RFA West Lancs Bdes
681817 DVR. H. BANKS. R.F.A.
Henry Banks was born on 12 May 1893 in Everton and baptised at Everton Holy Trinity on 28 May. His father was Henry Banks (b. 1858 in Everton), a horse groom and carter. His mother was Charlotte Luther (b. 1858 in Liverpool). Henry and Charlotte were married in 1882 and they had 3 children: Florence (b. 1883), Elizabeth Jane (b. 1888) and then Henry jnr. Henry snr died aged 40 in 1898, leaving Charlotte to bring up the family. By 1911, Florence and Elizabeth had married; indeed Elizabeth was already a widow. So according to the Census that year, Charlotte was head of the household, which consisted of Henry (then 18), Elizabeth and her son; Florence and her husband Robert and their two children. Charlotte, Robert and Henry all worked in a printing works – Charlotte as a paper bag maker, Robert as a letterpress printer, and Henry as an apprentice compositor. They lived at 68 Conyers Street, Everton (the street no longer exists but it was off Netherfield Road North).
Henry must have spent some time in the Territorials before the War. When he enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery he was assigned service number 1181 and posted to “D” Battery of 276 Brigade. He landed in France with 55th Division on 29 September 1915. His service number was later changed to 681817.
Henry fought with 276 Brigade throughout the War. By February 1919, they were beginning to prepare for demobilisation but Henry never made it home. He died, and is buried, at Halle, about 16kms southwest of Brussels. It seems most likely that he died in the influenza pandemic. He was 25 years old.
Service No: 681817
Date of Death: 15/02/1919
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery, “D” Bty., 276th Bde.
Cemetery/memorial reference: A. 41.
Cemetery/Memorial: HALLE COMMUNAL CEMETERY
thanks to Wayne Finch for the copy of the photograph