Henry Mitchell was the second eldest child in a family of nine children (eight of them boys).
His parents, Charles and Emily Mitchell, were married in 1880 and by the time the 1881 census was taken they were living at 1 Upper Birchland, Newick. Both were aged 22 with Charles (born in Lindfield) working as an agricultural labourer. Ten years on, by the time the 1891 census was taken, Charles and Emily were living at what looks like Plummers Den Cottage No 1 in Lindfield and had five children: Charles Mitchell (aged nine), Henry J Mitchell (aged eight), Alfred Thomas Mitchell (aged six), John Mitchell (aged three) and Albert Basil Mitchell (aged eleven months).
By the time the 1901 census was taken the family was still living at the same Lindfield address but there were now more brothers – and a sister. New arrivals and their ages in 1901 were: Elsie Mitchell (aged seven), Walter Mitchell (aged five), Wallace Sidney Mitchell (aged four) and Maurice Gilbert Mitchell (aged nine months).
Henry Mitchell’s brothers Albert, Alfred, John, Wallace (
) and Maurice, also served during the
First World War. All of them
survived. Their distant relatives, the
Plummer brothers were less fortunate.
Albert, Alexander and Owen Plummer all lost their lives. Sidney