A Poppy
A Poppy

Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- Biography -
- Henry James Rayner -

Unknown person Name : Henry James Rayner.

Son of Albert James Rayner and Catherine Annie Rayner (née Bartlam), of Elmwood House, West St., Ventnor, Isle of Wight.

Born 1890 Ventnor.

  Census Information :

1891 : Albert and Catherine Rayner with their children including Henry aged 5 months, are at Lynchcliffe Cottage, West Street, Ventnor. Albert Rayner is a Hotel Bus Driver.

1901 : Albert and Catherine Rayner with their children including Henry aged 10, are at 7 West Street, Ventnor. Albert Rayner is a Stoker at Gas Works.

1911 : Albert and Annie Rayner, with their children, but not Henry, are at Elmwood House, West Street, Ventnor. Albert Rayner is a Stoker (Electrical Apparatus).

Henry James Rayner, aged 23 [sic], is a Private with the 2nd Bn Dorsetshire Regiment, at Wanowri Lines, Poona, India.
  Service details :

Private 7810 Henry James Rayner, 2nd Bn Dorsetshire Regiment.
  Casualty Details :

Died : 14 April 1915 aged 24

Buried at : Basra War Cemetery, Iraq.

CWGC record ...
  Commemorated on these Memorials :

Ventnor War Memorial
Methodist Church, Ventnor, War Memorial
County War Memorial, Carisbrooke Castle

  Documents and Newspaper cuttings :


Friday, April 30, 1915 Page 1
Mr. and Mrs. Albert Rayner, who live on the Longdown, have we hear, received official information of the death of their son Harry, of the 2nd Dorsets, who has been killed in action in the military operations in the Persian Gulf. He had been for some time with his regiment in India, and was a member of the regimental football team. His colleagues much deplore his death.

Page 4

We regret to announce that Private Henry Rayner, 2nd Dorset Regiment (Indian Expeditionary Force) was killed in action in the Persian Gulf on April 11th. He is the second son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Rayner, of Elmwood House, West Street. The parents received the official information of his death from the War Office on Wednesday, together with the King's message of sympathy which accompanies these sad letters. Only on Sunday morning last a letter was received from Private Rayner by his parents, in which he stated that he was quite well. He asked for some tobacco to be sent out, and this was packed up ready for the post when the news of his death arrived. Much sympathy will be expressed with the family in their sorrow. - Mr. and Mrs. Rayner have two other sons in Government service - Sydney who is on one of H.M. tugboats, and "Ted," who is in the 4th Hants Howitzer Battery in India.

Friday, June 11, 1915 Page 2

A Gallant Ventnor Soldier
Mrs. A. Rayner, of "Elmwood," West Street, Ventnor, has received the following appreciative letters of her son's bravery. He was in the 2nd Dorset regiment, and as we announces a few weeks ago, was killed in the Persian Gulf. He went through nine months' active service without receiving a scratch until he was fatally wounded. Lieutenant E.L. Stephens writes as follows: - Dear Madam, - Doubtless you have been informed of the death of your poor son Harry. I am writing to give you a few more details of how it occurred. His letters have been burnt and I am sending his watch on. He was shot through the head with a rifle bullet when about 500 yards from the enemy on April 14th and died instantaneously. He has been my observer for some time and I may say that he was one of the bravest men I have ever met. After the battle of the 17th November he was mentioned for his bravery but unfortunately he did not receive the Distinguished Conduct Medal. He is very much missed by his friends in the Company, and he is an awful loss to me, who know him so well, both in his games and his work. On the 14th the Regiment lost very heavily, but owing to the pluck and dash of men like your son we earned a great victory. Sergeant T. Ashford, of the same company as deceased, writes: - I am sorry to inform you that your son Harry was killed in action at Basra on April 14th. He died peacefully, having sustained a mortal wound. The whole of the company grieves heart and soul over his loss, as he was a thorough good soldier and sportsman, and will be greatly missed by the whole regiment. I am sorry to have to inform you of this sad news, but as he was in my platoon, I thought you would like to know by letter what we all think of him.


Friday, December 17, 1915 Page 1

Mrs. Albert Rayner, of Elmwood House, West Street, writes as follows:

- "Will you kindly mention that one of the crew mentioned in dispatches in connection with the destruction of the Konisburg (sic) is our eldest son, Sidney Robert Rayner, E.R.A. Our third son, Edwin, went to India a year ago, and afterwards was on active service in the Arabian Dessert (sic) against the Turks. His time being completed he returned to England and rejoined the colours."
Mr. and Mrs. Rayner's second son, Harry, was also mentioned in dispatches in the Persian Gulf operations, and we desire to say that at the time his death was notified we omitted to mention that his parents received a letter of sympathy from the Viceroy of India and Queen Empress. Henry Rayner was in India for about seven years and was a well known football and hockey player. Mr. and Mrs. Rayner are to be congratulated upon the distinction their sons have met with on the field of honour.


Friday, September 22, 1916 Page 1

A little exploit in which a Ventnor man took part has brought high praise from the Admiralty. We refer to Mr. S.R. Rayner, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Rayner, Elmwood House, West Street, Ventnor, who is in the service of the Elliott Steam Tug Company, and is a well known Ventnor man. The circumstances are set out in the following letter: "I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to request that an expression of the appreciation with which they have noted the offer of Messrs. F. Walker, L.J. Hills and S.R. Rayner to proceed with the tug Revenger to the assistance of the monitors while in action in the course of the operations against the German Cruiser "Konisburg" may be communicated to the members of the above named crew. - Signed, C. Murray."
  Further Information :

Account of the Dorsets in action in Mesopotamia

SMS Koningsberg Wikipedia article.
  Acknowledgments :

Janet Griffin for newspaper research
  Page status :
Page last updated : 9 April 2012 (added newspaper report)


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