The HARRIS family – Sergeant HARRIS, Wilfred Henry (1896-1954)

Born on 25th January 1896 at 2 Littleton Street, Wilfred was the younger of the two sons of Arthur James Harris – a pawnbroker – (1868-1953) and Mary Chamberlain (1862-), who married at Stapenhill St Peter (Mary’s home parish in Derbyshire) in December 1891.  Arthur Leslie Harris (1892-1952) was the eldest.  Wilfred was baptised at St Leonard’s on 23rd February 1896.

Harris Ivydene 320 Fosse Road North
Ivydene, 320 Fosse Road North

The four lived at ‘Ivydene’, 320 Fosse Road North from at least 1901.  Arthur James was sidesman at St Martin’s from 1906 until shortly before his death and served on the PCC during the 1920s.

By age 15 Wilfred was attending school part time.  He began work as a commercial traveller soon after 1911.  He enlisted at the start of the war as a Private in the Leicestershire regiment.  He was promoted to the rank of corporal in January 1916.  He transferred to the Royal Engineers wireless signal department and promoted to s/Sergeant in August 1917.  Wilfred’s supposed A1 health on enlisting did not last in service.  He had very poor teeth, which had been unsuccessfully treated in 1913.  He suffered chronic supparation (pus) of the maxillary sinus, which must have been very painful especially in cold weather.  He was discharged with impaired health in March 1919 having served for over four years, the vast majority of it on active service abroad.  The army awarded Wilfred a small pension in recognition of his temporary poor health in 1919 and he returned to his parents at 320 Fosse Road North.

Wilfred worked as a salesman after the war.  He married Margaret Dorothy Humphreys (1896-) at St Martin’s on 12th December 1922 and together they had a daughter Mary Julianne (1924-2010) who was baptised at St Martin’s on 7th December 1924.  Audrey Bernadine (1924-) was baptised on 2nd September 1928.  They lived at 38 Sykefield Avenue 1924-28. By 1932 he had been promoted to sales manager and lived at 9 Evington Lane, moving by 1936 to 31 Park Hill Drive.  Some time around 1937 Wilfred and his family moved to Bebington in Cheshire where they lived at 40 Croft Avenue.  Wilfred was a food manufacturer.

At some point after the war Wilfred and his family adopted the name Kellam-Harris.  They settled in Putney but maintained close links with Leicester – daughter Audrey married in Leicester.  Wilfred died on 2nd January 1954 living at 11 Hazlewell Road in Putney.  Margaret died in 1998.

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