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Harold Race was born in the last quarter of 1890 and his birth was registered in Malton. He was the son of James and Hannah (nee Cook) Race of Old Malton and one of three children. James is listed as a butcher in the 1889 Kelly’s directory at Old Malton and the 1891 census shows the family (including two of Hannah’s children born before her marriage) living in Lascelles Lane, Old Malton.
1891 Census – resident at Lascelles Lane, Old Malton
RACE, James, Head, Married, M, 51, Butcher, Leeds Yorkshire,
RACE, Hannah, Wife, Married, F, 36, , Lutton Yorkshire,
COOK, John, Stepson, , M, 11, Scholar, Old Malton Yorkshire,
COOK, Eliza, Stepdaughter, , F, 8, Scholar, Old Malton Yorkshire,
RACE, Florence, Daughter, , F, 2, , Old Malton Yorkshire,
RACE, Harold, Son, , M, 6 months, , Old Malton Yorkshire,
By 1901 they had moved onto Town Street where they remained until James’ death in 1917.
1911 Census – resident at 22 Town Street, Old Malton
RACE, James, Head, Married, M, 72, Farmer, Yorkshire Leeds,
RACE, Hannah, Wife, Married 23 years, F, 56, , Yorkshire Malton,
COOK, John, Stepson, Single, M, 31, Farmers Son Working On Farm, Yorkshire Malton,
RACE, Florence, Daughter, Single, F, 22, Farmers Daughter Dairy Work, Yorkshire Malton,
RACE, Harold, Son, Single, M, 20, Farmers Son Working On Farm, Yorkshire Malton,
RACE, Nellie, Daughter, Single, F, 16, Farmers Daughter, Yorkshire Malton,
Harold was living in Chapel Lane Old Malton when he was called up and signed on as a volunteer in the training reserve in Malton on 11th December 1915 giving his occupation as Butcher’s assistant and horseman on a farm. He was then 5 foot 5 inches tall with no distinguishing marks.
He joined the Royal Field Artillery in Newcastle on 16th August 1916. A week later he was posted to the 1st Reserve Battalion of the RFA and subsequently to the Training Reserve. In January 1917 he was transferred to the 18th Lancashire Fusiliers, a Bantam Battalion, and posted to France where he seems to have seen service at Ypres, Passchendaele and the Somme until the spring of 1918, when he was sent home in April to the Military Hospital in York. It seems surprising that he was posted to a Bantam Battalion given his height of 5’5” but presumably his health was already giving cause for concern.
From there he was discharged on 2nd May as no longer physically fit for War Service because of his diabetes which was aggravated by acute pneumonia. On 14th June he was sent a regimental badge to be worn on his jacket to mark his service with the Lancashire Fusiliers.
He died Nov 9th 1918 (registered in Malton in the last quarter of 1918) and is commemorated on his father’s headstone in Old Malton cemetery as well as on both Old Malton War Memorials. Given his health, or lack of it, it is only surprising that he survived as long as he did. CWGC gives no record of his military service presumably because he was discharged before the end of the war and so no longer counted as a War casualty.