'd passed every day for a week. I suggested stopping as the spot is beautiful. To our utter shock the cemetery is built on the site of Harry's regiment’s first battle of 1914 before they were rushed to help bridge the gap in Belgium. I’m not spiritual in any way but honestly it felt like Harry was leading the way to tell us his story the whole trip. We have children aged 26 down to 6 and all were with us it really has opened their hearts and minds to the war in a way we wouldn't have dreamed of.
Sarah reading more about the battle in which her great uncle Henry was fatally wounded Henry’s great, great nephews, Derry and Callum, on the site of the battle where he was wounded Lucy next to her great, great uncle’s headstone