King Edward’s School and the Great War

Memorial Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918


Harris, Joseph Cecil

Captain ▪ Royal Army Medical Corps

Joseph Cecil Harris, born on 25th August 1880, was admitted to King Edward’s School in January 1894. He was the son of Joseph, a hollowware manufacturer (of goods such as galvanised steel dustbins etc.), and Lucy, of ‘The Laburnums’, Prouds Lane, Bilston. The 1911 Census reveals that Mr and Mrs Harris had been married for 42¾ years, and had ten children, eight of whom still lived. Six of their sons, aged between 28 and 40, were living at home in 1911. One of Joseph’s brothers, Reginald, also an Old Edwardian, served with the Army Service Core during the war.

At School, Joseph was an exemplary gymnast, winning the Gymnastics Championship two years in a row (1898-99) with 63 points, the highest score since 1894. He was “consistently brilliant all-round, from dumbbells to parallel bars…clean and graceful…[had] the characteristic aptitude of his family for gymnastics”, as well as being a strong high jumper in athletics competitions. After School, Joseph became a practising dentist, and continued living at home.

In October 1912, Joseph brought his medical skills to the forces, becoming a Lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was later promoted to the rank of Captain. On 16th August 1917, he died of wounds received while manning a Casualty Clearing Station in Flanders. He is buried in Brandhoek New Military Cemetery, and is commemorated on the RAMC Memorial in St Peter’s Church, Wolverhampton, as part of the Wolverhampton War Memorial. Joseph left his estate of over £10,000 to three of his brothers: Clement, James and Sydney.