Sergeant Harry Thurlow
Born. Leeds, 1888.
Died. Leeds, 1968.
Harry Thurlow’s parents had moved to Leeds from Latham in East Yorkshire when in 1891, his Father died, leaving his mother to bring up three sons and a daughter without a widow’s pension. After basic schooling he worked as a moulder in a local foundry.
In 1914 when the war broke out, Harry, aged 27, left work to join the Pals. He enlisted on the 9th of September 1914. Prior to enlistment he had played rugby league for the Leeds second team. His fitness and knowledge of training procedures gained him an immediate promotion to Lance corporal with No. 12 Section of 15 platoon D company. Shortly after promotion, he qualified as a Platoon Bomber and physical training instructor. At this time the Pals were in desperate need of instructors and tended to promote from within the battalion, anyone with a knowledge of "Swedish "Drill. In late April 1915 he took leave to marry his sweetheart Annie Leaf. He gave his address on the marriage certificate as " Colsterdale camp" and instead of a spray of flowers Annie wore the regimental badge in her blouse.
Before the Battalion left Colsterdale he was promoted to Corporal. Serving with the Pals in Colsterdale, Egypt and France, he was one of the first "over the top". On July 1st 1916, he gained his Sergeants stripe directly after the battle, and continued serving with the Pals until demobilisation in 1919.
After leaving the army, he acquired a position at Leeds City Tramways and in 1920 his daughter May was born.
During the Second World War, Harry served with the Leeds Home Guard whilst his daughter May served in the nursing service, (where she met and married Alexander Mulart a major in the Polish Army).
Harry attended every Regimental function and in later years as time took it’s toll on the Pals, he attended every funeral, but only after giving his boots a really good polishing.
He always maintained that his proudest moments were seeing his Son in law Alexander ordained as a Priest in Ripon Cathedral and his grand daughter qualify as a journalist.
He died in 1968 age 80.
With special thanks to Harry’s grand daughter who supplied the family background details on this page and donated photographs and documentation in memory of May Thurlow Mulart, her Mother and Harry’s only child.