Harry Perrin came from a Writtle family which settled in Chelmsford. He joined the army and was killed in action in April 1918 near Ypres. His family’s home was in Moulsham Street.
Harry was born in Writtle on 27th December 1898, one of eight children of Alfred Perrin (sometimes ‘Perring’) and Mary Ann Perrin (nee Horsnell). He was christened at Writtle on 15th June 1899, at which point his father was described as a bricklayer’s labourer living at Writtle.
His father had been born in 1863; his mother c1870, both in Writtle. On 3rd April 1893 the couple had married at All Saints’ Church in Writtle - two years earlier they had been neighbours living at The Green in the village.
Harry’s siblings (all Writtle-born except otherwise stated) were: Ada Perrin (born in 1890 in Widford as Ada Horsnell), George Alfred Perrin (born 1895), Sarah Louise Lily Perrin (1897-1968), Bertie John Perrin (born in 1901), Elizabeth May Perrin (1902-1928), Nathaniel Frank Perrin (1904-1968) and Walter William Perrin (1908-1997).
In 1901 the census found two year-old Harry living with his parents and three elder siblings at Dedman Lane in Writtle. Harry’s father was a 37 year-old bricklayer’s labourer. A decade later the 1911 census recorded Harry, aged 12, his parents and six siblings living at 31 Moulsham Street, Chelmsford. His father was employed at a leather tannery; his sister Sarah was a domestic servant.
Harry enlisted at Chelmsford. He was killed in action on 18th April 1918 while serving as Private 131496 in the 19th Battalion of the Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). He was aged 19.
Harry has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, nine kilometres north-east of Ypres, West-Vlaanderen in Belgium, on the Civic Centre Memorial, Chelmsford, and the Moulsham Parish Memorial, St. John’s Church, Moulsham.
Private, 19th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
He was entitled to the British War Medal and Victory Medal. He is not the Harry Perrin commemorated on the Writtle War Memorial.
The 1918 register of electors listed Harry’s parents still at 31 Moulsham Street. His father died there on 6th March 1926, aged 62; his mother, in 1952, aged 80.