Henry Dickinson,known as Harry, was born in Newton Heath in 1887. His parents were Thomas & Agnes. Not long after his birth the family moved to Woodhouses where Thomas had a job as a fireman at the Medlock Valley Bleachworks. Harry's siblings were Emma, Thomas, Jane, Elizabeth, Florence, Agnes, Alice & Ellen. As each got old enough they too found employment at the Bleachworks. Harry followed in his father's footsteps and worked as a Fireman/Steam Boiler attendant.
It's unclear if Harry ever lived in Royton but it's probably unlikely. At the time he volunteered - early in the war in Manchester - he was still working at the bleachworks. His parents had moved shortly after the outbreak of war to 61 High Barn Street, Royton.
Upon joining the army, Harry joined the Royal Field Artillery. It was with B Battery of the 66th Brigade that he sailed from Avonmouth on June 15th 1915 for Alexandria, arriving there on July 4th. On the 21st of that month they re-embarked and, via Mudros, landed at Gallipoli between July 26th and 28th. The 66th Brigade RFA was part of the 13th Division who in August 1915 saw action at the Battle of Sari Bair, The Battle of Russell's Top and the Battle of Hill 60.
Harry's unit withdrew from Gallipoli in the first week of 1916 and they headed back to Egypt. From there they were ordered to Mesopotamia to continue the fight against the Turks. They left Port Said on February 15th 1916, arriving at Basra in the first week of March. By March 27th the 13th Division had assembled near Sheikh Sa'ad and then took part in the unsuccessful attempts to relieve Kut. The British forces in Mesopotamia suffered from terrible levels of sickness and death through disease. Medical arrangements were often far from what was necessary which contributed to the death toll. Harry Dickinson was one of those to die from disease and was buried at the Amara War Cemetery. His family at that point didnt have a clear idea as to where he was as the Oldham Chronicle reported he had died in Egypt.
The week after his parents discovered Harry was dead they were informed his brother Thomas had been wounded in action.
Harry's father Thomas died aged 72 in 1929 and Agnes followed in 1932 aged 71. They are buried together at Royton Cemetery.Harry Dickinson does not appear on Royton's war memorial.
Date of Death:08/05/1916
Regiment:Royal Field Artillery
Unit:B Bty. 66th Bde.
Cemetery:Amara War Cemetery