Henry Roughsedge

Henry (Harry) Roughsedge was born on 30th April 1883 at Preston Brook and baptised on 7th June that year at the Primitive Methodist Chapel in the village. He was the son of Thomas Henry (born Dutton) and his wife Sarah Agnes (nee Scragg) who was also born in Dutton. The father was a canal porter.

In 1891 the main family lived on Canalside at Preston Brook, the parents having three daughters: Clara (5), Elizabeth (3) and Sarah (1). However seven-year-old Henry was living with his maternal grandparents (Peter and Elizabeth Scragg) near the Talbot Arms public house on Northwich Road in Dutton. Peter Scragg was the captain of a canal barge.

Ten years later Henry was still living at his grandparents’ house at Tunnel Top, as was his sister Clara. Henry worked as a commercial clerk. The main family by then also had Peter (10), Mary (8) and Sydney (4). All the children lived to adulthood. Peter and Sydney would both enlist in the Great War.

Henry found work as a clerk at the Whiston Institution near Prescot as the workhouse master’s assistant and chief clerk. This is where he was living in 1911, at 2, Victoria Villas in Rainhill, the home of his relatives from Preston Brook, the Jones family. Mr Jones was a stationmaster.

On 4th December 1915 Henry attested at St Helens and was taken in to 13th South Lancashire Regiment as a reserve in the April of 1916. He said that he was 31 years and 7 months, unmarried and was working at the workhouse in Prescot. He was 5’11’’ tall. Henry did not go to France until late summer, embarking from Southampton on 28th August and arriving at Rouen a day later. Whilst he was there he was transferred to the 11th Battalion of the same regiment. His service number was 22391 and his rank was Private.

Henry suffered a gunshot wound to the back which penetrated his abdomen and he died of his wounds the same day, 14th July 1917. He was buried at the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery in West Flanders in Belgium and is commemorated on the war memorial at Aston. Henry was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He was 34 years old.