Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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   Lieutenant Eric Wallace Harris
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Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 213rd Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery (British Army)
Died: 04/11/1917 (Died of Wounds)
Age: 20
Summary      
Eric Wallace Harris was the only son of William Wallace Harris and Gertrude May Harris. Eric was born in Dublin about 1897. His father was a solicitor. Eric was educated at Avoca School, Blackrock and then at Trinity. He was a keen sportsman and played for Leinster hockey team. He joined the Officer Training Corps and gained a commission in Royal Garrison Artillery. Lieutenant Harris was recommended for special acts of bravery on three separate occasions, and only a few weeks before his death he was offered his Captaincy, but preferred to remain with his old battery. He was attached to 213th Siege Battery when he was seriously wounded in early November 1917. He died of his wounds on 4th November 1917.
Lieutenant Eric Wallace Harris
Further Information
Eric Wallace Harris was the only son of William Wallace Harris and Gertrude May Harris.
Eric was born in Dublin about 1897. He had one sister.
Family: William Wallace Harris, Gertrude May Harris, Eric Wallace Harris (born about 1898), Doris Gertrude Harris (born about 1900).
The 1901 census lists Eric Wallace as age 3, living with the family at house 19 in Church Hill, Naul Road, Glasnevin, Dublin. William Wallace Harris was a solicitor and Land Agent. Eric’s mother was English.
The 1911 census lists Eric Wallace as age 13, living with the family at in Avoca Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin.
Wallace Harris was a solicitor with an office at 43 Dame Street, Dublin.
Eric was educated at Avoca School, Blackrock. He had captained his school at both cricket and hockey.
1914
Eric Harris entered Trinity College, Dublin in June 1914 was a second year student of medical school at Trinity College, Dublin. He was reading for the position of surgeon probationer in the Royal Navy.
Eric Harris a keen sportsman and played for Leinster in the inter- provincial hockey team and also played for Trinity First, and captained the college team during the year they won the cup.
Eric was a member of Stillorgan Golf Club.
He became a member of Dublin University Officer Training Corps, and obtained first place in the preliminary military examination.
Eric Harris gained a commission in Royal Garrison Artillery on 10th November 1914.
1915
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 3rd December 1915:
Mr Eric Wallace Harris, only son of Mr Wallace Harris, solicitor, Dublin, and nephew of Dr and Mr Porter Harris, Stewartstown, and Dr Harris, Frome, England, has obtained a commission in the Royal Garrison Artillery, and has been posted to Queenstown for training. He was a second year student of medical school at Trinity College, Dublin and was reading for the position of surgeon probationer in the Royal Navy. He was a member of Dublin University Officer Training Corps, and obtained first place in the preliminary military examination. Second Lieutenant Harris is a good sportsman and played for Leinster in the inter provincial hockey match and also for Trinity First, and captained the college team during the year they won the cup. He is also a member of Stillorgan Golf Club.
Eric gained the rank of Lieutenant in December 1915 and was posted to Queenstown (Spike Island) for training.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 9th December 1915:
Newspaper Report
Mr Eric Wallace Harris, only son of Mr. Wallace Harris, solicitor, Dublin, and nephew of Dr and Mr Porter Harris, Stewartstown, and Dr Harris, Frome, England, has obtained a commission in the Royal Garrison Artillery, and is posted to Queenstown for training.
1916
Eric Harris was transferred to Fort Campden, County Cork to which station he was afterwards appointed as O.C.
Lieutenant Eric Wallace Harris left for France on Christmas Day 1916.
1917
Lieutenant Harris served at the Somme, as Arras (where he was slightly wounded in the arm) and in Flanders.
In April 1917 Lieutenant Eric Wallace Harris was recommended for distinction for special and conspicuous bravery on three occasions.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 15th May 1917: Captain F P Harris (cousin of Eric Wallace Harris)
Captain F P Harris, R.A.M.C., attached to the Royal Field Artillery, was wounded on 3rd May, and is also suffering from gas poisoning. This officer served through the Dardanelles campaign from the day of the historic landing till the evacuation. He afterwards served in Egypt, and for the last fourteen months has been in France. He has already been twice mentioned in despatches for gallant and distinguished conduct. He is the only son of Mr and Mrs Porter Harris, Curglasson, Stewartstown, whose elder daughter, Mrs Ella Harris, is a V.A.D. worker in Lady Constance Butler’s Hospital, London.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 20th August 1917: Captain F P Harris (cousin of Eric Wallace Harris)
Captain F P Harris, M.C., Royal Army Medical Corps, son of Mr J Porter Harris, solicitor, Stewartstown, was admitted to hospital in Etaples on 16th August suffering from ‘gunshot wounds, left arm and fracture of right thigh; severe.’ This young officer was gassed and wounded on 3rd May, but was able to resume active work in ten days. He was through the Gallipoli campaign from the landing to the evacuation. And afterwards served in Egypt before going to France, and he has twice been mentioned in despatches for gallant and distinguished conduct.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 19th September 1917: Captain F P Harris (cousin of Eric Wallace Harris)
The Military Cross has been awarded to Captain F P Harris, Royal Army Medical Corps, only son of Mr and Mrs Porter Harris, Curglasson, Stewartstown.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 20th September 1917: Stewartstown Officer Wins the M.C. (Captain F P Harris - cousin of Eric Wallace Harris)
Captain F P Harris, M.C., Royal Army Medical Corps, attached R.F.A., son of Mr and Mrs Porter Harris, Curglasson, Stewartstown, has been awarded the Military Cross ‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty under very heavy shell fire, attending to wounded and having them safely removed to cover.’ He was previously mentioned in despatches for gallant and distinguished services. This young officer has seen very heavy fighting. He served through the Gallipoli campaign from the first landing on 2th April 1915 at Cape Helles, until the final evacuation. He afterwards served in Egypt, and has been serving in France and Flanders since March 1916. He was gassed and wounded in May, and he was severely wounded on 16th August last, having his left arm fractured with shrapnel, and his left foot and right thigh also injured. He was admitted to St John’s Hospital, Etaples, and shortly afterwards removed to Newcastle-on-Tyne, where we are glad to say he is progressing most satisfactorily. Captain Harris was educated at Coleraine Academical Institution and at Trinity College, Dublin.
