Samuel Rixon Hartley, Private 2502, 2nd/7th Battn, Cheshire Regiment
Died of illness 27th November 1918 in Macclesfield, aged 31
Samuel Rixon Hartley was born in Macclesfield in 1887, the son of Alice and Henry Hartley, a cotton weaver of Macclesfield. In 1891, four-year-old Samuel was living at 18 Parsonage St with his parents and siblings Jane (16), George (11), Frank (7), Thomas (5) and Henry (1).
By 1901 the family had moved to 8 Statham St, Macclesfield, and also included younger children Percy, Winifred and Amelia; Samuel was employed as a cotton weaver.
Samuel married Annie Beatrice Birchenall at St Michael’s Church on 3 October 1909, and by 1911 the couple were living at 14 Statham St, Macclesfield and had a one-year-old daughter, Alice.
Samuel enlisted with the local 7th (Reserve) Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment in Macclesfield on 24 October 1914 and was sent for training. In July 1915, whilst in training at Northampton, it became apparent that he was not a well man, and he was discharged as unfit for service on 13 May 1916 due to flat feet, anaemia and an enlarged thyroid gland. His character whilst in the Army was stated to be Very good.
A letter held with Samuel’s service records from Dr Barclay of Park Lane, Macclesfield, dated 10 October 1917, states that since his dismissal from the Army, Samuel has been under his care, suffering from anaemia and pulmonary tuberculosis.
Samuel was awarded a silver war badge on 9 December 1916 to indicate that he had been discharged due to ill-health, and he returned to Macclesfield. He died in November 1918, and his death was announced by his family on the back page of the Macclesfield Courier on 30 November 1918:
HARTLEY – On November 23rd, at 26, Paradise Street, Samuel R Hartley, aged 31 years.
Samuel Hartley was buried in Grave Ref. X. (N.C.) 19474. in Macclesfield Cemetery. There is a discrepancy between the date of death printed in the newspaper and the date on the headstone. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Samuel Hartley, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
In Macclesfield, Samuel Hartley is commemorated on the St George’s Street Baptist Church war memorial.
Brother of Thomas Hartley, who served as Private 10538 with the 1st Battalion, Cheshire Regiment and was killed in action on 9 November 1914 in Belgium, aged 29.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Cheshire Parish Marriage Registers (Find My Past): St Michael’s Church, Macclesfield
Census (England & Wales): 1891, 1901, 1911
WW1 British Army Service Records 1914-1920
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Courier: 30 November 1918