Sharpley, Mark

Mark Sharpley, Private 10132, 2nd Bn. Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 15th April 1918 in Salonika, aged 21

 

EARLY LIFE

Mark Sharpley was born in August 1896, the son of Sarah Ellen and George Sharpley, a silk harness builder. In 1901, four-year-old Mark was living at 22 Cotton St, Macclesfield with his parents and brother George, aged 3. By 1911 the family had moved to 22 Silk Street and Mark was employed as a silk embroiderer.

The family later moved to 4 Cotton St, Macclesfield.

Mark was educated at Mill Street School, attaining Standard Grade VII, and in September 1909 enrolled at Macclesfield Technical School to further his education.

 

WW1 SERVICE

Mark enlisted in Macclesfield on 8 August 1914, and after training was drafted to France on 14 December 1914. After serving in France for some time he was drafted to Salonika. He was mentioned in the report of the death of his brother George, printed in the Macclesfield Advertiser on 2 November 1917:

Private Mark Sharpley, Cheshire Regiment, is at Salonika. He is 21 years of age and enlisted three days after the war broke out. He has also seen service in France.

Mark was found to be missing after 15 April 1918 and it was later assumed that he was killed in action on or since that date. His death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 2 January 1920:

TWO SONS KILLED IN THE WAR – MACCLESFIELD PARENTS HEAVY LOSS

On Christmas Eve, when many were looking forward to the morrow with happy thoughts, Mr and Mrs George Sharpley, 4 Cotton Street, Macclesfield, received the sad news that their son, Pte Mark Sharpley, 2nd Battalion Cheshire Regiment, who was reported missing in Salonika on April 15th, 1918, had been presumed dead by the War Office. Mr and Mrs Sharpley have lost their only two sons in the war, the other one, Pte George Sharpley, Yorkshire Regiment, being killed in action in France in October 1917, at the age of nineteen.

Both sons were educated at Mill Street School… and attended the St George’s Street Baptist Church and Sunday School. Prior to enlistment, Pte Mark Sharpley was employed at Leech’s Dyeworks, and at the time of his death was twenty-one years of age. he joined the Army on the outbreak of hostilities at the early age of seventeen and was drafted out to France in December 1914, having not then reached his eighteenth birthday. In February 1915, Pte Sharpley came to England suffering from frostbite, and upon recovery was again sent out to France in May of the same year. He was transferred to Salonika in September, 1915, and it is a pathetic circumstance that he was just expecting to come home on leave when he was reported missing. The loss of her two sons is not the only bereavement Mrs Sharpley has suffered, for her brother, Pte Robert Boothby, Shropshire Light Infantry, was fatally gassed in September 1915, three weeks after his return from leave.

 

COMMEMORATION

Private Mark Sharpley has no known grave and is commemorated on the Doiran Memorial, Greece. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Mark Sharpley, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.

Locally, Private Mark Sharpley is commemorated on the Macclesfield Park GreenTown Hall and St George’s Street Baptist Church war memorials.

 

NOTES

Brother of George Sharpley, who served as Private 202540 with the Yorkshire Regiment and was killed in action in October 1917; nephew of Robert Boothby, who served as Private 7511 with the 1st Battalion, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, and was killed in action in Belgium on 19th December 1915.

 

SOURCES
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
National School Admission Registers and Log-books (Find My Past)
British Army Medal Index Cards (Ancestry)
Soldiers Died in the Great War (Find My Past)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Advertiser: 2 November 1917
Macclesfield Times: 2 January 1920


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