Echoes of the past: Search is on for solder’s relatives

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An interesting story emerged on Facebook recently about Somme casualty Sec-Lt Harold Hoyle who was at first reported missing but on July 23 was declared as being killed in action.

He was 26 years old and was the only son of Mr and Mrs E Hoyle of Glen Terrace, Hipperholme and served with the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

The story on Facebook mentioned that two books had been offered for sale in a second hand book shop in Charing Cross, London a couple of years ago.

Whilst the books themselves were of no great value Paul Richards, a former House of Commons assistant researcher, who bought them was fascinated about the inscriptions on the inside cover.

Harold Hoyle Leeds University 1909 and the second with the same details but dated 1910.

Who was Harold Hoyle and how have these books found their way to a second hand book shop in London?

Early research revealed that Harold was the son of Ernest and Mary Hoyle and lived in Glen Terrace, Hipperholme. He studied at Leeds University and gained a BA Hons. He went off to teach at Aldershot County School.

He joined up to the 11th (Reserve) Battalion in Billericay in Essex and by 1916 he was a Second Lieutenant in the 7th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, serving on the Western Front.

He was reported killed in action during the Battle of the Somme on the 23 July 1916, aged 26, having initially been reported as missing.

His death was recorded to have taken place in the area of Bazenton-Le- Petit. He is buried at Caterpillar Cemetery Longueval, Somme, France.

Paul asks for help tracing any relatives of Harold, although he had no children, as it would be a nice gesture to offer the books to this young soldier’s present day relatives, particularly as we approach the centenary of the battle and his death.

Our two featured photographs show Sec-Lt Harold Hoyle and an early photograph of Glen Terrace where he lived.