The King's School
Roll of Honour
|Lieutenant Colonel Harry MACLEAR DSO|
2nd Battalion East Lancashire Regiment attached to the 13th (Service) Battalion Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment)
Date of birth: 16th February 1872
Date of death: 15th March 1916
Killed in action aged 44
Buried at Mazingarbe Communal Cemetery Grave 107A
|He was born at Wavertree, Liverpool on the 16th of February 1872, the son of Major Henry Wallich Maclear, East Kent Regiment, and Mary (nee Casey) of 2 Sussex Terrace, Portsea in Hampshire.
He attended the King’s School Canterbury from May to July 1885 when he went on to Cranleigh School before returning to King's from January 1887 to July 1889. He played as a three quarter in the Rugby XV during the 1888/9 season and was awarded his sports colours in 1887.
In 1889 he went to the Royal Military College Sandhurst and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the East Lancashire Regiment on the 18th of March 1891. He was promoted to Lieutenant on the 3rd of April 1892, to Captain on the 11th of May 1900 and to Major on the 9th of March 1910.
He served in the Chitral Campaign in 1895 with the relief force (medal with clasp), on the North West Frontier of India from 1897 to 98 (Makaland Medal and clasp) and in East Africa 1903-04 where he commanded the 9th Somaliland Camel Corps from December 20th 1903. He took part in the operations in Somaliland as Special Service Officer, Assistant to the base supply and Transport Officer, Berbera from November 1903 (medal with clasp).
In early 1907 he married Beatrice (nee Ellwell) and they lived at 2 Warwick Avenue Bedford.
On the outbreak of war he was serving at Wynberg in South Africa as second in command of the 2nd Battalion of his regiment. The battalion sailed for home on the 1st of October 1914 and landed at Southampton on the 30th of October. After re-equipping they sailed for France, disembarking at Le Havre on the 6th of November 1914.
During the Battle of Neuve Chappelle he took command of the battalion when the Commanding Officer was wounded.
He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order which appeared in the London Gazette of the 23rd of June 1915:-
"Harry Maclear, Major, East Lancashire Regiment. For distinguished service in the field"
He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on the 28th of May 1915 and was attached to the 13th Battalion Royal Scots, serving as their Commanding Officer and leading them at the Battle of Loos where he was wounded in the wrist in November 1915.
On the 15th of March 1916 he left his dugout to clean his teeth and was hit on the top of the head by a stray bullet. He died instantly. He was mentioned in despatches in June 1915.
His Brigadier wrote:- "It was a cruel piece of bad luck. he went out of his dug-out to clean his teeth before turning in at midnight and a stray bullet caught him on the top of the head. He must have died instantaneously. He was quite 3,500 yards from the German font line at the time. he commanded the 13th Royal Scots in my Brigade and was a very fine officer and would have been bound to get on."
He wrote a book called "Night Marching by the Stars" which was published in 1915.
His brother, Lieutenant Colonel Percy Maclear (OKS) 2nd Nigeria Regiment, was killed in action on the 30th of August 1914.
He is commemorated on the war memorial at St Martin's Church in Bedford and on the memorial at Cranleigh School.