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Henry Pellett

Rank: Private

Lifetime: 1895-1916

Reference: 16884


86 Park Road, home of Private Henry Pellett's parents

Private Henry Pellett (16884) of the 8th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) died of his wounds, aged 21, on 8 July 1916. His entry on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website states that he was the son of Mr and Mrs Harry Pellett of Norfolk Cottage, 76 Park Road (oddly, since 1924, 86 Park Road), Hampton Wick. He is buried at Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt L’Abbe.

According to his entry in UK Soldiers Died in the Great War, although he was born in Chiswick, by the time of his enlistment in Hounslow he gave his place of residence as Hampton Wick. His service record does not survive but his Medal Roll at the National Archive gives his date of embarkation as 29 December 1915.

Henry was one of nine children. His parents, Harry Pellett (a labourer born in 1864 in Piddinghoe in West Sussex) and Annie, nee Adams, (four years younger) had married at St John the Baptist on 19 May 1888 and thereafter regularly produced a host of child duly baptised at the parish church. A daughter, Anna Louisa, was their first born in 1889. She was followed by Edward James in 1891; Frank (baptised 25 December 1892); Harry (baptised 28 July 1895); Lucy in 1897; George William (baptised 30 October 1898); Charles P (baptised 27 January 1901); Bessie Francis (baptised 25 September 1904) and finally Lilian Dorothy in 1908. At the time of the 1911 Census Henry’s parents lived with him and his five younger siblings at Norfolk Cottage. His father’s occupation is given as roadman whilst Henry is described as a general labourer. His older brothers, Edward and Frank, lived with their mother’s sister at the nearby Park Cottage, 78 Park Road (since 1924, 88 Park Road) where his parents had been living at the time of their marriage. His older sister, Anna Louisa, had married the wonderfully named Francis Frederick Theophilus Weeks, the son of a black and white artist on 10 April 1909. Edward James Pellett subsequently married Florence Kate Morris at St Peter’s, Norbiton, on 5 September 1915.

The Pellett clan remained a local family up until the 1940s. From 1918, Edward Pellett, presumably Henry’s brother, lived in Bushy Park at 2 Royal Paddocks and, from 1927, in Home Park at 3 Farm Cottages. Another of his brothers, Charlie Pellett, was a road sweeper in Hampton Wick in the 1940s (according to Derek Shail’s reminiscence file in Hampton Wick library).

Frequently in the chaos of the battlefield on the Somme it was not possible to accurately report whether a soldier had been killed or taken prisoner. Private Henry Pellett (apparently known as “Riley”), the third Hampton Wick casualty of the Somme, was such a case. The Surrey Comet on 22 July 1916 reported that his parents had heard a rumour that he had been killed- a rumour which was tragically confirmed by his Colonel and duly reported in the next edition of The Surrey Comet on 29 July 1916.

His obituary has information which conflicts will his biographical details contained in his entry in UK Soldiers Died in the Great War. According to his obituary, Henry was born in Hampton Wick (rather than as stated in UK Soldiers, in Chiswick) which accords with his baptismal record. He worked as a general labourer before enlisting in September 1915 with the Royal Fusiliers. According to his obituary,he was wounded in the first stage of the Battle of the Somme, dying of his wounds on 8 July 1916.

The first phase of this Project is to gather information about the men commemorated on the Hampton Wick War Memorial who fought in the Great War, also known as World War I, WWI or the First World War.

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