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John Harkess (1888-1918)

Poppies sent home from France in 1917

Two fragile pressed poppy flowers survive as a poignant reminder of John Harkess, a soldier from Washington in County Durham who served with the Leeds Pals in the First World War. John carefully wrote the names of several places where he had served in France, and his initials, on the delicate petals before sending the poppies home to his wife Ann in 1917.

Leeds Pals: The 15th (Service) Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment

Civil Parish: Washington

Death date: 27-Mar-1918

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: Brick Yard, Washington (1901 census)
6 Wood Row, New Washington (CWGC)
37 Morris Street, Birtley (National Probate Calendar)

Employment: Maker’s apprentice, age 13 (1901 census)

Family: Son of William and Mary Jane Harkess of Workington
Husband of Ann Watson, who later remarried as Ann Burt

Military service:

Enlisted at Newcastle upon Tyne in the Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire) Regiment, 15/17 Battalion, army no. 42139; killed in action on 27 March 1918

Gender: Male

Contributed by Durham County Record Office

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