Oliver, Henry (Harry)
No. 5383218, 2nd (Airborne) Battalion, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
Died as the result of injuries on Thursday 7 February 1946 (aged 26)
Ault Hucknall (St. John the Baptist) Churchyard Extension (Row 9 Grave 10)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
Henry (Harry) Oliver was born on 21 January 1920 and he was a son of George and Elleanor (Ellen) Agnes Oliver (nee McAvoy) who were married on 29 April 1901 in Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church, Newtownards. George Oliver, a weaver from Newtownards, was a son of George Oliver, a weaver. Elleanor McAvoy from Newtownards was a daughter of Hugh McAvoy, a weaver.
The Oliver family lived at 20 Wallace’s Street No. 2, Newtownards.
George and Elleanor Oliver (nee McAvoy) had at least ten children:
George (born 26 November 1901 in East Street, Newtownards)
James McAvoy (born 25 June 1903 in Wallace’s Street, Newtownards)
Kathleen (born 30 October 1904 in East Street, Newtownards; married David Thompson)
Jane (Jeannie, born 23 February 1907 in East Street, Newtownards; married Robert Armstrong)
Margaret Irvine (Madge, born 3 March 1910 in Wallace’s Street, Newtownards; married Jack Davis)
Anthony (born 24 August 1912 in Wallace’s Street, Newtownards)
Hugh (born 13 October 1914 in Wallace’s Street, Newtownards)
Eleanor Agnes (born 12 May 1917 in Wallace’s Street, Newtownards when her father was in the Army in Belfast)
Henry (Harry, born 21 January 1920)
Harry Oliver’s father served in the South African War and was severely wounded. His uncles served with Army and Navy during the First World War and his brother George served with the Royal Ulster Constabulary in Belfast.
Henry (Harry) Oliver and Audrey Lilian Heath from Glapwell, Derbyshire were married in the first quarter of 1943 in the Parish of Ault Hucknall (St. John the Baptist) and they had a son named Kenneth whose birth was registered in the third quarter of 1944 in Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
After Harry died, Lilian Oliver remarried and became Lilian Wright.
Lilian Wright (formerly Oliver, nee Heath) died at the age of 78 and was buried in the same grave as Harry Oliver.
Kenneth Oliver married Pauline Caufield and moved to Lincolnshire.
Harry Oliver joined the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry two years before the outbreak of war, and he volunteered for service with the Airborne Battalion. He became an instructor and was severely injured as the result of a parachute jump. After a period in hospital, he was discharged from the Army with a disability pension and underwent a series of operations, the last of which was in December 1945.
Corporal Harry Oliver (No. 5383218) was 26 when he died in Chesterfield Royal Hospital, Derbyshire on 7 February 1946 and he was survived by his wife and son. He was buried in Ault Hucknall (St. John the Baptist) Churchyard Extension, Derbyshire and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
SLEEP ON, MY DARLING,
WE’RE ALWAYS NEAR.
LOVING WIFE AUDREY
AND SON KENNETH
His family placed In Memoriam notices in the 8 February 1947 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle and they contained the verses:
The call was sudden, the shock was severe,
We little thought the end was near;
It is only those who have lost can tell
The pain of parting without farewell.
We think of him in silence,
And oft repeat his name;
What would we give to hear his voice,
And see him smile again.
Not dead to us who loved him,
Not lost, but gone before;
He lives with us in memory,
And shall for evermore.
He was a brother, good and kind;
Loved by those he left behind;
Forget him, no, we never will,
As years roll on we love him still.
In the midst of like we are in death.
Calm and peaceful, he is sleeping,
Sweetest rest that follows pain;
We who loved him sadly miss him,
But we trust in God to meet again.
Corporal Henry Oliver (No. 5383218) is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial.