Harold was born in Wolverhampton in 1887 to Adam and Ellen Elizabeth Yates. The family were living at 9 Clarendon Street, Wolverhampton in 1901, and consisted of Harold, his parents, and siblings Edith W., Lucy E., Hilda J., Edward C., John D., James L., and Robert H. Harold attended the Higher Grade School in Wolverhampton.
Harold enlisted first with the Territorial Regiment, before becoming Clerk-Corporal in the 20th Hussars (service number 2911). He was killed in action at the age of 25 on 30 October 1914. His address when he died was Shirley, Fallings Park. He was featured in the Midland Counties Express on 16 December 1916, and is listed on the Roll of Honour of the Higher Grade School. He is remembered at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, as well as on the memorial at Heath Park.