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fletchersmHarold Fletcher was born in Leyland in 1889, he was the son of Thomas and Mary Ellen Fletcher (nee Livesey).

Thomas Fletcher was a stonemason and originally from Liverpool and his wife Mary Ellen was from Chorley. Thomas and Mary Ellen were married in 1876 in Chorley and had ten children altogether including Harold. The first one born was Mary Livesey (b.1877), then Alice (b.1879), Walter (b.1881 d.1884), Elizabeth Ann (b.1883 d.1885), Flora (b.1885), Francis (b.1887), Thomas (b.1890 d.1891), Ruth (b.1892) and finally Teresa Ellen (b.1899).

The family lived for a while in Chorley then moved to Leyland so by the time of the 1911 Census the family home was Holly Bank, Leyland Lane, Leyland.

The 1911 Census shows Harold living at home with his parents Thomas and Mary Ellen, brother Francis and sisters Alice, Ruth and Teresa. Harold was working as a scutcher and mangler in a bleaching works.

On 9 February, 1916 Harold went back to Chorley and enlisted, he was posted into the 4/5th Battalion and given the service number 7991. This would later become 243404.

At some time during 1916 Harold married Jane Smith in Leyland.

At 11.30am on 11th February, 1917 the 4/5th Battalion left Blackdown and marched to Farnborough and there entrained for Folkestone. They sailed in the early afternoon of the 12th February and arrived in France later that evening.

On the 14 March, 1917 Harold was admitted to 1st Australian casualty clearing station with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to a toe. He was then transferred to No.15 Casualty Clearing Station at Hazebrouck and placed in confinement awaiting trial.

Harold was tried on 2 April, 1917 for – “Conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline. Carelessly wounding  himself in the left foot”. For this his sentence was 28 days. He finally re-joined his battalion on 8 May, 1917.

Fletcher Harold

At the beginning of 1918 the 4/5th Battalion officially ceased to exist as they were absorbed by the 1/5th Battalion.

Harold was granted some home leave from 29 May, 1918 returning to the front on 13 June, 1918.

Just three months later on 2 September, 1918 Private Harold Fletcher was killed in action.

The following report appeared in the local paper after Harold died.


Harold`s personal effects were returned to his wife and included the following:

  • Letters
  • Photos
  • Pocket  book
  • 2 Rosaries (1 broken)
  • Metal cigarette case
  • 1 watch key
  • Cards and memorial card
  • Metal watch and chain with 2 medallions
  • Small signet ring
  • Agenda book/1 book

Harold`s widow Jane (Jenny) finally received his Military Medal on 20 December, 1918. She was also awarded a pension of 13s/9d for herself from 24 March, 1919.

Private Harold Fletcher received the British War and Victory Medals and is remembered with honour on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. He is also named on the war memorial at Hope Terrace and on St. Gerrard`s RC Church Memorial in Lostock Hall.


The War Memorial on Hope Terrace in Lostock Hall.


The War Memorial (Panel) on Hope Terrace in Lostock Hall.


St. Gerrard`s RC Church Memorial in Lostock Hall.

Rank: Private
Service No: 243404
Date of Death: 02/09/1918
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st/5th Bn.
Awards: M M

This article was written and researched by Janet Davis

Janet Davis
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7 Responses to 243404 PTE. H. FLETCHER. L.N.LAN.R

  1. Sandy Kvech says:

    I am very happy to have found your write-up on Harold Fletcher who is my Grand Uncle. His sister, Teresa Ellen Fletcher – Waidson is my Grandmother. His WW1 memorial brass is displayed on a bookcase shelf. It is very worn from being polished over the years.
    Thank you so much for the information.

  2. have recently read your article on Harold Fletcher
    He was my Grandmothers Brother
    Really interested to know if ( Therasa Waidson nee Fletcher ) was Flora Colleran ( nee Fletcher sister?
    If so we are distant relatives
    Hope you can help !

    • Sandy Kvech says:

      Hi Pat,
      I am Sandy’s husband, replying for her. You are related. Flora and Teresa were sisters. We tried to contact you via Facebook requests earlier this year. We were in Leyland in June and came across Jim & Flora’s graves in Leyland St. Mary’s. I did some internet snooping and found you and your sister but couldn’t find a phone number or address. Sandy would love to hear from you. You might check Facebook for her friend request.
      Thanks, Joe & Sandy Kvech

  3. Heather Crook says:

    Harold Fletcher MM is named on the war memorial at Hope Terrace, Lostock Hall, near Preston.

  4. Patricia Frodsham says:

    Harold Fletchers name is also on Leyland Cenotaph and
    On St Mary’s Leyland church Cenotaph
    His family’s grave is also in this church

  5. Sandy & Joe Kvech says:

    Visited Vis-en-Artois in June 2019. Beautiful memorial, well maintained and those buried here are still remembered.

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