Harry's early years were spent in the Ardwick district of Manchester. In 1901, the family was living at 8 Marsland Street. Thomas Douds was a 42 year old iron moulder. His wife, Caroline, was 39. They had eight children at home - Lucy (18), Robert (16), Annie (13), Charles (10), Ernest (7), Caroline (5), Harry (3) and James (1).
By the time of the Great War, the family had moved to Stockport and was probably living at 285 Heaton Lane. At some point, probably in 1916 when he became 18, Harry enlisted into the army at Stockport. By the following year, he will have been on active service when news of his father's death reached him. It is unlikely that Harry would have been allowed leave to return home for the funeral.
On 1 October 1918, the Battalion took part in an attack on German held positions at Ledeghem (17 kilometres of the Belgian town of Ypres - now Ieper). The attack, which was supported by aircraft which bombed and machine-gunned the Germans, was partly successful, but the British were not able to hold on to their captured positions. The Royal Scots were relieved from the front line on the 2nd. It was probably during the attack that Harry received his fatal wounds.
After treatment by the Battalion Medical Officer just behind the front line, he would have been evacuated to one of the Casualty Clearing Stations (field hospitals) based at Poperinge, to the west of Ypres. There, military surgeons would have done all they could to save Harry's life but without success.