Monday, September 08, 2014

205127 Corporal Mechanic Henry (Harry) James Urry, RAF

Henry James (Harry) Urry was born in the parish of St John’s, Lewes on 18th May 1891. He appears on the 1901 census of England and Wales living at 21 Sun Street, St John’s with his family. The household comprised: Richard Urry (head, aged 47, a self-employed coal merchant), his wife Naomi Urry (aged 42) and five children: Richard W Urry (aged 19, working as a coal porter), Gertrude Urry (aged 14), John Urry (aged 12), Nelson Urry (aged 11) and Harry (aged nine).

Harry enlisted in The Royal Naval Air Service at Portsmouth on 28th May 1915 for the duration of hostilities. He was five feet nine and a half inches tall, had black hair, brown eyes and a dark complexion.  He gave his occupation as chauffeur and was given the rating of air mechanic 1st class and the number F5127. He was posted to HMS President.

Chailey Parish Magazine notes in August 1915 that he is serving his King and Country and in October 1915 that he is in the Dardanelles with “Aero Wing”. The following month the magazine notes that he is with the RNAS and in August 1916 that he has been wounded. The wound does not appear to have been too serious. There is no mention of it in his surviving service records and by 30th April 1917 he was in Dunkirk, France and latterly Boulogne at an aircraft depot. On 1st April 1918 he was transferred to the newly formed Royal Air Force and given the service number 205127. He gave his next of kin as his mother, Naomi (although this is written as “father” on his Air Force service record) who was still living at 21 Sun Street, Lewes. On 1st July 1918 he was promoted to corporal mechanic and remained in this role until his demob and transfer to the RAF Reserve on 21st May 1919.

Harry Urry was entitled to the British War and Victory Medals and these were despatched to him on 4th May 1922.

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