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Harry Glover was born and brought up in Chorley the only surviving child of John and Ellen Glover (nee Berry). John Glover and Ellen Berry married in the parish church of St. Lawrence in Chorley on the 3 June, 1891. Harry was their first child and he was born in 1894, after Harry was born they had two more sons, John (1900) and Arnold (1901) but sadly both boys died before reaching their first birthday.

Harry`s father was a boot and shoemaker from nearby Bretherton and in 1901 Harry and his parents were living at 15 Waterloo Street in Chorley. By 1911 the family had moved to a three roomed terraced property at 182 Water Street. Harry was now working as a cotton weaver while his father was still in the boot and shoe trade.

It is difficult to know exactly when Harry enlisted because his service papers are not available but his number 2069 suggests it`s likely to have been in September 1914. He was posted to the 4th Battalion and his Medal Index Card confirms that he sailed with the 1/4th Battalion to France on the 4 May, 1915.

Just over a month after landing the 1/4th Battalion was involved in their first major action of the war. Sadly Private Harry Glover was one of the many men who were killed in action on the 15th June 1915 at Festubert.

Extract from the Regimental History

At 6pm on the 15th June the attack was launched by the 4th Loyal North Lancashire and the 6th Scottish Rifles. The attack was at first successful, the west end of the German salient was carried, and the attack pushed on to the main German line near the Rue d`Overt, and for a time the third German trench was occupied and held. Unfortunately the attack by the Division on the right of the 51st made little or no progress, and when night fell the 154th Brigade had penetrated the German line on a narrow front, but had both its flanks in the air. The attack consequently failed, but as stated in the Divisional History, “great praise is due to the 154th Infantry Brigade for their advance in the face of heavy artillery and close range rifle and machine gun fire. There is little or no doubt that had the operations on the flanks been successful, they would have had every prospect of holding their gains”.

When the Battalion was relieved and had reached Le Touret only 243 men answered the roll call. After their first major action a total of 431 men had either been killed, wounded or missing.

It didn`t take very long before news of the casualties started to filter back home to the relatives. Men who had survived the events of the 15/16th June, 1915 sent letters home to friends and family and some included graphic descriptions of what they had witnessed.

A letter penned by Private Willie Baxendale was sent to his mother in Duke Street, Chorley. Private Baxendale was writing his letter from hospital, explaining that he had been shot in the arm when they had reached the far end of the charge.

In the letter he also mentions his pal Harry Glover;

“I am lucky towards a lot of our poor lads. We set out to do a task which we accomplished, but at a great price. It was rotten running along and seeing the chaps on either side dropping and not being able to help them.

I am sorry to tell you that one of my pals Harry Glover, was shot dead. He was with me up to my getting wounded.

We took three lines of trenches and as soon as we reached their first trench they put up the white flag and yelled for mercy. We gave the rotters mercy. One of my pals J. Atkinson is with me in hospital”.

An article with a photograph of Harry Glover appeared later in the local paper in Preston.

glover

Harry`s parents would later receive his 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals. Unlike many others who died at Festubert on the 15 June, 1915 Harry`s body was eventually recovered and he was buried with honour in Brown`s Road Military Cemetery.

His name is also remembered on the War Memorial in Astley Park, Chorley. The names of the fallen are recorded on the wall to the rear of the memorial.

astley-memorial astley-memorial2

Rank: Private
Service No: 2069
Date of Death: 15/06/1915
Age: 21
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1/4th Bn.
Cemetery: BROWN’S ROAD MILITARY CEMETERY, FESTUBERT

The WW1 Centenary

To mark the centenary of the Battle of Festubert an exhibition was held in Astley Hall, Chorley between 13th to 28th June 2015. Pupils of Chorley schools dedicated the following display to Harry Glover.

harry-glover-astley

Janet Davis

Janet Davis has been researching her family history for many years and through this she discovered many relatives who served in WW1. This interest then led Janet to do many walking the battlefield tours with her husband. In April 2013 she discovered this website and volunteered to help. Janet believes that there are lots of stories still to be told, most of them very sad but at the same time they are a fascinating insight into the men, their families, what they did and where they came from.
Janet Davis

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