Walkley History

News, events and discoveries of the Walkley Ways, Walkley Wars history project.

Frank Hartley – Sheffield Pals

Frank Hartley

Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Carrigan

From Boyhood to Manhood.

Frank Hartley was born on 14th August 1893 at 40 Mount Pleasant Road in the Sharrow/Heeley area of Sheffield. He was the eldest and only son of Willis & Nellie Hartley, he had a sister Nellie who was two years older than him and she became a telephone operator with the National Telephone Company.

Willis Hartley, his father, was brought up on Roebuck Road which is off Commonside, Walkley.

The children were born in the reign of Queen Victoria and had a strict upbringing when children were seen and not heard, Nellie remembered that she was sent to bed for talking at the table.

At the time of the 1901 Census the family were living at 78 Brighton Terrace Road, Crookes. This is a stone built mid terrace house (see photo). His father was a silver fluter and silversmith, was his own boss and employed other workers. It appears that both Frank & Nellie helped their father in his business. Silverware was filled with pitch which partially solidified on cooling and provided enough support whilst the silver was decorated by a technique called chasing and repousse work using hammers and punches. The finished work was reheated and the liquid pitch poured out prior to final cleaning. Nellie and presumably Frank carried bowls of hot pitch to fill the empty vessels. The Americans later developed a machine to replace hand decoration and this had serious implication for Willis’ livelihood.

Their grandfather Jonathan Hartley was also in the silver trade as a German Silver buffer. Their maternal grandfather Benjamin Petfield was a master plumber who was born in Hull, his wife Elizabeth was from Lincoln

By the 1911 Census the family had moved to 35 Aldred Road, Crookes which is a substantial stone built semi-detached property (see photo) and it is from this address that Frank volunteered and enlisted.

It seems the family often holidayed in Lytham St Ann’s making the trip by horse and trap. The journey took two days.

The family were Anglicans and probably worshipped at St. Thomas’ church on Crookes where Frank was presented with a book called ‘Coral Island’ at Sunday School. In 1912 a daughter church St.Timothy’s was built in Slinn Street which is approximately 50 yards from their previous address and it is there Frank is mentioned on their memorial board to the soldiers of the First World War.

Frank was working as an auctioneers clerk at the time of his recruitment, was single, had no children.

Julie Clarke speaks about Frank’s childhood, occupation and military service.

Frank’s War.

He enlisted on 19th December 1914 aged 21 years and 4 months, with the 12th Battalion (Pals) York & Lancaster Regiment. This was less than 4 months after the war was declared.

At his attestation and medical he was 5’4.1/4” tall and weighed 108 lbs (7st. 10lbs). His chest measured 32” and on expansion measured 34.1/2”. He had a scar on his left elbow and the joint of his right knee.

Frank answered the call for volunteers and on 19th December 1914 attended for his attestation and medical. He was 5’4.1/4” tall and weighed 108 lbs (7st. 10lbs). His chest measured 32” and on expansion measured 34.1/2”. He had a scar on his left elbow and the joint of his right knee. He was 21yrs and 4 months old.

He had enteric inoculations on 20th and 27th January 1915 and then another on February 17th.

On the 9th January he was posted to ‘E’ Company and by the 19th June that year he was appointed as unpaid Lance Corporal but this was revoked at his request on 28th June. On 1st August 1915 he was transferred to ‘A’ Company.

Frank was part of ‘A’ Company when the battalion formed part of the first advance during the first morning of the Battle of the Somme on the 1st July, 1916.

Frank was reported kill in action on the 1st July. He had served for 1 year and 195 days.

His belongings were returned to the family on 10th August 1917 and this consisted of 2 razors and cases.

By Julie Clarke

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About Bill Bevan

Bill Bevan is an archaeologist, writer, photographer and heritage interpreter.

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This entry was posted on May 28, 2014 by in First World War.
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