Rank:


Private

Service No(s):


G/12274; 60518; S/424946

Regiment:


Middlesex Regiment; Royal Defence Corps; Army Service Corps

Unit:

5th Bn & 1st Garrison Bn; 16th Bn & 6th Protection Co; 793 Horse Transport Co.

Returned:

Yes

Place of birth:

Islington

Occupation:

Clerk

Date of death:

Cause of death:

Grave or panel reference:

Name of father:

Henry James Dilley

Name of siblings:

Albert Henry; Ethel Isabel; Ernest John; Elsie Ada Mary; Hilda Rose; Winifred Agnes

Name(s) of children:

Died:

No

Date of birth:

03/07/1896

Place of enlistment:

London

Event:

Home

Age at death:

Cemetery or memorial:

Other memorial:

Name of mother:

Ada Foster Dilley (nee Hillman)

Name of spouse:

Address:

5 Burgoyne Road, Harringay

Biography:

Harold Victor Dilley was born in Islington in 1896. His father was Henry James Dilley, a publisher’s assistant at Boots; his mother was Ada Foster Dilley (nee Hillman). (His mother is given as his next of kin in his military records, although his father was still alive.) Harold was the fifth of seven children: he had two older brothers, and two older and two younger sisters. The family were living at 67 Benwell Road, Highbury in 1901 and at 39 Oxford Road, Finsbury Park in 1911. Harold’s two brothers were employed as insurance clerks and he was also a clerk, living at 5 Burgoyne Road, when he enlisted on 27 November 1915.

Harold’s physical development was classified as Moderate and his general physique as Poor, fit only for Home Service, and he was initially sent to the Army Reserve. On 31 January 1916 he was mobilised to the Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) and joined 5th Battalion, a reserve battalion at Mill Hill. On 13 May he was posted to 1st Home Service Garrison Battalion, part of the Thames and Medway Reserve Brigade defending London. On 4 August 1917 this garrison battalion was transferred to become 16th Battalion of the Royal Defence Corps (RDC), a Corps created for local defence. On 8 February 1918 he received a posting to 6th Protection Company of the RDC, one of those concerned with lines of communication.

On 24 August 1918 Harold was compulsorily transferred from the RDC at Hatfield to the Reserve Supply Personnel Depot of the Army Service Corps at Prees Heath in Shropshire, being allowed to maintain his former rate of pay if it were more advantageous. A Trade Proficiency document from that date certifies that he was a good clerk with a fair knowledge of typewriting but none of shorthand. (Interestingly, he later corrected the date of his enlistment on his demobilisation certificate.) On 21 September he was posted to 793 Horse Transport Company of the Army Service Corps in Kensington for duty at the General Headquarters of the Home Forces. On 29 January 1919 he was sent to No. 2 Dispersal Unit, Crystal Palace and granted 28 days’ furlough, finally being demobilised and transferred to Class Z Reserve on 26 February. His medical category was Biii, one above that on enlistment (Ci). On 7 March 1919 Dilley complained that he had not received the £10.5s gratuity due to him.

In 1914 Harold had been admitted as a member of New Court Congregational Chapel. He is listed at 9 Hewitt Road, Harringay in 1921, the family home and his address on demobilisation. His religion was given as Non-Conformist on his attestation. Harold is shown as a patient in Shenley Hospital in 1939, according to the England & Wales Register, where his occupation is given as a maritime insurance clerk. From at least 1945 onwards he was living with three of his sisters at 8 Spencer Avenue, Palmers Green, presumably the family home as it was their parents’ address at the time of their deaths in 1936 and 1937 respectively, and it was still his address when he died on 22 August 1978, aged 82.