Duncan Cenotaph

As part of our project to document the names on the Duncan Cenotaph in Charles Hoey Park, here is a page about Captain (acting Major) Harry Peere Williams-Freeman, who died 9 August 1918 while serving in Italy with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He is buried in Barenthal Military Cemetery, Italy.

Here is the local Cowichan Leader newspaper report of Captain Harry Perre Williams-Freeman’s death:

“Major Williams-Freeman

Major Harry Pierre (note: apparently a misprint in original) Williams-Freeman has joined the goodly company of brave men who have died for England. News arrived here yesterday that he fell in action on the Italian front on August 9th last.

He was born 38 years ago, the son of Lieut. Col. F. P. Williams-Freeman, late Indian Army, Hove, Sussex, educated at Winchester and intended for the army. He failed to pass the medical tests and in 1900 came out to learn farming from Messrs. A.A. Mutter ans S. Lamb, then farming the Loggin property. He then purchased the old Harrison property, Somenos Lake, and farmed there until war broke out, save for eighteen months when he went to British East Africa with the idea of settling there.

He enlisted with the 88th Regt., and was with the original 7th Bn. at Valcartier and Salisbury Plains. He transferred from there to the Imperial service, gaining a commission with the Royal Warwicks, a regiment with which his family had long been associated. He was soon in action in France and twice was recommended for the Military Cross. He received promotion instead and when acting major was wounded in his dug out. Shell splinters entered his back and came out at the shoulder, rendering his arm stiff and laying him up for nine months.

he rejoined his old battalion on the Italian front and there laid down his life. He was a fine tennis player, a gallant sportsman and a fine gentleman.”

(Source: Cowichan Leader, 12 September 1918, from Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives collections)

Here are some site with additional information about Harry Perre Williams-Freeman:

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