Lord Kitchener’s Parade 21st March 1915

This zoomed scan of a postcard shows the detailed image of the 2nd Manchester Pals as they marched through Cheetham Hill from Heaton Park.  Lord Kitchener, inspected all  of the Manchester City Battalions and other local Regiments at a huge parade held in Albert Square.  The Pals left for Belton Park, Grantham soon after, so this was the opportunity for the proud City to cheer the pomp and ceremony of their Manchester Brigades.

At the head of the Battalion is their Commanding Officer.  Lt Col H A Johnson is striding out in a nonchalant style, he is easily distinguishable by his stature.  Marching beside the C.O. will have been one of the Company Commanders.  This may be Captain Stanley Kenworthy (Killed Montauban See Photo at St Bees ) of C Company, or possibly Captain

Sgt Joseph McMenemy II & III Pln

Sgt and A/CSM Joseph McMenemy KiA 30/7/17

Edward Lloyd (wounded January 1916) of Arthur Bell’s A Company – or is that wishful thinking.  Immediately behind the Officers is a Senior NCO, most likely the Company Sergeant Major.  We then see a Platoon or Section NCO leading four ranks of men.  They are clearly marching at ease with some broad smiles and rifles shouldered in different places.  I wonder if i can see Joseph McMenemy (Two from the cannon’s) in the third rank….

The location is identified as Cheetham Hill in the Book of Honour and it has been found that the shops on the left are King Edward’s Buildings at the southern end of Bury Old Road.  Beyond the bend in the road in the middle ground, is Cheetham Hill Wesleyan Church.  This was closed in 1967 and the site is occupied by retirement flats and a Jewish School.

17th Bttn 21st March 1915

17th Bttn 21st March 1915

Centenary of the Somme – 12th Day of March

The Twelve Days of the Centenary Christmas

On the 1st Day of July – our family returned to Montauban
On the 2nd Battle of Ypres – we searched for a cousin and an uncle
On the 3rd day  we review 3 War Memorials
On the 4th day we  seek four Battalions at Montauban
On the 5th day we have 500 rounds in a minute
On the 6th day we view a six pointed Star
On the 7th day we had seven Pals from Manchester
On the 8th day we have an 8th Panel at Brookwood
On the 10th day we find 10 Corps & Regiments for Co-op men
On the 11th day we see eleven amazing images of Montauban

On the 12th day of March the casualties continued

The 17th Battalion Manchester Regiment suffered numerous casualties during the first six months of 1916.  Many were killed in the trenches of Maricourt and Vaux, with other men who fell in the reserve positions of Suzanne.  There are exceptional examples of a man drowning and others who died from disease.  Private 8209 Charles Kerr is just one of many men who were commemorated this year.  Charles’ death has a heart-warming commentary from Nurse Edith Appleton.  Edith care and loving affection for the dying man captures the hearts of a wider audience and leaves a flavour of positive redemption for her future.  “I did kiss the boy, first for his Mother & then for myself”

edith-appleton-courtesy-dick-robinson

Edith Appleton Courtesy Dick Robinson

 

Centenary of the Somme – Eleven amazing images

The Twelve Days of the Centenary Christmas

On the 1st Day of July – our family returned to Montauban
On the 2nd Battle of Ypres – we searched for a cousin and an uncle
On the 3rd day  we review 3 War Memorials
On the 4th day we  seek four Battalions at Montauban
On the 5th day we have 500 rounds in a minute
On the 6th day we view a six pointed Star
On the 7th day we had seven Pals from Manchester
On the 8th day we have an 8th Panel at Brookwood
On the 10th day we find 10 Corps & Regiments for Co-op men

On the 11th day we see eleven amazing images of Montauban

The Manchester Regiment Archive has published some hi-resolution images on Europeana and GM1914.  Combined with IWM photographs, it has been possible to see a clear perspective on the Manchester Pals holding positions in Montauban on 1st and 2nd July 1916.  Combined with a review of historical documents, an intimate view of events in the village has been created.  Conscious of Copyright ownership, this paper has not yet been published.  Consent would be available for the Western Front Association to use the article, yet I’m a little reserved with my writing prowess.  I hope to polish the document first.

