Sunday, October 19, 2014

3749 Private Harold Leslie Campbell, Welsh Guards

The H Campbell mentioned in Chailey’s Parish Magazine in May 1917 as serving as a private with the Welsh Guards was Harold Leslie Campbell of Cooksbridge, Hamsey.

Harold was born on 14th January 1899 and, according to his entry on the silver war badge roll, joined the Welsh Guards on the 2nd January 1917. He appears on the 1901 census of England and Wales as a two year old living at Cooksbridge with his family. The family comprised Frederick Campbell (head, aged 36, working as a farmer), his wife Annie and their four children: Florence Campbell (aged seven), Frederick Campbell (aged four), Harold, and Albert Campbell (aged two months). All of the children were born in Hamsey. Two other sons, Donald John Campbell and Stanley Campbell would follow in 1902 and 1905 respectively.

In July 1918, Chailey Parish Magazine reported that Private H Campbell has been wounded and this information is then repeated monthly up to and including the final published roll in July 1919. In August 1919, reporting the peace celebrations, the parish magazine reported that Harold Campbell came second in the 200 yards’ walk for soldiers. Harold also appears in the Welsh Guards roll of honour where it too notes that he was wounded once.

According to Chailey resident Reg Philpott, Harold lost an arm during the First World War yet somehow still managed to milk a cow once he had settled back into peacetime life. He married Elizabeth Davidson-Watt on 6th November 1926 and the couple had three children. Harold’s brother Fred Campbell also served during the First World War with the RAF.

Medal index card image courtesy of Ancestry.

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