Henry Taylor HORSFIELD (1889-1980)
Henry Taylor Horsfield (1889-1980), known as Harry, became friendly with the Sladden family when he moved to Evesham with his parents, possibly in about 1910.
Harry was born on 30th October 1889 at Chapel en le Frith, Derbyshire, the youngest of five children of Thomas Horsfield, a chartered accountant, and his wife, Sophia (née Kay). In 1901, he was a boarder at a preparatory school in Hoylake cum West Kirby, Cheshire. By 1911, Harry had become a fruit grower and had moved to Evesham with his parents.
During the First World War, Harry Harry served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 13th (Reserve) Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment. In 1916 he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps.
According to references in the Sladden family letters, before the war Harry had become engaged to May Openshaw of Bowers Hill, who was an assistant teacher at Greenhill School, Evesham. But a letter of 29th July 1917 reveals that Harry broke off the engagement.
On returning from the war, Harry bought land at Knowle Hill, Evesham. From 1921-1924 he began advertising in The Evesham Standard as he was sole agent for Worcestershire and Gloucestershire for the “Simar”, a motor rotary soil tiller and cultivator.
Harry married Florence Mary Muir (born in Florence, Italy) in 1920 in Kensington, London. At the time of the 1921 census, Harry and Florence were living at The Malt House, Broad Campden, Gloucestershire. Their first child, Hugh, was born two months later. By 1923, when their second child, Philippa, was born, they had moved to Knowle Hill, Evesham, where Harry owned land. They had a bungalow built, a short distance away from Harry’s parents at The Ridge. Two more daughters and a son were born at Evesham. At the time of the 1939 Register, Harry, Florence, their five children and a servant were still at the bungalow, Harry described as Managing Director of Homemaking Food Containers.
During the Second World War Harry was in command of the 6th Platoon of the No 2 Broadway Company of the 4th Worcestershire (Evesham) Battalion, Home Guard, commanded by George Lees-Milne. He was responsible for drawing up the plans for defending Wickhamford if there was a German invasion.
Harry’s wife, Florence, died in 1946 and was buried at St Saviour’s Roman Catholic Church, Broadway. Seven years later, Harry married Helen Lees-Milne, the widow of George Lees-Milne. The marriage was not a success, the couple separating after a few months.
Harry died on 21st January 1980 at Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire.