Private Harry Wyatt Cole was the son of Harry and Margaret Cole of Church Street, Langham. He was born on 17 November 1889, the youngest of four brothers who all served in the Army during the war. He worked for Lord Ranksborough, the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, before moving to Sale, near Manchester where he became a waiter at the Brooklands Hotel. Harry had served for five years as a Territorial and joined the 21st Battalion Manchester Regiment on 19 November 1914. He went out to France on 9 November 1915. On the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the Manchesters were the reserve battalion of 91st Brigade which had the task of capturing Mametz after blowing a mine under the German front line. The attack went well and the village was captured. Harry was in D Company which at 3.50pm was ordered to support 2nd Battalion the Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) in an attack on a German strongpoint known as Queen's Nullah. It was in this action that he was killed. According to George Phillips in Rutland and the Great War Harry died from a bullet in the heart, one of eight Rutland men killed that day. Like many others, he has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Pier 14C. He is also remembered on the war memorial at Langham.
See where all our Rutland soldiers died during the Battle of the Somme on our interactive map.
Photograph courtesy Langham Village History Group
Do you know something about Harry Wyatt that hasn't been mentioned?
You can add any new information and images as a contribution at the bottom of this page.