Laslett family history

Harold and Lily Laslett of Broadstairs

Harold Weston Thomas was born at Broadstairs on 17 June 1901 He was the son of Thomas Laslett of Broadstairs and his wife Kate Laslett née Thomas (page 131). Harold was educated at Holy Trinity Elementary School, Broadstairs. Served in the Royal Field Artillery as a driver during WWI. He enlisted when aged only 14 years 3 months old. The East Kent Times of 20 September 1916 recorded:


The youngest Broadstairs soldier - probably the youngest in the whole of Thanet - in the person of Driver Harold Laslett, aged 15, of the Royal Field Artillery, has been wounded, fortunately not seriously.

His appearance and particularly his physique, from which one would have formed the opinion that he was at leat five years older, assisted his enlistment on September 28th last year, when he was fourteen years and three months old.

Five months later he had completed his training, and was drafted to the Western Front with a battery.

Since then he has taken part in a deal of heavy fighting. He was with his battery when he was struck in the right leg by a piece of shrapnel.

Writing to his parents at Church Cottage, Albion street, from a Soldiers' Christian Association Camp Home at one of the Bases, Driver Laslett cheerfully explains that his wound is only a slight one and he has almost recovered from the effects.

His brother, Leonard, is serving with a Battalion of The Buffs on another front.

Both lads were educated at Holy Trinity Elementary Schools, Broadstairs.

A photograph of Harold accompanied the article.

On 14 February 1927 married Lily Valentine Saffery. Lily had been born on 14 February 1906.

After the war Harold became a conductor on the trams which ran all over Thanet and when they ended he transferred onto the buses until an accident where he was crushed between two in Margate's Cecil Square. He was not expected to live, several vertebrae were crushed as was his pelvis, he had broken ribs and three weeks later they realised his shoulder was broken. For a man who was given eight minutes to live he did rather well as he died roughly ten years later.

Harold died in 1960 and Lily in November 1987.

Family of Harold and Lily Laslett

DAWN PRETORIA - married Barney?. Emigrated to New Zealand in 1947/48

Dawn Pretoria married Te Raetea Kahu Paku born in New Zealand. They had eight children.
Pretoria Pamela Taylor
Saffrey Dawn Paku (previously McDonald)
June Barley Paku (previously Iles)
Lillian Kuiti Laslett Wells
Raetea Harry Paku
Marjorie Laslett Paku
Paul Kahu Paku
Robert Rimene Paku

HARRY - on 2 November 1957 married Marjorie Terry.
Teresa V. - lives in Broadstairs.
Jim – In 2000 a Probation Officer for the Kent Probation Service. Married in 1974.