Henry James Halsey

Rank Private
Service No 9650
Date of Death 13/09/1914
Age 22
Regiment/Service Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the Line 15th (The King's) Hussars

Hautrage Military Cemetery. The cemetery is 15 kms west of Mons, Belgium. The village was in German hands for almost the whole of the war. The military cemetery was begun by the Germans in August and September 1914 and in the summer of 1918 they brought into it a large number of British graves of 1914, mostly of the 2nd Cavalry and 5th Infantry Divisions, from the surrounding battlefields and local cemeteries.


Henry enlisted in the army on 8th October 1912. His previous occupation was gardener. At the outbreak of war in August 1914, the 15th The King's Hussars were stationed at Longmoor, Hampshire. They moved to France on 18th August, landing at Rouen. They took part in the battle of Mons, the first British engagement of the war. Between 12th and 15th September 1914 they were involved in the Battle of the Aisne, some 170 kms from where Henry died so perhaps he was injured, left behind and taken prisoner in the retreat from Mons on 23rd August.

Henry’s entry in the Army’s Register of Soldiers’ Effects states that he died at St Joseph’s Convent, Blaugies, Belgium, which is 20 kms south-west of Mons right on the French border. It also records after his name ‘alias Coldham’, and that his mother was Clara Morley. An official  

Belgian document relating to his death, dated 20th January 1919, indicates that he was born on 19th October 18?3 in London and that he died on 12th September 1914. It states that his father was already dead and his mother was living at 6 Grove Terrace (Terrace is not clear), Regents Park (no mention of Road), Finchley.

At the time of the 1901 Census, Clara Coldham is occupying three rooms at 8 Bawtry Road, Friern Barnet. She is described as the head of the household and working in ‘laundry’. She is the mother of Annie Emma, aged 9, who was born in Hampstead, Henry James, aged 8, born in East Finchley and Ethel Clara, aged 6, also born in East Finchley. The birth of a Henry James Coldham was registered in Barnet district in the last quarter of 1892, so this is almost certain Henry James who served in the Hussars.

Henry’s sister, Annie Emma Coldham, was baptised in Holy Trinity East Finchley on 5th July 1891. The register lists the family living at 22 Hamilton Road, East Finchley.

The 1919 electoral register records an Albert and Clara Morley residing at 49 Stanhope Road, Finchley, so this suggests his mother may have re-married. Stanhope Road bisects Mountfield Road in which St Luke’s Finchley was located. Henry’s name is listed in the December 1914 edition of the St Luke’s monthly magazine roll of honour and states that he died of wounds in Belgium.