Military Chat

Top tip - using the Genes Reunited community

Welcome to the Genes Reunited community boards!

  • The Genes Reunited community is made up of millions of people with similar interests. Discover your family history and make life long friends along the way.
  • You will find a close knit but welcoming group of keen genealogists all prepared to offer advice and help to new members.
  • And it's not all serious business. The boards are often a place to relax and be entertained by all kinds of subjects.
  • The Genes community will go out of their way to help you, so don’t be shy about asking for help.

Quick Search

Single word search


  • New posts
  • No new posts
  • Thread closed
  • Stickied, new posts
  • Stickied, no new posts

Look-up please.

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

Margaret in Sussex

Margaret in Sussex Report 7 Dec 2014 14:30

Could some kind person please have a look to see if the
service records of

2nd. Lt Charles Fletcher Hartley
2nd.Bn Coldstream Guards
att. Guards Bde. MGC ...Survived the burnt records.

Killed in action 27 Nov.1917.

Thank you.


Maurice Report 7 Dec 2014 14:48

I cant see any service record at the moment, however there is a probate record and medal index card for him.

There is a tree on ancestry with a photo.

If you are interested in any of these i will send them.


Margaret in Sussex

Margaret in Sussex Report 7 Dec 2014 14:57

Thank you Maurice..... Yes please...That would be great.

All information added is a bonus.

Margaret in Sussex

Margaret in Sussex Report 7 Dec 2014 15:06

Thank you Maurice


Maurice Report 7 Dec 2014 15:15


Hartley Charles Fletcher of Englefield Green Surrey

Second Lieutenant Coldstream Guards died 27 November 1917 in France .
Administration London 16 December to Harry Hartley esquire .

Effects £1014. 13 shillings. 6 pence.

Sorry i cannot see where add an attachment, perhaps some one else knows and will pick it up.



Maurice Report 7 Dec 2014 15:22

Hi Margaret,

If you google Find a Grave enter his full name.

A photo and details are on there free.



Maurice Report 7 Dec 2014 15:31

2nd Bn CoIdstream Guards att: Guards Bde MGC.

Killed in action 27 November 1917.
No known grave. Remembered on the Cambrai Memorial, Part II (MR 17)
Memorial: Stone cross with concrete fence in a field to the E of Bourlon Wood, W of Fontaine-N-D, Cambrai.
Maps: 53/4/2507 Est.
Guardian: Harrow School.

Charles Fletcher Hartley, the eldest son of Mr and Mrs Harry Hartley of Englefield Green, Surrey, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, USA on 18 October 1897. Educated first at Pomfret School, USA, he went on to Harrow where he won the Heavy Weight Boxing Competition in 1916 - he was over 6' tall - matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and according to his Army Record, spoke French.

Hartley took his commission in the Coldstream Guards on the 26 May 1916 and went to the Front on 7 November having passed through the six week course at the Machine Gun School at Grantham. He was to serve with the Machine Gun Corps for the rest of his career, earning a mention in despatches for his action on 31 July 1917.

Following the initial British success of 20/21 November in the Battle of Cambrai, there were strong German counter attacks and fierce fighting in and around Bourlon Wood and Fontaine and the ground changed hands several times. "The work of the machine gunners throughout the course of the engagement on the 27th of November was extremely arduous from the beginning to the end of the day." said "The Guards Division in the Great War 1915-18" (C Headlam, Murray 1924) and they took heavy casualties. Exactly what happened to 2nd Lt Hartley' is unclear but it is believed that his two gun teams were in support of the Coldstreams in action near the eastern corner of Bourlon Wood when he was shot through the head.

His grave could not be found after the War and it is presumed that his parents erected the memorial on the spot where he fell. It is in the form of a granite cross with the base inscribed:


Any good


Maurice Report 7 Dec 2014 15:33

The memorial is protected from grazing animals by a concrete fence.

Although the farmer had done his best to protect it from further deterioration, by the early 1990s the memorial was in a sorry state and the lead letters of the inscription were mostly missing. Hartley's younger brother died in 1949 and while someone had visited regularly until recent times no surviving family could be traced either by the WFA or the Regiment. No maintenance arrangements had been made but the landowner does have a legal duty of care.

Although difficult to reach, this is a unique memorial and the WFA thought it should be preserved. Thanks to the generosity of Members and a grant from the Souvenir Francais, funds were raised for a major rebuild. The owner of the land and tenant farmer co-operated fully and a sign-posted right of access from the lane to the north of the memorial was agreed early in 1998. Visitors are asked to use only this way to reach the site.

Meanwhile, Harrow School had been approached by the WFA and in December 1997 the Governors agreed to the School becoming custodians of the memorial once restoration was complete. The Rivelin Masonry Company of Sheffield were commissioned to carry out the work and the memorial itself was rebuilt and re-lettered by the autumn of 1998. The concrete fencing which had deteriorated so badly has been replaced by a visually similar but more robust design to withstand the cattle, using stainless steel re-reinforcing sponsored by Ancon-CIark Ltd.

Thus the memorial to Lt Charles Hartley in this lonely spot is well set for the future.

From the same site


Kucinta Report 7 Dec 2014 17:10

Have pmed the ancestry photo Maurice mentioned.

EDIT: However it looks the same as the one on the site.

was plain ann now annielaurie

was plain ann now annielaurie Report 7 Dec 2014 23:44

His record wouldn't be on Ancestry as he was an Officer. However, there is an Officers file for him at the National Archives

Reference: WO 339/62563

2/Lieutenant Charles Fletcher HARTLEY

Coldstream Guards.
Date: [1914-1922]

Margaret in Sussex

Margaret in Sussex Report 8 Dec 2014 13:57

Ooh.. Lots of lovely info..... Thank you Maurice.& Kucinta..

Annielaurie.. Thank you.... I didn't realise that officers records were kept separate after death..... I shall follow up on those... As he was 'mentioned in despatches' it would be interesting to find out what he did....Assuming they go into detail.

Thank you all.. Margaret

Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 8 Dec 2014 16:14

(List of Trinity men who fell in World War I)

(also on above links)

Chris :)

Margaret in Sussex

Margaret in Sussex Report 9 Dec 2014 14:36

Thank you Chris.......Such a short life... His grandfather emigrated to the USA around 1864... and made his $millions.. Yet the family appear to have never forgotten their allegance to "the old country'".....

It never ceases to amaze me how you all find these nuggets of information.... I can see I need to look outside of the box more......

I do know that his brother married the grandaughter of a Major Rathbone who was in the box at the theatre with president Lincoln when he was assassinated

Thank you