Harry Alma FINCH (1887–1919)

Harry Alma Finch was born in Stiffkey, Norfolk in 1887, the son of John Finch and Elizabeth Sutton. His parents were married in the Walsingham registration district in the fourth quarter of 1886 and had the following children:

  • William Sutton (born in Stiffkey in 1879/80 to Elizabeth before her marriage, when she was living at home with her parents and working as a cockle-gatherer)
  • Harry Alma Finch (born in Stiffkey on 9 July 1887)
  • Bartle Finch (born in Warham All Saints in 1890/1)
  • Grace Finch (born in Warham All Saints in 1893/4)
  • Robert Finch (born in Warham All Saints in 1894/5)
  • Walter Finch (born in Warham All Saints in 1896/7).

The 1891 census shows the family living at Warham All Saints, Stiffkey, Norfolk. Harry (3) was already at school, and his father was an agricultural labourer. Susan Sutton, probably Harry’s maternal grandmother, was living with them.

In the 1901 census their address at Warham All Saints is specified as Wells Road/Binham Road, and Harry (13) was then working as a house boy, while his father is described as a milk man on a farm.

Foxcombe

By the time of the 1911 census Harry (23) was living at Foxcombe on Boars Hill (above right) and working as the footman of the Earl of Berkeley. His parents were still living back in Norfolk at in Warham All Saints.

On 26 October 1915 at Abingdon Register Office Harry Alma Finch (28), now the butler at Foxcombe, married Rose Elizabeth Harriet Heavens (29). They do not appear to have had any children.

Harry probably met Rose at Wootton, as her parents, William and Harriet Heavens, lived at Henwood Cottages, Boars Hill, but she was working as a cook at 108 Abingdon Road, Oxford at the time of their marriage.

Finch's grave at Wootton

 

Poppy In the First World War Harry Alma Finch served as a Private in the Royal Army Service Corps (Service No. M2/196734).

He died of influenza at the Military Hospital in Hounslow, England at the age of 32 on 19 February 1919.

Six days later Finch was buried in St Peter’s churchyard, Wootton (north of the church, near the east boundary). The inscription on the top and middle plinth of his gravestone (left) reads:

IN LOVING MEMORY OF

MY DEAR HUSBAND
HARRY FINCH
DIED FEB. 1919
AGED 32 YEARS

Finch is also remembered on the war memorial outside St Peter’s Church.

 

The photograph below (kindly supplied by Ruth Dipple, whose grandmother was Harry Finch’s cousin) shows his grave when it was new.

Finch grave when it was new


 

POSTSCRIPT

Harry Finch’s parents
  • John Finch (born at Brisley, Norfolk in 1862/3): death not yet found.
  • Elizabeth Sutton (Mrs John Finch) (born in Stiffkey, Norfolk in 1858/9): death not yet found.

Poppy

See also