Harry was born in the Hightown (Cheetham) area of Manchester, the son of Henry and Esther. Henry had died sometime before the Great War and Harry and his mother lived at the family home at 343 Newbridge Lane, Stockport.
Harry worked at a Woodley cotton mill and enlisted into the army at Ashton under Lyne. He originally joined a territorial Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. His service number, 2487, suggests this was not long after War was declared. However, he never served abroad with the Manchesters and was probably transferred to the King's after training.
In November 1915, he wrote home and the letter was published in the Stockport Express in its edition of 11 November. "I am still pegging along with my famous Kings which is an excellent Regiment. I left old England at the latter end of May and have had some rough experiences while out here. I am proud of my position as a soldier and hope that every fit young fellow of Stockport will follow my advice and answer his country's cal; it would bring us a sooner victory. I am a member of the Lads' Club of the Stockport Sunday School Brotherhood. I have had the pleasure of going to a few services while I have been out. I have been very lucky this last three months. I got gassed in the big advance of 25 September but joined my Regiment after a few days in hospital. Last month, I got slightly wounded again with a bomb, but was not long away when I rejoined my Regiment again. Now I am in the best of health at present. It is very cold now, but we have got fur coats to keep us warm. Now you fit men; don't hesitate but come and help your comrades at the front."
The "big advance" in September was the first day of the Battle of Loos. The Kings had advanced but had suffered many casualties from machine gun fire. It was the first occasion on which the British used poison gas even though the wind was unfavourable, particularly in the sector that Harry was in. Like him, many soldiers became incapacitated.
During the period 23 - 26 January 1916, Harry was in trenches near the French village of Givenchy. The Battalion's War Diary entry for the 26th records "All precautions were taken to meet a German attack in case they planned to attack on the Kaiser's birthday". No attack took place. Between the 27th and 30th, the Battalion had a brief spell in reserve at Gorre, before returning to Givenchy during the evening.The Diary makes no mention of the 31st, so it is not possible to establish how Harry was killed but it was likely to have been a sniper's bullet or shrapnel from an artillery shell.