Harry was born on 8th February 1888 in Montrose, Forfar to Alexander and Joan. Harry served an apprenticeship as a coach painter with Messrs Cleghorn & Will, before moving to Helensburgh after his first employment at Fife Herald printing works from the age of 14. On the 1911 census Harry was a boarder living at 14 West Clyde Street in Helensburgh, working as a coach painter.
He married Catherine Cuthbert on 6th December 1912 and the couple lived at 2 Lorne Street, Helensburgh from before their marriage to the time of the reporting of Harry’s death. They had one child, a daughter named Catherine.
Harry joined the Navy on 16th April 1915 for the duration of hostilities, recorded as 5’7” tall with black hair and grey eyes. He was sent to Chatham where he trained at HMS PEMBROKE II as a Painter 2nd Class until 26th April 1916 before embarking to his first and only ship, the dreadnought HMS VANGUARD. Within a month the ship and her crew were in battle on the North Sea participating in the Battle of Jutland, the VANGUARD coming out unscathed. Harry remained with the ship for a further year before he lost his life in the explosion. He was just 29 years old.
His pension entitlement was awarded to his widow and daughter as was his Victory and British war medals. His body never recovered, he is remembered on the Chatham Naval Memorial and locally at Cupar.
#83 - 800/843
1911 Scotland Census
National Records of Scotland
Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services, 1848-1939 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services; Class: ADM 188; Piece: 1043
British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Admiralty and predecessors: Office of the Director General of the Medical Department of the Navy and predecessors: Service Registers and Registers of Deaths and Injuries. Registers of Reports of Deaths
British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Admiralty: Naval Casualties, Indexes, War Grave Rolls and Statistics Book, First World War.; Class: ADM 242; Piece: Piece 010; Piece Description: Piece 010 (1914 - 1919)
Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 Class: ADM 171; Piece: 118
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/10; Scan Number: 0952
World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 Western Front Association; London, England; WWI Pension Record Cards and Ledgers; Reference: 185/0985/WEB-WEE
British Newspaper Archive
W Sadler Images