Quarry, William Richard Harold (No. PS/5491)

Quarry, William Richard Harold (Harry)


No. PS/5491, 20th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)

Killed in action on Thursday 17 August 1916 (aged 25)


Flatiron Copse Cemetery, France (Grave I. A. 4)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Holywood and District War Memorial

Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour

Campbell College Belfast

Methodist College Belfast

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) War Memorial

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) Book of Remembrance

Harland and Wolff (Queen’s Island) War Memorial

Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club Memorial Plaque


William Richard Harold Quarry was born on 19 January 1891 in the townland of Ballycloughan, Stormont, Belfast and he was a son of George Henry Quarry and Mary Selina (May) Quarry (nee Turpin) who were married on 24 April 1890 in St. Mark’s Parish Church of Ireland Church, Dundela, Belfast.  George Henry Quarry, a solicitor from Atlantic Avenue Belfast was a son of George Quarry, a merchant.  Mary Selina Turpin of Lanark Lodge, Sydenham was a daughter of James Turpin, a surveyor.

Harry Quarry was just ten months old when his mother May died in a diabetic coma on 17 November 1891 (aged 28) and for a time Harry lived with his maternal grandparents, James and Pauline Turpin, in Sans Souci Park, Belfast.

On 11 December 1899 George Henry Quarry and Olive Elizabeth Currie were married in Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church.  Olive Elizabeth Currie, a spinster from Woodburn, Holywood, was a daughter of William Currie, Secretary of the Harbour Board.

Olive Elizabeth Quarry died of lymphadenoma on 12 January 1902 (aged 26) at Woodburn, Holywood.

On 19 June 1905 George Henry Quarry and Lilian Victoria Birt were married in Christ Church, Beckenham, Kent.  Lilian Victoria Birt was the fifth daughter of the late George R. Birt of Shotley Bridge, Co Durham.  They had at least three children:

Victor George Woodside (born 6 January 1907 at Alberta, Antrim Road, Belfast)

Rowland Raymond Marsh (born 9 July 1909 at Alberta, Antrim Road, Belfast)

Ernest William Birt (born 19 May 1911 at Alberta, Antrim Road, Belfast)

All of George Henry Quarry’s children were educated at Campbell College Belfast and Harry also attended Methodist College Belfast.

George Henry Quarry died on 12 January 1922 (aged 63), Lilian Victoria Quarry died on 4 August 1945 (aged 65) and they were buried in Belfast City Cemetery.

Prior to the outbreak of the Great War William Richard Harold Quarry was living at 1 Princess Gardens, Marino, Holywood.  He worked as a marine engineer at Harland & Wolff, Belfast and in 1914 he was a member of the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) Officers’ Training Corps (OTC).  Harry Quarry enlisted in Belfast and he served with the 20th (Public Schools) Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment).

Corporal William Harold Quarry made design improvements to the Lewis machine-gun and these were acknowledged by the Ministry of Munitions.  He was 25 when he was killed in action at High Wood on 17 August 1916 during the Battle of the Somme.  The Battalion sustained many casualties as they tried to make progress through heavy entanglements of wire and were raked by enemy fire.

Corporal William Harold Quarry (No. PS/5491) was buried in Flatiron Copse Cemetery, France and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:


Corporal William Harold Quarry (No. PS/5491) is commemorated on Holywood and District War Memorial; in the Belfast Book of Honour (Page 540); on the War Memorial Plaques in both Campbell College and Methodist College Belfast; on the QUB War Memorial and in the QUB Book of Remembrance (Page 46) and on the Harland and Wolff (Queen’s Island) War Memorial.