An anniversary post for this season of remembrance.
John Edgar Hardy was born to my great-great-grandparents, John, a fishmonger, and Mary Ann, in 1883 in Halifax, one of several siblings. They lived at 5 Briar Court. (I say ‘several’ rather vaguely as I know I have made rookie errors on this bit of my family tree journey, but I do know he had quite a slew of sisters known collectively in our bit of the family as ‘the Hardy aunts’, which makes them sound rather perennial!)
What I do know is as follows. He was baptised at St John’s in Halifax along with one of his sisters, Edith Worthington Hardy, in April 1886. His father died in 1888. In 1891 he and 6 sisters are living at 2 School Street with Mary Ann, who is listed as a charwoman.
Life can’t have been very easy then for Mary Ann, but she remarried in 1897, to Frederick William Cowper Turton, and we find John Edgar and three of his sisters still living with them at 3 St James’ St. in 1901, along with three boarders – quite a houseful! John is by then a printer’s apprentice. Fred is ‘van man’ for a baker and Mary Ann does not give an occupation – hence, perhaps, the three boarders.
By the April 1911 census, John Edgar is still single and now the only resident of no. 3 besides Frederick and Mary Ann. Frederick is still a driver but now for a fishmonger. John has progressed in the printing world to become a compositor employed by Joseph Ashworth & Sons, and a member of the Typographical Association. (Thanks to the Calderdale Companion.) He was also a member of the Rechabites, an abstinence group.
He had probably met Amy Hitchen by now as they married in Halifax during quarter 3 of 1911. She was living at 29 Wade Street with her father William, a widower, having lost her mother Sarah on Christmas Eve of the previous year. (Wade Street features quite a lot in our family records and memories but it would be pretty unrecognisable now to those who lived there over the years.)
Their daughter Irene was born in February 1914, but the outbreak of WWI meant John Edgar was called up on 8th September 1916, and served as a Lance Corporal with the 13th Battalion Devonshire Regiment. He then transferred to the 174th Company Labour Corps.
In March 1917 he went over to France. John Edgar Hardy 104012 has a Hospital Admissions entry in August 1917: Pyrexia of unknown origin, trench fever, S (erious). The record also confirms he had been in the army 1 year with service in France 6 months.
He was seriously injured on 27th September 1918, suffering multiple gunshot wounds and was hospitalised in No.3 Canadian Stationary Hospital, Doullens, where he died of pneumonia on 7th November 1918, aged 35. His photograph appears with a brief report of his death in the Halifax Courier [23rd November 1918]. He is also remembered in the Halifax Town Hall Books of Remembrance and on Amy’s parents’ memorial at Illingworth Moor. (See slideshow below.)
What a lovely post, Ruth, paying tribute to your relative. It illustrates the horror of war: this conscientious man was sucked into the war, became a victim of it right at the end and never got to see his daughter grow up. Tragic.
Thank you for taking the time, Sue. Yes, it seems doubly poignant so near to the end.
What a lovely post, Ruth, paying tribute to your relative. It illustrates the horror of war: this conscientious man was dragged into the war, died just before the end of it and never got to see his daughter grow up. Tragic.