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This photo of Harris Henry Horder also known as "Skippy", was taken in 1927 aged 27years, he sent this to his father George with his own handwriting on it. Harris became a world champion bike racer in Australia and also went on to become an American Citizen where he also became the American Champion sprint racer..
He fathered a Daughter named Lenora Maude Horder in approx.1931, with his 2nd wife also named Lenora Marie Horder [nee Walkland]
He joined the American Air Force in 1942, at age 42 years, where he became a war hero as a gunner air fighter and received many medals including the Silver Star and the Purple Heart, for downing many attacking aircraft near New Guinea.
His plane went missing in action on Sunday 8th August 1943 after the plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean near Port Moresby. I'm not sure if they ever found his body, but there is a Memorial at Honolulu giving Harris's plot number as P row 0, grave 55 located in Honolulu, HI, USA. Harris was Ranked as a Staff Sergeant in U.S. Army Air Forces, 321st Bomber Squadron, 90th Bomber Group,Heavy. The name of the plane was called a B-24D-1-CO "Big Emma".
Harris was also the inspiration for the famous American comic writer "Percy Crosby" who knew Harris in the 1930's and created a red headed comic character called "Skippy",after Percy listened to Harris telling his funny tales of his early life in Australia as a newspaper boy. This comic strip "Skippy" made Percy Crosby a millionaire. What a great man he was in his short life!
I have a record of Harris marrying a Ada Watts born in Camden New South Wales,Australia. The record says marriage took place in 1923 Rego# 5719/1923. This marriage was doomed as Ada had committed bigamy because she was already married to a Ronald Allen Watts M:1914..
Harris applied for a dissolution of the marriage and it was granted on Thursday January 28th 1926 in Sydney. Apparently Harris remarried in 1928-29, to a Lenora Marie Walkland. in U.S.A.[B 1902-1980] and in 1931, a daughter was born also named Lenora Horder.
This marriage must have ended because in 1940 Harris remarried a Maud Evelyn Thelma Lindwall in Sydney New South Wales, Australia,[see uploaded marriage cert.] who was aged 36yrs at the time and Harris aged 39yrs on July 15th 1940 and ended in divorce in approx. July 1943.
Both marriages are recorded in The Sydney New South Wales Australian BDM's online. My research also finds that after Harris was killed in 1943, Maud[3rd wife] returned to Sydney with a Texan named Laren Lavere Bray and remarried him here before returning to America......I have a copy of the marriage certificates.
I have done the research and also have the file taken from Newspapers here in Australia and would be happy for anyone to check them out on the PDF Adobe file which I have uploaded in George Horder's profile[Harris's Father]
Harris was the step-son of my 2nd Great Aunt who married Harris's father George Henry Horder after his 1st wife passed. I remember Great Uncle George Horder fondly as a very small child in his later years. He seemed very sad that he had witnessed the passing of two wives and both of his sons.
Harris Horder-Find A Grave
11.8.1922. London H Horder beaten in 4th heat. G.H.Horder fined for clutching the shirt of a Swiss Competitor. 16.1.1924. Three professional cyclists in trouble.Harris Horder. Robert Spears and Barney Kett. On 26.12 they wen in to the Beaconsfield Hotel at 10.30.pm. but as they were under the influence, Mary Hanns,Licensee refused to serve them.All were using bad language and were paralytic drunk.Horder stated that they had had no drink and were all sober.
1924. Harris goes to to San Francisco on ship "Sierra" 1925. Harris goes to Washington. 1926. Harris goes to Buffalo.New York ship "Homeric"
Reseach in Sydney and American newspapers. NSW BDM Marriage 05719/1923 Certificate Held The marriage certificate Harris Horder & Ada Watts - states Ada Maria Watts - Spinster, Birth Place Cunnamulla, Qld, Age 23 Father William Watts (deceased) Mother Alice Ethel Lee NSW BDM Marriage 14726/1940 Harris Horder & Maud Lindwall
Marriage Location (Ada Watts, Camden-50) Sydney,New South Wales Australia
Status Indicator on Marriage Location certain
Marriage Date (Ada Watts, Camden-50) 1923-00-00
Status Indicator on Marriage Date certain
Marriage End Date (Ada Watts, Camden-50) 1926-01-28
Status Indicator on Marriage End Date certain
Marriage Location (Lenora Horder, Walkland-1) U.S.A.
