Harry Randles, son of William and Mary Randles, was born at Chester in 1890.
According to the 1901 census for Wales, available on Ancestry, his family were living at 2, Vale Road, Rhyl. Head of the family was James Hoole, a 74 year old widower. He had been born in Lancashire and was described as a coachman. Mary Randles, his daughter, was 41, married, and had been born in Yorkshire. James Hoole Jr was 37, also a coachman, was born at Bromborough Cheshire. Annie Hoole was 32, a general servant, born at Hereford. Grandchildren William J Randles, 13, and Harry, 10, were born at Chester, while Margaret Ann, 9, was born in Rhyl. They were obviously a family who moved around a lot.
In the 1911 Wales Census, we find the family at 35, Kinmel Street, Rhyl. Mary Elizabeth Randles is now head, she is a widow, age 48, and described as a lodging house keeper. Her brother, Henry Hoole, age 42, was single and was born at Brymbo, Denbighshire. Another brother William Hoole, age 40, and sister Annie Hoole, age 38,and Margaret’s children, Harry Randles, age 20, a confectioner and Margaret Ann age 19, a shop assistant were also there.
In the National schools Admission Register for Rhyl in 1894, we come across Harry Randles, born 21/6/90, and his sister, Maggie, born 14/9/91. Their address is given as 1 Greenfield Place, Rhyl, and their father’s name as William Randles. The school was Emmanuel School, Rhyl.
The records of St Thomas’ Church, Rhyl, show that on October 28th, 1914, Harry Randles, age 24, was married to Nellie Lily Maud Webb, age 25. Harry’s address was 35, Kinmel Street, and his father was William James Randles, a blacksmith, who was deceased. Nellie, of 155, High Street, Rhyl, was the daughter of John Edwin Webb, a railway guard.
Ancestry birth records for the St Asaph registration district show the birth of their daughter, Maud F B Randles, mother’s maiden name Webb, in the first quarter of 1915.
A report in the Prestatyn Weekly, January 1918, gives us further information about Harry in its updates about serving soldiers:
We also regret to report that Private Harry Randles who was formerly a baker at Rookedge’s cafe has been missing since October.
Harry’s service records have not survived, and there is no card for him in the Hawarden Archives.
The website UK Soldiers who died in the Great War has an entry for Harry, which confirms known details. He enlisted at Flint, and there is a comment that he was formerly in the RASC, his number being M/273903. He must have transferred to the South Staffordshires.
In the website Register of Soldier’s Effects 1901-1929, the entry for Harry states that his death was “presumed” on October 4th 1917, so he must have been posted as missing.
On 9th November 1918, his widow Nellie L M Randles received the sum of £4 16s for herself and one child, and on December 5th 1919, she received a further £3.00 as a war gratuity.
Harry is named on the Roll of Honour on Rhyl War Memorial. The entry states that:
Private Harry Randles of 1st Batt. South Staffs Regiment died on 4th October 1917, age 27. He was the son of Mrs Randles, 35 Kinmel St Rhyl, and the husband of Nellie Lily Maud Randles, “Stoneleigh”, High St Rhyl. He is also commemorated at Tyne Cot Memorial, and at Maes Hyfryd Church Cemetery, Rhyl.
Nellie Lily Maud Randles died on the 20th May 1962 according to the records of Holy Trinity Church, Russell Road, Rhyl, so it does not seem as if she ever remarried.