A Book of Remembrance for the War Fallen of Hayling Island

Private Harold Durrell 5505766
2nd Bn., Hampshire Regiment

Pvte Durrell

Son of Thomas Arthur and Florence May Durrell, ‘Syringa’, Manor Road, South Hayling; brother to Arthur, Ernest and Leslie. The Durrells were caretakers at Hayling School living at the school house where, eventually, Leslie was caretaker. The family were members of St Mary's Church where they were baptised and where Harold sang in the choir. Harold worked at Pope's, the butchers in West Town. In his last letter to his mother, he enquired after Mr Pope's health and said that he, Harold, was ‘in the pink’.

Just before the Battle of Salerno, General Eisenhower had broadcast that the Italians had surrendered, but the 2nd Bn. was still met with heavy fire and, in the confusion, landed on the wrong side of the beach and could do little beyond determinedly attacking immediate targets. A former comrade recently confirmed that Harold was killed on the beach during the landing. Mrs Pauline Clothier and Mrs Joyce Lawrence are Harold's nieces.

Date of Death: 09/09/1943;   Age 29
Cassino Memorial, Italy. Panel Ref., 7.