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Harry Cardwell was born in Leyland in the summer of 1890 and baptised at Leyland St Andrew’s on 11 July that year. His father was Henry Cardwell (b. 1859 in Preston), a boiler fitter in a bleach works by trade. His mother was Elizabeth Wareing (b. 1854 in Longton). Henry and Elizabeth were married in 1879 and they had 10 children, 9 of whom survived infancy: John Robert (b. 1879), Benjamin (b. 1883), Ann (b. 1885), Bessie (b. 1886), William (b. 1888), then Harry, then Albert (b. 1891), Tom (b. 1893) and finally Fred (b. 1898). In 1911, Henry and Elizabeth were living with their six youngest boys (aged 13 to 28) at 6 Broad Street, Leyland. Harry was a dyer’s labourer in the bleach works, with his father.

Harry enlisted with the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and was assigned service number 23131 and posted to 6th Battalion. 6Bn had served at Gallipoli but Harry was not with them, he must have joined them in Egypt in early 1916 and then proceeded with them to Mesopotamia. The Battalion was engaged in the attempt to relieve British forces besieged at Kut-al-Amara, but this failed and Kut fell on 28 April 1916. In July, General Maude replaced General Gorringe in command of the Tigris Corps and the rest of the year was spent in re-organisation before they were ready to launch their counter-attack in December.

There was further indecision and delay in early 1917, but in February, the Battalion was engaged in the recapture of Kut and the advance up the Tigris towards Sannaiyat. On 1 March, the Battalion marched to Umm-al-Tubal and then, by Zor and Ctesiphon, to Bustan were it arrived on the night of 6 March. Here the Turks had prepared a rearguard position, but had later decided not to defend it and they were found to be entrenched on the far side of the Diyala River and an attempt to cross the river was now to be made.

A full account of the river crossing can be found in the Regimental History, (Col. H. C. Wylly, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment 1914-1919, The Naval and Military Press, 2007, pp 252-256). The crossing of the Diyala was a major success for 13th Division and for 6Bn Loyals in particular. But it was not without cost. From 8-11 March, they had 38 officers and men killed, and a further 65 wounded. Harry Cardwell was killed on 9 March, aged 26. On 11 March 1917, Baghdad was occupied by British forces.

Rank: Private
Service No: 23131
Date of Death: 09/03/1917
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 6th Bn.
Panel Reference: Panel 27.
Memorial: BASRA MEMORIAL

Officers and men from 6Bn killed at the Diyala crossing, 8-11 March 1917.

15484 Private JOSEPH WILLIAM AINSWORTH
23373 Private BERTIE BARKER
24728 Private GEORGE BARTON
22866 Private JAMES BARTON
23374 Private HARRY BELDON
18513 Private GEORGE EDWARD BRIGHT
23367 Private WILLIS BROWN
13151 Private JOHN BUTLER
23131 Private HARRY CARDWELL
17076 Sjt JAMES CARTWRIGHT
31710 LCpl JOHN MALACHI CASSIDY
23038 Private ERNEST COTTAM
22877 Private JAMES CRAIG
19468 Private THOMAS DAVENPORT
24724 Private RICHARD DITCHFIELD
18815 LCpl JOHN DUCKWORTH
20502 Private T ELGIN
20669 Private THOMAS FROGGATT
18435 Private GEORGE GOODLAD
19256 Private BENJAMIN GRUNDY
22777 Private JOHN HEYWOOD
12014 Private THOMAS HOWARD
19324 Sjt ALBERT KIRKMAN
23096 Private JOHN LANG
2nd Lt JOHN JAMES WILDER LASSETTER
20598 LSjt WILLIAM LIVESEY
22587 Private WILLIAM LOVATT
21321 Private THOMPSON MARTIN
1307 Private CHARLES EDWARD McGEE
24692 Private EDWARD ODONNELL
18902 Sjt JOHN WILLIAM PAWSON
18738 Private WILLIAM PYE
15345 Private JOHN RYAN
21053 Private ARTHUR SHARROCK
11966 Private RICHARD SMITH
Lt LEON ASHER SOMAN
16276 Private THOMAS STRINGFELLOW
21286 Private FRANK TOWELL

Bill Brierley

Bill Brierley

Before taking early retirement in 2007 and returning to his native Lancashire in 2009, Bill Brierley was head of the School of Languages and Area Studies at the University of Portsmouth.Bill has researched his own family history and has developed a further interest in World War 1 especially as it impacted on the villages of Lostock Hall and Bamber Bridge, where his family originates from.Bill has also displayed his work at Lostock Hall library and contributed to other displays at Leyland Library and South Ribble Museum.
Bill Brierley

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