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“Some of the Remains of a Once Beautiful Belgian Village”

These sketches were printed in the Express & Star on 14 May 1915. They are the work of Private H. F. Poulson, of D Company, 1/6th South Staffordshire Regiment, a son of Mr and Mrs Harry Poulson of George Street, Wolverhampton. He had been a compositor before the war, and was always “dextrous with his pencil”. Apparently he was “popular among his comrades, who often persuade him to caricature certain individuals in the regiment.” As a battalion scout, Private Poulson had climbed onto the roof of one of the dilapidated cottages with his captain to sketch the German trenches and positions.


“Remains of a Pretty Little Church near our Trenches (Note how the clock remained)”


Harry was born in Wolverhampton in 1893, the son of Harry and Elizabeth Poulson. In 1901 they were living at Lower Villiers Street. By 1911 they were living at 39 Star Street, Bradmore, Wolverhampton, together with Harry’s siblings Constance Maude, Emma Elizabeth, Bertha Mary, Frank and Albert Clarborough.Harry was listed as an apprentice compositor for a printer.

He enlisted in the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 3030 and later 240608), first entering the war on 5 Mar 1915. On 15 January 1917 he became a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and later a Lieutenant in the South Wales Borderers. Harry appears to have survived the war, but I have not been able to find any further trace of him.