Rank:


Rifleman

Service No(s):


R34344

Regiment:


King's Royal Rifle Corps

Unit:

16th Battalion

Returned:

No

Place of birth:

Islington, Middlesex

Occupation:

Date of death:

20/05/1917

Cause of death:

Killed in action

Grave or panel reference:

Bay 7

Name of father:

James

Name of siblings:

Horace, Godfrey, Harold, Cecil, Ada

Name(s) of children:

Died:

Yes

Date of birth:

17/04/1897

Place of enlistment:

Holloway, Middlesex

Event:

France and Flanders

Age at death:

20

Cemetery or memorial:

Arras Memorial, France

Other memorial:

Name of mother:

Ada

Name of spouse:

Address:

24 Bedford Terrace, Finsbury Park

Biography:

Henry Stanley Wheeler was born on 17th April 1897 when the family resided in 79 Fonthill Road, Islington and was baptised on 6th June, 1897 in the parish of St Anne, Tollington Park.  He was the fourth oldest sibling in a family of six children.  His parents were James and Ada and by 1911, they were living at 24 Bedford Terrace, Finsbury Park.  At this time, Henry was 13 years old and a schoolboy at Pooles Park School, which still exists.  He attended the school alongside his younger brother Cecil and his younger sister Ada.

Henry enlisted for war duty at the age of 17 in Holloway, Middlesex.  His older brother, Horace, also enlisted.  Henry joined the King’s Royal Rifle Corps regiment as part of the 16th Battalion unit.  His rank was listed as a Private in 1914 and by 1917 his rank was listed as Rifleman.  The 16th Battalion was known as the Church Lads Brigade.

On 20th May 1917, Henry was killed in action, aged 20.  Forces War records state that during 1917, the 16th Battalion of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps were involved in the following battles: the First and Second Battles of the Scarpe, the actions on the Hindenburg Line, operations on the Flanders coast, the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge and the Battle of Polygon Wood.

After his death, Henry was awarded the Victory Medal.  Eligibility for this award consisted of having been mobilised, fighting, having served in any of the theatres of operations between midnight 4th/5th August 1914, and midnight, 11/12th November 1918.  George was also awarded the British War Medal for services between 5th August and 11th November 1918.

James and Ada Wheeler would have been sent a Memorial Death Plaque after the war to commemorate their son.

Henry S Wheeler’s name is inscribed on the Arras Memorial in France.  The memorial commemorates nearly 35,000 soldiers of the British, South African and New Zealand forces with no known grave.  Most of those commemorated were killed in the Battle of Arras, fought between 9 April and 16 May 1917.

Henry is remembered on St Mellitus church war memorial, his name inscribed in the plaque of the fallen soldiers.  His older brother’s name, Harold is  inscribed in the plaque of the soldiers who returned.