Monday, 11 September 2017

MAY, Harold Anthony Kidd

Flight Lieutenant, 511 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service No: 81372
Died: 10/08/1943
Age: 21
Remembered on Runnymede Memorial
Remembered on family memorial in Bangor cemetery

Known as "Tony", Harold Anthony Kidd May was born in 1922, the son of Harold Kidd May, M.C., and his wife Cicely Alice May (nee Ray)

Educated at Bangor Grammar School, Tony joined the Royal Air Force on outbreak of hostilities and was promoted to Flight Officer in September 1940 at the age of 19.

In August 1943, Flight-Lieutenant Antony Kidd May was "reported missing, presumed lost at sea on air operations."

Maurice Wilkins, former headmaster of Bangor Grammar, writing in the school's magazine in 1965, said:
"Tony Kidd-May was in our junior school for some years — a fair curly-haired attractive and handsome boy with pleasant manners and highly intelligent. He showed excellent all-round promise and took a leading part in the Dramatic Society. I have a photograph which used to hang in the old H Room (now a lab.), showing Tony gesticulating on the bow of a ship and addressing his crew of ruffianly pirates just below — prominent among them, cheering with arms upraised, George Morrison, now internationally renowned in Film Research and Documentaries of the Irish revolutionary years of 40 to 60 years ago."

MAY, Harold Kidd

Lieutenant, Royal Berkshire Regiment
Died: 06/08/1934
Age: 36

Harold Kidd May was born on the 20th March 1898 in Holywood, Co. Down. He was the youngest son of George May, a merchant in cotton goods, and Isabel May (nee Greenfield).

Harold was educated at Coleraine Academical Institution and in November 1914 passed his preliminary examinations for the Institute of Chartered Accountants. He was employed by the accounting firm of Messrs. H. B. Brandon & Co. whose offices where in the Scottish Provident Buildings. He was a member of the Belfast University Contingent of the Officers' Training Corps and received a commission as Second Lieutenant in the Royal Berkshire Regiment on 26th August, 1915.

Although his Medal Index Card records he entered the war zone in 1917, he went to the front in April 1916 and was wounded the following June. He was officially reported missing on the 3rd July at the Battle of the Somme but was found to have come through unscathed a few days later.

In August 1916, Harold was promoted to Lieutenant and was wounded again – in the shoulder – in October.

He was wounded for the third time on 1st December 1917, more seriously, receiving gunshot wounds to both legs and was transferred to England for treatment at a hospital in Oxford.

In February 1918 he was awarded the Military Cross, the citation published in Supplement to the London Gazette of July recording:
"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when in command of a company in an attack. He moved about fearlessly under heavy machine gun fire, directing the advance. When the advance was held up he went forward to reconnoitre, and then directed his platoons to their objectives. He superintended the consolidation with great energy, and set his men a splendid example throughout."
He married his wife, Cicely A. Ray, in Oxford at the end of 1919 and relinquished his commission on 31st January 1920.

MAY – August 6, 1934, at his residence, "Merton," Osborne Drive, Bangor, Harold Kidd May, M.C., dearly-loved husband of Cecile May. Funeral private.
Belfast News Letter, 7th August 1934