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Herbert officially left school at fourteen in 1912 but had already been skipping classes for six years. He spent his days at Plank Street Market selling chickens for an old Jewish trader. When war was declared, Herbert signed up right away. He survived the conflict but was deafened from the gun blasts and with his father dead, Herbert moved out of No.7 along with his mother to share a house with her invalid parents in Back Marriot Street.