Harold Walley Bamford

Date of birth: 1886
Place of birth: Sculcoates, Hull
Service No.: Not known
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Regiment: Kings Shropshire Light Infantry
Battalion: 1st
Died: 26th November 1915 aged 29 years
Death location: Red Cross Hospital, Etaples, France


Harold’s name does not appear on the Cenotaph or Memorial Wall – probably because Itchen was outside the Borough boundary at the time – however his name appears on both St. Mary’s Church and Peartree Church Memorials.  SCF&FG will be working with others to have Harold’s name etched on Southampton’s Memorial Wall in time for the 2015 Remembrance Service.


Life before the War

Harold was the third of 4 siblings born to Abraham and Annie, nee Walley.

Abraham was born in Armagh, Northern Ireland in 1859 and he died in Sunderland in 1928.  Annie was born in Bradley Green, Worcestershire in 1866 and died in Gosport in 1935.  They were married in York in 1883 but were living in Hull by 1885; at 48 Randall Street, Ecclesall, Sheffield by the time of the 1891 Census, and in Sunderland by the 1901 Census.

Abraham was a Print Compositor who was lodging with the Lee family in Sunderland at the 1911 Census.  By this time Annie and the children had moved to Southampton, living near Peartree Green.  It can be assumed that Abraham and Annie had divorced as Abraham married Rachel Bellett in Sunderland in 1914.

In the 1911 Census Harold’s status is given as single and his occupation was as a Pay Clerk Dock Contractor.  At the time of Harold’s death his family were living at 5 Cliff Road, Itchen.

Harold had 3 sisters:

Frances Gertrude   b.1884 York but date of death not known.

Lottie   b.1885 Hull and d.1968 Yorkshire.

Lily    b.1903 Sunderland and d.1989 Bournemouth.  Married George F. Chubb in Southampton in 1927.

War Service
It has not been possible to ascertain why Harold enlisted in a Shropshire battalion for WW1 having been living in Southampton in 1911.  The 1st Battalion were based at Tipperary in August 1914, as part of the 16th Battalion of the 6th Division.  They mobilised for war a month later and landed at St. Nazaire, France on 10th September.  Harold is thought to have been badly wounded during skirmishes around the Ypres salient in November 1915.

The area around Etaples was the scene of an immense concentration of Commonwealth reinforcement camps and hospitals.  It was remote from attack and accessible by rail from both north and south and this is probably how Harold found his way to one of the hospitals in the area.

Harold unfortunately succumbed to his wounds, dying of Septicaemia and was buried at Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France, (Plot 1, Row A,   Grave 15).  Harold is one of 10770 Commonwealth soldiers interred in this military cemetery.  His headstone reads: “Until the morning dawns and the shadows flee away.”

He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, Victory and British War Medals.

A former Saints player
Harold arrived at The Dell via Hampshire county football.  He spent three seasons with the Saints, mostly in the Reserves, understudying Robertson and Trueman at half-back. He made 7 appearances for Southampton FC between 1908 and 1911 when they played in the Southern League and helped Southampton Reserves win the Hampshire Senior Cup in 1910.

Reverting to amateur status in 1912, he joined Glossop of the Football League’s Second Division.

Football Career:  Bitterne Guild September 1907 / Southampton cs 1908 / reinstated am Aug 1912 / Glossop Sept 1912
Debut:  v. Luton Town (a) 9 January 1909 SL
Last game:  v. Coventry City (a) 15 April 1911 SL

We would like to thank David Bull, Duncan Holley and Gary Chalk, fellow authors of All the Saints for providing us with the above photographs, for their kind donation of this book from which the above information has been copied and for their interest in our work.  This book and other publications are available for purchase from Hagiology Publishing.


Researcher: Shaun Connolly and Mark Heritage both of SCF&FG.
David Bull, Duncan Holley and Gary Chalk of Hagiology Publishing.
Published.: 26th January 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

If you have any additional information about the person named above please complete the Comments section below.

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