The 1901 census places Harold aged 2, living in Maes y Dre with his family which at that time consisted of: his father Thomas 31, a labourer in the tin plate works, mother Emma 30, siblings – William H 12, Edward 10, Thomas J 7, Joseph 4. Harold at 2, was the youngest.
We have so far been unable to trace the family on the 1911 census, however we know that the complete family, according to descendent Irene Owens, eventually consisted of parents Thomas and Emma and their 9 children. These were, in chronological order
William Henry, Edward (known as Mick), Thomas John (known as Jack), Joseph, Harold, Margaret, Bessie, Elsie and Annie
We know that Harold attended ‘The National School in King Street Mold.
‘UK Soldiers who died in the Great War’ on ancestry.com states that Harold enlisted in Mold but that he was resident in Queensferry.
Irene Owens was able to tell us one family story from the Great War that concerned her father, Edward (Mick) Whitley. Mick was a soldier (20990 RWF) stationed in France in 1918 when a group of soldiers from a different battalion came over and started asking for him by name. Out of the middle of this group stepped a young soldier who said,
“I’m Harold”. Mick hadn’t recognised his young brother. Mick took Harold to a nearby bistro and bought him a drink. The lady running the bistro gave Mick a ticking off for buying wine for such a young boy. The new group of soldiers with Harold soon were on the move again. Mick’s last words to him were,
“Keep your head down!” Within a short time, poor Harold was dead.
Harold’s brother Thomas John Whitley (known as Jack) also lost his life in the Great War and he has his own page on this website.
Harold’s cousin Walter Whitley was also killed and he has his own page on this website
Many grateful thanks to Rene Owen – Mick’s daughter who provided us with much information on the Whitley family including the photographs on this page.