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  • Thiepval Memorial.  Photograph Rachel Farrand (August 2008)
Person Details
East Kirkby Nottinghamshire
Harold Phillips Toon was the son of Herbert and Jane Elizabeth Toon (née Phillips) His father Herbert was born in Coleorton, Leicestershire, in about 1869, the son of Alpheus Toon and his first wife Martha (d. 1871) by whom he had at least eight children. Alpheus married secondly Sarah Ann Bennett on 1 September 1873 who had a son George T Bennett. They also had a son, John b. 1874 who died the same year. In 1881 the now widowed Alpheus, a coal miner, was living on New Street, Kirkby in Ashfield with six of his children, including Herbert (13) a coal miner, and his stepson George. Alpheus died later that year and in 1891 Herbert (23) was living on New Street with his married sister Sarah Jane Smith and her husband and children. Herbert married Jane Elizabeth Phillips (b. 1869 A/M/J Cheadle Staffordshire) at St Wilfrid Kirkby in Ashfield on 28 December 1891. They had seven children of whom two died in infancy. Their surviving children, all born in East Kirkby, were: Harold Phillips b. 1892, Leonard b. 19 December 1896 (reg. 1897 J/F/M), Maude Evelyn b. 15 July 1900, Edith Mildred b. 15 February 1905 and Hilda Margery b. 20 September 1907. The two children who died young were probably Winnie b. 1894 d. 1897 and Elsie Violet b. 1903 d. 1904. In 1901 Herbert (33) a coal miner/stallman, and Jane (31) a dressmaker (at home), were living at 48 New Street, East Kirkby, with their three children Harold (8), Leonard (4) and Maude (8 months). Herbert and Jane were still living at the same address with their five children in 1911: Harold a school student teacher, Leonard a grocer's assistant (Co-operative Society), Maude, Edith (6) and Hilda (3). The family later lived at 52 New Street, Kirkby in Ashfield. Of Harold's siblings: Leonard Toon served initially in the South Staffordshire Regiment (23062 Private) and was later commissioned second lieutenant in the Northumberland Fusiliers. He qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal; the medal index card gave his address as 52 New Street, Kirkby in Ashfield. Leonard probably married Doris E Knowles in 1927 and in 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled they were living in Annesley Woodhouse. Maude Evelyn married Frederick Bostock (b. 30 December 1906) in 1932. In 1939 they were living on Low Moor Road, East Kirkby; Frederick was a butcher's manager. The record of one member of the household remains closed and may have been that of their daughter, Janet. Maude died in 1980 (O/N/D Mansfield). Edith Mildred married Frank B Boffey (b. 5 June 1900) in 1927 and in 1939 they were living in Pinxton, Derbyshire; Frank was an assurance agent. The record of one member of the household remains closed but may have been that of their son, Harold Barry (b. 1928). Edith died in 1983 (A/M/J Mansfield). Hilda Margery married Frank Cuff (b. 31 March 1907) in 1932. In 1939 they were living in Sutton in Ashfield; Frank was a certified accountant (local government). The record of one other member of the household remains closed but may have been that of their daughter, Pauline (b. 1937). Hilda probably died in 1975 (J/A/S Louth Lincs).
He attended Brunts School Mansfield. In 1911 Harold was recorded as a student school teacher. He was a certificated sssistant at Chapel Street County School Kirkby in Ashfield. He was a member of University College Nottingham OTC. Attemded Kirkby Primitive Methodist Church where he was in the choir and a member of the Young Men's Bible Class.
14 Jul 1916
816734 - CWGC Website
New Street, East Kirkby in Ashfield.
Second Lieutenant
17th Bn attd. 15th Bn Durham Light Infantry
Harold Toon enlisted in January 1915 into Nottingham University Officer Training Corps and was commissioned into the Durham Light Infantry on 6 May 1915. He served in France from 11 June 1916, and had only been at the front for four weeks before his death from wounds received in action at Delville Wood. Harold has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. He qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Harold Phillips Toon was related to Richard Edward Toon (KIA 1916) and William Henry Toon (KIA 1917) both of whom are commemorated on the All Saints memorial, Stanton Hill. Harold's grandfather Alpheus Toon and William's grandfather James Toon were brothers. Richard's father Edward Toon was the brother of William's mother Agnes Stanley née Toon; Edward and Agnes were the children of James Toon. See Richard and William's records on this Roll of Honour. Listed in the Nottinghamshire County Council register of employees who served (Nottinghamshire Archives ref CC CL 2/12/1/1). Kirkby in Ashfield Chapel Street County School Log Book (Notts Archives ref SL97 1/3): '29 January 1915 – Mr Toon ceased duties in this school on purpose to join the Army Corps. 21 July 1916 – Another member of staff, Lieutenant Toon, who ceased duties here on January 29th 1915, has been killed in the recent offensive on the British Front.' From ‘Officers who died in the Great War 1914-19’ : TOON Harold Phillips. 17th Bn., Durham Light Infantry, 2/LT (TP), Killed in Action, 14th July 1916. Mansfield Reporter, 21 July 1916: ‘Roll of Honour. News has been received by the parents of two of the officers in HM Army from Kirkby, that they have been killed in action. They are … and Second Lieut. H Toon, of New-street (Durham Light Infantry)’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, 28 July 1916. Report of a presentation to Sergeant Frank Wright of Pleasley who had been awarded the DCM. Sergeant Wright’s old school master, Mr CE Stacey, bore testament to ‘the worth of his ex-pupil’ and mentioned two other former pupils: ‘only this week he had had news that the ;Last Post’ had been sounded over the last resting places of two of his old pupils, Lieuts, Strawson Wlson (of Mansfield) and Harold Toon (of Kirkby), both fine young fellows’ (www.britishnewspapearchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, 4 August 1916: ‘Memorial Service. A memorial service for the late Second-Lieut. HP Toon, who was killed in action on July 14th, was held on Sunday afternoon, in the Primitive Methodist Church, of the choir of which the deceased was a member. He was also a member of the young men’s Bible class under whose auspices the service was held. The Rev. TR Auty and Mr A Oakley, leaders of the class, conducted the service and the congregation included Messrs WB Edge and MH Fox representing the school manager, Lieut. Toon being a teacher under the authority. The hymns sung were ‘When our Heads’, ‘Rock of Ages’, ‘O Lord of Hosts’, and ‘For All The Saints’. The uncle of the deceased officer, Mr EA Cupit, presided at the organ, and impressively rendered the ‘Dead March’.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Probate: Toon Harold Philips (sic) of 52 New Street East Kirkby Nottinghamshire second-lieutenant in HM Army died 12 July 1916 [CWGC 14 July 1916] in France. Administration (with will) Nottingham 13 December [1916] to Herbert Toon miner [father]. Effects £100.2s.11d
Remembered on


  • Thiepval Memorial.  Photograph Rachel Farrand (August 2008)
    Harold Phillips Toon - Thiepval Memorial. Photograph Rachel Farrand (August 2008)
  • Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France. (www.cwgc.org)
    Harold Phillips Toon - Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France. (www.cwgc.org)