Sir Arthur Harris Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1892 – 1984 *** Full Name: Sir Arthur Harris was also known as Sir Arthur Travers Harris, 1st Baronet GCB, OBE, AFC *** Date of Birth (Birthday): He was born on April 13, 1892 *** Place of Birth: Sir Arthur Harris was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England *** Family background: His father was called George Steel Travers Harris *** Early life and childhood: Sir Arthur Harris grew up and spent the majority of his elder childhood in the company of a local reverend and his family *** Education: Sir Arthur Harris began his education at Allhollows School in Devon *** Sir Arthur Harris died on April 5, 1984.
Sir Arthur Harris Fact 1: Sir Arthur Harris was born on April 13, 1892 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England.
Sir Arthur Harris Fact 2: His father was called George Steel Travers Harris. He worked away a great deal as he was part of the higher civil service of the British Empire in British India, otherwise known as the Indian Civil Service.
Sir Arthur Harris Fact 3: Although he had two older brothers, he didn't have a steady family life as a young child as his father was away in India so often. He spent a great deal of time with Reverend C E Graham-Jones and his family.
Sir Arthur Harris Fact 4: His brothers attended Sherborne and Eton school which were expensive and prestigious. The family's financial situation wasn't so good when Sir Arthur Harris was growing up, therefore, he was educated at the less expensive Allhollows School in Devon.
Sir Arthur Harris Fact 5: In 1909, Harris went to see a play which inspired him so much that he decided to emigrate to Southern Rhodesia. The play was based on a Rhodesian farmer who was judged on ability rather than class.
Sir Arthur Harris Fact 6: Despite his father's disappointment, as he'd wanted him to have a career in the military or civil service, he still insisted on moving to Southern Rhodesia. His father agreed and paid for his journey to his new life.
Sir Arthur Harris Fact 7: He travelled on the SS Inanda to Beira in Mozambique in 1910. From Mozambique, he travelled by rail to Umtali in Manicaland. Harris found various work driving coaches, mining and farming.
Sir Arthur Harris Fact 8: In November 1913, an Irish man called Crofton Townsend offered him a permanent position at his farm. He was soon made manager of the farm at Lowdale. He quickly learned how to run the farm and his new found job inspired him to start his own farm.
Sir Arthur Harris Fact 9: His dream of owning his own farm was put on hold when the First World War began. Although he never wanted a career in the military, he felt compelled to help. He applied to the 1st Rhodesia Regiment which had two available positions. He was given the position of a bugler on October 20, 1914.
Sir Arthur Harris Fact 10: He returned to Rhodesia after being officially discharged on July 31, 1915. However, Harris began reconsidering his options when he learnt that the First World War would likely continue much longer than people had expected. With this in mind, he returned to England in October 1915 where he lived with his parents whilst applying for positions.
Sir Arthur Harris Fact 11: He joined the Royal Flying Corps on November 6, 1915 as a second lieutenant on probation. By the end of 1915, Harris had learned to fly and on January 19, 1916, he became a flying officer.
Sir Arthur Harris Fact 12: In 1917, as a flight commander and Chief Officer of No. 45 Squadron, Harris served with distinction on the home front and in France. He flew the Sopwith Camel and Sopwith 1½ Strutter British fighter planes.
Sir Arthur Harris Fact 13: On November 2, 1918, Harris received the Air Force Cross (AFC) in recognition of his efforts when he successfully destroyed five enemy aircraft. He finished the First World War as a Major (a military rank superior to captain and subordinate to lieutenant colonel).
Sir Arthur Harris Fact 14: He considered himself as Rhodesian and his uniform bore a Rhodesia shoulder flash in recognition of his identity.
Sir Arthur Harris Fact 15: Harris married his first wife Barbara and they had their first child. He didn't think she would like life in Rhodesia as the wife of a farmer so instead, he decided against a life in Rhodesia and continued serving for the Royal Air Force (RAF).
Sir Arthur Harris Fact 16: He had a long career in the Royal Air Force. By the time the Second World War had broken out, having being posted to Palestine and Trans-Jordan, Harris had worked his way up to air vice-marshal.Sir Arthur Harris Fact 17: Harris returned to Great Britain when WWII began to take command of No. 5 Group. He was appointed the position of air marshal on June 1, 1941. By mid-June, 1942, he had been promoted to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.
Sir Arthur Harris Fact 18: He assisted the RAF's Chief of the Air Staff Marshal in carrying out the most devastating attacks made by the United Kingdom against Germany. Attacks such as the Bombing of Dresden which devastated the population and infrastructure of Germany.
Sir Arthur Harris Fact 19: Harris was often known by various nicknames including Bomber Harris and Butcher Harris. He was the 1st Baronet GCB, OBE, AFC: April 13, 1892 – April 5, 1984.
Sir Arthur Harris Fact 20: He died at the age of 91 on April 5, 1984 in Goring in South Oxfordshire. He was at home when he died. In 1992, a statue was erected outside the RAF Church of St. Clement Danes, London. The statue has been damaged by protesters on various occasions as they deem him a 'war criminal'.
Influence & Legacy of Sir Arthur Harris:
He is known as Sir Arthur Travers Harris, 1st Baronet GCB (Order of the Bath), OBE (Order of the British Empire), AFC (Air Force Cross). Sir Arthur Harris served in both world wars and carried out the most devastating attacks against Germany in which the United Kingdom has ever been involved.
Short Facts about Sir Arthur Harris for Kids
The above short facts detail interesting information about the life, milestones, history and key events that occurred during the life of this famous character, Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris. A fast, simple way to present a short biography of Sir Arthur Harris with important dates and info that provides details such as the date of birth (birthday), place of birth, education, family, work and career. An ideal educational resource for kids, schools, teachers and social studies.