Researched and written by Anne Wright
Acting Company Quarter Master Sergeant H G J Hardy
Army Service Corps
Died of wounds, 3.7.1917
Harold George James Hardy and his family became residents of Weybridge sometime between 1911 and 1914. He, his wife Anne and their two children, Joan and John, lived at Casita in Dorchester Road when war broke out. Harold was born in East Dulwich in 1882 and was baptised there at St. John the Evangelist’s Church on 7 May of that year. His parents George Robert and Julia Ellen (nee Ransom) had married in Lambeth in 1878. George was a commercial traveller. By 1901 the family had moved to Friern Barnet, Enfield in Middlesex. The 19 year old Harold had followed in his father’s footsteps and become a commercial traveller. He married Anne Forder on 6 August 1906 at Farnham Parish Church and by 1911, with their two children, aged 2 and 1 respectively they resided at ‘Shardeloes’, Grasmere Hill, Lightwater, Camberley. Harold was still a commercial traveller, now dealing in coffin furniture.
Harold was not slow to enlist, doing so at Hersham on 25 September 1914. He seems to have had some military experience with a Middlesex Regiment prior to this. Harold was assigned to the 6th (Reserve) Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, but was discharged six months later on 24 March 1915. His record describes him as being of ‘very good’ character. He was discharged to re-enlist in the Army Service Corps (ASC) at Weybridge on 24 June 1915. His home was now at 1, Park Lawn Cottages, Oatlands Park. Harold who stood five feet and eight inches tall was able to make use of his ability to drive in the ASC.
He served with the divisional supply column of the 37th Division; by 2 August 1915 the Division was in France. The ASC units were the ‘workhorses’; their task was to enable the transportation of supplies to the front. The 37th was involved in the final stage of the Battles of the Somme, the Battle of Ancre (13-18 November 1916), the Battle of Arras (April-June 1917) and phases of the Third Battle of Ypres (‘Passchendaele’; July-November 1917). Harold died of wounds on 3 July 1917 at 50th Field Ambulance (a mobile medical unit attached to the 37th Division). He may well have sustained his injuries in the course of preparations for this battle.
Harold is buried in Dranoutre Military Cemetery (II.J.12) 11.5 km south of Ypres (now Ieper). His wife moved to Suffolk; she received £23 13s 2d in owed pay and a £15 gratuity (giving a total spending power of about £1,665 in 2015).
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England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915, www.ancestry.co.uk
London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906, www.ancestry.co.uk
London, England, Church of England Marriages & Banns, 1754-1951, www.ancestry.co.uk
Regiments & Corps – 37th Division, The Long, Long Trail, www.longlongtrail.co.uk
Surrey, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1912, www.ancestry.co.uk
Surrey, England, Church of England Marriages, 1754-1937, www.ancestry.co.uk
Surrey Recruitment Registers 1908-1933, https://search.findmypast.co.uk