The HARRISON family – Captain HARRISON, Everard (1880-1917)

Everard Harrison was born in Leicester on 24th March 1880 and baptised at St Margaret’s on 5th June.  He was the youngest son of Stockdale Harrison, an architect and surveyor (1846-1914) and Marianne Bailey (1848-1923) who had six children: James Stockdale (1874-1952); Shirley (1876-1961); Marianne (1878-1971), Everard (1880-1917), Gregory (1883-1886) and Priscilla (1885-1975).  The whole family lived at number 7 St Martin’s East from before 1877.

Harrison 7 St Martins East
7 St Martin’s East

A daughter who lived just one day, Margaret, was baptised at St Martin’s privately on 5th October 1891, and Stockdale was a sidesman at St Martin’s during the mid 1890s but the family seem to have worshipped at St Margaret’s until the 1910s when Marianne (but probably not Stockdale) again became involved.  Stockdale was an architect of some local importance, being involved in many projects including the Holy Cross schools (1886), Vestry Street swimming baths (1891), St Thomas’s Church, Wigston (1892) and St Guthlac’s, Knighton (1912).

Wyggeston Boys School
Wyggeston Boys’ School

Everard was the only son not to follow his father in becoming an architect and surveyor and join his practice.  After attending Wyggeston Boys’ School between 1890 and 1897 he studied medicine at Trinity College Cambridge, graduating in 1904.  He served first at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, then as Senior House Surgeon at Scarborough Hospital, House Physician at the Hospital for Women, Soho, London and then in 1910 as deputy medical officer at HM Prison, Leicester.  During this time he married Sarah Grace Muriel Rogers (1879-1964) at All Saints Church in Blackheath on 20th February 1913.  Sarah was a staff nurse in the Royal Army Medical Corps, who had been stationed in Malta in 1911.  They lived together at 1 de Montfort Street from 1913-1917.  Together they had a daughter Vanessa who was born in Leicester on 20th December 1915 and baptised at St Martin’s on 23rd January 1916.

At the very beginning of the war in September 1914 Everard helped at a volunteer recruiting station for Kitchener’s Army recruits established by St Martin’s stalwart Miss Catherine Flude of The Hollins, New Street at buildings attached to her premises.  Along with several others, Everard carried out medical examinations of potential new recruits.

Everard’s father Stockdale Harrison died shortly after, on 10th Nov 1914.  His obituary in The Leicester Mercury the following day said that his “genial and kindly nature endeared him to a large circle of friends.”  Yet his will makes uncomfortable reading, especially in the light of Everard’s subsequent death.  Stockdale referred to his wife, all of his children, his servants and assistants past and present by name.  He made many small gifts, such as a gold watch to James Stockdale.  He left James Stockdale and Shirley his share in the business, of which they were all partners.  He left a small annual income to his daughters.  Each child was given £200 in cash and presumably Everard received this, but he was not mentioned by name at all in the will and he was the only child not left anything else.  Clearly there was some distance between father and son.

In January 1915 Everard was one of two medical doctors who worked at Knighton House, a new VAD Hospital established for the care of wounded soldiers.  However, at some point he left England to serve as a Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps, attached to the 1st/6th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment.  He was killed in action on 18th April 1917 in France, when a mine exploded at premises recently taken from the Germans, which were being used as an advance dressing station by the British.  He left all his worldly goods to Sarah in a will he made in 1913.  The Leicester Mercury printed an obituary on 24th April 1917:


We deeply regret to hear that Captain Everard Harrison, of the RAMC, attached to the Gloucesters, is reported to have been killed in France.  Mrs Harrison has not yet been officially informed of the sad event, but she has received a letter from a non-commissioned officer of the detachment which goes to show that Captain Harrison, with some officers, was sheltering in the cellar of a building when an explosion occurred, shattering the apartment and causing his death.

The deceased officer was the son of Mr Stockdale Harrison, architect, and educated at the Wyggeston School and at Trinity College, Cambridge.  He took his medical course at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, and had been in practice in Leicester since 1908.  He was in partnership with Dr Moore but had been at the Front since July last year.  His widow and daughter reside at 1 de Montfort Street, and with them and the bereaved family the greatest sympathy will be felt.

He is buried at Villers-Faucon Communal Cemetery, Somme and also commemorated on Trinity College Cambridge War Memorial.  A memorial plaque was also placed at St Martin’s which reads:


memorial HarrisonEverard Harrison / Captain RAMC / attached to the 1st/6th Battalion / Gloucester Regiment /Killed in action in France / April 18th 1917 aged 37 years / In loving remembrance

Everard’s widow Sarah lived at ‘Aspens’ Woodhouse Eaves in 1922, where she received her husband’s medals.  She remained a widow until her death in Dover in 1964.  Vanessa received a legacy of £200 in 1930 from her father’s former partner in medical practice, Dr Charles Arthur Moore of 21 de Montfort Street.

Everard’s mother Marianne had the choice to continue to live at 7 St Martin’s under the terms of Stockdale’s will, but she decided to move and lived at 58 Knighton Drive until her death.  She was buried with her husband at Welford Road Cemetery in 1923.

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