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Harry Darlington was born in Knutsford, Cheshire in 1890 and he was baptised in the Church of St. John the Baptist on the 26th October of that year. His parents, George Henry and Emma Darlington (nee Price) married in the District of Altrincham in the September quarter of 1885. The couples` first child Gertrude was born in 1886 and she was followed by William (1887), George (1888) and then Harry arrived in 1890. In 1891 the Darlington family lived at Minshull Street in Knutsford where Harry`s father was a house decorator.

Shortly after the 1891 Census had been recorded Harry and his family relocated to Bolton and George Henry and Emma went on to have another four children, Lily (1893), John Robert (1895), Frank (1898) and Emma (1900). The Census of 1901 shows the family living at 14 Parkinson Street in Bolton where Harry`s father was working as a house painter.

In 1906 Harry`s eldest sister Gertrude married John Collinge in Bolton and in the same year George Henry and Emma had their ninth and final child, another daughter and they named her Ada. Sadly, just two years after Ada was born Harry`s father passed away aged 45 years. By 1911 the family had moved again, this time to 10 Gordon Avenue in Bolton, the family consisting of Harry`s mother Emma, William, George, Harry, Lily, John Robert, Frank, Emma and Ada. Apart from his mother and his two youngest siblings, Harry and the rest of his brothers and sisters were all employed in a cotton mill.

Harry enlisted at Bolton on the 3rd September 1914 and was issued with the service number 16222 and then posted to the 7th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. He confirmed his age very precisely as 22 years and 356 days old and that he was still living at 10 Gordon Avenue in Bolton. His Medical Inspection noted that he was five feet four and a quarter inches tall and his weight was measured at 130lbs. He had a fresh complexion, blue eyes and brown hair and was said to be in a good physical condition. For official purposes Harry named his mother Emma Darlington as his legal next of kin.

On the 17th July 1915 Harry sailed from Folkestone to Boulogne with the main body of the Battalion, the Battalion coming under the Command of the 56th Brigade of 19th (Western) Division. During September 1915 the Battalion was involved in the ongoing Battle of Loos but by October the Battalion was to the north of the Loos battle area, either up in forward positions between Richebourg l`Avoue and Festubert or in the rear in billets and though this period may be described as comparatively peaceful, casualties were by no means few in number.

Sadly, Harry was killed in action whilst on duty in the trenches on the 21st October 1915. According to the Battalion War Diary, a shell exploded in the support trench killing three men, the other two who died alongside Harry were; 12290 Private J. Campbell and 12307 Pte J. Lycett, all three men were later buried alongside each other in Le Touret Military Cemetery Richebourg-L`Avoue.

After the war Harry`s parents would take receipt of their sons` 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals and also the Memorial Plaque and Scroll in recognition of his sacrifice for his country.

Harry`s family had the following words inscribed at the foot of his headstone;


Le Touret Military Cemetery – Photo August 2015

Rank: Private
Service No: 16222
Date of Death: 21/10/1915
Age: 25
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 7th Bn.

Janet Davis
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One Response to 16222 PTE. H. DARLINGTON. L.N.LAN.R.

  1. Mark Davies says:

    Janet, I think we may be related! mark.davies@sunderland.ac.uk

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