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Bridgwater, Somerset
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Pte. Harry Seward


2nd Battalion Rhodesia Regiment

Harry Seward was born in Bridgwater in 1882, in the family home of 14 Angel Crescent. His father, George Underhill Seward, was a shop assistant. George died in 1892 and his mother, Elizabeth followed in 1897, so Harry moved with his older brother and by 1901 he was living in Hornsea in Middlesex having acquired a trade as a builder's surveyor.

Harry Seward fought and was killed at the battle of Latema-Reata in March 1916, when British forces advanced from what is now Kenya into the German colony of Tanzania (then known as German East Africa). Although the battle was a Commonwealth victory, during its fighting a machine gun post of the Rhodesia Regiment came under heavy fire from three sides and in his gun pit poor Seward was wounded. He was dragged to safety through the bravery of Private Harold Evans, who then returned to the pit to resume firing and prevented a rush attack by the German forced which would have broken the British lines. This bravery won him the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Although rescued from immediate danger, Seward was so badly wounded that he died soon afterwards. He was buried there in Tanzania and now rests in the Taveta Military Cemetery. On 29 March 1916 the Bridgwater Mercury reported that 'Mr Harry Seward killed in action 11 March in German East Africa. Youngest son of Mr G U Seward, formerly grocer of Bridgwater'.

His grieving siblings added his name to the family memorial (299) on the plot of the Wembdon Road Cemetery where his parents had previously been laid to rest. The memorial's inscription reads 'In Loving Memory of Martha widow of Emanuel Worner of Martock who died January 10th 1878 aged 57 years. Also of Elizabeth daughter of the above and wife of George U Seward who died July 29th 1892 aged 44 years. Also of Ann widow of Joseph Seward of Dunsford Devon who died April 27th 1897 in her 80th year. Also of Harry son of G. U. and E. Seward killed in action in German East Africa March 1916'.

Details of his memorial in Tanzania can be found here.

More information about the campaign can be found here.


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