Lieut. Henry Addis (Royal Dublin Fusiliers)
On April 11th Henry’s name appeared in the Daily Telegraph ‘Roll of Honour as being “wounded and missing, believed killed” and whilst we feared the worst there was, given the confusion at the outset of the German offensive, a glimmer of hope.
However, it is now stated in the Times that Henry was killed in action on the first day of the German Offensive (March 21st.)
The German attack, made under the cover of a thick mist and in great numbers, overran many of our troops in the forward positions. Henry was stationed near the front (represented by the thick black line) at Lempire (east of Peronne) and it is understood that he was in a dug-out with his Captain when a messenger came with a despatch.
They told him where to take it, and he came back almost at once and shouted down that the Germans were upon them. The Captain and Henry got the men out immediately and there was a fierce fight. At the end of about twenty minutes, the Captain was shot through the chest and fell and another bullet went through his head and killed him. Henry ran to his side, but was immediately shot.
It is proving to be a harrowing month – this new phrase of the war has seen the deaths of 4 of our Old Boys endeavouring to hold back the German advance (Alan Haig-Brown, George Thuillier and Ronald Stonehouse being the others). With casualty lists being the length they are, I fear there may be further additions to this list still to come.
Whilst at the Dragon, Henry was a quiet, reserved boy, with a considerable sense of humour. He was not particularly keen on games, but had his own amusements and was an interested observer of all that went on. He was always popular with a good set of boys. He was a good essay writer and fond of history.
His line of thought was always independent and original, and it is impossible to think of him without remembering the twinkle in his eye, which brought him into many scrapes and saved him from their usual consequences.