Captain Edward Rainsford Harrison, 524th Company, 61st Divisional Train, Army Service Corps, died in hospital in Abbeville, France on Christmas Day, 1918. The cause of death was double pneumonia following influenza contracted whilst on active service.
Born in Edgbaston on 25th October 1886, he was the second of three children born to parents Edward James (a Joint General Manager of Lloyds Bank) and Laura (née Rainsford) who had married in Edgbaston in 1883.
Edward Rainsford Harrison was educated at King Edward’s School and at Queen’s College, Taunton and became a pin manufacturer after leaving school, joining his maternal grandfather’s firm in Birmingham – Jarratt and Rainsford Ltd.
Edward was gazetted Second Lieutenant with the 6th Royal Warwickshire Regiment in 1906, resigning his commission in 1913. He married Jessie Beatrice Deeley at Edgbaston in June 1913 but the couple did not have any children before he went to war.
With the outbreak of war, he rejoined the Warwickshire Regiment, being gazetted Lieutenant immediately and promoted Captain shortly afterwards.
He served with the British Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from May 1916, in command of “A” Company of the South Midland Divisional Train. He was mentioned in Despatches by Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig for gallant and distinguished service in the field.
His brother, Harold Cecil (1889-1940) was born in Olton and was a career officer in the Royal Marines Artillery. He remained in the Army after the end of the war, rising to the rank of Brigadier. He was also an international rugby player 1909-1914.
Captain Edward Rainsford Harrison is buried at Abbeville Communal Extension Cemetery, France, and is commemorated on Solihull war memorial, and at St Augustine’s Church, Edgbaston. We’re unsure of the Solihull connection, so if you have any further information, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
Tel.: 0121 704 6977
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