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
Burnley Lads Club Memorial
St Peters Memorial, Burnley
Burnley Express 6th March 1918 - 9th March 1918

James 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.






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