Jack Harrison VC MC
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Hull FC apps: 116
Hull FC tries: 106
International honours: none
Hull FC debut: 1912
Hull-born winger John ‘Jack’ Harrison made 116 appearances for the club between 1912 and 1915, scoring a total of 106 tries including a club record 52 tries during the 1914/15 season – a record that still stands to this day as the most tries scored by a player in a single season.
Following his senior club debut in 1913, Harrison went on to create a formidable partnership with centre partner Billy Batten, and later went on to score the winning try in Hull’s first ever Challenge Cup Final success against Wakefield in April 1914.
Great Britain went to war with the Axis powers in August 1914, with Harrison joining the cadets in November of that year; his final Hull FC appearance came on Boxing Day, before being called up to serve as a Temporary 2nd Lieutenant and assigned to the 11th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment (Hull Tradesmen) 6 Platoon on the 4th August 1916. Having headed to the front line, on the 25th February 1917 Jack led a patrol into no-man’s land and for his action, he was awarded the Military Cross (MC). He had managed to bring back a prisoner with him.
The Third Battle of the Scarpe in May 1917, ordering the capture of Oppy Wood, would see Harrison’s platoon take heavy losses. It was the actions of Harrison during the offensive that led to his Victoria Cross being awarded following his death; his platoon became pinned down by machine gun fire. Harrison went over the top on his own, silencing the machine gun – an action that saved many lives. His body was never found.