Private 227792 William Hartley.
1st Battalion Monmouthshire Regiment
46th Division, Divisional Pioneer Battalion attached 138th Brigade.
The village of Avesnes-le-Comte was for some time the VI Corps headquarters. The 37th, and 30th, Casualty Clearing Stations were there from April 1916, the 42nd in June 1916, and the 41st in January 1917. The communal cemetery contains 2 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, both made in April 1916. Thereafter, burials were made in the extension which contains 333 graves, 4 of which are unidentified. Most of these were from the 37th CCS which stayed in the village until July 1917.
Son of Alfred and Margaret Mary Hartley of 79, Park Lane Poynton. Alfred was a Railway Wagon Builder, and Margaret looked after the family. William had 2 brothers Herbert, and Stanley, and 2 sisters, Lily and Elsie Jane. Stanley served in the 7th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
A quote from the Stockport advertiser states;
“A fortnight ago reference was made to fact that Rifleman Hartley had met with a serious wound in action, He was the son of Alfred and Margaret Hartley of Park lane Poynton. A nursing sister wrote to Mrs. Hartley to the effect that her son was brought in to hospital very badly wounded to the head, and there was very little chance of his recovery. He was unconscious but was to have an operation and might be conscious later on, it was his only chance. Another letter from the nurse on February 26th said the operation was of no avail, he remained unconscious and was not suffering at all. At 11.45 he passed away. Before enlistment the deceased was a member of Poynton Rifle Club and was a good shot winning medals and other prizes. He was a member of St Georges Church and was highly esteemed among his associates. He was formerly a clerk in Lord Vernon’s estate office.”
William was attested in to the 3rd Battalion the Monmouthshire Regiment on the 8th of December 1915. He was mobilized on the 3rd May 1916, Joining “A” company 1st Battalion Monmouthshires. 7 days later he was posted to Oswestry where he commenced a period of training. William embarked from Southampton on the 21st December landing in Rouen a day later. By the 4th of January 1917 he was in the field with the 1st Battalion. William was wounded on the 24th February and was admitted to the 98th field ambulance. The next day he was sent back down the line for further treatment. He died at the 37th Casualty Clearing Station on the 26th of February from a gunshot wound to the head.
William’s headstone reads “Dearly loved son of Alfred and Margaret Mary Hartley of Poynton Cheshire Thy will be done”
Williams pre T F number was 4190 so it was extremely likely he joined the Monmouthshires with his mate James Booth 4185 who met his untimely death 3 months later.
Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank Phil Underwood for compiling this page on William