Project Description

HENRY (HARRY) VOCE 1885–1914

KRR

Born 15th March 1885 Wilford, Nottingham, son of Arthur Voce and Mary Isabella Farrell

Baptised 28th July 1890 St Ann’s Church, Nottingham.

Killed in action, September 10th 1914, at the Battle of the Marne. Age 29

Remembered on La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial, Radcliffe on Trent War Memorial, Notts County Asylum (Saxondale) Memorial and Broad Street Wesleyan Chapel War Memorial, Nottingham (see note at end of article).

1891 Census

Henry Voce was the son of Arthur and Mary Isabella Voce who had nine children. In 1891 he was living with father Arthur, a blacksmith, mother Mary, brother Arthur 12, and sisters Agnes 10, Maria 11, Kate 3, Rebecca 1, also Isabella Farrell, grandmother and Agnes Farrell, wife’s sister at 11 Bombay Street, St Ann’s, Nottingham.

1901 Census

He was living with his widowed mother Mary 44, in St Ann’s at 14 Abbotsford Street, with five siblings: Agnes 20, Maria 18, Kate 14, Rebecca 12, Ethel 8, his mother’s brother in law Robert 34, and two cousins – James Farrell, age 10 and William Farrell, age 6.

1911 Census

He was serving with the Kings Royal Rifle Corps, stationed in India.

Military Service before 1914

Rank: Rifleman

Service Number: 6246

Military Unit: 4th Battalion, Kings Royal Rifles

Enlisted January 4th 1905 as Harry Voce. Age 18

Occupation: twist hand. Height 5ft 6ins, weight 125 lbs, chest 34¾ ins, brown hair, brown eyes. Two tattoos.

January 1905 – December 1905: Home

December 1905–December 27th 1912: served in India, in Rawalpindi with the 4th Battalion, Kings Royal Rifles

Transferred to army reserves on expiration of seven years service on 31.12.12. Character good.

While in India Harry was hospitalised in Jubbulpore (now Jabalpur) in 1907 with dysentery and in 1909 with malaria. Brought home prematurely from India under the authority of the War Office.

Agreed to serve with reserves ‘for such a period as shall complete a total period of twelve years’ service’ (this would have taken him up to 1917, had he lived). On discharge he gave his intended place of residence as his mother’s home address of 11 Grimsby Terrace, Watkin Street, Nottingham.

Worked at some point between December 1912 and August 1914 at Notts. County Asylum with fellow reservists Wilfred Madeley and Sam Haines, also of the Kings Royal Rifles. They were working as attendants at the Asylum when war was declared.

Military Service from August 4th 1914

Rank: Rifleman

Service Number: 6246

Military Unit: 1st Battalion, Kings Royal Rifles, 6th Brigade, 2nd Division

Theatre of War: France and Flanders, total war service 4 weeks.

5.8.14: Mobilised at Winchester, transferred to the 1st Battalion

10.9.14: Killed at the 1st Battle of the Marne. Correspondence with widowed mother Mary from war office re Medals. Brother Arthur also named as next of kin.

Medals Awarded: Coronation, Durban, 1914 Star with clasp, British War and Victory. Medals sent to his mother at 11 Grimsby Terrace, Watkin Street, Nottingham on July 4th, 1919 except for British medal (sent January 8th, 1921) and Victory medal sent (March 26th 1921).

Go to WWI Timeline to see how this man’s death is part of the wider story of the war. 

From the War Diaries of the  King’s Royal Rifle Corps,  9th and 10th September 1914

On September 10th, the 1st Battalion left Compru, moving north. The enemy lined the side of the road at Hautesvesnes and opened fire. Heavy fighting for 1½ hours ended when the enemy put up the white flag. Four officers, 10 NCOs and 2 riflemen were killed. 5 riflemen were missing and 60 men were wounded.

View a copy of the original K.R.R.C. War Diary for the day of Harry Voce’s death

Other information

Name is Henry on birth records, 1891 and 1901 Censuses. Name is Harry on military, death, medal roll index cards, H. on Radcliffe on Trent and Henry on Saxondale War Memorials. He may be distantly related to the famous cricketer, William Voce (born Annesley Woodhouse, 1909).

Broad Street Wesleyan Chapel was closed in 1954 and became the Broadway Cinema in 1989. The memorial was transferred to the Nottingham Central Methodist Mission, Low Pavement, Nottingham where it was re-dedicated in a service attended by  large gathering including the band and members of the Sherwood Foresters, the Boys Brigade, Girl Guides and descendants of the twenty-eight men commemorated.

Reasons for inclusion on the Radcliffe on Trent Roll of Honour

Worked in the parish of Radcliffe on Trent at Notts. County Asylum. His name is on the Radcliffe on Trent Memorial and he is the first man from Radcliffe on Trent to be killed in the Great War.

La_Ferté-sous-Jouarre_mémorial

La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial