The Grave of Harry Potter in Ramle, Israel

Mar 15, 2023 0 comments

In the British Commonwealth war cemetery in Ramle, Israel, is a grave that has been receiving quite a lot of footfall from tourists in the past decade. The grave belongs to Private Harry Potter, a soldier of the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment’s Motor Transport division, who was killed in action during the Arab Revolt in Palestine. The attraction to the grave is due to Harry Potter sharing the same name as the immensely popular fictional character of the series created by British writer J. K. Rowling.

The grave of Private Harry Potter in Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Ramleh, Israel. Photo: Boaz Rottem / Alamy Stock Photo

The real-life Harry Potter was born in 1920 in Kidderminster in England and was one of eight children. Potter left school at age 14, after which he worked at a carpet factory before enlisting in the British Army at the age of 16. Because he was too young to join the army, Potter lied about his age and said he was a year older than he actually was. In 1938, Harry Potter became a soldier in the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment.

In September of that year, Potter and his battalion was transferred to Mandatory Palestine, which was under British rule at that time, to suppress the Palestinian Arabs who were engaged in a revolt against the British administration demanding independence. After travelling across Israel, Potter was eventually stationed at a pumping station nicknamed the “Pumpet” just south of Hebron that supplied water to the city.

On July 22, 1939, Potter’s D Company was engaging with an armed Arab gang on the Hebron-Beersheba Road, when Potter was killed in the shooting. He was buried at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Ramleh.

Private Harry Potter at age 17.

Shortly before he was killed he wrote a letter to his mother, which sadly arrived the day after the family was told of his death. The letter read:

Dear Mother,

In answer to your letter, I am getting on alright. I expect to be home for Christmas. If I am not it is a bit of bad luck.

At present I am in a place we call The Pumpet. We have not got a lot of work to do at present and I hope you are alright. I hope dad is still in work. Tell Ken (his six year old brother) I am not forgetting his bike. I hope Alice (his older sister) is alright.

We have been going swimming a lot lately. You perhaps have been reading the papers.

I am not boasting but listen to the news on the wireless and listen to what work we in the Worcestershires have been doing. Well, I think that is all for now.

Cheerio Crash Harry."

For nearly seventy years, Potter’s grave was forgotten, except by his friends and family members. But in the last decade or two, since the release of the books, this once obscure graveyard began receiving intrigued visitors. In 2010, with the release of the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1, articles were written about the phenomenon on the real-life Harry Potter including interviews with his siblings.

So much was the interest in his grave among Harry Potter fans that it was listed on Ramle's tourism website.

# This Date in History: Harry Potter Killed on Road to Hebron, Hebron


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