Henry Mills (1877 - 1916) Regimental No. 18333

Henry was born at Great Bedwyn, near Marlborough Wilts in January 1877, to an agricultural labourer. He worked as an errand boy in 1891 before becoming a rural postman. Henry married Emily (from an army family in Bermuda) on 31st August 1902 and had one daughter and three sons over the next ten years. The family moved to Wanborough in 1910 and Henry became a labourer there.

He enlisted in the Wiltshire Regiment, D Company, 5th Battalion part of 13th (Western) Division, 4th Brigade on 22nd November 1915. The Battalion had fought in Gallipoli in 1915 but were evacuated to Egypt due to heavy losses in January 1916 and then posted to Mesopotamia in February where they engaged in various actions against the Turkish Army.

Between 7th December 1915 and 29th April 1916, the Ottoman Army were besieging an 8,000 strong British-Indian garrison in the town of Kut, 160 kilometres (100 mi) south of Baghdad. His Battalion were involved in the attempted relief of this siege, including the battle of Beit Asia on 17th April and this is likely where he met his fate. Henry is recorded as killed in action on 19th April 1916, aged 39.

He has no known burial but is commemorated on the Basra Memorial on panels 30 and 64; as there are two panel references it is probable that he was held as a prisoner of war prior to his death. The Memorial was moved in 1997 to Basra from its original site at Maqil.

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