Charles Henry Colley, known Harry, was born at Flyford Flavell, Worcestershire, in 1877, the youngest of three children of Charles and Comfort Colley. At the time of the 1881 census they were living at Dormston and in 1891 and 1901 they were living at Peopleton. In 1901, Harry was working as a garden labourer like his father.
Harry married Rose Ellen Huxley in 1907 in the Evesham area. They went to live in Rose’s home village of Wickhamford where two daughters, Enid Mary (1908-1996) and Doris Clare (1909), were baptised in the Church of St John the Baptist. Harry’s sister, Emma Moore, and her husband, William, and Harry’s parents, Charles and Comfort, were also living in Wickhamford.
In 1910, Harry, Rose and the two girls emigrated to Canada. They left Liverpool on 16th July on Dominion, belonging to the White Star Steamship Line, bound for Quebec. At the time of the 1911 Canadian census they were living in Minnedosa, Manitoba, Harry working as a labourer doing odd jobs. His 17-year-old nephew, Vincent (son of his older brother, Jesse), had recently emigrated to Canada and was living with them.
At the time of the 1916 census in June, they were living at 345 Mountain Avenue, Marquette, Manitoba, Harry employed as a worker in a railway shop.
On 13th December 1916, Harry joined the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force, serving with the 230th Forestry Battalion. He was then living at 369 Elgin Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, working as a car repairer. He gave his date of birth as 4th July 1880, knocking three years off his age.
At the time of the 1921 census, Rose and the children were living at 643 Notre Dame, Winnipeg. It is not known where Harry was and it is thought that the couple may have separated.
Harry died at Shaughnessy Hospital, Vancouver, on 23rd August 1953, aged 76; his home address was 325 Gilmore Avenue. An announcement of his death in "The Vancouver Sun" of 27th August said:
Survived by his dear friend, Mrs F Burns, and many friends in North Burnaby. Deceased served in World War I with Canadian Forestry Crops, and was a member of Canadian Legion, Vancourver Hieghts Branch 148, BESL. Funeral service Saturday August 29 at 10 am from the Burnaby Funeral Directors’ Chapel, Padre F A Ramsey officiating. Interment, Field of Honor, Mountain View Cemetery.