Harold Holmes was born in South Luffenham, the youngest son of William and Elizabeth Holmes. He had two brothers. The family later moved to Braceborough in Lincolnshire. The census in 1911 has him working as a farm labourer, aged 15. He enlisted initially in Bourne on 15 May 1915 with the Royal Field Artillery but was discharged 12 days later at Woolwich after failing an efficiency test as a shoesmith. He later joined the Royal Engineers and served in the 83rd Field Company. Harold died on 4 May 1917 and is buried at Lebuquiere Communal Cemetery Extension, grave II.D.20. He does not feature in George Phillips' Rutland and the Great War and is not on the war memorial in South Luffenham although the Commonwealth War Graves Commission describes him as a native of the village. He is, however, on the war memorial at St Margaret's Church in Braceborough, as the village's only casualty. The plaque says:
For King & Country
To the Glory of God and in grateful Remembrance of
Sapper Harold Bertie Holmes R.E
who was killed in action at Metz-En-Couture, on May 4th, 1917
Aged 21 years. RIP
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