CWG: Lance Corporal Henry Preece

Lance Corporal Henry Preece

Henry Thomas Preece was born in the summer of 1884, one of seven children to agricultural labourer Tom Preece and his wife, Sarah. Thomas had been born in the Somerset village of Nunney, and it was here that he raised his family.

When Henry left school, he chose not to follow in his father’s agricultural footsteps. By the time of the 1911 census, he was recorded as a baker and, as such, would have been at the heart of village life in Nunney.

Henry married local woman Ellen Stone in 1909, who was a dressmaker with her own account. The couple would go on to have four children between 1909 and 1916.

With war looming, Henry felt the need to play his part. He joined the King’s Royal Rifle Corps in January 1916 and, after training, was sent to France a couple of months later.

He was wounded on July 25th, when out with a wiring party erecting barbed wire obstacles. He received a gun-shot wound in the abdomen, which also injured the spinal cord and his back. He was first taken to the South African Hospital at the base, and after being there for several days he was removed to England and take to the Netley Hospital where he died…

Somerset Standard: Friday 8th September 1916

Lance Corporal Preece died on 3rd September 1916, at the age of 32 years old. His body was brought back to Nunney, where he was laid to rest in the family grave at All Saints’ Church.

Lance Corporal Henry Preece

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