Harold Frederick Dyke

650949, Corporal, “B” Company. 2/21st Battalion, London Regiment (First Surrey Rifles).

Killed in Action on the 31st March 1918 aged 27.

Harold was the son of Frederick Thomas & Florence Dyke of Six Hills, Stevenage. He was educated at Alleynes School,  was the secretary of the Stevenage Hockey Club and, before joining the Army, had worked as an Insurance Clerk.

He joined the Surrey Rifles on the 3rd September 1914 and served in France, Salonika, Egypt and Palestine. He arrived in France on the 26th June 1916 where the Battalion served in the Ypres sector until the 30th November when they were shipped to Salonika. Whilst serving in this theatre he was admitted to hospital on a total of six occasions suffering from a variation of stomach related disorders. On the 17th June 1917 the Battalion were posted to Egypt to help in the fight against Turkish forces in the region. It was here that Harold was to lose his life.

On the 31st March 1918 the Battalion were located in the Wadi Amman, Syria.  Here they were ordered to advance on, and capture, Turkish positions. The assault began at 2.40am and the Battalion soon came under heavy machine gun and rifle fire from Turkish positions to their right.  “B” Company, with whom Harold was serving, were ordered to attack these positions which they did so very successfully. They advanced very quickly and soon found themselves well in front of the Battalion and were able to capture two machine guns and eighty Turkish prisoners. The Company were then brought back to a Wadi on the Amman road in order that their commanding officer could determine the situation. The action had cost the Battalion 24 men killed or missing and a further 104 wounded.

Harold is buried in the Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetery, Syria. (F.27.)

Medal Entitlement: British War Medal & Victory Medal.

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