Harold Randall, maternal relative: Ypres Salient Sept 1915

Harold Randall was born during April 1896 at 74 Byrkley St, Barton-on-Soar, Staffordshire, England and he was the brother-in-law of the grand niece of the brother of my second great grand uncle and is directly linked into the Priday part of my family.

The actual lineage is:

  • Harold Randall (1896 - 1915)
  • George Walter Randall (1865 - 1934) - father of Harold Randall
  • Wilfred Randall (1898 - 1971) - son of George Walter Randall
  • Lillian Annie Guy (1902 - 1986) - wife of Wilfred Randall
  • Alice Trevenaugh Priday (1868 - 1949) - mother of Lillian Annie Guy
  • William Robert Priday (1844 - 1907) - father of Alice Trevenaugh Priday
  • Sarah (Sara) Ann Kembrey (1815 - 1885) - mother of William Robert Priday
  • Charles Priday (1842 - 1842) - son of Sarah (Sara) Ann Kembrey
  • Elizabeth Heydon (1810 - 1878) - mother of Charles Priday
  • Thomas Priday (1836 - 1840) - son of Elizabeth Heydon
  • Hester (Esther) Hill (1802 - 1879) - mother of Thomas Priday
  • Nathaniel Priday (1830 - 1900) - son of Hester (Esther) Hill
  • Joseph Priday (1853 - 1933) - son of Nathaniel Priday
  • Joseph Priday (1888 - 1954) - son of Joseph Priday
  • Alice May Priday (1917 - 2009) - daughter of Joseph Priday
  • William G Hyde - me

Harold was killed whilst manning the trenches of the Ypres Salient in September 1915.

His Family

Harold's father was George Walter Randall who was born on 27 Feb 1865 at 21 Stanley St, Barton-on-Soar, Staffordshire, England & he was the son of a Millwright.

George Walter Randall trained to become a Pattern Maker in a casting foundry and at age 16 (in 1881) he was a mould model maker in a pattern makers shop.

George Walker Randall married Harriet Sarah Haigh on the 8th December 1890 at All Saints church, Dudwell Lane, Salterhebble, Yorkshire, England.

I have no idea what George Walker Randall was doing in Yorkshire at that time, however today Salterhebble is a part of Halifax and at the time of the marriage Halifax was a major centre for Woolen garments manufacturing but it was also home to the Mackintosh's chocolate and toffee business. So I am guessing that he went there to enhance his experience as a Pattern Maker - the woollen mills & chocolate factory would both use machines, many parts of which would be cast in steel, bronze & brass.

And what Harriet Sarah Haigh was doing in Salterhebble at this time is also lost in the mists of time because she was born on the 11th November 1865 at 6 Clifton Road, Paddington, Middlesex, England. Harriet was the daughter of a House Painter. I suspect Harriet was working as a Servant to one of the many wealthy families located in the area and met George Walker Randall at a dance or similar social occassion. Neither Pattern Makers nor Servants would get much free time in those days, with Sunday often being the only "free" time and the places to meet would have been limited to tea rooms (and/or pubs), parks, churches or organised dances.

However George Walker Randall did marry Harriet Sarah Haigh and by 1891 they had established a home at 74 Byrkley St, Barton-on-Soar, Staffordshire where Harold Randall was born in 1896.

Harold was the fourth born of a family of eight children:

  • Ethel May Randall (1892 – ?)
  • George Randall (1892 – ?)
  • Charles Henry Randall (1894 – ?)
  • Harold Randall (1896 – 1915)
  • Wilfred Randall (1898 – 1971)
  • Hilda L Randall (1900 – ?)
  • Florence Randall (1902 – ?)
  • Florence Beatrice Randall (1902 – ?)

When he was 15 (1911), Harold & the rest of the family had moved to 142 Shobnall Street, Burton On Trent, Staffordshire and he had become an Assistant in a local Bakery. Burton-on-Trent is well known as the centre for Brewing (beer) but it was also an industrial centre with Car & Railway vehicle manufacture amongst the established businesses. All these businesses needed manpower and manpower needed the basics of life including bread and therefore there were a number of Bakeries in the area.

His Military Service & Death

ypres-salient-frontline-nov-14Harold joined the Army not long after the declaration of war in 1914, enlisting in the 1st/6th Battalion, North Staffordshire (Prince of Wales's) Regiment as a Private with regimental number 1870. The 1st/6th were a Territorial Force unit that were often called a "Pal's" regiment in that they were raised from a specific area of a town or city and contained many young men who were friends or who worked together.

The regiment was formed in August 1914 (war was declared on the 4th August). After formation the regiment was moved to Luton, Bedfordshire for basic training and then in November 1914 they moved to Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire. After further training the regiment was landed at Le Harve (France) on the 4th of March 1915.

On the 12th March 1915 the 1st/6th Battalion along with the 1st/5th Battalion of the North Staffs became part of the 137th Brigade in 46th (North Midland) Division. The new Brigade took over positions on the Ypres (Belgium) Salient - a 24km wide defensive position created around the town of Ypres which British high command had dertermined would not fall into German hands.

Harold's unit were manning trenches to the south of Ypres in an area called Zillebeke, centred around Blauwepoort Farm when he was Killed in action on the 6th September 1915 - he was just 19 years old.

Blauwepoort Farm Cemetery-harold randallHis Burial

Harold Randall has a grave reference (D.6.) in the Blauwepoort Farm Cemetery, which is located 3 kilometres south east of Ypres (Ieper) town centre, on a single track road leading from the Komenseweg, connecting Ypres (Ieper) to Komen (N336).

The cemetery was begun by a French battalion of Chasseurs Alpins in November 1914 and used by Commonwealth troops from February 1915 to February 1916. The French graves were removed after the Armistice.

The cemetery contains 80 First World War burials.

The cemetery was designed by W H Cowlishaw.