Private Allan Arthur Bell, 17th Battalion Manchester Regiment

Private Allan Arthur Bell, 17th Battalion Manchester Regiment

In 1974 Arthur Bell wrote notes of his experience in the 17th Battalion, Manchester Regiment.  Arthur was also subsequently interviewed by Martin Middlebrook on BBC Radio 4 where he recounted further experiences in the First World War  It’s fitting to follow Arthur’s original introduction of his damaged helmet:-

“It had a leather frame inside, and was issued to all of us some weeks before the big advance on 1st July, 1916.  A few days after the initial advance I took my helmet to the Company QMS for renewal as it had a hole in it made by a bullet, which had caused it to roll up like the petal of a flower.  “Yer wanna be more careful” said newly promoted ex-Sergt. McM [McMenemy].  Anyhow, he gave me a new hat.

How came I to get a hole in the hat.”Steel Helmet

Awaiting Commemoration – Pte 3184 Thomas Fitzpatrick, 2nd Manchesters. Died from Bilharzia 23/01/1920.

Pte Fitzpatrick enlisted in 4th Bttn on 27/10/1914, aged 35y 3m.  He served overseas with 2nd Bttn from 21st April 1915.  He returned Home on 20th June 1915 and had a kidney operation in hospital, prior to discharge due to Bilharzia on 29th July 1916.  The Bilharzia had been contracted in S Africa, while Thomas had served with the Leinster Regiment in 1906. The Pension Record questions whether the disability was aggravated by service and the response if “Yes by active service in the war”.

Thomas died from Bilharzia in Manchester Central Hospital on 23rd January 1920, aged 40.  Thomas was buried in St Joseph’s (Roman Catholic) Cemetery, Moston, Manchester on 29th January 1920. His grave number is 1038.

His widow Beatrice received a Pension.  130 Pearson St, Miles Platting.  They had one son, Thomas.    Thomas Snr was the son of Michael and Mary Ann Fitzpatrick of Queens County, Ireland.

IFCP have applied commemoration.

Not Forgotten 100 years after his death.

Awaiting Commemoration – L/Sgt 12153 Thomas Moran, 19th Manchesters. Died from wounds and TB 23/01/1920.

Pte Moran enlisted in 4th City / 19th Bttn on 7th September 1914, aged 29y 4m.  He had been a Painters Assistant and previous member of the Volunteers. Thomas trained in X Platoon of C Company and he was also a member of the 19th Battalion Band.  This indicates that Thomas may also have trained as a stretcher bearer.

Serving in France from 8th November 1915, Thomas was wounded in the advance to Glatz Redoubt, near Montauban, on the opening day of the Battle of the Somme.  He was evacuated Home on 8th July1916, where he was admitted to Hospital in Lincoln.

Thomas was discharged from 3rd Bttn 12th February 1918, with GSW to Chest and Tuberculosis (TB). He received a Pension for 26 weeks to review for 100% disability for aggravated and attributable to these conditions.

Thomas died on 23rd January1920, aged 34. The Pension Card  and Death Certificate say GSW to Chest and TB as cause of death. Thomas was buried in St Joseph’s (Roman Catholic) Cemetery, Moston, Manchester on 29th January 1920. His grave is unmarked, number 1367.

Moran T with family Circa 1919. Credit Pat Bamford

Moran family Circa 1919. Daughters Ellen & Mary in front of Sarah & Thomas and their Grandmother Ellen Whelan. Credit Pat Bamford

Thomas was the son of Francis & Mary Moran.  His widow was Sarah Elizabeth Moran (nee Whelan) of 5 Clopton Street, Hulme.  The couple had two daughters, Ellen (Nellie) 1914-1990 and Mary 1912-1985.  A third daughter, Frances had died in 1919, aged two.

The sad story of the Moran family didn’t end in 1920.  His wife Sarah had contracted TB, while she was nursing her husband and she also succumbed to the disease in 1926. Sarah’s sister Ellen had nursed her through the illness and also died from TB.

IFCP have applied commemoration.

Not Forgotten 100 years after his death.

Thanks to Pat Bamford for information on the Moran family and the wonderful photos.

