PO/1261 (S) Harry Gates of the 2nd Royal Marine Battalion, The Royal Naval Division, Royal Marine Light Infantry, was killed in action ninety years ago this month. He was the son of William and Sarah Gates of The Green, Chailey, and the husband of Elsie Gates of Mascall’s Farm, North Common, Chailey. William appears on the 1891 census as a boot maker and living at the family home on Chailey Green are his wife Sarah, Harry (aged one) and an older brother, Montague John Gates aged eight (born at Lewes). Montague would also serve during the First World War.
Harry appears on the 1901 census as an eleven year old still living in Chailey village with his parents although by this time, Montague had already left home.
In January 1916, Harry makes his first appearance Chailey’s Parish Magazine as Gates, Pte H, RMLI and in October 1916, the additional information, “France” is also added. In April 1917 however, the magazine added Gates’ name to its Roll of Honour, listing the information as: Pte H Gates, RMLI, killed in action, Feb 19th 1917.
Harry was 27 years old when he died. He has no known grave and is commemorated on pier and face 1A of the Thiepval Memorial in France (above).