Harry Ernest Dolby was born on 19 May 1891 in Ragdale, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, the son of John and Catherine Dolby.
Harry grew up in the Melton Mowbray area and after leaving school worked as a chauffeur. Following the outbreak of the First World War, on 13 October 1915, Harry enlisted and served with the Royal Flying Corps, service no. 9831. During the war Harry married Leonora Kate Pope (1894-1984) in Maidstone in 1916.
After the end of the war, Harry and his family moved to Broadway. Harry worked at the Lygon Arms Hotel for many years and with his family lived at Russell Cottages in the village. Harry was a member of the Broadway branch of Toc H and the British Legion. During the Second World War, Harry was one of the village’s Air Wardens and was involved in organising many dances and other fundraisers at the Lifford Memorial Hall (where he was a Trustee) to raise funds for serving men and their families2.
Harry died at his home in Broadway on 16 November 1957; his death was reported in the The Evesham Standard on 22 November 1957:
The death has occurred at home, Russell Cottages, Broadway, at the age of 66 years, of Mr. Harry Ernest Dolby, who had for 38 years been employed at the Lygon Arms Hotel. Mr. Dolby was a well-known and highly respected Broadway resident, having devoted much time and energy to village affairs.
In the 1914-18 war he was a member of the Royal Flying Corps and in the 1939-45 war took a keen leading part in the local Civil Defence. He was a keen member of the British Legion and was a member of Toc H for 20 years.
A former trustee of the Lifford Memorial Hall, Mr. Dolby will long be remembered for the great amount of work he put in on behalf of the hall, especially during the war, when he took a leading part in organising dances and other functions for the troops and in aid of numerous organisations and charities. He was responsible for raising considerable sums of money in this way.
Mr. Dolby was a son of Mr. and Mrs. John Dolby of Melton Mowbray, and is survived by his widow and three married daughters.
The funeral, which took place at Broadway on Tuesday, was attended by a large number of friends and representatives of the various organisations with which Mr. Dolby was connected. The service, at St. Michael’s and all Angels’, was conducted by the Vicar, the Rev. A. Osborn Jones, and the lesson was read by Mr. D.G.S. Russell. Interment followed at the cemetery.
Family mourners were: Mrs. Dolby (widow), Mr. and Mrs. J. Hardiman (son-in-law and daughter) and Mrs. Mealing (daughter).
Others present included: Mr. and Mrs. D.G.S. Russell, Lady Russell, Mr. D.J. Barrington, Mr and Mrs P. Revers1, Mr. J. Batchelor, Mr. H. Allaway, Mr. A.F. Lomas (also representing Toc H), Mr. M.C. Andrews (also representing Lifford Hall Trustees), Mr. H. Knight (Toc H), Mrs. Wilkes, Mr, and Mrs. R. Phillips, Mrs. Wade, Mr. A. Box, Mr A..E Partington, Mr H.B. Wyn-Evans (Toc H), Mr. and Mrs. .C Hopkins, Mr W. Watts, Mr H. Gossard (Toc H), Mr. S.E. Foss, Mr. A. Oakley, Mr. C. Aliband, Mr. A.W. Beale, M.r F. Hollington, Mr. J. Stringer, Mr. L. Wilkes (Toc H), Mr. .J Robinson (Toc H), Mr. H. Yardley (Toc H), Mr R.Y.T. Kendal (representing British Legion), Mr. A. Berry, Mr. R. Pritchard (Toc H), Mr. W.H. Round (Toc H), Mr. E. Nicholls, Mr. C. Beadle (Toc H), Mr. and Mrs. Treherne, Mrs. Emms, Mrs. Batchelor.
The British Legion standard-bearer, Mr. J. Prater was escorted by Messrs. J. Brooks, W. Preston, and W. Ballard. The bearers were Messrs. S. Brain and F. Thomas (representing Lygon Arms staff) and Messrs. R. Wright and J. Jones (and representing Toc H). Mr Dolby‘s second daughter, Pamela, was unable to attend.
Among the many floral tributes were wreaths from the many organisations with which Mr.Dolby was connected, including Broadway Toc H, the directors of the Lygon Arms Hotel, British Legion, friends of Walnut-close, and the staff of the Lygon Arms Hotel.
- Percival H. Revers, Head Gardener, Lygon Arms Hotel.
- Fundraisers included a dance at the Lifford Memorial Hall in aid of the R.A.M.C. Welfare Fund on 11 June 1940 which raised £10 for the Fund. At the event, George Hands and his band played and the teas were served by Harry’s wife, Leonora.