REMEMBRANCE DISPATCH NO. 16 HAS BEEN POSTED IN HOUSES TO COMMEMORATE 2ND LT HENRY NORMAN GRANT (HOSTEL 1907-1909) WHO WAS KILLED IN ACTION IN THE FIRST HOUR OF THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME ON JULY 1ST 1916.
Henry Norman Grant, the son of a paper stationer in Hay, joined the Hostel in 1907. He was a keen golfer, playing for the school in the annual golf competition, and a decent athlete, winning a junior Steeplechase and the Under 16 long jump. He also played occasionally for the 1st XV and won the Junior Games Rugby Football Challenge Cup for his work as a forward.
After leaving school Norman moved to Hereford to work as a bank clerk. He enlisted soon after war broke out and joined the Public Schools Battalion of the London Royal Fusiliers. He was commissioned into the 1st Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers as a machine gun section officer in February 1915.
In May 1916 he was sent to France to join the preparations for Somme offensive. Early on the morning of July 1st, and just eight weeks after arriving in France, Second Lieutenant Henry Norman Grant was in place with his Battalion to attack the German trenches from the Sunken Lane early in the morning of July 1st 1916. As the 1st Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers moved forward, the unexpected downward slope slowed their pace and Second Lieutenant Henry Norman Grant was one of hundreds killed in the subsequent machine-gun fire let loose from the German line.
At first missing presumed dead, his body was recovered several months later. Second Lieutenant H N Grant is buried at Redan ridge Cemetery No. 2 at Beaumont-Hamel. He is remembered on the Hay-on-Wye War Memorial and on the Christ College War Memorial.
Second Lieutenant H N Grant has also recently been commemorated by Christ College with a memorial plaque at Lochnagar, visited by our Year 9 pupils during Battlefields 2016.
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