Occupation: Weaving Overlooker, C F Taylor, Lower Holme
Organisations/clubs: Shipley Wesleyan Church
Rolls of Honour: Baildon
Regiment: King’s Royal Rifles
Harold was born in 1896, the son of Walter and Janet Sutcliffe, who in 1901 were living in Dickens Street, Bowling, Bradford.Janet died in 1904 and by the time of the 1911 census Walter had remarried, Eliza Ann and as well as Harold, Lily and Janet, his children from the first marriage, there are two more children Edith and Alice.The family is now living at 15 Lower Holme, Woodbottom, Baildon and it is from there that Harold goes off to serve in the King’s Royal Rifles.The first time we find him mentioned in the Shipley Times & Express is on 26 October 1917. In a column of extracts from letters Baildon soldiers had sent to say thank you for parcels from villagers
he is quoted as saying: “I am at Present at a broken-down French village recently vacated by ‘Fritz’ and which he shells occasionally.”On 31 May 1918 the newspaper reported: “Rifleman H Sutcliffe, whose home is at Lower Holme, has written to his parents to inform them he is a prisoner of war.”Sometimes this was good news for the family, showing a missing son was still alive or just because it meant he was no longer in the firing line.But on 6 December 1918, with the war over, we learn from the newspaper:
The hopes of a Baildon family concerning the return of their only son who had been a prisoner of war in Germany since last April have been dispelled under sad circumstances.On 28th November, Mr and Mrs W Sutcliffe of 15 Lower Holme, Woodbottom, received a letter stating that their son, Rifleman Harold Sutcliffe, King’s Royal Rifles, had died in hospital at Marle, Germany on 23rd August though on 15th August he had written to them as follows:“I am keeping fit and well and have had not illness since I was captured but I hope the war will not last long.
“We are doing work for slight pay but don’t find the work too hard. We are in quite a picturesque little camp where there are about 250 men. We live in huts, are fairly comfortable and are treated quite as well as could be expected, so don’t worry about me. “I will be with you, I hope before very long.”He enlisted on 24th September 1914, went to the front on 4th November 1915, was wounded on 4th July 1916, returned to the front in January 1917.He was 24 years of age when he died. Previous to enlisting he was a weaving overlooker at C F Taylor’s works, Lower Holme, and was connected with the Shipley Wesleyan Church.