Harry Virtue, 3051805, was a Private in the
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He was the son of
James and Annie Virtue, of Berwick, and the husband of Mary
Margaret Virtue, née Shipton, who came from the Orkney Islands.
The Regiment moved to a new base in Dover in
1931/32. The family settled in Dover, living at Glenfield
Avenue, and Mr Virtue left the army, working as an engineer. The
family had three children; Robert, born 1932, and, born in
Dover, Henry, born 1935 and Maureen, born 1940.
When war broke out Mr Virtue was called up as
he was on the Reserve list. He saw action in Belgium with the
British Expeditionary Force before being stationed in the
St.Valery-sur-Somme region to keep the enemy advance at bay
whilst evacuation continued through the port of Dieppe. The
church tower in Franleu churchyard was a lookout post for the
Argylls. Scores of enemy Panzers were seen from the church tower
as the enemy swept towards the coast.
The day Private Virtue died, on 5 June 1940,
when he was 30, became known as the blackest day in the
history of the battalion. Two dozen officers and over 500 men
were wounded, killed, or missing.
Private Virtue is buried in
Franleu Churchyard, Franleu-en-Somme, France; descendents of his
family often visit. He is also commemorated in the Book of
Remembrance in Edinburgh Castle.
Mrs Virtue remarried in 1942, to Edward
Batty. She had three more children and remained in Dover for the
rest of her life. Mrs Shipton, her mother, also settled in
with thanks to Gary Virtue
the picture of Harry Virtue was taken when he was
about 17-18 years old