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St James Church Taunton

World War 1 Memorial Project

Harry Palmer


Name: Harry Morse Palmer

Rank: Private

Service Number: 240912

Regiment: Somerset Light Infantry

Battalion/Unit number: 1st/5th Battalion

Date/year of Birth: 1877/78

Place of Birth: ?

Place of Residence: 18 Malvern Terrace, Taunton

Date of Death: 23rd November 1917

Place of Death: Jerusalem

Burial/Memorial: Jerusalem War Memorial Plot B38

Harry Palmer is listed in the 1911 census as living at 18 Malvern Terrace, Taunton, with his wife Ellen Ada Palmer.  They had no children.  In the census he is listed as being 34 years old, which means that he would have been around 40 at the time that he died in late 1917.  While this makes him unusually old for a serviceman in the war, it is possible that he was conscripted.  In January 1916 the British Government introduced to conscription for single men aged 18 - 41, and in June 1916 this was extended to include married men.

His battalion, the 1st/5th of the Somerset Light Infantry, were sent to the Middle East in the summer of 1917, and he would have died during the battle for Jerusalem.  Jerusalem was held at the time by Ottoman Empire forces and the British Army fought hard to take a well defended village called Nebi Samwil (Samuel's Tomb) three miles north of Jerusalem.  This village was seen as being key to the taking of Jerusalem, and Harry probably died once the village had been taken and was subsequently defended against Ottoman counter attacks.



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