Harry was born in 1890 in Charlottetown, PEI, the son of Samuel and Martha Donovan. He had two siblings, his younger sisters Victoria and Stella. His parents were both Irish and his father worked as a tobacconist and later as a seaman and watchman.
Harry enlisted with the No. 5 Overseas Siege Battery on 18 April in Charlottetown. The unit was organized in Charlottetown in April 1916 and men were recruited on Prince Edward Island. They embarked from Halifax on 27 September 1916 on the Southland and arrived in England 6 October 1916. There were 9 officers and 132 other ranks.
The unit was redesignated the 8th Canadian Siege Battery, Canadian Garrison Artillery on 29 January 1917. They were sent to France on 1 April 1917.
Harry returned to Halifax with his unit in May 1919 on the Mauretania. By 1920 he had moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba and was working as a barber. His sister Victoria (Mrs. Earl Doty) was also living in Winnipeg at the time.
In 1946 Harry was living at 82 Bank with his wife Anna, and still working as a barber. He died in Winnipeg on 21 January 1959, survived by his wife and two daughters. He is buried in St. Vital Cemetery in Winnipeg.