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Charles Hartert's Letters

22/12/15 E York R BEF France
Dear Hilda
Many thanks for your letter. To quote the Field-Card (which we call "Whizz Bangs" - Letter follows at first opportunity - yours affect. Charles Hartert

19-1-16 8 E York R
Dear Mrs Jordan.
Very many thanks for the most welcome parcel. I am very sorry indeed to hear about poor Mr. Pridham - it is really very sad. I will answer Ada's most interesting letter "at the first opportunity" with apologies for brevity. Yours affectionately - Charles Hartert.

April 8/1916
Dear Mrs. Jordan.
I have such a collection of letters and postcards from Hilda and Ada that I don't know which to write to this time, so I take the pleasure (as our chaps say) of writing to you this time.
As you have probably heard I am indulging in a week or two's rest from my labours, & am enjoying the best of health, & so shall probably return to the fray at an early date.
The word above is not  PAY, I have spent all that! Joke, laugh!
I really have nothing to say, have I ever? There are French, British, Belgian and German soldiers here - at present a Belgian band is entertaining us with strains of beautiful music.
Well, Au revoir! Yours affect. Charles Hartert. PS My love to all and please write again soon.
May 4. 21st I.B.D./France
Dear Hilda.
Many thanks for epistle of 22nd April. Am very fed up about the way they have lost most of my last months correspondence instead of forwarding it to me.
Sorry you had the trouble to write twice. As you see I am at the base for a short time before rejoining my regiment.
I met at Dieppe Edelmann - now Major! Yesterday Chilton's elder brother paid a visit, he is a private in Australians - a very nice chap. Please don't send parcel before I get back to Rept will let you know what & when later.
It is very good of you all to remember my feeding capacity: especially in regard to peppermint creams!
Best wishes to Dr. & Mrs. Jordan; Ada & yourself - yours affect. Charles Hartert.

Obituary: November 11th 1916 [From The Bucks Herald]
The War - Killed in Action Lieut J.C. Hartert: In Monday's Roll of Honour appeared the official announcement that Lieut. J. Charles Hartert, East Yorkshire regiment, had been killed. The sad news had reached Tring on the previous Wednesday night. [Wed 1 November: All Saints' Day] Lieut Hartert was the only child of Dr. E. Hartert, curator of Lord Rothschild's Zoological Museum. He was educated at Berkhamsted School, and is well remembered in cricketing circles here as a keen and competent exponent of the national game. He was frequently seen on the Tring Park Ground, where he not only played for his school, but also assisted the local club, of which he was a member. A young man of modest bearing and amiable disposition, and a keen sportsman, he is very kindly remembered by all with whom he came into contact.
He gained a commission, and was posted to the  East Yorks in the early days of the war, at the time the 21st Division, of which his regiment was a unit, was training in the district. He went out to France with the Division, and only a few weeks ago he was home on leave. Now he has made the supreme sacrifice.

November 18th 1916 [From The Bucks Herald]
The Late Lieut Hartert We have been informed that Dr and Mrs Hartert received a most gracious telegram from their Majesties the King and Queen on the occasion of the death in action of their son, who has been recommended for the Military Cross.

Undated Obituary [Believed to be from the Tring Parish Magazine]

Charles Joachim Hartert   Killed Oct 28th 1916   "Soldiering together", writes one of his brother officers, "I got to know him extremely well. He was always so keen and hard working.  He was a most excellent
billeting officer."  "He was the only officer on July 14th," says his CO,  "to get into the German trenches, and it was mainly through the gallant way he held on and fought his way along the trenches that we were enabled to win through.  I forwarded his name for an honour for this, and I hope it will materialise, but there are so many recommended, and the rewards are few.  His captain was killed by the same shell,"says Col. Way.  "I have lost one of our oldest, and best officers and one of my best friends." "He was with the battalion in all its many engagements from Loos onwards and has always distinguished himself by his coolness and courage" is the testimony of Capt. Ball.  "I cannot tell you how greatly your son is missed here" says his chaplain.  "I always felt he had an excellent fund of cheerfulness, when things were most trying (and we had been through so much), and I know too, he valued the deeper sources of hope.  R.I.P."

Obituary: [from the Ibis, 1917. v.59. 1.  pp91-93]
Joachim Charles Hartert. The sympathy of all the members of the Union will go out to Dr. Hartert, whose only son fell in action on October 28 of last year. Joachim Charles Hartert was born November 2, 1893. he was educated at Berkhamsted School and at Wadham College, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. in 1914. A member of the O.T.C., he obtained a commission in the East Yorkshire Regiment on the outbreak of  the War. He had been at the front for over a year and was slightly wounded in the early days of the great advance. He was a frequent guest at the dinners and meetings of the B.O.C. and was thus well-known to many of us. The "Oxford Sacrifice" of November 10 writes:-"Strong, sensible, and hard working, he had kept the virtues of his German descent while he was himself a loyal young Englishman of the best type."

Obituary. [from the University of Oxford Wadham College Gazette 1916, No.58, p 12.]
J.C. Hartert came up from Berkhamsted to Wadham in 1912, and played for the College both at Association and at Cricket. He was also a keen member of the O.T.C. He was a German by birth, and combined the thoroughness and industry of our enemies with the vigour and energy of his adopted country. He took a commission immediately the war broke out, and had been at the front for more than a year, having been slightly wounded last July. He was a man of real character and was considered one of the best officers in his battalion.

By October, 1916 Charles was one of only  two of the original officers of the battalion  who had arrived in France on the 9th September 1915. The other was his Captain, Paul Taylor, an old Rugbeian (like Rupert Brooke) and the only son of Alfred Taylor, a director  of  T. Cooke & Sons - famous scientific instrument makers - of York.

They were killed by the same shell which landed in their dugout at Serre, 15km north of Albert on October 28th 1916.

Obituary:  [from Memorials of Rugbeians ... v.4]

Captain C.P. Taylor [W.N. Wilson] 8th (Service) Battalion the East Yorks Regt.

Conrad Paul Taylor was the only son of Alfred Taylor, Managing Director of T. Cooke and Sons, Engineers and Scientific Instrument Makers, and of Ada his wife, of Whixley hall, York. He entered the school in 1909 and left in 1914. he was at Caius College, Cambridge, from October until he received his commission in  November, 1914. He crossed over to France in September, 1915, went straight into action at Loos, and fought in all the many engagements in which his battalion took part in the next fourteen months. He was promoted Captain in July, 1916. He took part in the Battle of the Somme, and at Serre a shell penetrated his dug-out and he was killed instantaneously on October 28th, 1916. Age 21. He was mentioned in Dispatches of January 4th, 1917. His Colonel said:- "I got to know him well during the year that we were soldiering together, and especially during the heavy fighting on the Somme in July and August, where for a time he was my Second in Command and gained much credit in reorganizing and commanding his Company. I had great pleasure in forwarding his name for an honour for his work when in command of a small attack of about 200 men against Waterlot Farm." Other Officers wrote of his cheerfulness and buoyancy under the most trying ordeals, of his popularity with his men and of his coolness and courage in action.

Thanks to Mike Bass for allowing me to copy the letters which are part of a box of Jordan family memorabilia which he rescued from an unvisited corner of the sale rooms at Tring. Thanks also to Tim Amsden for the  Parish Magazine (?) obituary and to John Glasser for kindly opening up a door to a past which I had thought was long since closed.
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