George William Hardy


Submitted by Michael Hardy

George was Michael's Grandfather.
George William Hardy was born in Sheffield Union Workhouse, Fir Vale, the illegitimate son of a domestic servant. Separated from his mother at birth he spent the first 14 years of his life within the Workhouse and its "scattered homes". At 14 he was taken by Barnardo's for inclusion in their Child Migration programme and sent to Canada with 250 other "orphans" on board the SS Tunisian to start a new life as a farm labourer. In 1916, along with many other Canadian "Home Children" he volunteered for war service, enlisting on 14th Feb 1916 at Whitby, Ontario, with 116th Battalion, Canadian Infantry. (Only 17 at the time he "added" a year to his age at his Attestation to meet the minimum age of 18 for volunteers).

In July 1916 the 116th Battalion embarked for England on SS Olympic from Nova Scotia for training, then to France in February 1917. The Battalion was involved, with heavy losses, at Vimy Ridge (April 1917), 3rd Ypres (Passchendaele, October - December 1917) and Battle of Amiens (August 1918).

George William Hardy was demobbed in Toronto in March 1919 and used accrued wages to buy passage back to England where he returned to Sheffield and worked at Hadfield's steelworks. Unable to settle, however, despite engagement to his future wife, he enlisted with KOYLI and saw service in India and Burma and Norway at the outbreak of WW2.

George was born at Sheffield on 13/4/1898, he died at Sheffield in 1961.










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