L/Cpl Harold COWGILL
Service No: 18/1514
Lance Corporal Harold Cowgill of the Prince of Wales's Own, West Yorkshire Regt. (Bradford Pals) was the son of Mr and Mrs W.H. Cowgill of 37 Hartley St. Nelson.
Before joining the Army on 1st June 1915, he was living at 19 Bath St. Nelson and employed as a weaver.
As Private Cowgill, he was awarded the Certificate of Merit for 'conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty', during fierce fighting on 3rd May 1917.
'He repeatedly went forward through very heavy enemy shellfire, machine gun fire and persistent fire from snipers, to tend and carry in the wounded. He fearlessly continued this work during the whole day and the following night, acting throughout regardless of personal danger'
Lt.-Col. Commanding West Yorkshire Regiment.
Lance Corporal Cowgill was also awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) for 'gallantry and distinguished conduct in the field'. The citation read:
'This NCO displayed great gallantry and initiative during our attack. At one moment an enemy machine gun was about to fire when with the utmost promptitude he rushed the gun, killing the gunner and scattering the detachment, who were subsequently made prisoners. The advance then progressed. The next day, though very severely wounded by a shell in the chest and the legs, he continued to command his section until he became unconscious. His cool courage and fine leadership contributed largely to the rapidity and success of the advance'.
Lance Corporal Cowgill died of his wounds, age 20, on the 2nd July 1918 in hospital in Boulogne, France.
He is buried at Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille at the Commonwealth War Graves
Memorial Ref: I.D. 3 and is also remembered on the Roll of Honour at St. John's church.
Fred Stringer 'They are not forgotten'
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
'Craven's Part in the Great War'