Harold Allpress Thomas, b1891, was raised in a Quaker household in New Malden, Surrey. Prior to the Great War he worked for the Phoenix Ins. Co. in the city. During WW1 he was a member of the Friends Ambulance Unit (under the authority of the British Red Cross) nursing war wounded both on the front and on trains and boats bringing them back to UK Cities.
In 1928 he fulfilled a long term ambition having planned and instigated and presumably financed the building of Whittier Hall, named after the American Quaker poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier, 1807-1892 (a man much admired by Harold).