Centenary of the last major combat for 17th Battalion

Budhenberg D H 2 Courtesy Jonathan French

Budenberg D H Courtesy Jonathan Ffrench

via Casuatlies at Ypres – The last days of fighting for the 17th Battalion


Didsbury Manchester Pals | GM 1914 Edward Ashworth

Centenary Post for Edward Rose Ashworth, Killed in Action with MGC 28th March 1918, Formerly 8363 Private in XI Pln, C Coy

17th Battalion Manchester Regiment on the Somme

Didsbury Manchester Pals | GM 1914.  is a local site helping the Didsbury library build a presentation for the anniversary.  Here’s some photos to help remember 8369 Edward Rose Ashworthof IX Platoon, C Company.  He was part of the advance Group of the Battalion that traveled from Southampton to Le Havre with the Transport Section on 7th November 1915.  He had a minor wound in a bombardment on 11/1/1916 (See above), where he was treated in the Field.

Edward received a Gun Shot Wound to the right buttock on 17/6/1916.  He was admitted to Hospital in Abeville and evacuated Home for recovery.  He was later Commissioned in the Machine Gun Corps and killed in Action on 28/3/1918.

Courtesy Book of Honour Courtesy Book of Honour

8369 Edward Ashworth Courtesy Brian Donat and Keith Johnson 8369 Edward Ashworth Courtesy Brian Donat and Keith Johnson

Courtesy Book of Honour

Courtesy Book of Honour

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Manchester Blitz Article

via A Fire Watcher on the Town Hall in the Manchester Blitz

Commemmorating Lance Corporal Alf Ridge. Died of Wounds as German Prisoner 21st January 1918.

1095 Alfred Ridge with Poppy

Alfred Ridge – Harlebeke New British Cemetery

Alf Ridge was an Old Contemptible of the 1st Battalion Manchester Regiment and was previously a member of the 6th Volunteer Battalion, before his service with the Regulars in India.  He later served in the 12th and 11th Battalions during the Great War and was finally posted to the 18th (3rd Pals) Battalion.

Alf was wounded in the backside by a German granade during a local assault near Polderhoek Castle in Flanders.  He was taken prisoner and treated in a German Field Hospital near Wevelgem.

Alf died from his wounds on this day in 1918.  He was buried in Menen Wald German Cemetery and concentrated to Harelebeke New British Cemetery in the 1920s.

Alf was my grandfather’s cousin.  My family and friends have visited his grave to pay our respects on a number of occasions.  Alf is definitley not forgotten and I hope a few others will rememember him on the Centenary of his death.

For more photos and background see my original research. 1095 L/Cpl Alfred Ridge

Christmas Truce Photo 1914 – Malcolm Howard Grigg

IWM Q 70075. Possibly Riflemen Andrew (middle) and Grigg (second from the right, background) [with balaclava] of the London Rifle Brigade with troops of the 104th and 106th Saxon Regiments. British and German soldiers fraternising at Ploegsteert, Belgium, on Christmas Day 1914, front of 11th Brigade, 4th Division.

Malcolm Grigg was later received a commission in the 17th Manchesters.  He was killed in action at Trones Wood on 9th July 1916, aged 22. Son of John Selby Grigg, and Gertrude Grigg, of 10, Radley Rd., Bruce Grove, Tottenham, London.

Captain J G Madden DSO

Captain J G Madden DSO June 1918 © IWM (HU 117797)

Captain J G Madden DSO June 1918 © IWM (HU 117797)

I recently discovered this photo of John Madden of 17th Manchesters.  He was a graduate of Pembroke College, Cambridge who taught at Merchiston Castle School prior to WWI and played cricket for Edinburgh Nomads.  He won the Distinguished Service Order at Montauban on 1st July 1916 for  “For conspicuous gallantry in action. When the leading waves of attack were wavering after losing most of their officers, he pushed forward, rallied the men and led them into the village. Later he organised and led a party which repelled a counter attack.”   He was also Mentioned in Despatches in January 1917. John was wounded at some stage and spent time in 3rd Bttn at Cleethorpes.  He was a Major a the end of hostilities.

Post-war John worked at the Ministry of War with munitions research.  He was Commissioned again in WWII, when two of his sons were killed.

The image comes from the Bond of Sacrifice collection of IWM – confirming that photos in these records are not necessarily casualties.  John Madden was 28 years old at the time of the photo.  The clarity and focus of his eyes tell us something of his experience.