Harry was born on 29th July 1894 in the Rucorn area of Cheshire. He was the son of Alfred E Magnall (FM079) and Alice Anne Emmett and brother to Gertrude (EM257) and James (EM250). Harry was baptised on 29 September 1894 at St Thomas’ Church, Stockton Heath in Cheshire.

At the time of the 1901 Census Harry was aged 9 and was staying at 1 Ellesmere Road in Stockton Heath, Cheshire, at the home of William H Martin, his wife Ellen and daughter Nellie along with Harry’s sister Gertrude. I have no idea at present what connection Harry has with this family.

Harry joined the army before the Great War started but was discharged during the war because his time in the army had expired. His army record is to be found at Kew in WO364/film 2293. He joined the 6th Batallion Manchester Regiment signing up on 27th March 1911. The enlistment documents show that he was 17 years and 8 months old living at 14 Beech Grove, Withington. His regimental number was 1361. He was 5 feet 51/4 inches tall and with good physical development. He was promoted to Lance Corporal on 25th October 1915 but “discharged in consequesnce of expiration of time” on 18th April 1916 having served 5 years and 22 days. He served at home from enlistment to 9th September 1914 embarking for Egypt on 10th September from Southampton. On the 3rd May 1915 he embarked for the Dardanelles from Alexandria. The amphibious landing on the Gallipoli peninsula was in April 1915 so Harry would have been sent as part of reinforcements rather than being involved in the initial landings. He and serving there until 1st April 1916. He received a shrapnel wound whilst in action on 5th June 1915 and evacuated to Malta arriving there on 9th June 1915. He rejoined his unit at Gallipoli on 24th August and was appointed …. on the 25th October. On the 17th November 1915 he was recorded as “Sick” and evacuated to a Red Cross Hospital in Giza on 21st November. He is then recorded as being in Alexandrai on 10th December 2015. The decision to abandon the Dardanelles peninsula was taken on December 14th and Gallipoli was evacuated in January 1916 – Harry doesn’t seem to have been involved in any further action as his time in the army expired in March 2016 and he embarked for England from Alexandria.

Harry then re-enlisted, this time with the Royal Flying Corp on  the 7th June 1916 (service number 30534), where he became a gunner-observer in RE 8 aircraft though he never saw air combat. He was transferred to serve as an aerial gunnery instructor and was proud to apparently have instructed the ace Albert Ball however, Ball completed his training and was awarded his wings on the 22nd January 1916 which was before Harry had enlisted. It is possible that Harry met Ball when he was acting as an instructor in the UK.

After the war, Harry travelled abroad for business and spent much time in Guatemala where he eventually settled and married a Guatemalan born woman of German/Polish parents, Olga Saeurbrei, on the 25th May 1924 in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Harry operated a plantation and later a store. During their time in Guatemala Harry and Olga had three children:

  • Alice Sylvia, b.1925;
  • James Alfred, b.1927;
  • Jean Elsa, b.1929.

Harry and family travelled from Talacahuano in Chile to Liverpool arriving on the 16 April 1931, their destination address was 14 Beech Grove, Brook Road, Withington, Manchester which presumably was still where his parents lived. This looks to be a fairly large Victorian terrace so hopefull there was room for them all! Harry’s occupation was recorded as a Merchant. The family departed from Avonmouth on the Camito on the 16th September 1931 heading for Kingston, Jamaica.

On 2nd June 1937 Harry returned on his own to the UK arriving in Liverpool from Cristobal in Panama on the Reina Del Pacifico. His proposed residency was 8 Clevely Road, Meols (his father’s new home after the death of his wife) and his occupation was still a Merchant.

In 1940 Olga and family sailed for Vancouver in Canada on the Celina (?). Harry joined them later, they settled in Vancouver and had another son:

  • Harry Roger, b.1941.

Harry died on 30th January 1973 aged 78 in Vancouver.

Many thanks to Wendy Magnall and Trisha Daniell for help with the information above.

EM214 – Harry Magnall – Army Record

The following details were extracted from the Army record of Harry Magnall (EM214) held at Kew ref. WO364/film 2293.

1361 Harry Magnall 6th Bn Manchester Rgt
17 years 8 months Parish of
near town of Warrington
Trade Clerk (?)
Employ Holland
14 Beech Grove, Westhoughton (?)
27 March 1911

Height    5 ft 5 1/4″ Chest Girth when fully expanded 34″
Range of expansion 36″
Vision  good
Physical development  good

Manchester 6 Bn Preliminary training Pte 27-3-11 – 26-5-11
      “   “ Claughton (?) 4-6-11 – 18-6-11
      “   “ Gargrave (?) 28-7-12 – 11-8-12
RM or RAC ? 6 Embodied Service Pte 5-8-14 – 24-10-15
      “   “ Appointed paid Lance Crpl 25-10-15 – 18-4-16
Rfe Rgt (?)
Discharged 18-4-16 18-4-16

Total service towards engagement in the Terratorial Force to 18-4-16 (date of discharge) 5 years 22 days
Character Very good
Discharge in consequence of expiration of time Para 392 subpara XXI KR
Station Stretford Road Manchester 18/4/16

Campaigns (a) Home 27-3-11 to 9-9-14
(b) Expeditionary Force Egypt 10-9-14 to
wounded 11-6-15
Manchester 27th March 1911 to 9-9-14 3 years 166 days
Embarked for Egypt 10-9-14 to 1-4-16 1 year 204 days
Home 2-4-16 to 18-4-16 17 days
Medals 1914-15 star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Casualty Form – Active Service
6th Bn Manchester Rgt

Report from
Embarked for Egypt Southampton 10-9-14
Embarked for Dardonelles Alexandria 3-5-15
June 11th
1/6 Man
Wounded in action
Gallipoli 5/6/15
June 12th
OC Milt Hos
Shrapnel wd. rt shdr.slt.(?) Malta 9/6/15
1/6 Man
Rejoined Unit (B213) Gallipoli 24/8/15
Appointed pd Lccpl (?) (B213)
1/6 Man
Sick (B213)
Red Cross
P.O.U.O.(?) admitted
Giza 21/11/15
Base Depot(?)
Arrival (?????) Alexandria 10/12/15
Time expired – Embarked
for England (from Ro???)
Alexandria 23/3/16 (?)

I have been unable to read or make sense of some of the entries in the documents and would welcome any advice as what they may mean.

[Last updated 14 December 2021]