Harry was born on the 16th of March 1883 in Saham Toney, Norfolk, and baptised there, together with his older sister Ethel Sophia, on the 30th of May 1885. His parents were Stephen, an Agricultural Labourer, and Sophia (nee Newton) Garner.
From the 23rd of August 1886 to the 12th of March 1891 Harry was a pupil at the Berner Street School London. This school served children whose physical and/or mental needs could not be met by a regular Board School. On the 1891 census Harry was back home with his family at Coburg Lane, Saham Toney. In 1901 Harry appears to be a patient awaiting a calliper at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital in Norwich, although it is not certain that this is the same man.
In 1903 Harry married Minnie Alice Hunt the marriage being recorded in both Saham Toney, on the 26th of April and Chorleywood on the 4th of May. Their children Wilfred Henry and Peggy Beatrice were born in 1908 and 1910. Harry has not been traced in 1911 but Minnie and the children were living The Swillett, Chorleywood along with her sisters Beatrice and Amy, and Beatrice’s husband Thomas Stockley. Minnie was described as a Fancy Draper.
He is recorded as enlisting in Bury St Edmunds.