Harry's family home was at 16 Elizabeth Street, Stockport, where his mother lived. In 1916, he had three brothers also serving in the army. Only one, George, is known to have been fighting in Salonika in Greece.
Harry worked in the warehouse at Broadstone Mills, Reddish and was engaged to be married to Mary. He enlisted into the local Territorial battalion in the autumn of 1914, probably going overseas in the following January.
On 26 September, as support for a major attack on the Thiepval Ridge (in the heart of the Somme battlefield), the Cheshires were ordered to conduct a raid on the enemy trench opposite their position at Beaumont-Hamel.
The Regimental History records that "Under cover of a barrage, they crossed no man's land at 9pm and rushed the enemy trenches. A fierce fight ensued. While the covering party on the enemy parapet kept the enemy at bay in face of heavy machine gun fire, another party attempted to clear the enemy trenches. The trenches were found to be blocked with "knife rests" and loose wire. All the German garrison were killed or driven off and our men withdrew with some difficulty with a loss of 12 men."
Harry's platoon officer wrote to the family saying that he had been killed by a machine gun bullet. "You have lost a brave son. God alone can comfort you for that and we have lost a plucky soldier and true friend."