James Harold Strange

James Harold Strange (known as Harold) was born between July and September 1894 (most likely 14th August) in York to Henrietta Strange. His father is unknown and died not long after his birth. Henrietta married William Hockett in October 1899. William had also been recently widowed and also had a son. Henrietta was born in St. Lawrence, Yorkshire.

In 1901 William Hockett was serving in the 3rd Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (militia) and the family was living at 62 Alma Terrace, York according to the Census. Henrietta was listed as the head of the house as William was serving in Malta and Harold is recorded as James H S Hockett.
William left the army in around 1908 and the family moved to Porthill where they lived at 3 Sparrow Terrace. At this point, Harold joined Porthill Scouts and so did William as our first Scoutmaster. 1

Harold did not stay with the Troop very long however. He enlisted on 14th December 1908 in Hanley and on 18th December 1908, he joined the Grenadier Guards at Lichfield as a boy soldier aged 14 and 5 ft 2 inches tall. He became a drummer in the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards, became an adult soldier on 14th August 1912, and ceased to be a drummer a year later. His Battalion embarked for France on 12th August 1914 and he was in action from 24th August 1914 during the retreat from Mons until he was killed during the Battle of the Aisne some time between 14 –16th September 1914. He served as Private Harold Strange, 14117 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards and was 20 years old when killed. 2

Harold Strange was awarded the 1914 Star with clasp (Mons Star), the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal. He has no known grave and is commemorated at the La Ferte-Sous-Joarre Memorial, France.

Strange H

Harold Strange commemorated on the La Ferte-Sous-Joarre Memorial 3

  1. Family history courtesy of John Bradshawe
  2. Army history courtesy of the Archivist of the Grenadier Guards
  3. Memorial photo courtesy of British War Graves