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Lance Corporal
Service No:
Date of Death:
Royal Army Medical Corps
attd. No. 45 R.M. Commando Royal Marines
Grave Reference:
IV. E. 13.
Additional Information:
Son of William Thomas Harden and Fanny Marie Harden, of Northfleet, Kent; husband of Maud Harden, of Northfleet.


The citation in the London Gazette of 9th March, 1945, gives the following details: In North-West Europe on 23rd January, 1945 the leading section of a Royal Marine Commando Troop having come under intense machine-gun fire was ordered to make for some houses close by. Four of the section had been wounded and were left lying in the open. Under continuous fire Lance Corporal Harden at once went forward and with great coolness and bravery attended to the four casualties. He then carried one of them back to cover. He was ordered not to go forward again and an attempt was made to bring in the remaining casualties with the aid of tanks, but this proved unsuccessful owing to the heavy and accurate fire of anti-tank guns. A second attempt under a smoke-screen also proving unsuccessful, Lance Corporal Harden insisted in going forward with a volunteer stretcher party and succeeded in bringing back another badly wounded man. He went out a third time, and whilst returning with the stretcher party, he was killed. Throughout this long period Lance-Corporal Harden displayed superb devotion to duty and personal courage of the highest order. His action was directly responsible for saving the lives of the wounded brought in, while his complete contempt for all personal danger, and the magnificent example he set of cool courage and determination to continue with his work, whatever the odds, was an inspiration to his comrades and will never be forgotten by those who saw it.

CWGC Archive Online (5)

Grave Registration Reports (GRRs) are standard forms which detail graves for which the Commission is responsible within a particular burial ground. They provide basic details of the individuals, such as name, service number, rank, regiment, unit and date of death, and are listed in Plot, Row and Grave order.
These record details of individuals who were originally buried in smaller or isolated cemeteries, but who, at a later date, were exhumed and reburied in war cemeteries. The concentration of cemeteries allowed otherwise unmaintainable graves to be moved into established war grave cemeteries where the Commission could ensure proper commemoration.
These documents provide details of what was actually inscribed on an individual’s headstone. Their main purpose was to help manage the enormous programme of headstone production and engraving embarked on by the Commission.


This collection of documents was assembled by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and its predecessors as part of the processes involved in the commemoration of individuals. As a result, they contain many corrections and alterations which reflect their use as working documents. For further information concerning the history of the collection, please see our About Our Records page.

Please be advised that some of the documents, especially the burial returns and exhumation reports, may contain information which some people may find distressing. The original archive records and their digital copies remain the property of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, but are available for re-use for private and non-commercial purposes.




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