Harold Edward Dyson was a pupil at Oakham School from 1904 to 1909. From Sheffield, he was the son of Henry and Hannah Dyson of Cowlishaw Road. He was working as a bank clerk in 1914 when the war began and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1st/4th (Hallamshire) Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment, 148 Brigade, 49th Division. Harold was killed in action during the Battle of the Somme on 31 July 1916 in aged 23. The Yorks and Lancs were heavily involved in the fighting for Thiepval with spells in and out of the trenches throughout the month. On 31 July, the battalion was in Authuille Wood near Wood Post. The war diary records: "The enemy shelled Authuille Wood heavily in the evening and 2Ltn HE Dyson, GN Sharpe and PS Koe were killed in their dugout." Altogther in July the battalion had suffered 509 casualties, including 62 dead and nine missing. Harold's Commanding Officer wrote to his parents saying: "He, with two other officers, was in a dugout which had a direct hit killing all three. Your son was a charming companion and a splendid officer loved by all who knew him. His death is a great loss to me personally and also to the regiment." Harold is buried in Blighty Valley Cemetery, Authuille Wood, grave I.A.25, next to the officers who died with him, Philip Koe and Gerald Sharpe. He is also remembered in Oakham School Chapel. Another Oakham School pupil, William Favell who was in the same battalion as Harold, was killed on 2 July.
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