Born in West Street Newport, the second son of Charles Henry ‘Fred’ Biles and his first wife Lydia Ellen Biles (nee Wiseman), he was the half brother of brother of Douglas James Biles.
Harold was an accomplished horseman and worked in his father’s cattle dealing and knacker business at Park Green. At just 17 years of age he was called to the barracks to shoot his first horse, needing to stand on a crate to do so.
He married Annie Gilbert in 1924 at St John’s Church, Newport. She would keep the books for the business as well as running a pets meat shop. They had two children.
He was a supporter of the Isle of Wight Hunt and the for many years was Steward for the main ring at the County Show
|Unit or location||Role||Posted from||until|
|Newport (South) Patrol||Patrol Corporal||11 Sep 1940||03 Dec 1944|
He was a WW1 veteran serving as Private 39428 in the Hampshire Regiment and was awarded the British and Victory medals. He was groom to General Allenby in Palestine, holding his horse as he walked into Jerusalem to show his respect for the Holy City as he took its surrender.
His son, David, returned home one day and found Harold and his Auxiliary Unit colleagues sinking oil drums, filled with munitions, in the farm pond and he was told severely to forget what he'd seen. David talked about his fathers time in Auxiliary Units for Voices on the Wight
The family moved into Newport during the war. Apparently Harold used to tell Annie (nee Gilbert), his wife that whilst he could not tell her where he went with the Patrol he could always see her.
Harold kept hold of a list of kit and equipment that was requested to be returned in 1943.
Biles was awarded the Defence Medal at stand down.
The image of the family home, "Devonia", Forestside on the left circa 1940-1. The hanger on the right was used to build Supermarine Walrus planes which, with folded wings were then towed by road to Somerton Aerodrome near Cowes. The small hay stack by the lane covered the family air raid shelter - the intention was that bombs would bounce off the hay. PLUTO crossed his land.
After the war his son went around to recover the explosive supplies that had been concealed in milk churns in various farm ponds in the area.
TNA ref WO199/3391 and WO372/2139631
Hancock data held at B.R.A