Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Hardman, Richard Crawshaw - Private (M2/053949)

(No soldier photo available)
18th Division Mechanical Transport Coy,
Army Service Corps,
Died from pneumonia,
19th November 1918,
Age 24,
Buried Busigny Communal Cemetery Extension

Newspaper Report:

From his commanding officer and pals beautiful tributes are to hand to Private Richard Crawshaw ("Dick") Hardman, Motor Transport Co., elder son of Mr. and Mrs. G.W. Hardman of Danesmoor, Haslingden, who died in France from pneumonia on November 19th, when just under 25 years of age.
Major Arthur D. Spooner, writing to Mrs. Hardman, says:-  "Will you please accept, on behalf of the officers, N.C. Officers, and men of this unit their very sincerest sympathy with you in your great loss.  Your son had served under me for about a year - certainly the hardest and most strenuous year of the way to us.
His work was always most conscientiously and cheerfully carried out, the more often than not under the most trying and dangerous conditions.  His duties brought him into touch with almost every member of the unit, and there are few men who have been more universally respected and loved than your boy was.  As his commanding officer I feel probably more even than the others your deep sense of loss.
His steadiness of character and excellent example made him more to the unit than words can express, and in losing him we lose a good friend and a very brave soldier.  I am enclosing a little drawing of the oak cross we placed over his grave, which is in Busigny military cemetery, not far from Le Cateau.  The men are making a memorial tablet which will be sent to you in due course, and we feel you may value this more than anything of a more temporary nature."
One of Private Hardman's pals, writing to Mrs. Hardman, says it is not too much to say that the sympathy of every man in the unit goes out to her, for Dick was of "such a cheery comrady disposition that everyone counted him his friend."  To the writer he was a very dear friend and one of the best lads he had ever known.  His cheery smile and ever ready willingness to help were known to all the unit, and a more unselfish nature the writer has yet to meet.  During the whole of the time since the retreat in March - the hardest and most trying time in the whole war - Dick had never been seen to hesitate or to fail in carrying out his duty.  "He lived as you would have him live, and died as he lived - a very true and gallant gentleman."
Private Hardman sacrificed his life by still carrying on when he should have laid up.  When he got into hospital he was practically beyond recovery.

Newspaper Memorial:

In loving remembrance of Richard Crawshaw Hardman, died in France, November 19th 1918.

Mr and Mrs. G.W. Hardman, Danesmoor, Haslingden.