Royton Roll of Honour

The British bombardment of the German positions began on September 21st and lasted until the 25th. On the night of the 24th the battalion moved forward into battle positions. The assault began with a gas attack at 06:34 but the wind changed and blew most of it back onto the attackers, the front and support lines suffered considerably. Despite this the leading parties of the battalion advanced up to the German wire but found this completely uncut and fell back. Lieutenant-Colonel Sanderson gathered as many men as he could for another attempt but again this failed. After that there were several further isolated attempts to advance by men of the battalion without success. What was left of the battalion then regathered in the trenches, a grand total of three officers and 159 men. The losses had been very heavy - sixteen officers and 489 other ranks were killed, wounded or missing. Abel Hartley was one of the 125 dead. One of the survivors, Private Henry Kenny was to win the Victoria Cross for his actions that day.

It was two months later that Mary Hartley received the official confirmation that he was missing and it wasn't until September 1916 that the Oldham Chronicle reported that he was now known to have been killed.
The men who died alongside Abel were:

ABRAHAM  JOHN 18  Private  3207 from Rotherham
ALLAN GUY 17 Lance Serjeant 10653 from Canada
ASHCROFT JAMES  Private  17933 born Kirkdale,enlisted Liverpool
BANKS RICHARD Private 2928 from Blackburn
BANKS THOMAS Private 2553 from Liverpool
BANNISTER WILLIAM 36 Private 18875 from Bolton
BARROW JOHN 24 Lance Corporal 19610 from St.Annes on Sea
BARTON WILLIAM 33 Lance Corporal 18070 from Liverpool
BILLINGTON JOHN  Private 18562 from Preston
BLACKBURN JAMES Private 2649 from Seacombe
BLINSTON JAMES Private 22006 from Manchester
BOSWELL WALTER  Private  22154 born Workington.Enlisted Manchester
BRADLEY JAMES 39 Private 19267 from Co.Mayo
BROWN D  Private 18886 from Liverpool.Served as THOMAS TONER
BULLOUGH RICHARD 18 Private 2933 from Bolton
CARNEY JAMES Private 10816 from Wigan
CARR WILLIAM 38 Lance Corporal  1131 from Liverpool
CARROLL GEORGE Serjeant 3103 from Manchester
CASSERLY BERNARD Private 8109 from Liverpool
CASSIDY  JOHN 32  CSM 10307 born Yarmouth, enlisted Ramsgate
COCHRANE FRANCIS  Private 22156 born India, enlisted Ashton-under-Lyne
COLEMAN  DANIEL 38 Private 18755  from Bolton
COONEY JOSEPH  Private 2755 born Liverpool, enlisted Manchester
CRITCHLOW ALBERT 35 Private 4694 from Manchester
CROWNDALE JOHN  Private 22023 from Manchester
CROWTHER ARTHUR  Private  22022 from Manchester
DALTON JOSEPH Private 22039 enlisted Manchester
DUNDERDALE RICHARD Private 2931 from Preston
EDMONDS  PETER Private 3406 from Warrington
EDWARDS CHARLES 36 Lance Corporal 18278 from Liverpool
EVANS JOHN Private 22044 from Manchester
FAULKNOR ROBERT 27 Captain from Jersey
FENTON  JOSEPH Private 4183 from Bolton
FERGUSON THOMAS  25 Private 2723  from Scotland
FINCH JAMES Private 3541 from Preston
FINLAY  WILLIAM  22 Private 17988 from Liverpool
GIBBONS  JOHN Private 22055 born Ireland, enlisted Manchester
GLEESON  JOHN Private 22060 born Stockport
GOLDIE PAUL 22 2nd Lt.        
GRANT THOMAS 21  Private   2466 born Ireland, lived Liverpool
HAILWOOD WALTER Private  19545 from Chorley
HARRISON HENRY 33 Private 18190 from Liverpool
HASLAM HARRY Private 18639 born Bolton, enlisted Blackbpool
HASLAM JOHN 40 Private 4680 from Bolton
HEADLEY  GEORGE 19 Lance Corporal 18939 from Bolton
HEATON THOMAS 42 Private 18465 from Bolton
HELME RICHARD 2nd Lt.        
HILL HARRY  Corporal 9969 from Worcestershire
HILL JOHN 20 Private 19918 from Bolton
HODGKINSON JOHN 20 Private 18596 from Preston
HOLT FREDERICK  Corporal 1152 from Preston
HOWARTH  ROBERT  Private  10840 from Burnley
HOWELL HERBERT 23 Private 22076  born Salford
HUGHES JAMES Private 10634 from Liverpool
HUNTER GEORGE Private 1759 from Liverpool
HURREN    FREDERICK 37 Serjeant 22068 from Harpurhey,Manchester
JOHNSON  ALBERT 21 Private 22194  from Hulme, Manchester
JONES JOHN Private 3162  from Hulme, Manchester
KELLY JOHN 21 Private 17668 from Bolton
KENNAUGH ALBERT 21 Private 10321 from Isle of Man
KERSHAW  EDWARD 21 Private 22196 from Manchester
KIRK JOSEPH Private 2733 from Leicester
KIRKMAN  LEO Corporal 10566 from Preston
LEACH JAMES 19 Private 22198 from Oldham
LEE WILLIAM Private 18666 from Bolton
LIVESEY ALAN 26  2nd Lt.  from Exeter
LOVE GEORGE Private 18673 born Derby, lived Preston
LOVETT JOE 19 Lance Corporal 18727 from Bolton
MAJOR GEORGE 22  Private  22204 from Oldham
MARTIN PATRICK Serjeant 9199 from Liverpool
MASSEY WILLIAM Private 15584 from Farnworth
MELIA JAMES Private 3831 from Liverpool
MEREDITH OSCAR 19 Private 2406 from Liverpool
MITCHELL ALBERT  32 Private 22100 born India.from Hulme,Manchester
MITTON  ALBERT  18 Private 2566  from Chorley
MORRISON ALEXANDER Private 18709 from Bolton
MORROW DAVID Private 3145 from Liverpool
MURPHY JOHN 25 Private 18275 from Liverpool
MURPHY JOHN 35 Private 4087 from Preston
MURRAY ARCHIE Private 2564 from Bolton
McCRANN  BERNARD  18 Private 2865 from Manchester
McDONOUGH PETER  30 Private 2031 from Liverpool
NAYLOR THOMAS Lance Serjeant 8467 born Blackburn
NEVINSON EDWARD  Lance Corporal 1279 from Ulverston
NICHOLLS PETER Serjeant  9513 from Liverpool
NORMAN EDWARD Private 16355 from Cardiff
O'DONNELL JOHN  Private  3398 from Wigan
PAYNE JOSEPH 24 Lance Corporal 10700 from St.Helens
PICKERING JAMES  48 Private 2853 from Blackburn
REGAN PATRICK Private 8171 from Wigan
REID FREDERICK 31 Private 22109  from Stockport
RILEY MICHAEL Private 22115 from Staffordshire
ROBERTS  WILLIAM  22 Private 4718 from Chadderton
ROBINSON STANLEY Private 2510 from Manchester
RUMNEY PETER 24   CSM 9248 from London
SANDERSON EDWIN Private   13236 from Chorley
SCHOFIELD JAMES 37 Private 18883 from Manchester
SHARPLES JAMES  19 Private 18996 from Preston
SIMPSON  JOHN 21 Private 18193 from Liverpool
SLATER JOHN 18  Private  13317 from Preston
SMALLEY  JAMES 26 Private 2594 from Preston
SMETHURST ERNEST Private 4711 born Salford
SMITHSON JOHN 18 Private 2728 from Preston
SOUTHWORTH PERCY 18 Private 4710 from Cheadle
STREET JAMES 26 Private 22223    
SUTHERS  WILLIAM  21 Private 22116 from Oldham
THOMAS HUGH 36 Private 18145 from Pendlebury
THORNE WILLIAM Serjeant  7970 from London
TIMMS JAMES Private 4491 from Bolton
TURNER  HARRY 23 Private 2543 from Oldham
WARD BERNARD 37  Lance Corporal 4161 from Manchester.Boer War veteran
WARDLEY  JOSEPH 38 Private 3325 from Preston. Boer War Veteran
WAREING  PAUL Private 18546 from Bolton
WASBROUGH WILLIAM  24 2nd Lt. from London
WHARTON  FRANK  25 Lieutenant from London
WHETTALL WALLACE Private 22239  born Shrewsbury, enlisted Manchester
WILDING  GEORGE  Private  18478 born Walton-le-Dale
WILLIAMSON WALTER Private 22233 from Patricroft
WOLSTENCROFT GEORGE 35 Private 4707 from Manchester
WOOD HENRY 38 Captain from Birkenhead
WRIGHT JOSEPH 19 Private 10780 from Bolton
WRIGHT ROBERT 23 Lance Corporal  22131 from Leigh
YATES BENJAMIN Private 19659 from Bolton

