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Arthur Harker (1892-1916)

Darlington farm labourer served with the Royal Regiment of Scotland

Arthur Harker was born in 1892 in Darlington and baptised on 26 September of the same year. He was the son of William and Jane Harker nee Tweddle. The Harker family lived at Jubilee Cottages, Conniscliffe Road, Darlington. This was a works cottage belonging to the Darlington Water Works where William Harker worked as an engineman. Arthur had two sisters; Margaret, who was older and a younger sister, Jane. He also had three older brothers and a younger brother Tom.

In 1901, Arthur was living with his parents and four of his siblings on Conniscliffe Road. By 1911 he had left the family home and was living in the household of Frederick Brown working as a general farm labourer. A possible trade union membership suggests Arthur may have been working as a railwayman as a cleaner in 1913.

Arthur enlisted into the army in Darlington and first served in France on 4 August 1915. He initially joined the Royal Garrison Artillery as a gunner with the service number 48879. At some point he transferred to the Royal Regiment of Scotland known as the “Black Watch”. He served with the 2nd Battalion with the service number S/10285. He was promoted to Lance Corporal but for some reason was later demoted back to Private.

In late December 1915 the 2nd Battalion Royal Highlanders was sent to Mesopotamia and took part in the Siege of Kut in Spring 1916. It was during the first few weeks of 1916 on 16 January that Arthur died of wounds. His place of death is recorded as the Persian Gulf suggesting he may have been on a hospital ship travelling for treatment at the time of his death.

Arthur was awarded the Victory Medal, British War Medal and the 1914-15 Star. He is buried in the Amara Cemetery in Iraq. Arthur’s brothers William Edward and Walter also served during the First World War; William as part of the Canadian Army and Walter as part of the Royal Engineers.

Civil Parish: Darlington

Birth date: 1892

Death date: 16-Jan-1916

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: Conniscliffe Road, Jubilee Cottage, Darlington (1901 Census)
Baydales, Darlington (1911 Census)

Employment: General worker on farm (1911 Census)

Family: Parents: William Harker, Jane Harker nee Tweddle
Siblings: John G Harker, William Edward Harker, Margaret A Harker, Tom Harker, Jane Harker, Walter R Harker

Military service:

Royal Garrison Artillery
Service Number 48879
Royal Regiment of Scotland 2nd Battalion
Service number S/10285
Lance Corporal

Medal(s): Victory Medal
British War Medal
1915 Star

Gender: Male

Contributed by swejk, darlington

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