Henry (also known as Harry) was born in Wolverhampton in 1897, the son of John Wallace and Sarah Ann Shields. In 1901 they were living at 33 Victoria Road, Upper Penn, Wolverhampton, along with Henry’s sister, Josephine Elsie May. The family were at 18 Oak Street by 1911, and Henry had gained additional siblings Constance May, Annie Millicent, Nellie Winifred, John William and Edna Lilian. At some point his parents moved to Twickenham, Surrey.
On 18 March 1914, Henry enlisted with the 6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (service number 2216), serving in Western Europe from 19 August 1915. He attained the rank of Lance Corporal, but was wounded and discharged on 30 May 1916. He was awarded the Silver War Badge (number 34588) on 16 February 1917. On 12 January 1918, one hundred years ago today, Henry died (his death was registered at Richmond, Surrey). His death was presumably as a result of his war service, as he is listed as a casualty on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, and he appears in the Army Register of Soldier’s Effects under the category of “Soldiers Dying After Discharge”. He is buried at Richmond Cemetery in Surrey, and is remembered on the memorial of Trinity Methodist Church, Compton Road, as well as on the roll of honour of Cable Street Mills, where he was presumably an employee.