Harry Kramrisch was born in Brody, Galicia, near Lviv (Lemberg) now part of the Ukraine on January 21st 1867. Back then this territory was part of Austria. Originally called Herman, he was educated at the Royal Academy of Commerce in Vienna, where he specialized in foreign languages, speaking some 11 languages fluently. He was the son of Leon Kramrisch (1835-1918) Laura Flecker (1839-1916) and had two brothers, Jakob (1862-1922) born in Lviv and Emil (1863-1949) born in Brody, both in Galicia. Harry married twice, first to Fanny (1870-1897) who died tragically early, then to Caroline (1877-1946), known as ‘Lina’.
In 1890 he came to Dundee and travelled for a jute export house in Russia, Finland, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe for 3 years
Then he settled in Bradford and for 5 years traveled for a leading Bradford export house in Europe.
He started business on his own in 1898, Messrs H Kramrisch & Co, as a shipping merchant in woolens, worsted and linings and in 1915 amalgamated with the firm of M.Adam Robinson of 26 Canal Road, Bradford. He travelled extensively in North and South America and in Continental Europe.
By 1927 the company had become “The Anglo-Continental Wool Company” and Harry Kramrisch was the General Manager. Five years later, in 1932 it was succeeded by the Lumb & Co; Harry Kramrisch was the sole proprietor and was based at 34 Manchester Road, Bradford. Lumb & Co were engaged in exporting woollen textile products of every description, including piece goods, yarns, woollen tops and raw wool. They also exported some silk yarns. Export was limited due to trade barriers created in the war, but he used the extensive contacts he had built up across Europe to best effect.
In 1909 Harry was appointed the Yugoslav (Serbian) consul for Bradford a position he held until his death in 1946.
On the outbreak of the Great War the breadth of his sympathies were shown by his taking in injured Belgium soldier refugees.
Then in 1915, came the dire need of the Serbians for whom he was the official representative. He opened the Serbian Relief Fund in the West Riding of Yorkshire and was able to raise the very substantial sum of close to £80,000 to alleviate suffering. He gave many lectures and after dinner speeches and hosted a number of important Serbian dignitaries including the Prince and Princess.
Caroline was also deeply involved in fund-raising, receiving the Insignia of the Order of the Serbian Red Cross in June 1918 for her work. She was also the author of the book “The East of Yesterday” published in 1932 about a holiday she had spent in Turkey and the Mediterranean.
In 1919 Harry was awarded the Order of St Sava, Third Class, in recognition of his work for the Serbian nation during the war. This decoration is one which is usually conferred on members of the diplomatic service.
He was a prominent Freemason and was the Worshipful Master of the Victoria Lodge, Bradford in 1912-13.
Harry Kramrisch died aged on 1st April 1946, while holidaying in Abergavenny, South Wales.
This information is credited to Irene Blaston, great granddaughter of Harry and Caroline Kramrisch.