Lance-Corporal Henry J Bisson
From The Star, September 14, 1916: Lance-Corporal H J Bisson, son of Mr H F Bisson, monumental mason, St Julian's Avenue, writes home to his wife, who lives at L'Islet, that he has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
It was awarded for the following:
Lance-Corporal Bisson, while in charge of a machine-gun section, captured a German trench, and took an officer and five men prisoners.
The detachment who acted with him are to be awarded a parchment recording the service they performed. Lance-Corporal Bisson is in the Guernsey Company, Royal Irish Regiment. [The Star, September 14th, 1916.]
The Star, September 18, 1916.
Mrs H F Bisson, of L'Islet, on Saturday received a letter from Bugler P Denize, of the Guernsey Company, Royal Irish Regiment, announcing the death in action of her son, Lance-Corporal Henry J Bisson, also of the same Company.
The letter states that Lance-Corporal Bisson had volunteered with others to take a crater, and in doing so was shot through the chest.
We reported last week that Lance-Corporal Bisson had been awarded the DCM for capturing a German trench, an officer and five men a fortnight ago, and his death so shortly after the event is deeply to be deplored.
Lance-Corporal Bisson, who was the only son of Mr and Mrs H F Bisson, married a Miss Nicolle and leaves two children. He was among the first to volunteer.
The Star, September 22nd, 1916:
The Late L.-Corporal H. Bisson
The following letter, confirming the death of his son in action at the front, has been received by Mr H Bisson, statuary, St Julian's Avenue, from Sergeant J Le Pavoux:
British Expeditionary Force, Sept. 13th, 1916.
Dear Mr Bisson,
It is with the greatest difficulty that I muster courage to impart to you most unwelcome news, news which perhaps you may have already received.
I refer to the death in action of poor Harry, by which you are deprived of a dutiful son, his poor wife and children of a loyal and devoted husband and father, and I of a genuine and trusty friend.
The sad news stunned me for a time, though I hoped against hope that the report would not be confirmed, but at last I was forced to submit to the unfortunate contretemps.
I refrained from writing before in order to as I thought of obviating undue grief on the part of his loved ones and even now it is with a certain reluctance that I nerve myself up for the ordeal of letting you know the worst. I look to you, Mr Bisson, to break the news as gently as possible to his poor wife and little ones, for it is beyond me to do so as I feel too much for them.
The fateful day was September 9th, which, by ironical decree, happened to be my birthday! He had been awarded the DCM by popular vote of his comrades, an honour on which I offered him my hearty congratulations only a couple of days before he fell at the post of duty. That was the last I saw of him, and though I was far from him at the time of his premature demise I have learnt that he behaved heroically and died the noblest of deaths. You may justly be proud of him. His loss will be keenly felt, especially by his loved ones and those who like myself enjoyed his intimate friendship.
I enclose a few communications which were found among his belongings and handed over to me. Please accept, dear Mr Bisson, my heartfelt sympathy and condolence in your great grief and that of his young widow and children who occupied, I can vouch for that, pride of place in poor old Harry's warm and candid heart.
Yours in sympathy, J LE PAVOUX, Lance-Sergeant.
Harry Bisson's memorial (Channel Islands Great War Study Group) in Vale Churchyard, quite possibly made by his father. John Le Pavoux, who was born in Jersey but was married to a Guernseywoman, survived the war, as did Guernsey-born Bugler Philippe Denize.