Very little is known about Harold's life, except that he had been born in Stockport and was the son of Robert and Alice Langley, 5 Lancaster Street, Portwood.
He enlisted at Chester, probably as an 18 year old conscript in 1916, being assigned to the East Surreys.
The weeks following mid-August 1918 had seen British and French troops push forward on an almost daily basis, although the German army fought tenaciously every step of the way. On 1 October, the 12th East Surreys provided the advance guard for the whole of its Division, moving towards Menen (east of the Belgian town of Ypres). As they came near to the hamlet of Tenbrielen, at about 8am, German artillery and machine gun fire opened on them. British artillery returned the fire and this allowed the East Surreys to press on, dealing with small groups of Germans entrenched in copses, strong points and farm buildings. The attack, however, stalled near the large village of Gheluwe and the troops "dug-in" for the night.
The next morning, two other Battalions passed through the East Surrey positions and fought their way into Gheluwe, forcing most, but not all, of the enemy to retreat, . The Battalion History then recounts "at 10.00am, Capt J A Rogers was detailed to mop up part of of Gheluwe with "A" Company........It was impossible to clear these desperate Boche machine-gunners out of their lair without paying the usual price in casualties and the following men were killed during the day - Lance Corporals E H Howard and H Langley, Privates W H Hatcher, W S Key, A C Pelling."