CWG: Private Henry Boon

Private Henry Boon

Henry Boon was born in May 1880, the youngest of ten children to Edwin and Fanny Boon. Edwin worked in service – consecutive census records list him as a manservant, coachman and gardener – and the family lived in the Somerset town of Taunton.

Henry was working as a packer in a factory when he met Alice Mockridge. The couple married in June 1902, and went on to have three children – Henry, Dorothy and Vera.

By the time of the 1911 census, Henry had put the factory behind him and was working as a labourer in the local sewage works. Employed by the town council, it is likely that the job paid more, particularly with a young family to support. Alice was also working, doing ironing and sewing to help them make ends meet.

Storm clouds were gathering over Europe, however, and soon Henry was needed to do his duty. Full details of his military service are not readily available, but he joined the Devonshire Regiment early on in the conflict, and was assigned as a Private to the 13th (Works) Battalion.

Private Boon seems to have been based in England for the duration, although full details of his movements are not clear. He was certainly living in Taunton by December 1916, and it was here that he fell ill.

Admitted to hospital with apoplexy, it seems that it was this haemorrhage or stroke that killed him. Private Boon passed away on 23rd December 1916. He was just 36 years of age.

Henry Boon lies at rest in St Mary’s Cemetery in his home town of Taunton in Somerset.

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