Paris, Harold Graham


Names recorded on Highfield War Memorial and Southampton Cenotaph.

Other Information

Alexander Paris marriage to Emma Kemp Welch was recorded in Jan-Mar 1877, Christchurch, Hampshire, Vol.2b, page 830.

Alexander Paris was a solicitor (firm presently (2010) known as Paris Smith, in Southampton). In 1877 they were living at The Avenue, Southampton. Alexander and Emma had 5 children.
Source : Direct descendant

Harold Graham Paris was born 13th October 1887. His birth was recorded Oct-Dec 1887, South Stoneham, Vol 2c, page 59.

In the 1891 census, he was shown (age 3, born Southampton) living with his family at Twynham, Winn Road, Highfield. His father, Alexander (b.1852, Sopley, Hampshire) was described as a ‘solicitor & notary public’. His mother, Emma (b.1847, Christchurch, Hampshire) did not work. Also present were siblings; Marion E. (b.1876*, Southampton), Robert C. (b.1883, Southampton) and Leonard F. (b.1885, Southampton).
Three members of staff were listed, all as cook and domestic; Edith G. Wallis (b.1867, Hull, Yorkshire), Ellen Lowe (b.1870, Eling, Hampshire) and Agnes A. Ember (b.1873, Millbrook, Hampshire).
Source: RG12/926, pages 18 and 19

* recorded in census as 1876, but the birth is recorded for Marion Emma Paris in South Stoneham, Oct-Dec 1877).

In 1901, the census shows that the family were now living at Becton House, Barton (part of Milton in the district of Lymington, Hampshire). Present were Alexander and Emma, and children, Leonard and Harold. Three staff were listed; Jesse Lowe (cook domestic), Sarah Avery (parlour maid) and Ethel Corline (housemaid).
Source: RG13/1036, page 10

Between 1901 and 1905, Harold attended the King’s School, Canterbury where he acted as trainbearer at the enthronement ceremony of an Archbishop and played for the Cricket First XI. He is commemorated on their roll of honour.

From school, he entered The Royal Military Academy at Woolwich in July 1905, being commissioned into the Royal Garrison Artillery on 23 July 1907. He then served for a time in Hong Kong before being sent to France on 19 August 1914, as a Lieutenant with 35th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery.

Marriage recorded for Harold Graham Paris to Helen M. Paine, Jul-Sep 1915, Havant, Vol. 2b, page 1189.

Following involvement in many battles, promotion and transfers to other units, he was promoted to Major and Officer Commanding of the 138th Heavy Battery in February 1917.

He was awarded the Military Cross on 16th August 1917, “Capt. A/Maj Harold Graham Paris R.G.A. – For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in keeping his men in action under very heavy hostile shell fire, during which he worked at a gun himself, setting a splendid example to his men. A few days later he most skillfully withdrew his guns under a heavy bombardment, and he has on many previous occasions displayed great courage and fine leadership.”

On 16th September 1918 he was awarded a Bar to the Military Cross, “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. This officer superintended the withdrawal of his guns under heavy fire, and largely owing to his efforts only one gun had to be abandoned. Earlier the same day he remained in the observation post, sending back information when his telephonists were severely wounded. Throughout the fighting he commanded his battery with skill and cheerfulness, keeping his men in good spirits.”

Major Paris was killed during an enemy attack on their camp at Estrées on 6 October 1918. The following day he was buried by his own men, in Hargicourt Military Cemetery. (Aisne, France. plot I. Row J. Grave 1, Source: CWGC)

The military information above was very kindly provided by John Ridler of The Hampstead Heavies website, where you can also find much more information including a first-hand account of Major Paris’s death, photographs from throughout his career and fascinating excerpts from his own diaries.

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