We think that Harry was born on 29th July 1894, possibly in Manchester but the only Harry I have on my RoB database was born in Runcorn (Runcorn 1894 Q3 V.8a p.209). He was the son of Alfred E Magnall (FM079) and Alice Anne Emmett and brother to Gertrude (EM257) and James.
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 (see below). Harry then re-enlisted, this time with the Royal Flying Corp, 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 have instructed the ace Albert Ball.
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. 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.
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 died on 30th January 1973 aged 78 in Vancouver.
Many thanks to Wendy Magnall and Trisha Daniell for help with the information above.