William Harold was the youngest of five children to William Johnson Jowett and Florence Cocker. His visits to school became infrequent, especially during wintertime, as he only had one pair of shoes, and being a frail boy was known to faint a lot and have nosebleeds. He was an artistic youth and won a scholarship to Leeds College of Art where he spent several years in the company of a creative peer group of students. Included in this group between 1907 and 1913 was Russian-born painter Jacob Kramer, whose friend, sculptor Jacob Epstein, made a bust of him, copies of which can be found in the Tate in London and at Leeds City Art Gallery.
In 1915, after graduating from the Leeds College of Art, Harold volunteered for the army. He moved to Raikes Wood Training Camp in Skipton to do his basic training and it was during this period that he married Elsie Land.
The Jowett Family in the back garden of 30 Ebor Place, Leeds, in 1907.
Back: Florence Jowett (nee Cocker), William Harold Jowett, Robert Greaves, Ben Oswald Jowett. Centre: Eva Louise ‘Cissie’ Jowett, Gertrude Lilian Jowett. Front: Dorothy ‘Dolly’ May Jowett
William Harold (with cigarette, back left) at Leeds Art School, c. 1912.
William Harold marries Elsie Land, 8th June 1916.