Taken on strength, 4th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 14 February 1916.
Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 23 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 30 March 1916.
Killed in action, 16 August 1916.
Handwritten note on Form B103: 'Buried between Pozieres & Mouquet Farm probably in Cemetery (Sh 57D SE.) Certified by Capt. Mills.'
Note, Red Cross File No 0901007H: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Capt. Mills 10.10.19.'
Statement, 3005 Pte T.P. O'BRIEN, 4th Bn HQ (patient, Norfolk War Hospital, Norwich, England), 8 February 1917: 'Harry E. Debenham was killed by my side by a shell on the 16th Aug. 1916.'
Second statement, 2339 Pte N.W. BROWN, A Company, 4th Bn, 27 February 1917: 'Witness saw soldier buried in a shell hole alongside our own trenches at Pozieres, on Aug. 16th., '16. Soldier's name and number were written on his looking glass, and placed on his bayonet over the place where he was buried. A heavy bombardment was proceeding at the time, and prevented a burial service being held.'
Third statement, 2455 Lance Corporal W.G. THOMPSON, 4th Bn, 22 December 1916: 'A shell came on to parapet at Mouquet Farm, wounding him so badly that he died very shortly after. He was buried at the back of the trench in a shell hole at our first line.'
Fourth statement, 2359 Sergeant Major F.J. DOHERTY, A Company, 4th Bn (patient, Ford Hospital, Devonport, England), 5 February 1917: 'I was passing to and fro, and know that Debenham died about 20 minutes after he was hit by a shell, near Mouquet Farm.'
Fifth statement, 1453 Pte R. BAIKIE, 4th Bn (patient, Willesden VAD Hospital, St Mary's Road, England), 15 January 1917: 'Informant states that on 16th August 1916 at Pozieres, the battalion was in the front line trench, a shrapnel shell burst over the trench, wounding Debenham in the head and body. He was dressed at once by A.M.C. Men [sic] but died three hours later. He was buried by his friends in the trench.'
Grave subsequently lost. AWMM