29655 Private James William Hartley, MM.


2nd Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment. Awarded the M.M., in the London Gazette of 2 November 1917. Hartley was a native of Burnley, Lancashire.


The Burnley Express of 20 October 1917 reported:-

CARRYING MESSAGES UNDER FIRE.

Burnley Military Medallist. Gallantry and devotion to duty have been recognised on the part of Private James W. Hartley, No 29655, East Lancashires, by the presentation to him of the Military Medal. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Hartley of 66, Robinson Street, Burnley, and is 23 years of age. On August 15th and 17th, he was engaged in "carrying messages over the top" under heavy artillery and machine-gun fire. For 15 months he has been on active service. He was slightly wounded on September 8th of last year. A Hanover U.M.C., boy, he was attached to the Sunday School, and was in the chapel choir. Private Hartley is the third Military Medallist from Hanover , the other two being John McCauley and Matthew Hartley. Before joining the army he was a weaver at Thornton and Tattersall's Primrose Mill.


The Burnley News of 1 March 1919 reported:-

HANOVER MEDALLIST.

Decorated at Burnley Sunday School Gathering.

The Military Medal was presented on Saturday at a Sunday School gathering in connection with Hanover United Methodist Church, Burnley Lane, to Private James Willie Hartley, of the 2nd East Lancashires, who is now on home leave after spending several months as a prisoner in Germany. Private Hartley, whose parents reside at 66, Robinson Street, Burnley, is one of three scholars of the Hanover Sunday School who have gained the Military Medal, the other two - Private John McCauley and Sergeant Irvine Wainman - having given their lives for their country. He attended Hanover since he was seven years of age, he now being aged twenty-two. During his three years service with the Army Private Hartley has been once wounded. The enemy captured him last May. For some time he had been acting as a despatch carrier, and his decoration was awarded for "gallantry and devotion to duty during operations on 15 - 17 August, 1917."


The medal having been pinned on his uniform, Private Hartley modestly responded with the remark, "I only did my duty."

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