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Fred Hartley

Date of birth: 1880
Date of death: 1.7.1916
Area: Kirkhamgate
Regiment: King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Family information: Son of Henry and Hannah Hartley and husband of Jane
Rank: Private
Service number: 17361

War Service

This person is more difficult to prove as there are two men named F Hartley who belonged to the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and were both killed on 1st July 1916 (being the first day of The Battle of the Somme). There was also a Fred Dodds Hartley amongst the casualties. A previous researcher thought that it was Francis Hartley of Leeds but I cannot find a link to the locality. Fred Dodds Hartley’s wife lived on Monk Street, Wakefield according to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the Wakefield Express said that his parents were from Kirkgate. I am more inclined to believe that it is Fred Hartley who was Private 17361 in the 10th Battalion as I have found a connection to the area.
The 10th Battalion landed in France on 11th September 1915 and were thrown straight into the Battle of Loos (25th – 28th September). In 1916 Fred’s Battalion were taking part in the Battle of Albert (1st – 13th July). They attacked the enemy north of Fricourt on 1st July and Fred was one of the 60,000 casualties who fell that day. According to the war diary they left the trenches at 7.30am and took Crucifix trench, holding it until they were relieved by another battalion the following day. Their casualties numbered 59 dead, 308 wounded and 135 missing.
Fred is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial and the Kirkhamgate Memorial as well as St Anne’s. He was awarded the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
On 28th April 1917 the Wakefield Express printed the following:
“HARTLEY – Missing since July 1st 1916, now officially reported to have been killed, Pte Fred Hartley, KOYLI aged 37, the beloved husband of Jane Hartley, Engine Fold, Kirkhamgate”.

Family Life

He was born in 1880 in Beck Bottom, son of Henry, a coal miner and Hannah and baptised at St Anne’s on January 29th 1881. In the census that year it records that Fred had two older sisters – Ada (b1875) and Ann (b1878) but by the 1891 census Ann had disappeared and I believe she may have died aged 11 in 1889. Ada had become a cloth weaver and Fred was still at school.
Fred lived in Beck Bottom until his marriage to Jane Hartley on 23rd March 1901 at St Anne’s Wrenthorpe. By now Fred was a 21-year-old coal miner and Jane was 17.
The 1901 census shows Fred and Jane living next door but one from his parents Henry and Hannah who only have youngest daughter Elsie aged 6 still at home. Henry died in 1903 and is buried in Alverthorpe Churchyard.
In 1905 Fred seems to have fallen foul of the law for not paying the poor rate – a levy raised to fund the poor relief in the parish, something similar to the council tax today. He was said to be five feet seven and three-quarter inches and had brown hair. He was sentenced to 21 days in prison or a fine.
In 1911 Fred Hartley was living in Beck Bottom with his wife Jane and four children. He was 31 years old and a miner at Lofthouse. His children were Herbert born on 29th June 1901, Lily born 21st July 1903, Eva who was born 3rd December 1905 and Horace born in 1908.

Photo of Thiepval Memorial. Red brick and white stone memorial with 3 arches. Rows of headstones to the left front. Cross markers to the right front. Thiepval Memorial

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