LIEUTENANT COLONEL HALFORD CLAUDE VAUGHAN HARRISON
ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY
1ST APRIL 1916 AGE 54
BURIED: LILLERS COMMUNAL CEMETERY, FRANCE
The death has occurred "somewhere
in France," of pneumonia of Major Halford
Claude Vaughan Harrison RFA, late of
Cote Grange, Westbury-on-Trym. He was
52 years of age.
Clifton and Redland Free Press
7 April 1916
At the time of the 1911 Census, Major Halford Claude Vaughan Harrison RA described himself as on the retired list. On the outbreak of war he rejoined the army and was in France by March 1915 with the rank of Temporary Lieutenant Colonel, meaning that he would hold the rank for the duration of the war.
Harrison was commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery in 1882. He came from an army family. His father had served with the Madras Native Infantry and his grand-father had been a major-general in the Royal Artillery.
In France he served with the 16th Division Ammunition Column and as the newspaper reported, died of pneumonia.
His wife, Beatrice, chose his inscription. It comes from Robert Louis Stevenson's Requiem, the poem that appears on his own grave in Samoa:
Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie:
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you 'grave for me:
Here he lies where he long'd to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.
Mrs Harrison has contracted the words to read as she wanted them to read. Her husband, after a long career in the army, was lying among his fellow soldiers in the battlefields of France.