Inspired by interviews and notes by a member of the 2nd City Battalion of the Manchester Regiment, this site portrays the particular group of volunteer soldiers, from enlistment to their service in the Battle of the Somme. In memory of the contributor of the journal, Private Allan Arthur Bell 8055 and the Pals that served with him. Copyright Bell Family. All rights reserved. Please see acknowledgments.
The Book of Honour has been a wonderful resource for this site. Platoon rolls provide a list of names and group photographs of the Pals that trained together at home in Heaton Park Camp. With the help of various forums, the images of individual men have been identified from the Platoons – truly helping to remember these men for generations to come. The large volume also provides HQ photos and list of men serving from large Manchester firms. This clearly shows the context of the young men enlisting in autumn 1914 and helps illustrate to likely impact on the City they left behind.
III Platoon, 17th Bttn, Manchester Regiment
Inside Cover – Book of Honour
Roll of Honour showing the names of the men in the photograph.
Sgt James Turner – 17th III Platoon Book of Honour
Pt A A Bell – 17th III Platoon
Norman Vaudrey Courtesy MRF
Heaton Park Huts
Sidney Birks Hare
Charles Johnson. March 1915
CSM Jones as VI Platoon Sergeant March 1915. Liet. Norman Vaudrey sits to the left with L/Sgt. Ernest Greenwood to the left. Book of Honour Courtesy MRF
RSM Henry Coates MC. Courtesy Manchester Forum
Heaton Park Brigade HQ from Book of Honour
From Book of Honur. Lance Sgt Dixon has no record of serving abroad in WW1
Battle of Pozieres Ridge 23 July – 3 September: An 18 pounder gun, its crew stripped to the waist in the sunshine, putting over curtain fire from the Carnoy Valley near Montauban.
Battle of Pozieres Ridge. 18 pdr. Putting over curtain fire or barrage. Carnoy Valley, near Montauban. 30 July 1916.Q 4066
View of Guillemont from Trones Wood
Dug outs on the road between Bernafay Wood and Trones Wood. Q17488
Approach to Village for 18th Manchesters
Cavalry passing through ruins of Guillemont 12.10.16 IWM Q60620
Soldiers coming out of the trenches at Guillemont. (Probably later than July 1916) IWM Q58340
Ruins of Guillemont railway station, September 1916. This was the main German strong point to the north west of the village. IWM Q1170
View of Trones Wood from the former German strong point at Guillemont quarry
John Morrissey died on 2nd November 1916 as a Prisoner of War in Germany. It’s likely he had been captured in the failed attack north of Flers on 12th October. He is buried in NIEDERZWEHREN CEMETERY which includes many men who have been re interred from other previous PoW cemeteries.
Pt. Morrissey was 20 years old when he died. The Service Number indicates he had enlisted in early September 1914 and records confirm he had served with B Company, having trained – alongside Arthur Bell’s brother in law, Herbert Vernon – with VIII Platoon. The Medal Index Card confirms he entered France with the rest of the 2nd Manchester Pals on 8th November 1915; not quite a year before he died of wounds.
John was the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Morrissey, of 3, Bank Place, Salford, Manchester. The 1911 census records that he had worked as an office boy, aged 15/16 years old. He is recorded on Salford’s St Philip with St Stephen – War Memorial- The Parish where he was born.