Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler continues his patient, thorough research into the Harrison empire. This was, of course, the local industrialist family that owned mines in South Staffordshire, and particularly the Grove Pit and others locally.
There has been a good deal of speculation over the manner in which Lieutenant-Colonel W. E. Harrison earned his titles, and the nature of his service to the military. Peter has found the following, somewhat interesting article.
To put this into loose context, in 1912, the old man Captain W. B. Harrison died at Aldershawe, at which juncture W. E. Harrison was living at Orgreave Hall, near Alrewas. It is thought that soon after, his gentrification was complete after he became the custodian of the Wychnor Estate.
It seems likely that the Lieutenant-Colonel contracted tonsillitis on a training camp in Wales, and was thereon restricted to a training and recruitment role, one he apparently executed so well that it earned him the OBE.
For a man of his stature, to be laid low by illness severe enough to limit his military endeavours must have been very frustrating. One can only imagine W.E. Harrison faced his unfortunate limitation with the stoicism and grace one would expect from a man of such standing.
The above is a work in process, but seems to be the case from evidence so far.
From the Lichfield Mercury, Friday, November 20th, 1914:
Lieutenant-Colonel W. E. Harrison, the officer ommanding the North Midland Division of Royal Engineers (Territorial Force) who some weeks ago returned to Wychnor Park suffering from tonsilitis, has been granted three months’ sick leave after having been examined by a board of medical ofﬁcers at Whittington Barracks. Col. Harrison also consulted a London specialist, and it was found that he had strained the muscles of his heart. At the present time he is in the hands of his medical adviser (Dr. Armson), and he has been ordered to spend as much time as possible in the open-air. Colonel Harrison is naturally keenly disappointed at having been compelled to return home, but we understand that he has been given command of the Territorial Engineers Reserve unit for home and foreign service, and is now busily engaged in recruiting. Recruits are urgently needed for the 2nd North Midland Field C0., both sappers (carpenters, bricklayers, blacksmiths, saddlers and miners) and drivers for the mounted section. The company is generally recruited from Brownhlils, Pelsall and Norton Canes, and it is to be hoped that the young men of these districts will realise their responsibilities and join the ranks as speedily as possible.