Status Indicator on Marriage Location certain
Marriage Date (Lenora Horder, Walkland-1) 1928-00-00
Status Indicator on Marriage Date guess
Marriage End Date (Lenora Horder, Walkland-1) 0000-00-00
Marriage Location (Lenora Horder, Walkland-2) New Jersey U.S.A.
Status Indicator on Marriage Location certain
Marriage Date (Lenora Horder, Walkland-2) 1929-00-00
Status Indicator on Marriage Date guess
Marriage End Date (Lenora Horder, Walkland-2) 1935-00-00
Status Indicator on Marriage End Date guess
Marriage Location (Maud Horder, Lindwall-11) Sydney
Marriage Date (Maud Horder, Lindwall-11) 1940-00-00
Marriage End Date (Maud Horder, Lindwall-11)
NOTES on Harris's personal escapades:
Truth (Sydney, NSW : 1894 - 1954) Sun 4 Oct 1942 Page 10 U.S. Sailor Put Spoke In His (Domestic) Wheel, Cycle Star Alleges
For many years idol of international cycling enthusiasts, Harris Horder, world sprint champion many times, found himself not to be an idol in the matrimonial home after two short years of domesticity. His wife introduced a Yank into their Kirribilli home and what followed reads more like fiction than cold truth, famed tor his tenacity or purpose on the racing tracks, Harris has displayed no lesser tenacity in the pursuit of his allegedly faithless spouse and paramour, a sea captain in the U.S. Army Transport Service. 'I never stopped. I never let up ' on them,' said Horder in the Divorce Court last week when he told how every day for weeks he was trailing at the heels of his wife and lover.
His enterprise resulted in two police court arguments. Harris seeks to divorce his wife, a barmaid at a city hotel, on the ground of her adultery with the American.
In his petition the husband originally claimed £500 damages against the American,
NON-STOP VIGILS DESCRIBED But when the suit commenced on Friday the issues, by consent, were amended by the 'deletion of this claim. Horder was represented by Mr. W. - Hutton, his wife by Mr. R. M. Sturt, and the co-respondent by Mr. S. V. Toose.
It was stated at the opening of the case that Mrs. Horder had filed an answer in which she denied she was 'legally' married to the cycling cham pion on July 15, 1940. As a conse quence of this the co-respondent filed an answer denying adultery.
When the husband asked for particulars of this denial of marriage the wife alleged she was not legally mar ried to Horder because at the time of her marriage to him she was already married to .Alfred Sydney Arnold Du Bisson. She alleged that she had married Du Bisson in October. 1928 in Victoria,Australia.
When this matter was mentioned before Mr. Justice Edwards, Mr. Sturt announced that it was not now the wife's intention to defend the suit. His instructions were to' withdraw the answer which had been filed. Mr. Hutton explained that it had been ascertained that on April 8, 1908, Du Bisson had been married at Sydney to Jessie Elizabeth Gaul who was still living in 1928 and, in fact, did not die until December,. 1938. This marriage had never been dissolved. Diminutive and be-spectacled Harris Henry Horder said that after two years' service in the Armored Division he had been discharged as the result of ill-health. Then he had been employed as an aircraft inspector and subsequently joined the UJ3. Army Transport Service. _
His wedding to Maud Evelyn Thelma Lindwell, shop assistant, who described herself on the marriage certificate as a 'spinster,' was at St. James, King Street, in July two years ago. He produced the original marriage certificate, which he said he had secured in a raid on a flat at Darlinghurst, where his wife was living with the co-respondent. This gave the birthplace of his wife as Eden and set out that she was the daughter of a farmer and aged 34 at the time of the ceremony. Horder was 39, a professional cyclist, and son of another famous professional cyclist, George Henry Horder.
Harris was born at Mount Phaill, between Dubbo and Peak Hill. 'Drunk as a* Fool' Harris and his wife and her daugh ter were living at Holbrook Flats, Holbrook Avenue, Kirribilli, at the end of June last, when he first met John O'Brien. The co-respondent was a petty officer in the U.S. Transport Service then. Subsequently he had been promoted captain. 'On July 17,' the husband continued, 'he brought my wife home at a quarter to one in the morning.
