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 Doreen 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 father's trade as bricklayer.


In 1913, travelling with his father, Harry emigrated to Canada on April 2nd, leaving Bristol, England, for Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the Royal Edward. At least his mother joined them before 1915.


Harry was living in Toronto at the outbreak of war, attesting there on June 22nd, 1915, into the 8th CMR. This regiment was absorbed into the 4th CMR in late January, 1916.


On June 2nd, 1916, the German instigated fourteen day 'Battle for Mount Sorrel' opened, and although surviving the murderous onslaught that killed 176 of his comrades that first morning, Harry was one of 258 men of the 4th CMR taken POW that day. He was eventually repatriated on November 24th, 1918.


Although Struck of Strength of the 4th CMR on May 5th, 1919, it seems likely that Harry didn't return directly to Canada with his comrades, but subsequently left Liverpool on the Corsican on April 22nd, 1920. He arrived into Quebec, on May 6th, 1920, with the intention of living in Toronto and returning to his occupation.


However, between May 1920 and April 1923, Harry returned to the UK and 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, but certainly Harry and Julia returned to the UK and were living in Gifford Road, Bedford, on the eve of WW2, in September 1939. Harry was still working as a bricklayer.


Nothing further of the couple is known until record of Harry's passing, aged 73, on October 18th, 1964, was noted. They were still living in Gifford Road, Bedford. Julia subsequently passed away in Bedford in late 1985.


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.






Biography credit and thanks go to Mike Kavanagh.