Harry Alfred Cardy was a Suffolk man who was living in Essex by 1911. He married in 1936 and three years later, at the outbreak of the war, he was recalled to the army as a reservist. He committed suicide at his army camp near Saffron Walden on Christmas Day 1943. His home was in Springfield Park Avenue, Chelmsford.
Harry was born in 1903 at Little Cornard in Suffolk, the son of William and Eliza Cardy (nee Halls). His father had been born in 1878 in Little Cornard; his mother c1876 in Great Waldingfield in Suffolk. His parents had married in 1902 in Suffolk.
In 1911 the census recorded Harry living with his parents at Mark Farm in Tillingham, where his father was a horseman. Harry was at school.
In 1936 Harry married Alice Freeman in the Chelmsford district.
During the Second World War Harry served as Lance Corporal 6001362 in the Corps of Military Police. By 1943 he was living at 56 Springfield Park Avenue in Chelmsford.
On Christmas Day 1943 he was discovered dead at his army camp near Saffron Walden with a gun shot wound to his head. An inquest into his death found that the 40 year-old married man had taken his own life.
A Chelmsford newspaper reported:
"CORPORAL WORRIED: SHOOTS HIMSELF. Death from gunshot wounds self-infhcted while the balance of his mind was disturbed was returned at an inquest at Saffron Walden on Lance-Corporal Harry Altred Cardy, aged 40, married, of Springfield Park Avenue, Chelmsford, who w
Harry Alfred CARDY, Lance Corporal. Corps of Military Police
Shot himself near Saffron Walden. Aged 40
as found in a camp on Christmas morning shot through the head. A Service rifle was by his side.
The police theory was that he was sitting on his bed when the rifle was discharged. Two soldiers sleeping in the hut heard no shot fired.
A brother-in-law, of Chelmsford, told the Coroner that on the outbreak of war deceased was called up as a reservist. Witness had never seen him depressed.
Cpl. Henry William Simms, in charge of the deceased's detachment, stated that he left the camp on leave on December 19, and handed over his duties to Cardy but was summoned back next day. When he arrived Cardy told him the C.O. had "choked him off about the unsatisfactory state of the camp." This, and something to do with a Sten gun, appeared to have preyed on Cardy's mind, and he told witness he did not feel capable of taking over the duties of N.C.O. of the camp.
Witness resumed N.C.O. of the camp, and Cardy carried on with his normal duties, although he appeared nervous and was shaking all the time. Witness told him not to worry, but he said he could not help it. Cardy never gave the slightest idea that he was going to do what he did.
The Coroner (Dr. J. F. Macdonald), returning the verdict, expressed sympathy with the family. Police - Inspector Perry associated himself with this expression."
Today Harry lies at Southminster (St. Leonard's) Churchyard (grave: 94).
He left an estate valued at £190 3s. 1d.
Harry's father died in 1962; his mother five years later.