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Person Details
26 Dec 1892
Hucknall Torkard Nottnighamshire
Harold Bancroft was the son of Robert Desborough and his wife Lydia nee Bancroft. His father Robert Desborough was born in Woodborough, Nottinghamshire, in about 1872. His mother Lydia Bancroft was born in Underwood, Nottinghamshire, probably in 1870 (O/N/D Basford-Leivers), and in 1881 was living in Eastwood with her grandparents. George and Elizabeth Cresswell and uncle, William Cresswell, who was head of household. Robert and Lydia were married at the Congregational Church, Hucknall, in 1890 (O/N/D Basford). According to the 1911 Census they had had nine children of whom six survived infancy: John William H b. 1891 (O/N/D Basford), Harold Bancroft birth registered 1893 (J/F/M Basford), Herbert b. 9 May 1894 (A/M/J Basford), Joseph Robert P b. 1895 (J/A/S Basford) d. 1896 (A/M/J Basford), Kate Elizabeth b. 1897 (A/M/J Basford) d. 1897 (A/M/J Basford), Dorothy Elizabeth b. 1899 (A/M/J Basford) d. 1899 (J/A/S Basford), Hilda Mary b. 28 December 1901 (registered 1902 J/F/M Basford), Edith Gladys b. 2 August 1906 (J/A/S Nottingham) and Florence Elizabeth b. 25 October 1907 (O/N/D Nottingham). John, Harold and Herbert were born in Hucknall Torkard and the other children in Nottingham. In 1901 Robert (29) a coal miner hewer and Lydia were living at 12 Brook Street, Hucknall Torkard, with their three sons, John (9), Harold (8) and Herbert (6). Also in the household was Elizabeth Cresswell (70), Lydia's widowed grandmother By 1911 Robert and Mary were living at 25 St. Peter's Street, Radford, Nottingham. Five of their six children were in the home on the night of the census: Harold (18) and Herbert (16) who were both coal miners/pony drivers, and Hilda (9), Gladys (4) and Florence (3). Robert and Lydia were still living at 25 St Peter's Street in 1919 when their son Herbert was discharged from the army and returned home. Harold married Louisa Wilson in 1914 (J/A/S St Germans Cornwall) and they had one child, Georgina Ethel b. 25 July 1915 (J/A/S Nottingham). Harold's widow, Louisa, married William Taylor in 1919 (O/N/D Nottingham). In 1939 at the time the England & Wales Register was compiled, Harold's daughter Georgina was living at 8 Wood Street, Beeston, in the household of John and Lilian Whitlock; she was working as an electro-coating wirer. Georgina married Eric H Wells in 1945 (J/A/S Reading Berks) and they had a son, David H. in 1947 (J/A/S Reading Berks). She died in 1982 (J/A/S Swindon Wilts). Robert Desborough was nominated as his son Herbert's next of kin during the war but he has not been traced with any certainty after this period. In 1939 Lydia, described as widowed, was living in Dover where she was employed as a housekeeper probably for the head of the household. Her daughter, Hilda Mary Cuff and granddaughter Beryl (Cuff) were living in the same household. Lydia died on 30 October 1953; she was then living at 16 Queen Elizabeth's Walk, London. Administration of her will was awarded to her son John William Henry and her son-in-law, Leonard Wilfred Anthony. Of Harold's siblings: John William Henry has not been traced after the 1901 Census although he was awarded probate of his mother's estate in October 1953. Herbert attested on 28 December 1914 aged 20 and served in the Royal Army Service Corps, 190th Company (T4/036895). He was still living with his parents at 25 St Peter's Street, Radford, and employed as a miner when he enlisted. He served with the BEF in France from 25 August 1915 and appears to also have served in Italy from November 1916. Herbert was discharged on 18 February 1919. He married Maggie Seels in 1921 (J/F/M Nottingham) and they had at least three children: Eric H b. 1921 (O/N/D Nottingham), Kenneth W. birth registered 1923 (J/F/M Nottingham) d. 1923 (A/N/J Nottingham) and Beryl M. b. 1931 (J/F/M Nottingham). In 1939 he and Maggie (b. 5 October 1898) were living at 6 Tranby Gardens, Nottingham; he was a commission agent (unemployed). He died on 