Southam in WW1

Centenary Archive

Honouring those who died and all who served


Henry Thomas Morby (18404)

Henry was born in 1877 and after working first as a lad on the land, he later followed his father into the slightly more lucrative work in the lime works. He came from a big family and before war broke out his elder brother Benjamin was already serving with the Coldstream Guards.

In 1900 Henry married 21 year old Annie Gaskins.  She was a local girl, daughter of Robert Gaskins the shoe maker. The couple had eight children and their last child Rose was christened just six weeks before her father’s death.  Henry probably never saw this child.

Private Henry Morby was serving with the 2nd Battalion, Gloucester Regiment on the Stuma Front in Salonika in Greece at the time he was killed. Over a quarter of a million men were deployed in neutral Greece. In September 1916 the Allies launched a major offensive in this mountainous region where the Germans and the Bulgarians were dug in.

The Gloucesters spent several days in the village of Bala working on their defences although their work was hindered by severe dust and high winds. On the evening of October 1st 1916 the enemy launched a nightlong offensive on the Gloucester’s trenches and there was heavy fighting on both sides.

The battalion lost 53 men that night and Henry Morby died of his wounds the following day. He is buried, surrounded by the Greek countryside, in the Military Cemetery at Struma.

Double tragedy hit Henry’s wife for just over a year later, on 28th November 1917 her baby daughter Rose died. The child is buried in Southam church yard.

(Military research from the War Diaries by Alan Griffin)