Sixth Generation: Harold Harber Warner < Harold Rix Warner < James Warner < William Warner  < William Warner < William Warner

My paternal grandfather

Harley was the son of Harold Rix “Harry” Warner and Mary Jane Harber. He was born in Orillia, Ontario on September 18 or 19, 1897 (his Ontario birth record says the 19th, but other documents indicate that he celebrated his birthday, throughout his life, on the 18th).

He was named Harold after his father and his middle name, Harber, was from his mother’s family. But “Harley” is the name he used all his life. It was probably out of admiration for an older and very successful first cousin, Harley Warner Larkin, the son of his aunt, Hannah Maria Warner.

Harley served in World War I, stationed in Canada, England and France, from his enlistment in 1916 until his demobilization in 1919.

He married Helen Fredrica Price, at her father’s home in Toronto, on September 22, 1923. They had three children:

  1. Helen Elizabeth “Betty” Warner
  2. Joseph Price “Joe” Warner
  3. Harley Cecil Warner

During World War II, when he was in his mid-forties, Harley was a foreman at the Victory Aircraft plant in Malton, Ontario, where they built Lancaster bombers for the war effort. Family lore has it that he worked on the tail assemblies.

It’s almost certain that Harley is in this group somewhere

Helen died in 1967 and Harley lived alone for the last eleven years of his life.

He died in a nursing home in Newmarket on May 10, 1978 and was buried in Saint John’s Norway Cemetery.

The family misspelled Harley’s middle name in his obituary

You can visit his grave (virtually) here.


Harley as a Child

You can just see Harley’s little face, on the left, peeking at the camera over the left hand of his grandfather, James Warner. The two women are almost certainly his maiden aunts, Daisy and Sadie (I don’t know which is which). The two children are his brother Cecil and his sister Ruby. I don’t who the baby is. The picture would have been taken about 1906 or 1907 when Harley was nine or ten.
Harley at age twelve (according to a note made by his daughter, Betty, in one of the photo albums she kept as a young woman). If that is correct, the photo was taken about 1909 or 1910.

Harley in his Teen Years

Harley in the Canadian Field Artillery

Harley (left) and his army buddy, William Arthur “Art” Rook. Years later they would become brothers-in-law when they married two sisters, Helen and Frances Price. They would become business partners a few years after that.
Harley Warner (front row left) and Art Rook (front row right) with their unit. They were part of the 53rd Battery of the Canadian Field Artillery.
Harley’s World War I medals: British War Medal (1914-1920) on the left, The Allied Victory Medal (1914 – 1919) on the right
Harley’s medals as he left them to us, before they were cleaned and mounted in 2017. The rim of each is engraved with his name, rank and serial number (he held the artillery ranks of Gunner and Driver at various times during the war).
Harley’s military grave marker at Saint John’s Norway Cemetery

Harley as a Young Civilian

Harley and Helen on their wedding day, September 22, 1923, standing in front of her father’s house at 242 Glen Manor Drive West in Toronto (where the ceremony took place)