Harold Peel was born in 1893 in Bradford the son of Richard and Mary Agnes, nee Middleborough.Mary Agnes died in 1898 aged 40 years and was buried in St Luke’s churchyard. Her address was given as the Workhouse although the rest of her family were still at Northampton Street which means that she had suffered an illness which needed nursing. Richard remarried in 1900 to Annie Kirby.By 1911 the family had moved to 26 Acre Lane. Harold, at 17 years of age, was working as an assistant firer.He enlisted on the 16th of May 1915 as Private 18/491 in the 15th/17th Battalion of the West
Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales Own). In December 1915 they set sail for Alexandria in Egypt to defend the Suez Canal. In March 1916 the 31st Division left Port Said aboard HMT Briton bound for Marseilles in France, a journey which took 5 days. They travelled by train to Pont Remy, a few miles south east of Abbeville and marched to Bertrancourt arriving on 29 March 1916. Their first taste of action was on the 1st of July on the Somme where
they suffered heavy casualties as the battle was launched. Richard received a field postcard to say that his son Harold of the 2nd Bradford Pals had been seriously wounded. In 1917 Harold’s Battalion were in action in the Battle of Arras and in early 1918 they were on the Somme then moved north into Flanders for the Battles of the Lys.At some point in his service Harold was promoted to Corporal and had also been awarded a Certificate of Merit.
He was killed in action on the 29th of September 1918 during the Battle of Polygon Wood from the 26th of September to the 3rd October 1917. He was 25 years of age.Harold is buried in the Underhill Farm Cemetery which was the name given to the building on the north-western edge of Ploegsteert Wood that was occupied by a dressing station and the cemetery which they used is close to the farm.He left his effects to his father Richard who received £8.19.2d on the 10th February 1919 and a War Gratuity of £17.10.0d on the 2nd of January 1920.
. Researched and written by Jean Britteon, to whom many thanks