Abel Hartley was born in Royton in 1888. His parents were Eli, a coal miner, and Betty. Abel had a brother, James, and two sisters - Elizabeth & Sarah. There were two further, younger, brothers - Robert & Thomas, who both sadly died before their first birthdays.In 1900, when Abel was 12 years old, his mother died at the age of 39. The Hartleys were at 1 Dale Street, off Shaw Road at the time of both the 1891 & 1901 censuses. In 1904 Abel's brother James married Bella Halkyard, the sister of Samuel. By 1911 Abel was at 335 Shaw Road along with his father, who by now was a labourer, and sisters Elizabeth and Sarah. Abel himself was working in a cotton mill, at the time of his enlistment that was the Parkside Mill.
At the outbreak of war Abel married Mary Campbell, who then moved into the Hartley home on Shaw Road. Just days later he headed off up the road to Shaw and enlisted. It would seem that he went with a group of friends - Joseph Quarmby& William Schofield who were the same age and also lived on Shaw Road enlisted at the same time probably with the intention of signing up with the 10th Battalion Manchester Regiment (the Oldham Territorials). This unit left for overseas service in September and although a 2nd/10th Battalion was then formed Abel and his friends found themselves in the Regiment's 4th Battalion, a reserve and training unit making up part of the Humber garrison.
Abel (along with Quarmby and Schofield) was sent out to the 1st Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashires as replacements in June 1915. The battalion had been out in France since August 1914 and like most others had suffered heavy casualties. Hartley's early period in the unit was one of comparative quiet up until the end of September. At that time the 1st Loyals were to be one of the assault battalions on the first day of the Battle of Loos. 

Date of Death:25/09/1915
Service No:22185
Regiment:The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
Unit:1st Bn.
Loos Memorial
Panel Ref:Panel 90

British infantry advance through gas on September 25th 1915

British soldiers lie dead in front of the German barbed wire.Battle of Loos (28/09/15). © IWM