Homebuilder seeks war hero relatives

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bovis New Homes in Droitwich at former medals officeBovis Homes are trying to track down the descendants of a Droitwich war hero - because they are planning to name their new development in the town after him.

Construction of the new homes has begun on the site of the former Army Medals Offices at Worcester Road, where Bovis Homes are planning to build 64 new properties. In seeking a name for the new development, marketing manager Heather Suffield discovered the story of Sergeant Edward Harrison, who received the Military Medal for bravery in the First World War.

"Whenever we go into a community to build homes we look to give the new development a name that reflects the area and its history," said Heather. "The land we are building on obviously has a military past and in researching the area I came across a document by local man Jon Winks that gave some background and biographies to the names on the town's war memorial."

One of the stories that stood out for Heather was that of Sergeant Harrison who was awarded the Military Medal for 'conspicuous bravery and gallantry in the field' in July 1917 and was killed in action in France the next month. There is an old memorial stone to him in Dodderhill church yard but no known grave.

"The team here thought it would be fitting to recognise the extraordinary bravery of this ordinary Droitwich man by calling the new development 'Harrison Park'," said Heather. "Now what we would like to do is find some local people who are related to Edward to let them know our intentions and perhaps have them take part in the opening ceremony."

Edward, known as 'Ted' was born in Droitwich, the eldest son of John and Ada Harrison of 23 Albert Street. He worked as a brick layer for the Great Western Railway and played for Droitwich United football team. He enlisted in Birmingham in September 1914, joining the 9th South Staffordshire Battalion and died almost three years later aged 36.

If anyone is related to Edward, or has information about his descendants, they can contact Heather on 01675 437011