Harry Herbert Gloster
- Media Type:
- Item Types:
- 2017EG003.001: Photograph of First World War Canadian Expeditionary Force soldiers seated and standing on the staircase of a building. Harry Gloster is in the third row from the top, the first man on the left seated beside the ledge. He is wearing his Service Dress uniform and peak cap, with his left hand resting on his right. Several men are holding canes or crutches. There are many different cap badges on the peak caps; therefore this picture might depict one Battalion with several companies.
2017EG003.003: Black and white postcard sent by Harry Gloster to his mother Rosena Louisa Gloster living at 193 Mutual Street, Toronto, Ontario. Front image depicts a group of ten men identified as the Guard Squad, wearing First World War Service Dress uniform, slouch hats, and all are Privates except for the Sergeant on the far right, and the Corporal on the far left. Handwritten note in pencil on reverse reads: “Dear Mama, Have not heard from you yet. This is the Guard Squad, with love Harry”. It appears as though the postage stamp has been removed, as the surrounding area is discoloured.
2017EG003.006: Black and white portrait of Harry H. Gloster circa 1916. He is wearing a First World War service dress uniform and peak cap with the 83th Battalion cap badge.
2017NG001.001: Rectangular discoloured paper printed with black ink of a Christmas dinner menu and music program for the Signals and Runners of the Sixth Canadian Infantry Brigade, held at Oberkassel, Germany on 25 December 1918. Note that the text is in English and German. There are signatures in pencil on the front and reverse, suggestive of other servicemen in attendance that evening.
2017NG001.002: Rectangular Christmas card, made of white cardstock, previously folded once in half. The exterior/front is embossed with forest green velvet emblem of the Canadian Military Engineers in the center. The interior is addressed “To Mother” from “Harry” which is handwritten in black ink between the printed text in navy ink: “With Christmas Greetings and every Good Wish for the New Year from [Harry] 2nd Canadian Divisional Signal Company. Christmas 1918 France.”
2017EG003.004: Black and white photograph of a ham radio dated June 1955.
2017EG003.005: Black and white photograph of Harry H. Gloster setting up radar equipment at an unknown location, while working for the Department of Transportation. Photograph is dated between 1920 and 1949.
2017EG003.007: Black and white portrait of Harold Gloster, older brother of Harry Gloster, dated circa 1916. He is wearing a First World War service dress uniform and peak cap with the 39th Battalion cap badge and collar badges.
2017EG003.002: Rectangular paper memorandum printed with black ink, with the business information of Harry H. Gloster’s father, Harry Daniel Gloster, who owned a framing business in Bristol, England prior to immigrating to Canada.
- Harry Herbert Gloster was born in Bristol, England on 1 May 1897 to Rosena Louisa Watts and Harry Daniel Gloster, the owner of a picture framing shop in Bristol. As a child, he sang in the school choir. He started using a ham radio and Morse code at the age of ten, and communicated with it daily with his best friend who lived across the road. At the age of eleven, he received instruction and built his first ham radio. Due to hard business times, Harry, his father, and brother Harold immigrated to the United States of America at Ellis Island in 1912. The family settled in Toronto, Ontario, with his mother arriving shortly later. Unfortunately, both of his younger siblings Violet and Leslie died in England.
On 6 August 1915 at the age of eighteen, Harry enlisted with the 83rd Overseas Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (10th Regiment Royal Grenadiers). His occupation at the time was listed as Electrician. He arrived in England on 7th May 1916 at West Sandling Camp. He later joined the 20th Battalion (2nd Canadian Division Signal Company) and served in France. As a Canadian Engineer Sapper (Private), he laid 25 mile radio lines between the trenches so that fellow soldiers could communicate. He survived the war and was discharged on 29 May 1919 due to demobilization.
His father Harry Daniel Gloster also enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 14 August 1915 at the age of 44. He served with the 39th Eastern Ontario infantry Battalion. His attestation papers record that he previously served four years in the British Navy.
On 24 May 1932, Harry Herbert married Hannah Walsh, and together they had two sons. As an employee of the Ford Motor Co. in Windsor, Ontario, he joined the Symphony Orchestra as a violinist. Later he worked for the Department of Transportation in Toronto at the Malton Airport (now the Toronto Pearson International Airport), and set up radar equipment across the country. In 1949 he was promoted to Officer in Charge of Telecommunications at the London International Airport in London, Ontario, where the family lived on the grounds. Harry retired in 1962 and pursued his hobby of being a ham radio operator. Using voice and/or Morse code, he was on the air constantly talking to others around the world for several hours a day. His call number VE3IT also appeared on his driver’s licence plate. Having spent a lifetime in telecommunications, 71 years, Harry was recognized by an Expositor reporter as the longest living ham radio operator in North America.
Due to failing health, Harry and his wife Hannah moved to a retirement home in Brantford, Ontario, and he passed away on 3 July 1991.
- Date Of Event:
- Personal Name(s):
- Gloster, Harry Herbert
- Local identifier:
- M. Eleanor Gloster
- Language of Item:
- Geographic Coverage:
England, United Kingdom
- M. Eleanor (Tate) Gloster
- Creative Commons licence:
- [more details]
- Recommended Citation:
- Harry Herbert Gloster, M. Eleanor Gloster. 2017EG003.001-5.
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