Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
8 Apr 1917
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Captain Harry Cunvin Horsford, 5th Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment, was killed in action in France on April 8th, 1917. He was aged 29.
Born in Stoke Newington, London, he moved as a baby with parents Frank and Annie Horsford and family to Luton. By 1911 and at the time of Harry's death, the family were living in Hendon.
On the outbreak of war he joined the Honourable Artillery Company but was transferred at once to the London Officer Training Corps. He received his commission as a Second Lieutenant on September 1st, 1914, as Lieutenant on June 10th, 1915, and as Captain in the Royal Berks on August 10th, 1916. During active service he was wounded on July 15th, 1915, and buried alive in the following October, but had his life saved by his servant, Pte Read, who dug him out.
On the day of his death, Capt Horsford went over the top leading his men. His adjutant later wrote in a letter Harry's wife: "We had served in the regiment together since its formation, and were the two remaining officers who came out with it. One's only comfort is that he suffered no pain and died a most gallant death.
"He was killed leading his Company in a most brilliantly successful attack. The regiment itself captured 20 field guns, and your husband was killed by one of these which was firing before our men got to close quarters."
Captain Horsford's family were living in Holly Street, Luton, in 1891, and at 125 Park Street by 1901. His father was described as a coachman in 1891 and as undertaker's manager in 1901. Harry was educated at Waller Street Schools and had connections with the King Street Congregational Church P.S.A. [Pleasant Sunday Afternoon].
By the time of the 1911 Census the family were living in Hendon with Harry described as a bank clerk. Harry had married baker and confectioner's daughter Maude Matilda Smith in 1913 and they had a daughter, Barbara, the following year. Maude was well known in Hendon as a singer at concerts for wounded soldiers.