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Harold Farley 1907 to 1982

The name of Harold Farley is mentioned everyday in Quorn as we talk about ‘Farley Way’ or the ‘Farley Way Estate’. However many people in the village do not know anything about him, or even who Farley Way is named after.

Harold Farley died in 1982 aged 76. Below is a report of his death which appeared in the local paper at the time.

Quorn’s ever-cheerful old soldier, 76-year-old Harold Farley, who figured in a remarkable war-time escape, died tragically in a road accident last week. He and his 42 year old son Terence were in collision with a car while walking up Station Road to the village centre early in the evening. Mr Terence Farley is in Leicester Royal Infirmary with a severe leg fracture and other injuries.

Former brickyard worker Mr Farley, who lived at 1 Catherine Close, Quorn, became a sergeant in the Leicestershire Regiment and was stranded behind enemy lines in Norway by the 1940 German invasion. With three of his men, and helped by the Resistance, he escaped across snow-covered mountains to Sweden, once swimming an icy river and arriving naked on a farmhouse doorstep.

Later he served in Northern Ireland and in Africa, and after his return to Quorn became a local military munitions manager.

In his retirement, and after the death of his wife Lizzie, he helped in the White horse and White Hart public houses, where he was known for his cheery whistle, his vigour and his zest for life, which he attributed to “matter over mind”.
“When I feel like staying in bed, my body wants to get cracking,” he often said.

Army experiences were never far from his mind or conversation, and one of his favourite stories was of losing six teeth attempting to mouth-lift a colonel suspended by a webbing belt – a kind of feat he was famous for during his service years. Six “falsies” preserved his ready grin, and until the end he was full of energy, always eager to take the dance floor or sing a song to liven a party.

A prominent figure at Tigers’ reunions and keeper of the flag at the village war memorial, he never forgot the people who befriended him during his Norway escape and visited them nearly every year.

Besides his son, of 13 Catherine Street, Quorn, Mr Farley leaves two daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

 Submitted on: 2011-08-18
 Submitted by: Su Spencer
 Artefact ID: 1384
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page or just on its own.

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