George Frederick HARTLEY
Rank: Private
Number: 126072
Unit: 30th Battalion MACHINE GUN CORPS
Date of Death: 26 August 1918
Cemetery: Bronfay Farm Military Cemetery, Bray-sur-Somme, Somme, France

Nothing is known of George's life except that army records published after the War indicate he was born in Manchester. Family history websites list a number of men with this name, born in Manchester and who would have been of an age for military service. Although he cannot be identified for certain, the most likely man is one born in the Chorlton area in 1888.

George enlisted in Stockport, joining the King's Shropshire Light Infantry (service number 34659). This service does to appear on his medal entitlement records at the National Archives, confirming he never served abroad with the Shropshires. He was, no doubt, transferred to the machine gunners when he had finished his training.

His entry in the records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission shows him to have been serving with the Corps' 91st Company at the time of his death. This cannot be accurate as numbered companies were merged into new, larger Battalion formations in the spring of 1918. It cannot now be said for certain with which unit George was actually with when he died. The 91st Company became part of the 7th Battalion, part of the British 7th Division. This Division, however, had been in Italy since 1917 and, as George is buried in France, he cannot have been with them.

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