Bess’s older brother William (Bill) had been serving in the Navy since 1911 when he was 15 ½ and in 1915 he was stationed at the HMS Excellent in Portsmouth Harbour. This was a shore establishment known as the home of the Royal Navy gunnery, located in the County of Hampshire on the south coast of England. In January 1920 Bill was awarded an RHS Bronze medal for saving a life in Portsmouth Harbour. He was twenty-four years old and serving as an Able Seaman on the HMS Terror.
Also, there was the looming threat of mandatory conscription for men such as Harry; those who were young and single.