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Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916

CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916

Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916

Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916

Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Pte 15846 Harold Gelderd Gleave

  • Age: 24
  • From: Liverpool
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 17th Btn
  • K.I.A Tuesday 11th July 1916
  • Commemorated at: Bernafay Wood Brit Cem
    Panel Ref: C.9
Pte 15846 Harold Gelderd GLEAVE, 17th Battalion KLR.

Born in Liverpool on 16th March 1892, Harold was the only son of Thomas Gleave, a solicitor’s clerk, and his wife Elizabeth (nee Abbot) who were married on 20th January 1890 at Emmanuel Church, Everton. Harold was baptised on 24th April 1892 at St Cyprian’s, Edge Hill. There were two other children, both girls, namely Lillian Abbot (born 1891) and Mabel (born 1897).

In 1901 the family lived at 31, The Summit, Liscard Village. Father Thomas 36 a solicitors clerk b.Liverpool, mother Elizabeth 34 b.Liverpool.

Harold was almost certainly educated at St Hilary’s C. of E. School, Wallasey and Wallasey Grammar School

By 1911, Harold and Mabel live with their parents at 25 Belvedere Road, Liscard, when Harold is said to be an insurance clerk with Commercial Union Assurance Company based in Liverpool while Lillian is a student teacher in lodgings in Crewe. 

Harold enlisted in Liverpool on 01st September 1914, joining the 17th Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment as Private 15846. He gave his age as 22 years 165 days, occupation clerk. He was described as being  5' 9" tall, weight 152lbs, chest 35", with a fresh complexion, blue eyes and fair hair. He stated his religionas Church of England. and named his father Thomas as next of kin at 25 Belvedere Road. 

He was billeted at Prescot Watch Factory from 14th September 1914, he trained there and also at Knowsley Hall. On 30th April 1915 the 17th Battalion alongside the other three Pals battalions left Liverpool via Prescot Station for further training at Belton Park, Grantham. They remained here until September 1915 when they reached Larkhill Camp on Salisbury Plain. 

His service records show;

05th December 1914 - appointed L/Corporal (Unpaid).
23rd February 1915 - appointed L/Corporal (Paid).
02nd March 1915 - attended Whiston Hospital for 8 days with a sprained foot.
12th July 1915, at his own request, he reverted to the rank of Private and travelled with his Battalion to France on 07th November 1915. He had been issued with spectacles two days before embarking!

He was reported wounded at Trones Wood between 10th and 12th July 1916 and his date of death was subsequently assumed to be 11th July 1916.

The murderous fighting that went on inside Trones Wood rendered it impossible to put specific dates on some of the casualties which is why many of the 17th Battalion losses have been bracketed as killed in action between 10th – 12th July 1916. The conditions are best described in the following passage from Everard Wyrall’s book The History of The King’s Regiment (Liverpool) Volume II. 

The remembrance of Trones Wood in July 1916 to those who passed through it is of a noisome, horrible place, of a tangled mass of trees and undergrowth which had been tossed and flung about in frightful confusion by the shells of both sides. Of the ghastly dead which lay about in all directions, and of DEATH, lurking in every hole and corner with greedy hands ready to snatch the lives of the unwary. The place was Death trap, and although the attacks were made with great determination,   the presence of snipers who could not be detected and often fired into the backs of our men made the clearing of the wood impossible.

On 20th July 1916, his father wrote asking about “ Pte 15846 H. G. Gleave, 14th Platoon, D Company, 17th KLR, 59th Infantry Brigade” stating that he had “heard through a friend that my son was wounded on 12th instant. Can you give me any information?”. In the typical way of an ordinary man in those days, he politely says that he is enclosing a stamped addressed envelope for a reply, although there is no copy of any reply in Harold’s file.

Harold now rests at Bernafay Wood British Cemetery, Grave C 9. where his headstone bears the epitaph:

"Gone to his death in the pathway of duty venturing life that others might live" 
Montauban village was taken by the 30th and 18th Divisions on 1 July 1916 and it remained in Commonwealth hands until the end of March 1918. It was retaken on 25 August 1918 by the 7th Buffs and the 11th Royal Fusiliers of the 18th Division. The Bois De Bernafay is a pear-shaped wood close to the east end of Montauban village. It was taken on 3 and 4 July 1916 by the 9th (Scottish) Division. On 25 March 1918, in the retreat to the Ancre, the same Division was driven from the wood but recaptured it for a time. On 27 August 1918 it was finally regained by the 18th Division. The cemetery was begun by a dressing station in August 1916 and used as a front-line cemetery until the following April. It contained at the Armistice 284 burials but was then increased when graves were brought in from Bernafay Wood North Cemetery and from the battlefields immediately east of the wood. BERNAFAY WOOD NORTH CEMETERY was opposite the North edge of the wood, a little East of the Longueval - Maricourt road. It was begun by an Advanced Dressing Station, and used from July to October 1916. It contained the graves of 80 soldiers from the United Kingdom and 1 German prisoner. Bernafay Wood British Cemetery now contains 945 burials and commemorations of the First World War. 417 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 11 soldiers known or believed to be buried here. Other special memorials commemorate 12 soldiers buried in Bernafay Wood North Cemetery whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

Soldiers Effects to father Thomas, Pension to mother Elizabeth.

In 1919, his father submits a submits a sworn declaration identifying Harold’s surviving relatives as he and his wife, together with Harold’s 2 sisters, Lillian aged 25 and Mabel aged 22 years, live at 25 Belvedere Road, and as a result Harold’s medals (14/15 Star, Victory and British War Medals) are sent, with Harold’s only surviving effects - his identity disc- to Harold’s father.

The CWGC site shows that Harold’s parents later lived at 21 Monmouth Road, Wallasey.

Harold is commemorated on the following Memorials:

Wallasey Civic Memorial,

St Hilary’s C. of E. School and St Hilary’s Roll of Honour 

Wallasey Grammar School and on their Old Boys memorial.

His father died in the March quarter of 1948, aged 83.

His mother died in the December quarter of 1953, aged 87.


Killed On This Day.

(108 Years this day)
Tuesday 18th July 1916.
Pte 27346 John Mawdsley
34 years old

(106 Years this day)
Thursday 18th July 1918.
Cpl 106108 William Alexander Unsworth
38 years old