They were both drunk.' Harris went to the door to admit his hilarious wife and her drunken boy friend. 'He stood there with a silly grin on his face,' said the husband, 'and said, 'Hello, Harris.' There was lipstick all over his face, and my wife was as drunk as a fool. She fell down.' The explanation given was that the pair had 'been to a party to farewell some Americans who were going away.' They were sorry that Mr. Harris had been working or he could have come and help along.
Subsequently the two men became very friendly. Harris discovered that O'Brien came from Providence, Long Island, the scene of many of his cycling conquests. It was suggested that O'Brien should bring 'Con' along to the flat. Tom Connor was off the same ship, a chef as it turned out.
Mrs. Horder suggested laying in a stock of whisky for entertain ment purposes, and asked for £4. 'What we don't drink,' she remarked, 'I can sell to the boss for 25s a bottle, and he will sell it for 30s to the Yanks.' The party began auspiciously. O'Brien told Harris about his two babies back in the States. He showed Horder the secrets of the sextant. The ex-bicyclist was studying navigation. O'Brien slept in the Horder lounge that night.
'I accepted him as a friend. I was very friendly,' said Horder. 'In the course of conversation, I remarked that it was a shame how some of the ' American boys were playing round with Australian wives when their husbands were working. He gulped and dropped his glass of beer. I had a suspicion then something was wrong.' The party lasted from Friday to Sunday, until Horder collapsed as a result of a previous illness. He fell on his face on the floor and his wife, who was 'blind drunk.' turning him over with her foot, re marked: 'There's nothing wrong with him,' he declared.
Unaided and neglected, the hus band staggered out into the street, where two airmen took him to a Doctor. On the Monday he was admitted to the Mater Misericordiae Hospital and operated upon.
Against medical advice he left the institution on the following Friday and hurried home. Maud and daughter had gone.
Story of Raid:
He proceeded to the Occidental on the Saturday, to see O'Brien there kissing his wife's hand over the bar. O'Brien, he said, dropped the hand suddenly. 'You should hold my wife's hand tighter,' said Horder. 'Was' your wife,' retorted the American. Whereupon O'Brien, who was very drunk, allegedly kicked the husband on the ankle.
'From that time,' Horder continued, 'I followed my wife every night. She never came home again. I followed her and O'Brien to Kingsley Hall Flats, Elizabeth Bay Road, and read O'Brien's name and Connor's' name on the letter box. I went up to the eighth floor and looked through the servery and saw O'Brien and my wife drinking and kissing. .
'They had a conversation about what they were going to do. He said, 'I will take you to America with me as soon as I am made a captain, when I will be able to smuggle you on my boat.'
Later that same night, accompanied by private inquiry agent, John Joseph Darby and three of the sleuth's assistants, Horder raided the flat. Mrs. Horder opened the door to them with a pink jumper over her slip. They found O'Brien jumping out of bed and endeavouring to pull his pants on. At this stage, Mr. Hutton informed the court that Connor, who was not present at the time of the raid, had occupied a second bedroom at the flat.
Thomas Connor had since married Mrs. Horder's young daughter. Horder went on to say that he went back to Kingsley Flats every night after that and looked and listened at the servery.
Horder told of drunken parties and arguments. 'They were drunk every night. I raided the flat again a fortnight later with two mates of mine — Dick Wea therstone, of Shackel Avenue, Kings grove, and Ray Brennan, of Ridge Street, Moore Park. 'They were employed at the Clyde Engineering Works with me. It was a Saturday night and I got into the fiat with a key that I found in the door. 'It was about 11 p.m. We could not find the switch, so I lit my cigar ette lighter and held it over their heads in the bed. 'I said, 'That is my wife.' She screamed. I grabbed the bed clothes and sheets and pulled them off. My wife did not have a stitch on. O'Brien was in a singlet and no pants.
'He chased me out of the flat and down the stairs just as he was, naked except for the singlet, cursing and swearing like a mad bull. I saw him, a flight above and then he went back to the flat. 'I was back the next night. I saw them go out and I went into the flat and took our marriage certificate and all my wife's papers. I also found O'Brien's mariner's certificate and other documents of his.' The hearing was adjourned until Tuesday.
NOTE: Maud Lindwall did marry Alfred Sydney Dubisson, in 1928 in Victoria, but wait for it, it wasn't legal because he was a bigamist with 6 wives, and Maud was among the 5 illegal ones, it never stops!
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