113371 Pte. Harry Aubrey William Loxley was born in the parish of St. Paul's, Bedford, England, on April 30th, 1891, to Henry and Sarah (née Foote) Loxley. Living in Hurst Grove, Bedford, Harry was the second of four boys: John Emery b.1888, Harry b.1891, Reginald Wilfred b.1893, and Albert Russell b.1907. He had three sisters: Elsie Doris b.1896, Bertha Eveline b.1898, and Annie Doreen b.1900.

Harry was schooled at the Bedford Harpur Trust (Horne Lane) School; being admitted into the Infants in April 1895, and then the Juniors in November 1898. He then followed his family trade, becoming a bricklayer like his great grandfather (George), grandfather (William) and father.

In April 1910, Harry emigrated to Canada where he continued to work as a bricklayer. Living in Toronto at the outbreak of war, Harry attested there, on June 22nd, 1915, into the 8th Canadian Mounted Rifles. This regiment was absorbed into the 4th CMR in late January, 1916, under divisional restructuring, where he was assigned to 'B' Company.

On June 2nd, 1916, the German instigated fourteen day 'Battle for Mount Sorrel' opened, and although surviving the murderous onslaught that killed 193 of his comrades that first morning, Harry was one of 350 men of the 4th CMR taken as a prisoner of war (P.O.W.) that day. Initially kept at a camp in Dulmen, Germany, Harry was moved to P.O.W. camps at Minden by October 1916, Sennelager by March 1917, and finally Friedricksfeld by July 1917, where he remained until war's end. He was then repatriated to a rest camp in Ripon, Yorkshire, England, on November 24th, 1918.

Of note, Harry's younger brother, Reginald, also served in WW1, having joined the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (no.1852). He was transferred to the 245th Coy. Labour Corps (no.258352). Sadly he was killed on December 23rd, 1917, and lies at rest in the Red Cross Corner Cemetery, Beugny, Pas-de-Calais, France.

Although Struck off Strength from the 4th CMR on May 5th, 1919, at Ripon, Harry didn't return directly to Canada with his comrades. However, he did subsequently leave England on the Corsican on April 22nd, 1920. He arrived into Montreal, Quebec, on May 6th, 1920, with the intention of living in Toronto and returning to his occupation.

By April 1923, Harry had returned to the UK where he married Julia Thomas (born on January 28th, 1893, in Llandeilo, Carmarthen, Wales) at All Souls Church, Langham Place, London, on April 25th, 1923. Harry was described as the eldest surviving son of Henry and Sarah Loxley, in the Wedding announcement carried by the Bedfordshire Times and Independent newspaper. Just two days later the couple were seen sailing to Canada, departing from Liverpool on April 27th, 1923, for Quebec, on the Regina.

Their life and movements thereafter are sketchy, though the couple had two children in Toronto, Audrey Margaret (b. 6th Feb. 1924 - d. Dec. 1989 in California, and Harry b.1926). Julia returned to the UK in July 1928 with both children, and it is then noted that all of the family was living in Gifford Road, Bedford, from 1932 onwards. Harry was still working as a bricklayer.

Nothing further of the couple is known until records announce Harry's passing in Bedford, aged 73, on October 18th, 1964. They were still living in Gifford Road, Bedford. Julia latterly passed away in Bedford on December 11th, 1985, aged 92.

Harry and wife Julia are both remembered at Bedford Cemetery, Foster Hill Road, Bedford, England, where their memorial stone can be found on the cemetery's West Wall: Plaque location reference, R3 (adjacent to section B3).

Biography & headstone image credit and thanks go to David Kavanagh.

Special thanks to the Friends of Bedford Cemetery group for assistance in locating Harry & Julia's memorial stone.