Harold Colborne Fallows was born in 1879 in Bredbury, Cheshire, England, birth registered during the last quarter. He was the son of John Thomas Fallows and his second wife Elizabeth Nettleton. His father was from Manchester while his mother was from Lofthouse in Yorkshire. John and his first wife Ellen Elizabeth Ward had six known children, Kate (1867-1873), Gertrude (1868-1893), Ward (1870-1954), Jessie (1872-1960), Ellen (1874-1952), and John (1876-1948), all born in the registration district of Stockport (likely Bredbury). After Ellen’s death in 1876 John married Elizabeth on 7 September 1878 in Lofthouse. Harold was their first born child followed by Maggie (b 1881), twins Sydney Nettleton and Mary Elizabeth (b 1883), and Winnifred (1887-1915). Sadly Elizabeth died during the last quarter of 1887, same quarter of Winnifred’s birth. In later censuses John’s wife was listed as Georgina, born in Scotland. Over the years John worked as a manager of a card works company and later as a traveller for the Manchester Trade Company, wealthy enough to employ a couple of servants. By the time of the 1901 census John and Georgina had moved to Chorlton upon Medlock in South Manchester while Harold and his siblings remained in Bredbury. His father died in 1905 in the registration district of Chorlton.
Harold’s brother Sydney immigrated to Canada first, arriving in 1902 and settling in Toronto. Harold immigrated in 1909, arriving on 7 November aboard the Lake Champlain. According to the passenger list he was headed to Winnipeg, intended occupation given as paper maker. By the time of the 1911 census he was living in Kenora, Ontario and working as a clerk in a general store, likely the Hudson’s Bay Company. In the spring of 1918 he was transferred with the company to Calgary and then on to Medicine Hat shortly after. That August he returned to Kenora, residing at the local YMCA.
Harold signed his oath of attestation with the Royal Air Force in Winnipeg on 5 September 1918 and was approved for service on 10 September in Toronto. His occupation was given as clerk, his address as the YMCA in Kenora, and his brother Ward back in England as next of kin. Just three days later he was found deceased in the Jesse Ketchum Park barracks, death due to a throat cut, an apparent suicide. Harold is interred with a military marker in the Toronto Necropolis Cemetery, rank give as 3rd Air Mechanic, Royal Air Force. He is commemorated on page 585 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.
Harold’s brother Sydney enlisted with the 35th Battalion in Toronto in April of 1915. Once in England he was transferred to the 14th Battalion, arriving in France that November. The following June he suffered a shrapnel or gunshot wound to the knee and was returned to Canada in August of 1917, discharged as medically unfit in February of 1918. Sadly Sydney drowned in early April of 1927. He is interred in a veteran’s grave in Prospect Cemetery in Toronto, grave site owned by his twin sister Mary Elizabeth.
By Kenora Great War Project