20th June 1888 - 6th Sept 1917 (age 29)
"A" Coy. 1st/6th Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers
James Appleton was a farmer originating from Sessay, while his wife Martha Jane was from Thirsk. Six of their children were born at Balk, before they moved to Sowerby, where Henry was born followed by a further five children. Henry was admitted to Sowerby Infant School on 18th September 1893 and to the Junior School just over a year later. By the time of the 1911 census, the family had moved to Hutton Sessay, where Henry now aged 22 was recorded as a farmer's son working on farm.
Henry enlisted into the Army at Rochdale, while residing at Whitworth, Lancs, and he went overseas on 5th May 1915. There are no further records until 6th September 1917, when his battalion attacked the enemy at Frezenberg during the Third Battle of Ypres. The attack failed due to machine-gun fire and an exposed left flank. B Company and half of A Company were captured and there were heavy casualties among the remainder of the battalion. Serving with A Company, Henry was killed in action on that day. Henry lies in the largest British military cemetery in the world, with over 11,000 graves, at Tyne Cot Cemetery plot V.G.4, Belgium. His next of kin was shown as James Appleton, living at 5 Tonacliffe, Whitworth, Rochdale, Lancs.
Henry Appleton's grave at Tyne Cot Cemetery, Flanders
Silk memorial book mark to Henry Appleton
Photograph of the Appleton family, probably taken at Hutton Sessay around 1908. Henry in on the back row, third from right. His brother Alfred, who also died in the First World War, is the youngest, at the front
The information on this page was compiled by Steve Billings.
Information about Henry Appleton on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Information about Henry Appleton on the War Graves Photographic Project website
Part of the St Oswald's Church website