A paragraph in the Examiner has sparked this wonderful nostalgia story.

Every day in the On This Day section on the letters page we start it off with a snippet from the Huddersfield Examiner exactly 100 years ago.

One recently featured Pte Harry Day writing to his wife, Elsie, in Huddersfield saying he was a prisoner of war in Germany.

That sparked great interest from Harry’s granddaughter Teresa Hayes who has been able to fill in a great deal more about him.

Teresa, 67, said, of Mount near Outlane, said: “I chased up the paragraph which led me to realise why Elsie was concerned about him. The paragraph referred to “paragraphs being printed in the early part of the week saying that Harry Day was missing” so on looking back over the week I found a paragraph printed in the Examiner of Tuesday, October 6, 1914 which said that ‘Private Harry Day, who was attached to the Seaforth Highlanders and was employed as caretaker at the London City and Midland Bank Ltd, Market Place, has died of wounds received in action on the 26th August last. We trust that the report is quite unfounded and that Day, who it is possible may be interned as a wounded prisoner, will eventually return.’”

Teresa added: “This paragraph in the paper obviously had my grandma worried. It has also cleared up another question for me. My mum always said that she grew up where the Midland Bank is now but all their birth certificates read Yorkshire Bank Chambers. Market Place. Old photographs seemed to suggest that the Yorkshire Bank was possibly on the other corner and this always puzzled me. However, according to the paragraph in the paper Harry was caretaker at the London City and Midland Bank, Market Place – which is where the new Midland Bank stands today.

“Strange how a couple of lines in the Examiner can lead to other things. It has filled in a big hole in my family history.”

Harry was born on October 20,1884 at New Mill. His parents were William Day and Emma (nee Beaumont). Harry had two older brothers, Albert and Hermon, and two younger sisters, Edith Annie and Mabel.

The family moved from New Mill to Blacker Road, Birkby, when he was quite young and that is where he grew up.

Harry initially enlisted with the Militia Medical Service Corps in September 1901 when he was almost 17 and then the Seaforth Highlanders in March 1904. He was then transferred to General Reserve in March 1909.

Harry married Elsie (nee Hirst) on June 26,1911 at St John’s Church, Birkby. Elsie was born on January 17, 1886 in Salford, Almondbury but was living on Armitage Road, Birkby when she met Harry. Numbers 40, 44 and 48 Armitage Road were all occupied by the Day and Hirst families at one time.

Harry Day's wife Elsie (nee Hirst)
 

Harry and Elsie had two children – Mary and Barbara. Mary was the eldest, born in 1913 before Harry went away to war while Barbara was born in 1923. Barbara was Teresa’s mum.

After his wedding to Elsie they moved to the London City and Midland Bank at Market Place in Huddersfield town centre where Harry was a bank messenger. He eventually became the bank caretaker and it was at the bank that Barbara and Mary, grew up.

Teresa said: “Mum used to talk fondly about riding her tricycle up and down Chancery Lane and also about going out onto the bank roof to have photographs taken.”

Harry rejoined the Seaforth Highlanders on August 5,1914 and was in the Expeditionary Force which went to France. He was wounded in action on August 26,1914 and became a POW on that date.

He was a prisoner until September 13,1917 and on August 13,1918 he was discharged as he was classed as “no longer physically fit for war service”. He was awarded the 1914 star.

Harry’s had two brothers, Albert and Hermon, who also joined the forces in 1914.

Harry and Hermon survived the war but, sadly, Albert died in Ipswich Military Hospital on September 19, 1918 as a result of his war wounds. Albert was a Sergeant Major and had a funeral with full military honours which took place at Edgerton Cemetery after a preliminary service at St John’s Church, Birkby. Albert’s name is also inscribed on the War Memorial in Norman Park, Birkby.

In 1916 Hermon Beaumont founded his own business of Messrs. H Beaumont & Sons, Cotton & Waste Merchants, Bankgate Mill, Slaithwaite.

Albert wrote this postcard to Elsie in September 1914 when Harry was classed as missing.

Dear Elsie,

How are you getting on. I often think about you and baby. I suppose you will feel very anxious about Harry but don’t worry. I think that he will come back alright – he must be alright as yet, for if anything had happened, either wounded or missing or anything, they would have let you know before anyone else. So don’t take any notice of what anyone says, rest assured that if anything was to happen you would be the first to know. We are hoping to be sent out anytime now – sooner the better. They have now got the Germans on the run and every day will make it worse for them. I do not think that they will make a stand until they get back into Germany. Hermon is drilling like mad and we are both very well.

Albert

Pictured (from left) Albert Day with Florence Maude Day (nee Swift) in front of him, Emma Day (nee Beaumont) and Hermon Day. Albert Day and Hermon Day are brothers and Emma Day is their mother. Florence Maude Day is Alberts wife.