29 November 1945. Hilda Mary probably married Roger B [Bernard] Cuff in 1924 (A/M/J Nottingham). There was a daughter, Beryl b. 9 July 1928 (J/A/S Elham Kent-Desborough). In 1939 Hilda Mary, described as married, was livng at 27 Castle Road, Dover, Kent, occupation unpaid domestic duties, with her daugher Beryl (later Anguige d. 1999) who was at school and her mother Lydia Desborough (prev. Bancroft linked Cresswell) who was described as a widow and working as a housekeeper. The head of household was Herbert W Terson (b. 13 December 1852, d. 9 December 1946), an estate insurance agent. A female domestic servant was also in the household. Hilda may have died in 1977 (A/M/J Bath Somerset). Edith Gladys married Ernest E Hamilton in 1928 (J/A/S Nottingham); there were probably no children of the marriage. In 1939 they were living at 105 Harwill Crescent, Nottingham; Ernest (b. 25 May 1906) was an electrician's mate (distribution, installation & maintenance) and Edith's occupation was given as unpaid domestic duties. Edith died in 1986 (J/F/M Nottingham). Florence Elizabeth married Leonard W Anthony in 1927 (O/N/D Nottingham) and they had at least one child, Marie F. b. 16 February 1928 (J/F/M Mansfield-Desborough). In 1939 Leonard (b. 15 May 1904), a cashier and costs clerk.electrical cable engineer, and Florence were living on Shrewsbury Road, Nottingham, with their daughter Maria who was at school. Also in the household were Louise Anthony (b. 15 January 1865) married and owning a 'small drapery business' and Polly Anthony (b. 30 September 1898) single, occupation unpaid domestic duties. Florence died in 1978 (J.A.S Okehampton Devon).
In 1911 he was a coal miner (pony driver)
13 Mar 1915
276115 - CWGC Website
1st Bn The Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire Regiment)
He enlisted at Lichfield whilst living in Radford, possibly one of the many who tried to enlist somewhere else due to the crowds in Nottingham. He died of wounds at No. 19 Field Ambulance near Armentieres and was buried in Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres, Nord, France (grave ref. IX. C. 54). He qualified for the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his widow, Louisa, was his sole legatee. WW1 Pension Ledgers: dependents widow Louisa and child Georgina Ethel. Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 30 March 1915: ‘Desborough. Killed in action March 13th, near Armentieres, France, Private H Desborough, North Staffords, the beloved husband of Louie Desborough, Marmion-road, Thorneywood, aged 22 years. Duty first.’ www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 8 & 9 April 1915: ‘Desborough. Killed in action, March 12th (sic), Private H Desborough, 1st North Staffords, the dearly-beloved son of Robert and Lydia Desborough, 25, St Peter’s-street, Radford. Sadly missed by those that loved him best.’ www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 13 March 1916: ‘Desborough. In loving memory of my dear husband, Pte. Desborough, North Staffordshire Regiment, who was killed in action March 13th, 1915. A noble life laid down. Still sadly missed by wife and baby.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 13 March 1917: ‘Desborough. In loving memory of my dear husband, Private Harold. Desborough who died of wounds March 13th, 1915. Christ will link the broken chain closer when we meet again. Wife and baby.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 13 March 1918: ‘Desborough. In loving memory of my dear husband, Pte. Desborough, North Staffords, killed in action March 13th, 1915. A bitter blow, a shock severe, to part with one we loved so dear. Wife and baby.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) 'Desborough' was a common surname in Woodborough and Harold was probably related to three other Great War casualties, brothers Harry and John Thomas Desborough, the sons of Samuel and Mary, from the village, and John Desborough the son of John and Emma, his parents later of Arnold. (Records on this ROH.)
Remembered on