H Fletcher
Courtesy of Halifax Courier

Serving in the 1st/5th Battalion. West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own), Howard held the rank of Lance Corporal.  He died on 25th April 1918.

Born in Hyde, Cheshire, Howard at the time of the 1911 census was living at 34 Catherine Slack, Halifax, he was aged 19 and was a carpet weaver.  Howard lived with his parents William and Emma and his brother Thomas who was two years older and was a warehouse man for a carpet manufacturer.

On 25th April 1918 the Battalion were in the trenches at Grande Bois.  At 02:45hrs the enemy put down a gas barrage along with smoke and high explosive rounds, this was followed at 05:00hrs by a heavy barrage which was put down across the front causing Battalion headquarters to send up SOS signal flares at 05:15hrs as it was evident that the enemy was about to carry out action across the Battalion front.  The war diary gives an account of the days action which saw the battalion engaged with the enemy until 21:30hrs.

Casualties: 18 officers and 548 other ranks (killed/wounded/missing)

Howard is buried in SANCTUARY WOOD CEMETERY (III. D. 21) however his actual grave has not been identified and his headstone carries the inscription “buried near this spot”.