Harry’s paternal grandfather was Henry Thorpe, born in Broughton around 1844. In the 1861 census he was living with his family in Broughton. He was 17 and a cotton packer. He was the second of 5 children. The paternal grandmother was Mary Ann Hacking, born in Radcliffe around 1842, the third of 8 children. Henry and Mary married on 1 January 1863 at St Mary’s church, Prestwich.
In 1871 they lived in Church Lane, Prestwich and Henry was described as a warehouseman. In 1881 they were at 20 Fairfax Rd, Prestwich and Henry, now 37, was a calico stuff merchant. By 1891 they had moved to Brookfield, Prestwich Park and were still there up to 1911. They had 12 children, 2 of whom had died by 1911. Mary was born about 1865 in Prestwich. She married a Mr McHardie but was widowed and back living with her parents by 1911, when she was described as a housekeeper. Elizabeth was born about 1867, Harry about 1869 and James about 1870, all in Prestwich. Harry became a cotton goods salesman. Maggie was born about 1872, Charles about 1882, Alfred about 1883, Fred (Harry’s father) about 1884, William about 1886, Joseph about 1878 and Annie about 1880, all in Prestwich. James and William became cotton cloth salesmen and Charles an accountant.
Henry and Mary were still alive and living at Brookfield in 1911 with 6 of their children, Annie’s husband and 2 grandchildren.
Harry’s maternal grandfather was George Wood Bamford, one of 6 children of a Liverpool schoolmaster. George was born in Liverpool on 14 January 1838 and baptised on 12 February 1838 at St Peter’s church, Liverpool. In 1841 the family lived in Walton on the Hill, West Derby, Liverpool but by 1851 they had moved to School House, School Rd, Maghull. By 1861 they had moved to South St, Openshaw, and George, now 23, was a warehouse salesman. George married Esther Ann Barraclough on 2 September 1863 at Manchester Cathedral but sadly Esther died in 1864. George then married Hannah Booth on 30 August 1865 at St Thomas’ church, Radcliffe.
George and Hannah were living at 13 Spring Lane, Radcliffe, at the time of the 1871, 1881 and 1891 censuses. In 1901 they lived in Clifton. In 1881 George was a cotton merchant and manufacturer. The couple had 5 children, Robert born about 1867 who became a mechanical engineer, Amy born about 1868, Nelly born about 1870, Beatrice born about 1871 who became an assistant school mistress, and Constance Linda (Harry’s mother) born in 1873.
George died aged 69 and was buried on 25 July 1907 at St Mary’s church, Prestwich. His address was “Veradale”, Rectory Lane, Prestwich.
Fred Thorpe was baptised on 28 December 1873 in Prestwich. By the age of 17 he was a cloth salesman. Constance Linda Bamford was born in Radcliffe on 14 October 1873. She was baptised on 22 November 1873 at St Thomas’ church, Radcliffe. Fred and Constance were married in January 1898 in Barton-upon-Irwell. In 1901 they lived at Woodville, Moorside Rd, Flixton, and in 1901 at 1 Kenilworth Avenue, West Didsbury. In 1901 Fred is described as working in a cotton rice goods merchant’s warehouse. For a time between 1901 and 1911 they lived in Lytham where 2 of their children were born. They had 5 children but 2 had died by 1911. The surviving children were Harry, Kathleen Mary and Joan Hannah. In 1916 they lived at 4 Severn St, West Didsbury. There is a death registered in Ealing, Middlesex of a Constance Linda Thorpe in 1961 at the age of 87.
Little is known of Harry’s early life as he was only 12 at the time of the 1911 census. At the time of his death he was serving with the 1st Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers. He died in action on 13 November 1916 which places him at the Battle of the Ancre, the final phase of the first Battle of the Somme. The intention was to attack the German front line where it lay across the River Ancre as it flowed between Thiepval and Beaumont Hamel. The British Fifth Army was led by Lieutenant-General Hubert Gough and the German First Army by General Fritz von Below. The attack had been delayed by two weeks by bad weather. The battle lasted several days and was thought to be something of a success for the British but they suffered more than 23000 casualties, including Harry, who lost his life on the first day of the battle.
Harry is buried in the Serre Road Cemetery No 1, Pas de Calais, France, grave reference I. F. 37.