Biography of Lance Serjeant Henry Knowles (8524)
2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment
Died 5th April 1915


  • Name: Henry Knowles
  • Date of birth: 1889
  • Place of Birth: Folkingham, Lincolnshire, England
  • Date of Birth Registration: July – September 1889
  • Place of Birth Registration: Bourne, LIncolnshire, England


  • Name: William Knowles
  • DOB: 1857
  • Place of Birth: Aslackby, Lincolnshire, England
  • Occupation: Wheelwright


  • Name: Jane Hubbard
  • DOB: 1859
  • Place Of Birth: Morton, Lincolnshire, England
  • Marriage: 1881 Bourne District

Siblings: (Name), (DOB), (POB)

  • Gertrude Knowles, 1882, Nottingham
  • Arthur Knowles, 1884, Dowsby
  • William Knowles, 1886, Folkingham
  • Henry Knowles, 1889, Folkingham
  • Kate Knowles, 1891, Folkingham
  • Tom Knowles, 1893, Folkingham
  • Bessie Knowles, 1895, Newton
  • Walter Knowles, 1898, Folkingham


  • 1891: Henry is living with his parents in Folkingham.
  • 1901: Henry is living with his parents at No. 4 Old Prison.
  • 1911: Henry is in a Military Hospital in Hilsea, Portsmonth. The census gives him an age of 22 and he is listed as a patient.

Relatives in services

  • Henry’s brother Tom also fought and was killed in WW1. Tom can be found on our page dedicated to the Bourne War Memorial.


  • No marriage for Henry has been found and we can assume that he never had the opportunity to marry.

Newspaper Mentions

  • Lincolnshire Echo Monday 5th April 1915
    Wounded in action.
    Knowles, 8524 Sergt. H.


  • Grantham Journal Saturday 17th October 1915
    BEREAVEMENT – Mrs. Jane Knowles, of this villiage received the news this week that “Tom Knowles, able seaman, No. J. 12111, belonging to his Majesty’s ship Torpedo Boat No. 7, was lost overboard and drowned on the 10th.”  He was 21 years of age.  There are two other sons – Arthur, a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery, and Sergeant Harry Knowles, 2nd Lincolnshires, who has only just recently returned from Bermuda.  Both are fighting with the Expeditionary Force.


  • Grantham Journal Saturday 10th April 1915
    SAD NEWS – On Wednesday evening, Mr and Mrs Knowles had the sad news from the War Office that their son, Lance-Sergt. Harry Knowles, had died in hospital in France from the effectof gunshot wound in the chest.  This was an awful shock to the parents, who had only a day before received a letter from their son, written on Easter day, saying he hoped to be in England in a forenight.  The sympathy of the whole village goes out to the bereaved family.  This is the second son Mr. and Mrs. Knowles have lost in the war.

Military Records

Attestation Papers

  • None found

Soldier’s Died In The Great War

  • These records show that L Sergeant Harry Knowles, 8524, 2nd Bn Lincolnshire Regiment was killed in action on 5th April 1915 in the Western European Theatre in France and Flanders.

Pension Records

  • None found

Effects Left To

  • Father William


  • The British Medal
  • The Victory Medal
  • The 14 Star


  • UK:
  • Bourne, Roll of Honour on Bourne War Memorial in the Memorial Gardens


  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
  • In memory of Lance Serjeant H Knowles, 8524, 2nd Bn., Lincolnshire Regiment who died on 5 April 1915 Age 30
  • Son of William and Jane Knowles, of Folkingham, Lincs.
  • Remembered with honour, Le Treport Military Cemetery
  • Plot 1. Row C. Grave 3.

