Harry Ingham Tosh

Rank Sergeant
Service No 204221
Date of Death 15/08/1917
Age 24
Regiment/Service Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment) 15th Battalion (48th Highlanders of Canada)
Cemetery St Patrick's Cemetery, Loos, France. The cemetry is located 5 kms from Lens. It contains 583 Commonwealth burials from 1914-1918.

 

Harry was born on 13th January 1893 in Folkestone, Kent, though Canadian military records mistakenly state January 1892. His father, Henry Maltby Tosh (b.1861-1922), an Inspecting Surveyor for HM Customs and Excise, married Emily Tosh, nee Clark, (b.1857-1920) in 1891. Harry had one sibling: Leslie, born 1895.  

At the time of the 1901 Census, the family were living at Wormit Road, Forgan, Fife, Scotland. Sometime thereafter they moved to Finchley and Harry was confirmed in St Luke’s Finchley by the Bishop of Islington on 28th March 1909. His address is listed in the confirmation register as ‘Malvern’, Mountfield Road, Finchley, and in the margin it has in pencil ‘Left’. Interestingly of the others confirmed on that day, two have ‘in Canada’ and one has ‘left for Australia’. His brother, Leslie, was confirmed by Bishop of London at St Mary-at-Finchley on 28th February 1910, aged 15. At the time of the 1911, the family resided at 45 Mountfield Road, Finchley.

Sometime between 1911 and 1915, Harry emigrated to Canada. Canadian military records reveal that Harry enlisted in Strasbourg, a small town in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, on 27th November 1915. He was exceptionally tall, being 6 ft 7.5 ins in height. His occupation is listed as farmer.  His original Unit was the 96th but he joined the 15th battalion on 13th January 1917. This happened soon after his marriage to May Kingsland (d.1979) in the last quarter of 1916 in Horsham, Sussex. They had no children.

At his own request, Harry reverted to the ranks on 21st February 1917 but this was cancelled on 10th March. He was in hospital from 21st March 1917 to 19th May 1917. On 15th August 1917, he was initially reported as missing, but later it was confirmed that he had been killed in action on the first day of the Battle of Hill 70. This was an engagement between the Canadian Corps and five divisions of the German 6th Army, which took place along the Western Front on the outskirts of Lens in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France between 15th and 25th August 1917. The 15th Battalion was on the extreme left flank of the Canadian’s initial assault on Hill 70. His parents are listed as next of kin and residing at an address in Horsham, Sussex.