(L to R) 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal
Harold was born in December 1893 in Mossley. He was baptised on the 21st January 1894 at the Methodist New Connection Chapel. He lived with his father John, his mother Hannah, and four older sisters, Sarah, Lena, Alice and Harriet. The family moved several times to various addresses around Mossley, including Beaconsfield Terrace and Park Street. They all worked in the local textile industry.
Harold joined the Army on the 5th September 1914 aged 20 years and 10 months. He was placed into the 3rd Battalion of the Manchester Regiment and was given the service number 10266. On the 13th May 1915 a medical examination at Grantham recommended he should be discharged as unfit as he was suffering from varicocele and needed an operation which he refused to have. It seems this issue was overlooked and he was transferred to the 2nd Battalion on the 30th August 1915 to complete his training.
Harold was deployed to France on the 18th November 1915. He was trained as a signaller and he remained on the Western Front until the 26th May 1916 when he returned home, perhaps for medical treatment. He returned to France on the 12th November 1916 and was there until his death on the 2nd April 1918. Harold was carrying out maintenance on communication lines when he was killed by shrapnel. He was 24 years old.
His commanding officer wrote:
“He was an excellent signaller, and always carried out his duties in the true British spirit – to win. I had every confidence in him, and he proved himself thoroughly reliable time and again”.
Harold is buried at Quensnoy Farm Military Cemetery along with 58 others, including 16 soldiers of the Manchester Regiment.
In 1920 at the unveiling ceremony for the Mossley war memorial in the grounds of the Town Hall a wreath was laid in the memory of signaller Harold Schofield. He is also commemorated on the war memorial in St George’s Church.
Harold’s medals were donated to the museum collections in 2014.