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Person Details
Nuthall Nottinghamshire
Harry Eley was the son of Joseph Henry a coal miner and Mary Jane Eley. His father was born in Babbington in 1859, his mother Mary Jane Slaney in 1865 at Kimberley. They were married in 1881 and had twelve children: - John Lindley b.1882, Kimberley, Percy b.1884 Kimberley, Lottie Edith b.1886 Nuthall, Harry b.1887 Nuthall, Walter b.1890 Nuthall, Cyril George b.1892 Bagnall, Elsie May b.1895 Bagnall, Leslie b.1897 Bagnall Colin Douglas b.1899 Bagnall, Lillian Maud b.1900, Doris b.1902 Bagnall and Tom b.1904 Bagnall. In 1911 Harry was serving 44th battery Royal Field Artillery in India. His parents were living at 47 Arnold Road Basford with nine of their children. At the time of Harry’s death his family home was 53 Monsall Street Basford. His sole legatee was his fiancée Jeannie Shaw.
He was a regular soldier.
20 Feb 1916
28
2761188 - CWGC Website
55751
Sergeant
C Bty 95th Bde Royal Field Artillery
Harry was a career soldier who was transferred from India to the Western Front, 14 October 1914. He was buried in Cite Bojean Military Cemetery , Armentieres, France. Grave reference IX F 73.
The following item appeared in the Hucknall Dispatch on 28th January 1915 and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebok pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 “DEADLY GERMAN SHOTS. “BULWELL SOLDIER’S EXPERIENCES WITH THE ARTILLERY. “Some remarkable experiences have fallen to the lot of Bombardier Harry Eley, whose father was exceptionally well-known in Bulwell and district as manager of the mine. “Cheerful in disposition and optimistic as to the outcome of the war, Eley is under no illusion as to the grim reality of war. Many of the stories he tells illustrates the “frightfulness” of the proceedings and the utter ruthlessness with which was is waged. On one occasion he saw the bodies of four women mutilated beyond recognition by bombs from aeroplanes, the occupants of farms, etc., within the area of operations refusing to leave their homes. At one place – Bouverie – they were billeted at a farm and the lady owner was present during its bombardment. Her little son ran out, and, making friends with Eley, confided to him that he like to see the shells burst. The little fellow was only four years old, and he was quickly rescued by his frightened mother. “People say the Germans cannot shoot, but Eley will hear none of it. The first time he “smelt powder,” the enemy’s artillery, aided by an aeroplane, found the range at the first shot, killing three horses and wounding a number of others, five having to be shot. “A remarkable thing about the destruction of churches was the frequency with which the crucifix escaped. It appeared that 90 per cent of the churches which were shelled had their most sacred possession spared as if by a miracle. At Bouverie, regularly every day at 12.30, the Germans shelled the church, and, indicative of the deadlock which has arisen, Eley’s gun occupied the same position for seven weeks. Attached to his section were a number of Indian soldiers, and, whilst paying a high tribute to their dash in a bayonet charge, he said they were more affected by the moral influence of shell fire. “Extraordinary is the only word to describe the whimsicalities of warfare. One man had a shell explode literally at his feet whilst walking along the roadway, and all he suffered was a mud bath. Another time a shell exploded under a waggon. One horse had its legs blown off and its fellow escaped unscathed. Meals were distributed in tantalising fashion by the enemy’s shells, but they had the satisfaction of playing the same game with the Germans.” The following obituaries appeared in the Nottingham Evening Post 20/2/1917 :- “ELEY. – In loving memory of Sergeant H. Eley, R.F.A., killed in action February 20th, 1916. Eternal rest, give unto him, O Lord. – From his dear sister Lottie, Lilian, Doris, and Elsie (Doncaster). “ELEY. – In loving memory of my dear son and our brother, Sergeant Harry Eley, killed in action February 20th, 1916. Sleeping peacefully with the unreturning brave. – His loving mother, brothers Colin, Tom (Percy, and Leslie, France). “ELEY. – In loving memory of Sergt. Harry Eley, R.F.A., killed in action February 20th, 1916. - Fondly remembered by his fiancée, Jeanie. “ELEY. – In loving memory of Sergt. Harry Eley, R.F.A., killed in action February 20th, 1916. – Not forgotten by Mrs. Shaw, Annie, Edie, and Arthur in Egypt.” His brother Percy also served during the Great War with the Royal Field Artillery. He enlisted in Nottingham 3/5/1915, landed in France 12/1/1916. He survived the war and was demobilised on 31/3/19200.
Remembered on

Photos

  • This photo was published 15/3/1916 in the Nottingham Evening Post and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918. -