Lieutenant Alfred Hartley

263rd Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery

Alfred was born in 1879 in New Orleans, Louisiana to an English father, George (a cotton merchant), and an American mother, Alice.  The census returns from 1891 to 1911 records the family living firstly in Sale (on Beaufort Road) and then in Timperley Lodge, Timperley.

Alfred was a gifted amateur sportsman, playing regularly for Lancashire County Cricket Club from 1907 to 1912.  In that time he played in 116 matches and scored 5,049 runs at an average of 27.74; he also scored 6 centuries.

His father George died in 1909 and it appears Alfred took over the family business, as his occupation in 1911 is described as “cotton merchant”.   (Alfred's mother Alice died in 1922.)   It is possible that Alfred moved to London sometime after 1912; his records show that he was the husband of M E Hartley of Holland Park, London.  His Army record shows him enlisting as a Private in the 263rd Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery.  He was later commissioned - by the time the Regiment landed in France in February 1918 he had reached the rank of Lieutenant.  The following is an extract from St John’s Church Magazine of November 1918:

In Memoriam

ALFRED HARTLEY, Lieutenant 263rd Siege Battery, RGA,

who was killed in France on  9th October

The hand of bereavement has once again been suddenly laid upon friends of ours, and we are in loving sympathy with them in their sorrow and distress. Lieutenant Alfred Hartley, who met his death while on active service in France, had not only an honoured connection with this district and with the larger circle of the City of Manchester and the county at large in his attainments in the cricket and football field, but also was a member of a family who for long years has been associated with our Church and Parish activities. Many were the boys, now grown to mature years, who owed, and still owe a debt of affection and gratitude to Alfred Hartley for his gift of sympathy and the kindly example of his own robust and striking qualities.

“Thank God, we know he batted well in the last game of all”

Alfred died of his wounds 9 October 1918, aged 39.  He is buried in Vandencourt Cemetery, Maissemy, Aisne, France and commemorated on Sale War Memorial, the memorial tablet in the pavilion at Old Trafford, and on the family tomb in the cemetery at Christ Church, Timperley.  He is also commemorated on our War Memorial at St. John’s


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