Obituary from his grandson, Daneil De’Ath, the Guardian, January 2011:
My grandfather, Harold De’Ath, who has died aged 92, served as the last leader of Bedworth district council before it was absorbed into Nuneaton and Bedworth borough council in 1974, and in 1987 became the first Labour leader of Warwickshire county council in its 100-year history. He was a deputy lieutenant of Warwickshire in 1985.
Born in Peterborough, he moved to Warwickshire to work for the London Brick Company. He volunteered for the army at the start of the second world war and became a staff sergeant in the Royal Ordnance Corps (later the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers). As a Desert Rat serving in the Africa Corps, in Egypt, Libya and across north Africa, he was at the siege of Tobruk and was almost blown up, as a consequence losing the hearing in one ear. He was promoted to warrant officer for his heroic conduct during the battle.
Upon his return, he trained as a draughtsman and worked for the engineering group Armstrong Siddeley, which became Bristol Siddeley and then Rolls-Royce, for 30 years.
Harold was a principled socialist throughout his life and after the war had joined the Labour party. He served two terms on Bedworth urban district council, in 1973 was elected to Warwickshire county council.
Aged 60, he was a graduate of the Open University and seven years later completed an MA in modern politics at what is now Coventry University. He headed the Heart of England Tourist Board, served as vice-president of the Bedworth Fellowship of the Handicapped and chairman of the Warwickshire Police Committee, and was head of governors of several schools.
He is survived by his wife, Mary, their three children, Christine, Peter and Julia, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.