Harold DUNKLEY
Rank: Private
Number: 250607
Unit: 2/6th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 11 June 1917
Age: 20
Cemetery: Cambrin Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France

Harold was the only son of William Kent Dunkley and Sarah Ann Dunkley of 67 Buxton Road, Stockport (and previously of 184 Wellington Road South, Shaw Heath). He is known to have had a sister. The family history website, FreeBMD, records the birth of Mabel Dunkley in 1901 and this is probably her. William Dunkley ran a stationery and newsagent business from the Buxton Road address although his trade background had been as a compositor for a printing company.

Harold had been educated at Brentnall Street School and, later, at Stockport Technical School. He worked for the Royal Insurance Company at its branch on Exchange Street in Manchester. He worshipped at St George's Church and was a member of the choir. He was also a keen member of Stockport Lacrosse Club and, as with many of its members, he joined the army very soon after War was declared in 1914. His original service number was 2719 and, almost certainly, his original unit will have been the 1/6th Battalion. It is not known if he was amongst the original troops who went to Egypt in September 1914 and then fought throughout almost all of the failed Gallipoli campaign. He was, possibly, one of the draft of re-enforcements who came to replace the casualties incurred in the fighting. It is probable that he was wounded during this time and returned to the UK to recover. Until early 1917, the 2/6th Battalion had been regarded as the home-based reserve training unit and Harold will have been assigned to that when he had recovered. In March 1917, the Battalion was needed for overseas service and it went abroad on active service in the middle of March. Almost certainly, Harold will have been with them.

On 5 June 1917, the Battalion started another tour of duty in the trenches, relieving the 2/5th Battalion in the Cambrin Left Sub-sector. It would be a fairly quiet few days, although the enemy was active with its artillery and trench mortars. On the 6th, four men were victims of the shelling and, the next day, another four were admitted to hospital having been gassed. The next couple of days were particularly quiet and the Battalion's War Diary has little to note. However, on the 11th , it records that there were casualties in the early hours due to shelling. Two men were killed outright and another 10 wounded. Harold was amongst the wounded but died very soon after before he could be evacuated to a field hospital.

   
           
   
     
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