Arnold Hartley was born on 4 October and baptised on 18 October 1885 at St Thomas' Church, Hyde, the son of Mary and James William Hartley, a cab driver. In 1891, five-year-old Arnold was living at 55 Lewis St, Hyde with his parents and siblings Edmund (10), Emily (8) and Tom (3). By 1901, fifteen-year-old Arnold was employed as a cotton spinner and living at 19 Bowling Green St, Hyde with his parents and siblings Edmund (20), Emily (18), Tom (13), James (6), Florence (4) and Jessie (2).
Arnold enlisted with the 3rd (Militia) East Yorkshire Regiment with service number 4107 at Beverley, East Yorkshire on 11 August 1903. He stated that he was living at 24 Harvest Lane, Sheffield, employed as a hawker, and his father was James W Hartley, of 28 Croft St, Hyde, near Manchester.
In 1909 Arnold married Elizabeth Oakley at St Mary's Church, Haughton Green, Ashton-under-Lyne. By 1911 the couple were living at 28 Mill Lane, Haughton Green Road, Denton, Manchester, and Arnold was employed as a labourer at the gas works. A daughter, Matilda, was born in 1912.
Elizabeth later lived at 30 Mill Lane.
It is not known when or for what reason Arnold attended the Macclesfield Industrial School.
As he had previously served in the militia, Arnold was probably recalled to his regiment on the outbreak of war. He was drafted to France on 8 September 1914 and killed in action just three weeks later on 26 September 1914.
Private Arnold Hartley is buried in grave ref. I. G. 13. in Vendresse British Cemetery, Aisne, France. His widow asked for the inscription "LORD ALL-PITYING, JESU BLEST GRANT HIM THINE ETERNAL REST" to be added to his headstone.
In Macclesfield, Private Arnold Hartley is commemorated on the Macclesfield Industrial School war memorial. Elsewhere, he is commemorated on the Hyde Town Hall and the Denton Victoria Park and St Mary's Church, Haughton Green war memorials.
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers (Find My Past): St Thomas' Church, Hyde
Census (England & Wales): 1891, 1901, 1911
Soldiers died in the Great War 1914-1919
WWI British Army Medal Rolls Index Cards (Ancestry)
WWI British Army Service Records (Find My Past)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Research by Rosie Rowley, Macclesfield.