896645 Gunner Harry Frank Deakin,
273 Battery, 69th (West Riding) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
Harry Deakin became a Gunner in the Royal Artillery, serving with 273 Battery in 69th (West Riding) Field Regiment, which was a Territorial regiment of Artillery in the 49th (West Riding) Division.
The Division deployed two infantry brigades to Norway on the ill-fated mission in April 1940 to re-capture the ports of Trondheim and Narvik from the Germans, but artillery support for the mission was drawn from other formations. After the disaster in Norway, the infantry brigades were evacuated and the division reorganised for a period in Scotland before deploying to Iceland, where it remained for two years. During its time in Iceland, the division forged a close link with the US Marines who were stationed there, and the US Marines adopted the Polar Bear insignia for themselves.
In his absence, May Deakin’s sister in law, Mary Jowett, known as Joan, and her three-year-old daughter, Valerie came to live in Scholes. Although the village is only 7 miles from the centre of Leeds, it would have been considered as being safer than where Joan and Valerie had been living, in the White Horse pub on Wellington Road, where her husband and father in law were the licensees. It stood close to the railway, and the engine sheds, and nearby factories may well have been thought of as targets for German bombers. As it turned out, the Luftwaffe did target the railways in Leeds, but their efforts were concentrated on the Marsh Lane goods yard complex at the other side of the city centre.