Private James Harker
33939 Labour Corps
Formerly 37474 S.Wales Borderers
Killed in Action 31st January 1918, aged 24
Lived at 29 Norton Street
Buried in Fins New British Cemetery, France
Lads Club Memorial
Peters Memorial, Burnley
Burnley Express 6th
March 1918 - 9th
Harker was born in Burnley the son of William and Tamar Ann Harker of
31 Miller Street and later of 29 Norton Street., Burnley (now the site
of the Bus Station).He enlisted at Burnley as Private 374745 in the South
Wales Borderers. He was later transferred and served as Private 37846
in the Cheshire Regiment Labour Corps. He was killed in action aged 24
on Thursday 31st January 1918 and is buried at Fins New British Cemetery,
Sorel-le-Grand, Somme, France in grave IV A 12. His family had the following
inscription placed on his gravestone “The path of glory is the way
to glory on the Resurrection Morn”.
The Burnley Express
of Feb 23rd 1918 reported :-
“Of Military Family.
Pte. James Harker (24), son of Mr and Mrs Harker 29, Norton Street
, Burnley, was killed in action on January 31st. He was in a Labour Battalion.
Although not a strong man he was anxious to serve his country and maintain
the prestige of his family. His father has been a soldier, and his two
brothers and several other relatives are now serving. James Harker was
formerly a weaver at Catlow’s, Thorneybank, Trafalgar. He was a
good young fellow, being connected with Pickup Croft Sunday School and
Burnley Lads Club.
‘Four Lancashire Lads’ writing on the day of the fatality
stated:- ‘He was killed by an enemy bomb early this morning. His
death was instantaneous. He will be greatly missed by all in his platoon;
in fact by all who knew him in the whole company for his cheerful disposition’
The young soldier was on active service about two years. His brother Bob
is in France, and Tom , who has been wounded twice and has lost the little
finger of his left hand is with the forces in an Eastern theatre. Mrs
Harker’s brother Thomas
Jackson of the East Lancashire has been killed. Another brother, Joseph
Jackson is in the same Regiment; while a nephew Ben
Slater serves with the Canadians. Fred Parkinson, a son-in-law is
in India. Mr Harker, father of the deceased was called up during the Boer
war but was not sent abroad.”
James Harker was christened at St Peter’s Church on 17/5/93 the
son of William and Tamar Ann Harker of 31 Miller Street. His father’s
occupation was weaver.
In the Burnley Express Roll of Honour of Feb 23rd 1918 he was remembered
by Bob in France; Tom in Mesopotomia; Sister Annie and Fred in India;
Herbert in Italy; and Sapper Wilson in France. All at 32 Hulme St.
1901 Census – 19
Peter Street – William Harker (43) weaver, Tamar Ann (35), Annie
(14) weaver, Robert Henry (12) weaver ½ time, Tom (10), James (7).
Thomas Jackson (17) brother in law – weaver.
James was also commemorated
on the Pickup Croft Sunday School Memorial which was dedicated on 16th
September 1922. Pickup Croft was a mission church of St Peter’s
Parish and was also used as an Infant School.