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

Military Service Timeline

Today we remember Folkingham man, Henry Knowles who died on this day 5 April 1915 aged 25 whilst serving with the 2nd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment.
Born in 1889, between the months of July and September, Henry was the son of William Knowles, a wheelwright from Aslackby, Lincolnshire, and Jane (nee Hubbard) from Morton. William and Jane were married in 1881 in Bourne.
They went on to have eight children:
Gertrude (born 1882, Nottingham)
Arthur (1884, Dowsby)
William (1886, Folkingham)
Henry (1889, Folkingham)
Kate (1891, Folkingham)
Tom (1893, Folkingham)
Bessie (1895, Newton)
Walter (1898, Folkingham).
In 1891, Henry was listed as living in Folkingham with his parents. By 1901, their precise address was given as No 4. Old Prison, Folkingham, Lincolnshire.
Henry enlisted in the Lincolnshire Regiment in Lincoln before 1911. On the 1911 census he was listed as a patient in the military hospital in Hilsea near Portsmouth, aged 22, 2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment. The nature of his injury is unknown.
At the outbreak of war, the 2nd Battalion were stationed in Bermuda, moving to Halifax Nova Scotia before embarking for Devonport on the 3rd October 1914.
Once returning to England, the Battalion were moved to Hursley Park, Winchester to join the 25th Brigade, 8th Division. They were prepared for war and were mobilised on the 5th November. At 12 noon they marched out of camp to join the Expeditionary Force.
Arriving at Southampton at 5pm they immediately embarked on the SS Cestrian to France.
On arriving at Le Havre on the 6th November, they marched to a reserve camp just outside of the city. Three days later they left for their eventual destination of Champiny, 10km South West of Armentieres. Here the Battalion entered the trenches on the 14th November to see their first action of the war. The Battalion remained in the same area until March 1915 to be moved to join the Battle for Neuve-Chapelle.
The Battle saw an artillery bombardment using 300 guns for over one hour and then the Battalion were part of the main attack.
During the 7 days before being relieved, the Battle cost the Battalion greatly- 7 officers killed, 8 wounded, 298 men killed and wounded.
They remained in and out of the trenches for the rest of March, providing working parties and burying the dead before moving back to billets at Bac St Maur by the end of month.
The Battalion Diary has the following entries:
1st April- No 2 Section (opposite HNC Chartrew)
Battalion moved into trenches, relieving the Sherwood Foresters.
2nd April-
Trenches- Enemy very quiet-trenches in need of improvement- no cover between fire positions and posts.
3rd April-
Battalion were relieved by 2/Royal Berkshire Regiment in the evening. Enemy quiet all day- occasion sniping (3 killed, 5 wounded).
4th April- Rue de Bois
In Billets
5th April- Rue de Bois
Started practicising blocking parties- wire cutting etc.
We know that Henry died on the 5th April and that he is buried in Le Treport. At the time Le Treport had over 10,000 hospital beds and was the main port for the repatriation of wounded back to England. It is probable that Henry was one of the 5 wounded on the 3rd April, so was sent to a medical station.
The Grantham Journal, 10th April 1915, sheds light into Henry’s death:
‘’MORTON SAD NEWS- On Wednesday evening, Mr and Mrs Knowles had the sad news from the War Office that their son, Lance- Sergt. Harry Knowles, had died in hospital in France from the effect of gunshot wound in the chest. This was an awful shock to the parents, who had only a day before received a letter from their son, written on Easter day, saying he hoped to be in England in a forenight. The sympathy of the whole village goes out to the bereaved family. This is the second son Mr and Mrs Knowles have lost in the war.’’
Henry’s younger brother, Tom, also served in the war. He died on the 10th October 1914 after being washed overboard from a Torpedo Boat in the vicinity of North Knock Buoy, Thames Estuary. He is commemorated on the Naval Memorial, Chatham.
Henry is buried in Le Treport Military Cemetery, France- one of 449 burials. Le Treport lies on the North- Western coast of France, approximately 30 kilometres north-east of Dieppe. During the war, Le Treport remained as an important hospital centre, with a number of medical posts established here over the years. No. 3 General Hospital was first formed in November 1914, No. 16 General Hospital in February 1915, No. 2 Canadian General Hospital in March 1915, No. 3 Convalescent Depot in June 1915 and Lady Murray’s B.R.C.S Hospital in July 1916. These hospitals housed nearly 10,000 beds. Another hospital, No. 47 General Hospital, was later added in March 1917. By March 1919, the hospitals had been closed.
There are 445 Commonwealth burials of the First World War in Le Treport Military Cemetery, and four from the Second World War- three of which are unidentified.
The cemetery, one of the first three Commission cemeteries to be built after the First World War, was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.
Henry is buried in grave I. C. 3.


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  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission
  • National Archives – Battalion War Diaries
  • General Registry Office