Harry Hewitson was born in 1881 the second of seven children of painter and decorator William Hewitson and his wife Emily.At the time of the 1911 census, Harry was still living with his widowed mother at 55 St Paul’s Road and even though we know little of what happened to Harry after the war, we know he was still at that address in 1928.According to the electoral roles he had moved to 2 Sherwood Grove, Shipley, by 1939.On 29 September 1916, the Shipley Times & Express reported:“Pte Harry Hewitson, who has been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry and devotion to duty in action, is a son of the late Mr William Hewitson and of Mrs
Hewitson of St Paul’s Road Shipley.“He is an old Salt School boy and prior to joining the 16th West Yorkshires (First Bradford Pals) on its formation in September 1914, he was on the staff of Messrs Charles Semon and Co, Merchants, Bradford.“In a letter, Pte Hewitson wrote: ‘You know I never hankered after glory or sought the limelight. I am only glad I received the medal for the sake of all at home. Everybody deserved one on that terrible 1st.’“Pte Hewitson also describes how the men who had been awarded distinctions were withdrawn from the trenches and conveyed by an old London omnibus to the Grand Place, where the presentations were made.
‘It was quite a swell affair. There were generals, lieutenant-generals, colonels and various staff officers in addition to French high commanders.‘The ribbon was pinned on my breast by the Corps Commander who asked me where I earned it, wished me good luck and shook hands.’
Thanks to Alan Petcher for supplying the photographs