‘Harry’ Tait was born at Morpeth, Northumberland, the son of William Tate. He attended Bede College 1912-1914, where he played in the 1912/13 rugby team, from which this photo is taken. Having obtained his schoolmaster certificate at the college, he went on to teach at King Edward VI School, Morpeth. Upon war breaking out he joined the 8th Battalion D.L.I. at Durham, serving as Corporal 1977. With his battalion he shipped out to France on 19 April 1915, and fought with them until his death, at the age of 22, in September. This is briefly recorded in the 8 D.L.I. War Diary as follows:
25th September Saturday:
Bn. in billets, at about 6 a.m. a German shell fell in our Quartermasters Stores killing Cpl Tate and wounding 2nd Lt Fisher. …
War Diary, 8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry (TNA WO 95/2841/1 )
This report was relayed to his Bede friends in the December issue of The Bede magazine. He is buried in Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentières, France. At the time of his death his father was recorded as living at 3 Sixth Row, Ashington in Northumberland. Henry Tait’s name is found on Bede College 1914-1918 cross, plaque, and Roll of Honour. In addition he is commemorated on several memorials throughout Northumberland: on an abstract sculpture and on a statue outside the library in Ashington; on a plaque inside the Holy Sepulchre church in the same village; in the King Edward VI School, Morpeth, Roll of Honour and cross; on a plaque inside Ashington Cricket Club; and possibly also on a plaque at Bothal School, perhaps indicating where he was educated before attending at Bede College. His name is also listed in National Union of Teachers War Record 1914-1919 (1920).