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SADLER, Harry (1900-1918) – Private, Royal Warwickshire Regiment

Harry Sadler moved to Badsey from Willersey in about January 1917.  Private Sadler’s name is recorded on the war memorial in St James’ Church, Badsey, and he is buried in the churchyard.

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Harry Sadler was born at Willersey, the second of four children of George and Jane Sadler.  He had an older brother, Frank, and two younger sisters, Florence Daisy and Ivy Blanche.  Harry’s father, George, died in 1906 and Jane married again, in 1908, to widower James Jordan who had two sons.  At the time of the 1911 census, James and Jane were living in Willersey with James’s two sons and Jane’s four children.

By January 1917, the family was living in Badsey, as that was the date when the youngest in the family, Ivy, enrolled at Badsey Council School.  The family lived at 8 Bowers Hill.

Although still only 17, Harry Sadler enlisted with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment some time in 1917.  From November 1917 onwards, several reports appeared in the Parish Magazine about Harry’s war wounds.  He was severely wounded by shrapnel in the left thigh and in both feet in about October 1917; one large toe was amputated and it was thought he would lose a foot.  He was sent to Netley Hospital and then to Romsey and discharged from the army on 3rd July 1918 “owing to wounds”.

Just three months later he died as a result of pneumonia following influenza at Northumberland War Hospital, Gosforth, aged only 18; he was buried in Badsey Churchyard.  Local members of the VTC formed a bearer-party but, in accordance with the wishes of Private Sadler’s mother who wished the funeral to be as quiet as circumstances would allow, there were no volleys and no “Last Post”.  The choir attended and sang a psalm and hymn in church and another hymn at the graveside and the organist played the Dead March.  Six months later, the military authorities erected a wooden cross over his grave.

1918 was a sad year for the Sadler family:  three Sadler brothers each lost a son.  Arthur Sadler (son of Arthur), aged 23, died on 22nd March 1918; Ernest Charles Sadler (son of Charles), aged 19, died on 13th April 1918; and Harry (son of George) died on 17th October 1918.  In 1916, Thomas Sadler (son of William), aged 22, had died on 30th July.  Three of the cousins, Arthur, Ernest Charles and Thomas, are named on the Willersey War Memorial.  Even though he spent most of his life in Willersey, Harry was not recorded at Willersey, only only on the Badsey War Memorial.

Jane Jordan’s other son, Frank, also suffered injuries during the Great War.  Shortly before his brother’s death, he was wounded in the arm and head on 6th October 1918, but was progressing favourably at a hospital in Bristol.  Frank continued to live in the Vale of Evesham until his death in 1970.  James and Jane Jordan continued to live at 8 Bowers Hill until at least 1931.