A Private in the Bradford Pals



A Private in the Bradford Pals


Private Harry Hartley


Photos of Hartley and the Pals, paybook, death notice for Sgt Charles Farrar


Harry was born in the Undercliffe area of Bradford 3rd July 1889. He attended Hanson Grammar School in Bradford where he was good at German. He joined a Bradford firm and worked as a commercial traveller visiting Germany and (Russian) Poland. He was good at tennis, winning a tournament in Germany for which he was awarded a silver watch. He made friends with Charles Farrar, another commercial traveller from Bradford. Harry was home on holiday when the war began. He enlisted in the ‘Bradford Battalion’ on 20th September 1914, as did his friend Charles (although their service numbers are far apart, 138 and 637 respectively).

Harry’s snaps were probably taken at Raikes Camp, Skipton, Yorkshire. The photos indicate he was in No.1 Platoon, ‘A’ Company. Farrar was appointed a sergeant in 4th platoon in the same company. The football team photo is also printed in David Raw’s book ‘Bradford Pals’. Harry went with the 1st Bradford Pals (16th West Yorkshire Regiment) to Egypt at the end of 1915, then to France where he was a survivor of the 1st July attack at Serre. He remained with this battalion until 7th February 1917 when he was sent to the U.K. to join an Officer Cadet Battalion.

This transfer meant that Hartley was not present when ‘A’ and ‘B’ Companys of the 1st Pals attacked Rossignol Wood on 27th February. Farrar was severely wounded and died of his wounds. The memorial card shows that Harry visited his friend’s parents to express his condolences when he was home on leave.




Britain, Egypt, France


Michael Berry

Collection Day

City Hall, Bradford (2/2/2019)

This item was submitted on April 4, 2019