The Harboro’ Boys

Market Harborough Historical Society is proud to publish Barry Summers’ account of the Harboro’ Boys who fought in World War I. Barry was a well-known local teacher and a member of the society. He was fascinated with the story of the young men connected with the town who marched off to war in 1914. His detailed research was encouraged by Sam Mullins, the first Keeper of Harborough Museum, and he made good progress before his health suddenly deteriorated. He died in 2000 leaving a manuscript that had reached 1917.  (Scroll down to bottom of page for brief summary of the book)

Copies of the book may be obtained as follows:
Collect: Price £8.99 at
monthly Historical Society meetings
Postal (UK):
Jiffy bag delivery by Royal Mail £11.50 per book. Orders with remittance to Mike Stroud (Treasurer)
7 Orchard Close, Desborough, Kettering, Northants, NN14 2LR
Please contact Mike Stroud (see above) – delivery costs dependent upon destination & service.

A Brief Summary of the Book

The Harboro’ Boys covers the progress of the war from the Territorials marching away to Loughborough in August 1914, (including the young man whose mother insisted he took his pyjamas). Men from far and wide returned to Market Harborough to enlist or visit family members, before leaving for training. It examines the early naval battles, life on board a submarine, and our young men at the Battle of Mons.  It recounts the tragedy of young men and their fathers killed or wounded, as well as the requests from home for razors, cricket kits and footballs. At home in Harborough it reports the ‘Remount’ depot at the market, and the poverty faced by the wives and mothers who had depended on their men’s income.
A great deal of work recovering a usable manuscript, editing and providing photographs has been undertaken by society members, and the result is a compelling story of a local community at war which will appeal to families with relatives who went to fight, to those interested in the local history of Market Harborough and the surrounding area, and to those who wish to commemorate the centenary of ‘the war to end all wars’.
A fascinating read, full of compassion and humour, it is the story of many connected with the town from the former local bank manager, to the grooms who were to travel with the horses to France and beyond. It is the story of Fred Tuffs, Albert Terry, Bob Cotton, Tom Alcock, Bill Stevens, Fred Simmonds, Richard Kelly and T W Jackson, using contemporary diaries and recorded material from the 1980s. For that, and for weaving their reminiscences together into a coherent story of an East Midlands community at war we are forever indebted to Barry Summers.