One of the Survivors

We tend to be embarrassed in the UK about our wounded veterans. Much rather they were dead, or only wheeled out at the relevant anniversary. We remember the dead, those who gave a life, but would rather forget those who gave a limb.  Private 43863 Henry Charles Mabbott.  Wounded in Action

2nd Seaforth Highlanders

Also served in the Cameron Highlanders

Henry Charles Mabbott was born in Inverness but lived at 45 Teviot Street, Poplar, London. He enlisted on the 11th August 1914 and served three years in France. The first time he embarked from Southampton on the 25th August 1914. The ship he crossed to Le Harve on was the S.S. Welshman. Mabbott is in and out of hospital for various reasons until he is posted to H. Q. 1st Army on the 26th July 1915. He also has a few periods of leave. It is not known if he returned home during them. The 9th June 1916 saw Mabbott transferred to the 7th Battalion Cameron Highlanders. The next month sees him undergoing training at 15 Infantry Brigade Depot Etaples before being sent to the front on the 27th July. Mabbott is wounded in action for the first time on 13th September 1916. A gunshot wound to the left leg. Treated at first at a casualty clearing station then No.6 General Hospital he is sent home on the 15th September 1916. Mabbot embarks again for France this time on the 23rd May 1917, and from Folkestone. He arrived at 19 Infantry brigade depot Etaples and was posted to 6th Battalion Cameron Highlanders the next day. On the 10th June 1917 he was posted to the 7th Battalion Cameron Highlanders. A fortnight later he sprained his ankle. Mabbott was making his way to the trenches at night when he fell into a shell hole. He was sent to No. 2 Casualty Clearing Station, and on the 1st August he was transferred to England. Mabbot was promoted unpaid Lance-corporal on the 27th November and with pay on the 18th january 1918. reverting to private on his posting back to France. Mabbott embarked for the last time to France on the 4th April 1918 It is not known from where. He arrived at “F” Infantry Brigade depot and was posted to 6th Battalion Cameron Highlanders the next day. Mabbott was wounded on the 6th May 1918. A gun shot wound fractured his right knee. He was first treated at 23 Casualty Clearing Station then transferred to 18 General Hospital on to 74 General Hospital were his right leg was amputated and he was invalided home on the “Guildford Castle”. He was discharged as being no longer physically fit for war service on the 26th October 1918.1

Private 43863 Henry Charles Mabbott was awarded the 1914 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, and the Silver War badge.2

1 Private 43863 Henry Charles Mabbott’s Pension Record.

2 Private 43863 Henry Charles Mabbott’s Medal Card.


4 thoughts on “One of the Survivors

    1. flanders1914 Post author

      Hi Jonathan. I picked Henry entirely at random. At the time I had a chance to look through some WW1 pension records. Very pleased you left a comment. I did google the address and it is now a very different place than it was. I think where you live is late fifties early sixties. Sometimes we do forget these were real people. I would love to find out what happened to Henry after the war. Thanks again Peter


  1. quercuscommunity

    In the early 1960s limbless ex-soldiers were a regular feature of my childhood, including one in an old-fashioned bath chair. After that they seemed to fade out until recently. I spent a couple of years working with a man who lost a leg in Afghanistan and he told me that he heard some terrible stories of discrimination from veterans of later wars (including Ireland and the Falklands) and that when he first applied for a blue badge he was turned down because he was young and his condition “might improve”. He’s a councillor now, and a father of two – this link being slightly out of date.


  2. flanders1914 Post author

    I am very pleased he is a councillor, no matter what a person’s politics are we could do with more people who think like he does. How did they think his condition “Might improve”? did they think he would grow a new leg? boggles doesn’t quite describe my mind.



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