Northampton village remembers their Great War heroes 100 years after their deaths

Harry Batchelor was killed in action on October 13, 1917, while rescuing an injured soldier.
Harry Batchelor was killed in action on October 13, 1917, while rescuing an injured soldier.

"In grateful memory: Private Harry Batchelor, 8th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment."

That's how one village near Northampton is honouring one of its Great War heroes by marking the day of his death 100 years later.

Harry Batchelor and his wife, Florence Elliott.

Harry Batchelor and his wife, Florence Elliott.

One hundred years ago next week, on October 13, 1917, Private Harry Batchelor, a 35-year-old father-of-three, was killed in action.

Special memorials to the 32 men of Hackleton who died in the First World War have been posted in the Chronicle's pages since 2014.

Hackleton Parish Council marks the day one of their village's soldiers died with a tribute to them on the centenary of their death.

Parish council chairman Roy Hawkesford said: "Most of the men sent to war from Hackleton were young and had not had time to get married or have families. Only two were officers, the rest just ordinary men who went to fight in the conflict. Harry, however, was 35 years old when he died, married with three small children. Some of his descendants are still living in Northampton."

Hackleton War Memorial. A group of local historians are now researching the lives of the 32 men commemorated there.

Hackleton War Memorial. A group of local historians are now researching the lives of the 32 men commemorated there.

In a project called "Discovering Our Heroes", a group of local folk researched the stories of these soldiers who never came back from the front.

One member of the group, Joanne Wild, said: "I had seen the names on our War Memorial all through my childhood but knew nothing more than that. Yet they gave up everything and we felt that should be commemorated in some way."

Harry Batchelor was a plumber from London who met his wife, Florence Elliott, while on a job at Horton Hall. He along with two friends from the village joined up in 1915. Those three stayed together during their service in the 8th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment.

On the day of his death on October 13, 1917, Harry heroically went to the aid of a wounded soldier to bring him in, was wounded himself doing so and died of his injuries. He was buried in France.

His memorial in next week's Chronicle will read: "In grateful memory of Private Harry Batchelor, 8th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment."

Joanne said: "Researching stories like Harry's has brought to life the men who were just names on the village war memorial."

Roy added: “The Parish Council is pleased to provide these obituaries in the Chron and in our Parish Magazine and will continue to honour the rest of our servicemen in this way till early 2019, one hundred years after the death of the last soldier from our Parish. We hope it goes some way towards paying tribute to the bravery of our servicemen 100 years ago and will provide reassurance to their families that their sacrifice is not forgotten nor

lessened by the passage of time."