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martindale1Henry Atkinson Martindale or Harry as he was known was born in Preston in 1894. He was one of eleven children born to Henry Atkinson and Jane Martindale (nee Cowburn). They were married in All Saints Church in Preston on the 16th May, 1880.

Harry`s siblings were; John Henry (1881-1882), Edith (1883), Isabella (1885), James Edward (1886), Mary Ellen (1888-1889), Alice Ann (1897-1898), Henry Atkinson (1) (1890-1892), Elizabeth Ellen (1892), Emily (1896) and finally Ann Jane (1899).

In 1911 the family with the exception of James Edward were all living at number 9 Ellen Street, Preston. Harry was working as a fruiterer`s assistant while the rest of the family were employed in one of the local cotton mills.

On the 11 December, 1915 with a stated age of 21 years and 9 months he attested at Preston and was posted to the Reserve. His original service number was 4793 which would later become 201892. Harry was mobilised on the 31st January, 1916 and the following day he was posted to ‘D Company’ of the 2/4th Battalion.

On his enlistment papers he confirmed he had no previous military experience and that he was employed as a pork butcher for Mr Parsons in Adelphi Street. Harry named his mother as his next of kin and his address at the time as 144 Havelock Road, Preston.

In the months preceding their departure to France the 2/4th Battalion were training at Willsborough, Barham Downs and in and around Aldershot. At 7.30am on the morning of the 7 February, 1917 the Battalion marched from Blackdown to Frimley Railway Station and entrained for Southampton. They boarded the “Duchess of Arygll” at about 4.30pm the same day and sailed for Le Havre. The total strength of the Battalion at this time being 32 Officers and 926 non-commissioned Officers and men.

On the 13 March, 1917 Harry was admitted to a field ambulance suffering from scabies, he re-joined his Battalion six days later on the 19th.

Four months later on the 28 July, 1917 he was slightly wounded and again admitted to a field ambulance and from there sent to a casualty clearing station. Harry recovered fairly quickly and by the 5th August he was back with the Battalion again.

On the 30 October, 1917 he received gunshot wounds to his left leg and wrist when the 2/4th Battalion were involved in actions during the Second Battle of Passchendaele. He was removed to a field ambulance then on to a casualty clearing station before finally being sent back to No. 33 General Hospital in Boulogne. Sadly this time Harry did not recover and he died of his wounds on the 19 November, 1917.

The following article appeared in the Preston Guardian a short while after he died.


Several of Harry`s personal effects were eventually returned to his family in Preston;-

  • Letters/photographs
  • 1 Religious book
  • 2 Watches (damaged) and straps
  • 9 Carat Gold Ring
  • 1 Razor
  • 1 Cigarette case
  • Cards
  • 1 coin (halfpenny)

Private Henry Atkinson Martindale was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and is buried with honour in the Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

Photo taken April 2018

Rank: Private
Service No: 201982
Date of Death: 19/11/1917
Age: 23
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 2nd/4th Bn.

Janet Davis
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