Harry Littler

Harry was born on the 7th October 1898 in 22 Trentham Street in Runcorn and was the third of four children of William John and Lucy Littler. His father had born in 1864 in Ince and christened in St. James church on the 25th December 1864. His mother, Lucy Rigby, had been born around 1869 in Appleton. By the time they married in Halton on the 4th May 1892, William worked as an engine driver, possibly driving steam tugs and they lived in 13 Greek Street in Runcorn.

Harry’s two elder brothers, Thomas and Joseph had been born in 1893 and 1895. By the time Harry was born, the family had moved to Trentham Street. Harry was christened on the 21st November 1898 in the parish church , All Saints.  A sister, Helen, was born on the 5th July 1900 but sadly their mother, Lucy, died later that same year.  By 1911 all four children were staying with their grand-mother, Mary Littler, in Ince.

William re-married in early 1904 and his second wife, Martha Anne Barber was born in Aston by Budworth around 1869.

By 1906, the family were living at Norton Wharf, Preston Brook. William was working as a “stationary engineman“ for a canal company, probably a crane operator. At the beginning of that year Harry and Helen transferred from the Preston Brook School to Daresbury School.

In 1911 Thomas was working for a canal company as an apprentice blacksmith and Joseph was working for an insurance company as a collector. Both Harry and Helen were still at school.

Harry served with the Flying Corps (service number 60408) as a mechanic and clerk from the 20th February 1917 and was “transferred” to the Royal Air Force on the 1st April 1918. He was entitled to the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.  Harry was then transferred to the RAF Reserve on the 18th March 1919 and was still away from the family home in Oaklands Cottages in autumn 1919.

After returning to civilian life Harry worked as a clerk in an iron works but was badly affected by the War and on the 6th July 1925 he tried to commit suicide by drinking creosote, He died on the 13th July and the inquest found him to be of unsound mind.