On the war memorial Harry is listed as Henry but throughout his life he was known as Harry. He was baptised as Harry in St. Mary’s Church, Saxlingham Nethergate on 27 May 1900. His sister Kate was baptised at the same time.
His parents were George and Edith Thrower. His father was a blacksmith, as were his great grandfather, grandfather and uncle. This tradition continued down the subsequent generations.
He was born in Saxlingham Thorpe on 16 July 1898.
He came from a large family. His siblings were
George born 22 July 1895
Rose born 1897
Kate born 1900
Fred born 1903 died 1919
Nellie born 1908
Robert born 1910
Evelyn born 1912
Marian born 1916
In 1901 the family lived in Saxlingham Thorpe where his father had a blacksmith’s forge.
The family continued to live there and in 1911 his brother, George, was helping his father in the family business.
Harry also became a blacksmith as did his brother Robert.
The family lived in the end cottage on the right.
During the First World War Harry was a sapper in the Infantry Works Battalion of the Royal Engineers. His service number was 326007. His service records have not survived and he did not receive any medals so it is assumed that he did not serve abroad.
In the early days of the war each regiment had works battalions. The Royal Engineers had 11 such battalions. The men were trained to fight but would normally be engaged in labouring. The battalions would be made up from a variety of backgrounds with different skills. They included miners, road men, carpenters, smiths etc. Harry was probably a member of such a battalion because he was a blacksmith by trade. Some of the battalions which remained in England were employed doing work on the docks and waterways. In 1917 the battalions became incorporated into the Labour Corps.
After the war Harry returned to live in Saxlingham Thorpe. It is known that he was living at his parents address in 1925.
Although he lived in Saxlingham by 1931 he had a blacksmith’s shop in Tasburgh.
In 1935 he married Edith Marion Sparkes, born 16 December 1895. Her family originally also came from Saxlingham Thorpe. In 1911 she was working as a domestic servant. She did however live for several years in the early 1930s in London with her siblings.
In 1939 Harry and Edith lived at 2 Council Houses, Church Road, Tasburgh. He was a master blacksmith.
There is no record of their having had any children.
Harry died in May 1964. At the time of his death he still lived at 2 Church Road, Tasburgh.
England & Wales, Birth, marriage, death index 1837-2005
UK Census Collection
1939 Register- www.findmypast.co.uk
Norfolk Electoral Rolls-Southern Division Saxlingham Nethergate and Thorpe, (Absent Voters Lists 1918-1920) Tasburgh.
Norfolk, Church of England Diocesan Baptismal Records, Saxlingham Nethergate.
www.longlongtrail.co.uk Royal Engineers Infantry Works Battalion
Entry on this website of family of Claude Sparkes.
Photograph courtesy of Stephen Hunt, whose grandparents lived in the middle cottage of the row of houses.
UK, City and County directories, 1766-1946
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