Here’s a few links

Noon on 1st July in Montauban Alley with 16th Battalion Manchester Regiment

Men rest in Montauban Alley after preparing defences

16th Battalion men relax in a damaged section of Montauban Alley

2nd Lieutenant Harvey in Montauban Alley

Lieutenant Megson in Montauban

Return from Montauban – The 2nd July Battlefield

Valley Trench in the former German Front line. This area became a battlefield burial plot

The last four can be seen below

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Centenary of the Somme – Ten Corps and Regiments

The Twelve Days of the Centenary Christmas

On the 1st Day of July – our family returned to Montauban
On the 2nd Battle of Ypres – we searched for a cousin and an uncle
On the 3rd day  we review 3 War Memorials
On the 4th day we  seek four Battalions at Montauban
On the 5th day we have 500 rounds in a minute
On the 6th day we view a six pointed Star
On the 7th day we had seven Pals from Manchester
On the 8th day we have an 8th Panel at Brookwood

On the 10th day we find 10 Corps & Regiments for Co-op men

Sergeant Percy Amos was a member of Arthur Bell’s Platoon in the 2nd Manchester Pals.  Percy has the first name mentioned on the Memorial Roll of Co-operative Wholesale Society Head Office and this inspired further research.   Employees from the Balloon Street office answered the call to duty and most enlisted in the Army during September to November 1914.  Each man’s choice of Regiment in this period has always intrigued me and the extensive records for the group created an interesting case study.  The Co-op men enlisted in numerous sections of the Army, ranging from the local Manchester Regiment and Lancashire Fusiliers to Royal Scots and the Medical Corps.  Representatives served in ten Corps or Regiments.  See Manchester Co-op’s Battle of the Somme

The recruitment, training and service of Head Office men was reviewed, with a clear focus on their losses on the Somme in 1916. The Co-operative Wholesale Society Cabinet Makers Memorial from Salford was found in a skip a few years ago and this Roll of Honour has been used as a comparison between the men from the Head Office.  More work is needed in 2017, possibly with a third review of the men from the Biscuit and Jam Factory in Crumpsall.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Centenary of the Somme – 9th day of July

The Twelve Days of the Centenary Christmas

On the 1st Day of July – our family returned to Montauban
On the 2nd Battle of Ypres – we searched for a cousin and an uncle
On the 3rd day  we review 3 War Memorials
On the 4th day we  seek four Battalions at Montauban
On the 5th day we have 500 rounds in a minute
On the 6th day we view a six pointed Star
On the 7th day we had seven Pals from Manchester
On the 8th day we have an 8th Panel at Brookwood

On the 9th day of July the Battle of the Somme continued

The Battle of the Somme continued for 141 days in 1916 and there have been various interesting centenary events.  The 17th Manchesters returned to the front with fighting at Trones Wood on 9th July, Guillemont on 30th July and Flers on 12th October.  These centenary days have been a focus for the blog, although the continuation Battle of the Somme is not forgotten until it limped to a halt in a morass of  cold wet mud on 18th November 1916.  Next year we have the centenary of the Battle of Arras and the 3rd Battle of Ypres and Polderhoek Ypres in December 1917.

 

Centenary of the Somme – Eighth Panel at Brookwood

The Twelve Days of the Centenary Christmas

On the 1st Day of July – our family returned to Montauban
On the 2nd Battle of Ypres – we searched for a cousin and an uncle
On the 3rd day  we review 3 War Memorials
On the 4th day we  seek four Battalions at Montauban
On the 5th day we have 500 rounds in a minute
On the 6th day we view a six pointed Star
On the 7th day we had seven Pals from Manchester

On the 8th day we have an 8th Panel at Brookwood

Source: Great War Casualty now commemorated 100 years after his death.

Research on Co-op rolls of honour produced the name of Joseph Locker, with a surprisingly incomplete record.  He is named on various Memorials, but no entry could be found with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.  With the help of SWARM and MRF, a submission was made to through IFCP.  Joseph was then acknowledged as a casualty of the Great War and originally commemorated in the United Kingdom Book of Remembrance.  Various unsuccessful have been made to find out where Joseph is buried.  As a result, his name has now been added to the Brookwood 1914-18 Memorial .  I was passing the extensive Brookwood Cemetery on the Sunday evening, immediately after a group of new names had been added.  It was a very powerful moment to see Joseph’s name inscribed in the stone of Panel 8, more than 100 years after he died.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.