Harold was born in Wandsworth on 24th October 1893 and attended Ilford County High School from 11th September 1906 until 28th July 1910.
His family lived at 5 Thorold Road in Ilford and he attended Christchurch Road Elementary School before joining Ilford County High School. His father, George worked as a superintendent at the Post Office and his mother’s name was Ellen. Harold had an older brother, George, who survived the war.
In 1909, He sat his Oxford Junior Local examination and passed. The following year, he gained the Oxford Senior Local Certificate and left school to become a Bank Clerk.
Harold enlisted as Private 763443 for the London Regiment (Artists Rifles) on 24th February 1916. The previous month, Parliament had passed the first Conscription Act, making military service compulsory for all single men between 18 and 41. He was 22 years old and unmarried at the time.
His service record indicates that he initially joined the 28th Battalion of the London Regiment (Artists’ Rifles). In June 1917, his battalion joined the 63rd (Royal Navy) Division Infantry and was sent to the front near Ypres. Harold died on 30th October 1917 (a week after his 24th birthday) during the second stage of the Second Battle of Passchendaele. The 63rd Division were caught by German artillery fire at their jumping-off line and were able to make little progress against heavy machine-gun fire. The Division suffered 3,126 casualties, including Harold, between 26th and 31st October 1917. Unfortunately, his body was not recovered. Therefore, his name has been recorded on panel 153 of the Tyne Cot Memorial at Zonnebeke.
He received the Victory and British Service Medals.
Research by Andrew Emeny, History Teacher at ICHS
ICHS school records and magazines
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Ilford County High School started life as the Park Higher Grade School in 1901 in Balfour Road, Ilford. It was renamed Ilford County High School (or initially County High School, Ilford) in the years after the school’s management was transferred from Ilford School Board to Essex Education Committee in 1904.