Siblings: Teddie, Albert, Ralph, Laura, Ann, William, Frank, Alice, Lilian
Occupation: Bobbin pegger (1911)
Rolls of Honour: Holy Trinity, Idle
Regiment: Royal Field Artillery
Robert was one of ten children of Robert and Christiana Hartley who were living in Westfield Lane, Idle, in 1901 and had moved to Ellar Carr Road ten years later.On 23 March 1917, the Shipley Times & Express reported:News reached Idle yesterday that Gunner Robert Hartley, RFA, the youngest son of Mr and Mrs Robert Hartley of Ellar Carr, Simpson Green, had been killed in action.Gunner Hartley enlisted two years ago and only went to France since Christmas 1916.Two of his brothers, Pte Frank Hartley of Bradford Pals and Pte Willie Hartley, are serving.
The news was conveyed in a letter written by Gunner Harry Buckley to his wife who resides at 34 Fourlands, Idle, which she received yesterday morning.A week later, the newspaper included this piece:The parents of the late Gunner Robert Hartley, RFA, of Ellar Carr Road, Idle, have received the following letter from Major T A Arnold-Forster:Dear Mrs Hartley, It is my sad duty to inform you that your son Gunner
R Hartley was yesterday killed in action in this battery.He was assisting the battery cook at about 8.30 am when he was struck by parts of a bursting shell and killed instantly with the cook.Please accept the most sincere sympathies of myself, my officers, NCOs and men. I can assure you we all feel the loss very much indeed.Both men had done their work well since we went into action, often under very trying and difficult circumstances and both had been in
this battery since it was formed.We buried them in the cemetery here and are putting up a little cross to mark the position of the grave.A few of his personal possessions which you may like to have will be sent off but they might be some little time in reaching you.In April the paper reported that a local soldier, Ernest Fletcher, who was later to die in the war had marked his neighbour’s passing:L Cpl Ernest Fletcher, a son of Mr Chas E Fletcher, writes that he has visited the grave of the late Pte Robert Hartley, son of Mr and Mrs Robt Hartley, Ellar Carr Road, and planted the mound from top to bottom with snowdrops.