Service Number 62732
Regiment Royal Air Force
Buried Claro, North Yorkshire
James Pullan Harland was born in Burby, Yorkshire on the 3rd January 1899, the son of Thomas Michael and Mary Helen Harland. Mary had been born in Linton, but in 1911, the family were living at 216 Harehills Avenue, Leeds where Thomas was a laundryman. At that time James was 12 and was attending school.
By 1918, James appeared on the Collingham absent voters list due to Naval or Military service. James service record shows that he enlisted on the 26th February 1917 as a second aircraft mechanic into the Royal Flying Corps. He gave his address at the time as Hollybush Farm, Collingham. Within one year, on the 1st February 1918, James had been promoted to 1st Aircraftman and on the 1st April 1918, when the RAF was formed, James transferred from the Royal Flying Corps to the RAF.
James' brother, Thomas Edmonds Harland, also served in the Great War and survived, and his sister, Dora Mary Harland, served in the Voluntary Aid Detachment.
After the war James continued to serve in the RAF and was reclassified as a Leading Aircraftman on the 1st January 1919.
On the 15th March 1920, James married Edith Whitehead at the Wesleyan Chapel in Collingham. He gave his profession as Leading Air Craftsman No. 62732 of the RAF, and his address as Fern Bank, Collingham. Edith was a spinster from Holly Bush Farm, Collingham. She was the youngest child of Thomas and Mary Whitehead, long-term residents of Holly Bush Farm in Collingham (since at least 1881). Thomas and Mary's other children were George Henry, Fred, Eleanor and Emma. At the time of their marriage James was 21 and his bride Edith was 41.
According to his service record, James left the RAF on the 16th November 1920.
By 1939 James and Edith were living at 39 Bowling Hall Road in Bradford. James was a laundry manager.
We believe that Edith died in 1965 and James remarried in 1966 to his niece-in-law, Kathleen Whitehead, at the Registry Office in the district of Claro on the 22nd October 1966. James was a 67 year old widower and Kathleen was a spinster aged 65. Kathleen was the oldest child of George Henry Whitehead, James' first wife's brother, and his wife, Clara. Kathleen was born in Collingham in about 1902. We do not know where James and Kathleen made their home.
James died in 1971.
1911 Census. The National Archives. Class RG14 Piece 26974
First World War Airmen's Service Records. The National Archives (AIR79).
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