Harry Haigh (1883-1916)

This page is part of a project by David Verguson to research the lives of those who appear on war memorials and rolls of honour in the Lindley area.


George Haigh was born in Slaithwaite in about 1844 and his wife Harriet in Bath in 1854, however they were living in Rochdale between 1874 and 1885 when their first five children were born. George worked as a card dresser in Rochdale and it was this trade he was working at when they lived in Union Street, Lindley in 1891.

Harry was born in Rochdale on 5 March 1883 and when the family moved to Lindley when he was aged six he attended, along with his brothers Ernest and John, Oakes Board School just up the top of Union Street.

There was plenty of work in Lindley; neighbours, like George and his eldest son, also George, found employment in the Sykes card works on Acre Street or in local textile mills, like those on nearby Plover Road.

Ten years later in 1901, the Haighs lived in four rooms at 65 Wellington Street, and five children still lived at home. George had presumably left home to marry. George Snr now worked as a cutter in a woollen mill; Elizabeth, aged 25, was a burler, and Ernest and Harry also worked in woollen mills. Only John, aged 16, worked in the Sykes factory.

By 1901 the couple had another two children: Amy born in 1893, and Edward born in 1898. Of their total of seven children, none died in infancy, an unusual accomplishment in the Lindley around 1900.

In 1911, the family lived at 1 Portland Street, off Reinwood Road. The house had five rooms but with six adult children, an eighteen-year-old daughter and a son aged 13, it must have seemed very crowded indeed.

The whole family — except Harriet, who didn't work — were employed either in textiles directly or in card making.

Harry enlisted in the army on 20 May 1916, probably after being conscripted and trained and served with the Northumberland Fusiliers. He was later presumed to have died on 14 November in the Somme area, which could only have been a few months after arriving in France.

Harry had no known grave so is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial and locally at St. Stephen's church and at Oakes Baptist Church.

Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922

The following extract is from Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922 (2014) by J. Margaret Stansfield:

HAIGH, HARRY. Private. No 241919. 1/5th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. Born Rochdale 5.3.1883. Son of Mr and Mrs George Haigh, 1 Portland Street, Reinwood Road, Lindley. Educated Oakes Board School. Employed as a clip cutter. Single. Enlisted 20.5.1916. Killed in action, 14.11.1916, 34 years. Has no known grave. Commemorated THIEPVAL MEMORIAL TO THE MISSING.
ROH:- Oakes Baptist Church; St. Stephen's Church, Lindley.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission