Stretford WW1 

Charles Harry Coverdale VC MM

Rank:2nd Lieutenant
Ship/Rgn/Sqn No:11th Bn
Name of Rgt or Ship:Manchester Rgt
Died:Survived the WarAge:67
Country of burial:U.K.Grave Photo:Yes
Cemetery or Memorial:Huddersfield (Edgerton) Cemetery
Town Memorial:Not Listed
Extra Information:
Born on 21st April 1888 at 53 Clifford Street, Brooks' Bar, Old Trafford,
the son of John & Emily Coverdale (nee Goddard).   Birth Registered - June
quarter 1888 in the Barton upon Irwell R.D. - ref: 8c/680.

1891 Census - 581 Stretford Road, Stretford.   His mother - Emily was
employed as the Cook at the household of Mary J. Chesworth - aged: 55.  
Visitor (Son) - aged: 3 - born: Manchester.   His father (also a Visitor) -
John Coverdale - Married - aged: 38 - occ: Upholsterer - born: Darlington,
Durham Co.   His mother - Emily Coverdale - Servant - Married - aged: 35 -
occ: Cook - born: Rugby, Warwickshire.    Plus 4 siblings and a housemaid

1901 Census - 581 Stretford Road, Stretford.    The family were presumably
happy in this household they are still residing with Mary J. Cheswood 
(sic) - aged: 64.   Visitor (Son) - aged: 12 - born: Manchester.   His
father (also a Visitor) - John Coverdale - Married - aged: 50 - occ:
Upholsterer - born: Yarm, Yorkshire.   His mother - Emily Coverdale -
Servant - Married - aged: 45 - occ: Cook Domestic - born: Rugby,
Warwickshire.    Plus 6 siblings and a housemaid servant.

1911 Census - No Trace     However, his family are still residing at 581
Stretford Road, Stretford.    Mary Jane Chesworth is now aged: 70.    His
father (also a Visitor) - John Coverdale - Married - aged: 59 - occ:
Upholsterer - born: Darlington Yorks.   His mother - Emily Coverdale - now
listed as a Visitor - Married - aged: 45 - occ: Housekeeper - born: Rugby,
Warwickshire.    Plus 5 siblings and a housemaid servant.    

He attended the Bangor Street Board School in nearby Hulme and on leaving,
joined Galloways Boiler Works in Knott Mill as an engineer's fitter.

MIC - Known as "Harry", he enlisted on the 7th September 1914, shortly
after the outbreak of war.  Harry is the name recorded on his M.I.C. (Medal
Index Card) until was later crossed out and "C.H." added - probably at the
same time as his VC and MM were added to the card.  There is a reference to
those initials being amended on the 16th March 1922.

His MIC, infers that whilst in training, he had been singled out for
promotion in that he is recorded as a Lance Corporal, No. 4926, Manchester
Regiment.   It also shows that he was drafted to theatre of war (2b) =
Gallipoli on the 20th September 1915. 

He was detailed to the 11th (Service) Battalion, Manchester Regiment part
of 34th Brigade, 11th (Northern) Division and promoted to the rank of
Sergeant during his tour of duty at Gallipoli.

Whilst he was serving at Gallipoli, his father - John Coverdale died during
the last quarter of 1915, aged 63.   His mother - Emily Coverdale died in
1923, aged 69.

Sergeant Coverdale was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in early 1917
and the Victoria Cross later that year for his bravery and leadership at
the battle of Poelcapelle that took place on the 9th October 1917. 
Gazetted on the 18th December 1917

He was recommended for a commission and became a 2nd Lieutenant in the
Manchester Regiment on 9th October 1918 (His MIC states the 8th).  He was
then posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of the Manchesters in
Cleethorpes, pending posting to an active service battalion.

Married Clara Florence Travis during the December quarter 1919 in the
Barton upon Irwell R.D. - ref: 8c/1358a

Now back in civilian life, he moved to Huddersfield in the early 1920s,
where he eventuall rose to become the Chief Engineer of Joseph Lumb & Sons
of Folly Hall Mill in Huddersfield, serving as an officer in the town's
Home Guard in WWII.

[Joseph Lumb & Co built an international reputation for the quality of its
worsted yarn.  From 1870 onwards, the company imported high-quality Merino
wool from Australia and South Africa. By doing so, Lumb's established an
early international reputation for the silk-like quality of its worsted

Aged 50, Clara died at died at 37 Ingfield Avenue, Dalton, Huddersfield. 
She was buried on the 12th February 1940 in Section 5G, number 105 General,
in the Egerton Cemetery, Huddersfield.  Harry died at 37 Ingfield Avenue,
Dalton, Huddersfield on the 20th November 1955, aged 67.   He was buried on
the 24th November 1955 in the same grave as Clara.    Their grave
originally had kerbstones, now only the headstone survives.

His Citation - His battalion were in the forefront of the brigade attack on
Poelcapelle on 4 October 1917, Harry leading his platoon in an attempt to
capture an enemy strong point. When quite close, he disposed of a German
officer and two soldiers sniping against his flank, killing the officer and
capturing the two men. He then rushed two machine-gun positions, killing or
wounding the gun teams.

Circling back, Harry reorganised his platoon to capture another position.
After getting within a hundred yards of it, he began to fall under the fire
of his own artillery barrage and had to turn back.  Several hours later, he
took out another patrol and suddenly came under severe rifle fire. The
patrol found themselves caught up in an attempted enemy counter-attack and
needed to make a swift retreat. Keeping a cool head, Harry withdrew his
men, one by one, until he was the last to retire. 

Local Recognition - In 1919/1920, he was presented with a silver rose bowl
by the Mayoy of Stretford Corporation.

He served at Gallipoli, the Somme and finally at Passchendaele.

Memorials found on:
Stretford Borough Memorial Book
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