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nightingale1Henry Nightingale was born and raised in Chorley and was the son of John and Mary Ann Nightingale (nee Abbott). John and Mary Ann were married in St. Lawrence`s Church in Chorley on 10 April, 1875. The couple had nine children altogether although sadly one child died.

John (1875), Ann (1878), Henry (1877-1878), Simon (1881) then Henry was born in 1883. He was followed by Maria (1885), Ellen (1887), Margaret (1889) and finally Elizabeth (1891).

In 1891 the family residence was at 13 Bengal Street, Chorley where Henry`s father was working as a labourer.

In 1901 Henry, his elder brother Simon and youngest sister Elizabeth were lodging with 75 year old John Abbott who was a coal dealer. They were living at number 27 Bengal Street a few doors away from their parents and the rest of their siblings. Henry`s occupation was an assistant water bottler and while his brother Simon was employed as a labourer in an oil cloth works.

Henry`s father John passed away in 1905 and the following year on 11 August, 1906 Henry married Mary Ann Whiteley in St. Lawrence`s Church in Chorley.

In 1907 the couple had a son and named him John and the following year another son William was born. Sadly, both boys died in 1908.

The couple then had a daughter Margaret who was born in 1909. When the 1911 Census was recorded Henry, Mary Ann and two year old Margaret were lodging with Henry`s mother at 26a Hollinshead Street in Chorley. The house had six rooms which was probably just as well because Henry`s mother was providing accommodation for her three unmarried daughters, Maria, Ellen and Elizabeth, a grandson Richard aged 10 and a married daughter Margaret with her husband James Arthur Welch and their daughter Elizabeth aged 9 months.

At the time Henry was working as a labourer in the Dacca Twist floor cloth works in Chorley. Henry and Mary Ann then had another three sons, John was born in 1911 but he died the same year,   Thomas arrived in 1912 and Edward in 1913 but sadly Edward also died.

In the March quarter of 1914 tragedy struck Henry and Mary Ann once again when 4 year old Margaret and 2 year old Thomas both passed away. In the space of seven years the couple had lost all of their six children.

Henry enlisted at Chorley on 3 September, 1914 and was allocated the service number 13284 and posted to the 10th Battalion. At his medical inspection the Medical Officer noted him as being just short of 5`5” tall and weighing 123lbs. He had blue eyes, brown hair and a fresh complexion and was said to be in good physical condition. Henry declared his age at the time as 29 years and 7 months and confirmed that he had been working as a labourer prior to his enlistment.

While Henry was away training with the Battalion, Mary Ann gave birth to another son who was born in the June quarter of 1915 and he was named Henry after his father.

In February 1915 Henry was admonished for appearing dirty and unshaven on parade. Three more misdemeanours followed but given the timing of these and the fact that his son Henry had been born around the same time perhaps it was understandable after what had happened to his other children.

  • 3/3/15 – Whilst on active service attempting to obtain a pass under false pretences. He received 5 extra piquets as punishment.
  • 28/4/15 – Whilst on active service overstaying his pass from 12 midnight on 28/4/15 until 7.30am on 29/4/15. Punishment was a forfeit of 1 days’ pay.
  • 16/7/15 – Whilst on active service overstaying a pass from 12 midnight on 16/7/15 until 8.30 pm on 17/7/15. Punishment was again forfeiting 1 days’ pay.

In April 1915 the 10th Battalion were transferred to the 112th Brigade of the 37th Division and it was in the middle of 1915 that they received word to prepare for embarkation to France. The Battalion transport entrained at Ludgershall on the 30th July while the rest of the Battalion left in the evening of the following day. They all arrived at Boulogne in the early hours of the morning of the 1st August, 1915.

According to the Battalion War Diary the 10th Battalion had gone into the trenches around Hennescamps on 20th December 1915 and this is where Henry was killed. The newspaper article below confirms that he was shot through the heart when leaving his dug-out.



Several items of Henry`s personal belongings were sent back to his widow Mary Ann in Chorley, these included;

  • 5 photos/1 packet of correspondence
  • 1 pipe
  • 2 watches (broken)/1 metal watch chain
  • 1 prayer book

Mary Ann was awarded a pension for herself and one child amounting to 17s/6d per week.

Henry was awarded the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals and was buried with honour in Bienvillers Military Cemetery, France.

Photo by Janet Davis - July 2016

Photo by Janet Davis – July 2016

Rank: Private
Service No: 13284
Date of Death: 20/12/1915
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 10th Bn.

Janet Davis
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3 Responses to 13284 PTE. H. NIGHTINGALE. L.N.LAN.R

  1. Barbara Hargreaves (nee Nightingale) says:

    Thank you, Janet, so much for this information. I knew nothing about my Grandfather, Henry. His remaining son (my father) had a very sad start to life (being abandoned) and we knew nothing of his father’s history as no one wished to discuss it. I am very grateful for all your hard work.
    Barbara Hargreaves.

    • Janet Davis says:

      Hi Barbara, thank you for taking the time to comment on the article. A sad story and even more so after what happened to your father. I`m pleased if the article has helped to fill in some of your Grandfather Henry`s history.
      Kind regards Janet

      • Mark Nightingale says:

        Hi Janet,
        I’ve recently started looking into my family history and came across this excellent post by you.
        Barbara’s Grandfather Henry was the younger brother of my Great Grandfather Simon born 1881.
        I cant add anything to your post but just wanted to say many thanks for posting.
        Best regards Mark

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