Other names: Henry John (Harry)
Locations in this story: Shaftesbury, DorsetFrance & FlandersMenin Gate Memorial, Ypres, BelgiumSt. James Street, ShaftesburySt. James' Church, ShaftesburySt. Peter's Church, ShaftesburyHoly Trinity Church, ShaftesburyNova Scotia, CanadaWinnipeg, Manitoba, CanadaBellewaards Lake, Near Ypres, BelgiumPortsmouth, Hampshire
Story: Henry John (known as Harry) Bastable was born on 20th August, 1884 in Shaftesbury, Dorset. He was the son of George William Richard Bastable, an agricultural labourer, and Fanny Ann Bastable (neé Davis). He was baptised at St. James'Church, Shaftesbury on 21st September 1884. He was known as Harry in the family and on the Census records. Among his four siblings was William Richard, born in 1888, who also died in the war. Following the death of George Bastable in 1898, his widow Fanny worked as a laundress and later as a charwoman to support the remaining two children living at home at 84 St. James Street, Shaftesbury. On 28th May 1901 Harry joined the Royal Navy as Boy (Class 2) and was based at HMS Northampton , a Boy's Training Ship. He progressed to Ordinary Seaman and served in various ships and shore establishments until he was was discharged on 16th August, 1905. His conduct was described as 'very good' in nearly all his reports. No record of a Census entry for 1911 has been found, but it is known that on 28th March, 1914 he set sail on the SS Tunisian bound for Nova Scotia, Canada, where he obtained work as a warehouseman. He enlisted in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on 17th December, 1914 as a Private in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force. He was described as a labourer on enlistment. On 16th March 1915 he left for France attached to the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (Eastern Ontario Regiment) (Service No. 51054). He served in France and Flanders and was awarded the Victory, British War and 1915 Star medals. He was killed in action "in the Field" on 8th May 1915, five days after his brother William. The site of his death was in the fire trenches at Bellewaards Lake, Near Ypres, Belgium, and he was apparently buried there at the rear of the trenches in an unmarked grave. As the area was then overrun the location fell into enemy hands and his body was never recovered. His name appears on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres (Panel 10). He is remembered on the Park Walk and St. James' Church War Memorials. He also appears on the Roll of Honour in St. James’ Church and on the Holy Trinity Memorial, now in St. Peter's Church, Shaftesbury. The site of the trenches at Bellewaards Lake eventually became a Garden of Remembrance and his name is also recorded on the memorial at that site.