William Harrison

Medals awarded

  • 1914-1915 Star
  • British War Medal 1914-1920
  • Victory Medal 1914-1919
  • Africa General Service medal 1902-1956
  • Croix de Guerre (Belgium with oak leaf)

William Alexander Harrison was born in 1889.

He originally joined the Army Service Corps as a Private but rose through the ranks, joining the 4th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment as a 2nd Lieutenant on the 3rd of July 1918 whilst it was recovering from losses suffered earlier in the year.

Later, when the battalion was disbanded, William was sent to supervise German prisoners at Fort McDonald near Lille in France.

At the end of the war, they wrote two thank you letters to Harrison, one in German and one in English.

The English version is on display in the museum. Signed by their  Regimental Sergeant Major, the Quartermaster Sergeant, two Sergeants and two Privates, it reads, “To 2nd Lieutenant W A Harrison, 226 Company, Sir! We German prisoners of war from the 226 P.O.W. Coy wish to thank you for the humane and fair treatment which we have received from you during the period of time in which you have been in command of us. On the cause of our repatriation we bid you “farewell” and we wish you the very best of luck and prosperity in the future in the name of the whole company.”

Harrison rose to the rank of Captain, retiring from the Army in May 1922. He became a clock and watch repairer in Wiltshire.