Only a few weeks before his death he was offered his captaincy, but Lieutenant Harris preferred to remain with his old battery.
Lieutenant Harris was attached to 213th Siege Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery when he was seriously wounded on 3rd November 1917.
Lieutenant Eric Wallace Harris died of his wounds the following day on 4th November 1917. He was twenty years old.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 8th November 1917: Roll of Honour
Lieutenant Eric Wallace Harris, Royal Garrison Artillery, who died of wounds on 4th November, aged 20 years, was the only son of Mr W Harris and Mrs Harris, Chelmsford, Blackrock. He was a nephew of Dr Porter Harris, Stewartstown, county Tyrone, and had held a commission in the artillery since 18th November 1915.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 15th November 1917:
Lieutenant Eric Wallace Harris, Royal Garrison Artillery, died of wounds on 4th November, was the only son of Mr W Wallace Harris, solicitor, 4 Dame Street, Dublin, and Mrs Harris of Chelmsford, Avoca Avenue, Blackrock and entered Trinity College, Dublin in June 1914, and the Medical School the following term. He had captained his school at both cricket and hockey, and was a conspicuous forward in Trinity College team. Joining the University Officer Training Corps, he obtained his commission in the Royal Garrison Artillery on 10th November 1915, and after some months training at Spike Island, was transferred to Fort Campden, County Cork to which station he was afterwards appointed as O.C. He left for France on Christmas Day 1916, and served at the Somme, as Arras (where he was slightly wounded in the arm) and in Flanders, where he was mortally wounded on 3rd November 1917. In April last he had been recommended for distinction for special and conspicuous bravery on three occasions. A few weeks before his death he was offered the captaincy, but preferred to remain with his old battery.
1918
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 11th January 1918: Captain F P Harris (cousin of Eric Wallace Harris)
Captain Frederick Harris, M.B., R.A.M.C., only son of Mr Porter Harris, Curglasson, Stewartstown - For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in working for three hours in the open under an intense hostile bombardment, during which time he succeeded in getting many of the wounded under cover, and undoubtedly saved many lives. His coolness and fearless devotion were beyond all praise.
Post War
Lieutenant Eric Wallace Harris was interred at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery with full military honours.
After the war when the cemeteries were being put in place his family asked for the following inscription to be placed on his headstone:
'Death cannot sever love, and remembrance lasts for ever.'
Medal Card of Lieutenant Eric Wallace Harris
Eric Wallace Harris is commemorated on Stewartstown Cenotaph and Donaghendry Church of Ireland, Stewartstown.
Although listed on local memorials, it seems doubtful Lieutenant Eric Wallace Harris ever lived in the Stewartstown area.
The CWGC record Lieutenant Eric Wallace Harris as the only son of William Wallace Harris and Gertrude May Harris, of ‘Chelmsford’, Avoca Avenue, Blackrock, County Dublin.
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Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 The Square Stewartstown Nephew of Dr Harris, The Square 54.576960 -6.676737
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Harris family 1901 census lists Eric Wallace as age 3 at house 19 in Church Hill, Naul Road, Glasnevin, Dublin
2 1911 Census lists Dr Hugh Harris Uncle of Lieutenant Eric Wallace Harris
3 1911 Census lists Harris family 1911 census lists Eric Wallace as age 13 at house 1.4 in Avoca Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin
4 1937 Reading Room, Trinity College, Dublin Edward Wallace Harris listed on this memorial
5 FindAGrave.com Photo of Lieutenant Eric Wallace Harris's grave
6 Irish Life - Our Heroes Brief details including photo
7 Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery Information on Lieutenant Eric Wallace Harris including grave photo
8 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Lieutenant Eric Wallace Harris's grave can be purchased here