In loving memory of Harry Leslie Beeham Andrews, who died on 23rd March 1919 aged 33 years, he was nearly three years on active service with the Tank Corps in France, and was Gassed in 1918
“Blessed are the Pure in Heart for they shall see God”
CWGC: Lance Corporal H L B Andrews; Service Number: 200039 Tank Corps; died 23 March 1919. S112. The Grave Registration Report Form gives his service number as 200029 which is probably the correct number.
Harry Leslie Beeham Andrews was born in Ross, Herefordshire, in 1885 and baptised there on 11 January 1886. He was the son of Henry John Andrews, a tailor, and his first wife Elizabeth Collins.
Harry was working as a draper’s apprentice in Preston in 1901 and a draper’s assistant in Croydon in 1911. By the time the 1914-15 electoral register was drawn up he had moved to Edinburgh and was listed as a warehouseman living with ten other warehousemen and a clerk at 14 Rose Street, which was owned by Charles Jenner & Co., Princes Street.
He returned to Edinburgh after the war and his death certificate reveals that he was a draper’s salesman, unmarried, and died in Edinburgh City Hospital on 23 March 1919 from Influenza and Pneumonia, so he was a victim of the 1918-19 flu epidemic. The death was registered by his sister, Adela Andrews, who was then living at 70 Marchmont Road. His sister gave his usual address as 5 Comiston Terrace when she registered his death but the index to the Edinburgh Sheriff Court Inventories shows his address still as 14 Rose Street.
The Tank Corps was only known by that name from July 1917 when it was established as a separate unit from the Machine Gun Corps, having previously been known as the Heavy Section, and from November 1916, the Heavy Branch Machine Gun Corps. Tanks were first used in action on the battlefield of the Somme on 15 September 1916. The family memorial suggests he was involved in the evolution of tanks in WW1 from an early stage. No enlistment or service record has been found for Harry Andrews but there is a Medal Index Card and Medal Roll entry for Leslie Andrews, Royal Field Artillery, Gunner, service number 1208, Tank Corps, service number 200029. Since Harry was listed in the 1911 census as H Leslie B Andrews, it looks as if he used his second name and transferred from the RFA to the Tank Corps, but without a service record it is impossible to date when he transferred.