Silverwood Logo by John Doxey background photo Mick Carver1900 - 1994

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Silverwood Mine

Hollings Lane


South Yorkshire England

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Ralph Law  pg2
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Local chairman of the Normandy Veterans Association 2005

A presentation by Fred and niece Stevie Marsh (previously Stephanie Cawthorne)

J. F. R. Hartle


Standing proudly and looking very resplendent in the photo on the left is Fred Hartley, Pit Deputy and war hero.

His niece Stephanie recently introduced Fred to this site and then wrote down Fred's memories, recollections that are truly interesting and very informative. This page is just a segment from those memories and is a tribute to this rather remarkable real life hero.

It is also a record of  a life time friendship between two men who grew up together in Dalton, and though today a few thousand miles separate them, their friendship is still maintained.

The Hartle family menfolk mostly worked at Silverwood and were very well known in the area.

What follows is Freds story, a tale that I feel should be related, to remind us all of the bravery of men like Fred.











Some of Freds memories sent in by Stephanie as follows

Oh yes, I knew Fred Kelly very well. He went to Australia.
Silverwood Brass Band were known as the BBC (Beer, bacca and cigaretttes!)
Fred can't remember your father { Ike Doxey ]but he knew Jack Doxey well. He was a faceworker but he had racing dogs, whippets he thought called 'flapping tracks'.
Tom Weaver was a great friend of Tom Hartle (Fred and my mum's dad - my grandad)
Oh, yes, I knew Harry Carver very well. I went to his funeral.'

I Knew Jack Wooton.


John Doxey



by Stevie Marsh

We were all amazed to see the information from Bill Hill. We know him as Billy Hill and he is a great friend of the family and has been to see them on several occasions since he went to Australia. In fact I remember seeing a bouquet of flowers from the Hill family to my Auntie Norah (Fred and my mum's sister) last time she was in hospital about six months ago. Uncle Fred went to school with Billy Hill. In the 1920's the Hill family lived opposite the Hartle family in Dalton. Fred and my mum are one of 12 children - a big family even then. So my maternal name is Hartle and my grandparents were Thomas (who worked at Silverwood) and Esther Ellen. They were a very close family and almost all of the male side (I'm including the girls' husbands in this) worked at Silverwood.

Fred Hartle approx 1940
There is an interesting story with regard to .James William Hill Uncle Fred was a regular soldier during the war. He had been to an exhibition of camping, hiking etc. thing at Roundhay Park, Leeds in 1939 with a childhood friend (who later married one of Fred's sisters). They worked at Silverwood but became much enamoured of the army stand, in the park, where travel and an exciting outdoor life were illustrated as the life of a regular soldier. They both joined up there and then. Then WWII started! so Uncle Fred and Uncle Scott Harris found themselves with the British expeditionary forces in France for nine months, and then into Belgium. Fred was in Monty's Third Division. They were some of the last soldiers out of Dunkirk. Fred finally got to the mole as the Germans were entering Dunkirk and was queuing up with the French when they were bombed and strafed. My word, Fred's adventures getting out and holding out right up until the last is a story in its own right. He had no idea about the activity on the beaches. They were members of the King's Own Scottish Borderers.

Monty always promised the Third Division - 'You were the last out and you will be the first back into France'. He kept his promise. The next few years were spent training and true to his word Fred found himself in a landing craft heading for Normandy from Portsmouth and landing in France about 11.30 am on 6th June on Sword Beach. He was in the thick of the fighting right through France. He was promoted to sergeant and was mentioned in dispatches for bravery. Many of his friends were killed in the most horrific ways. I have only heard him speak about this when we have taken him back to Normandy and retraced his steps, as best we could. He features in a book published called 'Monty's Ironsides' where some of his experiences are outlined. He took part in Operation Market Garden through the Netherlands and is very well thought of by his regiment.



Newspaper report of Freds award

The Newspaper report has an error Fred was not a Corporal he was in fact a Sergeant.
In the very last two weeks of the war in Europe Fred was shot in Bremen, Germany. He was flown from Bremen to Brussels but who should be the navigator in the RAF Dakota but Billy Hill, his childhood friend . Billy passed the news on and so Fred's mother found out what happened to Fred via Billy, before she was officially notified. After the war Fred returned to Silverwood and had been a deputy for years before his retirement.

Stevie Marsh


Footnote: by John Doxey
Stevie informs me that Fred was elected Local chairman of the Normandy Veterans Association 2005, the Association meet at Rotherham Rugby Club.

Now some people might question why these men want to remember their time in Hell, the simple answer is they cannot forget, and they are rightly proud that they served us all.

In 2005 Fred made a visit to Normandy and retraced the steps of himself and his comrades during the war, we can only imagine the images and memories that flashed through his mind. Memories of fallen comrades, the sheer horror and fear, and it is those images that make it very important for these men that we all remember what they endured, and also that the lost soldiers should also be remembered.

Thanks Fred,



Special thanks to Stevie Marsh (previously Stephanie Cawthorne) for contributing Fred's story to these pages


Fred meets Prince Phillip

Freds Family






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