Awaiting Commemoration – L/Cpl 55044 Arthur Cole, 22nd Manchesters. Died from TB 19/01/1920

L/Cpl Cole (Baptised 8/12/1895) had enlisted in the Northants Yeomanry, 1489, on 16/11/1914.  He disembarked with BEF on 12/11/1917 and was posted to 21st Bttn on 16/11/1917.  Appointed L/Cpl on 6/2/1918, Arthur was transferred to 22nd Bttn on 25/9/1918.  He was wounded on 27/10/1918.

Arthur returned Home on 1/2/1919 and was discharged with SWB and Pension on 28/2/1919.  Arthur had been admitted to Duston War Hosp in Northampton on 4/1/1919. The pension related to Pul. TB attributable to service.

Arthur died from Phthisis and pneumothorax memingitis on 19/1/1920, aged 24.   Reg Q1 Wellingborough 3d/1920

He left a Dependent’s Pension to his Uncle James of 18 Regent St, Wellingborough, where Arthur had died.  His Father John lived at 30 Winstanley St, Wellingborough and received a pension for his 2nd son, Frank KIA on 26/9/1918.

IFCP have applied commemoration.

Not Forgotten 100 years after his death.

Awaiting Commemoration – Pte 33217 George Thomas Nichols. 27th Bttn Manchester Regiment. Died 3/6/1920

This post commemorates a man who died in 1920, due to Tuberculosis aggravated by his service in the Army.  Identified as an omission by Mack on the Manchesters forum, the research has produced a package of records that In From The Cold Project are using for George Nichols to be recognised as a casualty of the Great War.

George Nichols enlisted for General Service in the Manchester Regiment, at Oldham on 14th February 1916, aged 36 years and 25 days. He received the Regimental Number 33217 and was posted to the 27th (Reserve) Battalion on 15th February.

George had been born in Saddleworth in January 1879. The son of George and Mary Nichols.  George had been employed as a Labourer at the time of his enlistment, previously a Blanket Factory worker, Railway Servant and Stoker.  He had married Mary Baker at St Chad’s Rochdale in 1904.  The couple had five surviving children in 1920 – born 1904-1919 and lived at Bell Yard, Delph, near Saddleworth, Yorkshire.

George never served overseas and he was discharged with a Silver War Badge, due to sickness on 20th June 1916.  He also received a Pension due to Tuberculosis (TB), aggravated by service. A review in 1919 found George still had 30% disablement due to TB.

George died at home in Delph from Pulmonary TB and Laryngeal Exhaustion on 3rd June 1920, aged 40.  Mary Nichols received a Widows Pension of 40/ per week for herself and the children.  The family moved to 13 Derwent Street, Oldham in the early 1920s.

In common with many men who died after discharge from the Army, George’s grave was not commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Pension Index Cards were recently published and these sometimes enable the cause of discharge to be identified with the cause of death.  For an individual to be commemorated after discharge, it needs to be shown that they died from a condition attributable to, or aggravated by military service.  George’s Pension Cards confirm the TB was aggravated by service and the Dependents Card indicates TB as the cause of death.

The cause of death was confirmed by George’s Death Certificate and an Application is being made via IFCP, through the Ministry on Defence, for George to be categorised as a casualty of the Great War.  If / when this is successful, the case will be passed to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for Commemoration.

UPDATE 1. Mike Buckley of Saddleworth Historical Society found the burial record to show that George is buried in Delph Independent Chapelyard.  Sadly the grave cannot be identified.

Sources

Pension Index Cards
Medal Index Cards
Medal Rolls
Silver War Badge Roll
Service Record
Pension Record
Manchester Burial Records
National Roll of the Great War
Findagrave
British Library National Newspaper Archive. Crown Copyright
Great thanks for invaluable help from:-
In From The Cold Project Terry and Chris for patient corrections to innacurate reports.
Manchester Regiment Forum Particularly Mack for help identifying Norman’s and reviewing non-commemorations.

Apologies if I’ve missed anyone. Please let me know.

 

 

 

Awaiting Commemoration – Pte 26530 George Conduit. 1st Garrison Bttn.

This post commemorates a man who died in 1920, due to Tuberculosis he had contracted in the Army.  Identified as an omission with the Manchesters forum, the research has produced a package of records that In From The Cold Project are using for George Conduit to be recognised as a casualty of the Great War.

George Conduit enlisted in the Manchester Regiment, receiving number 26530, on 5th June 1915. He had previously served for six years in the 8th Territorial Battalion (Number 706) and was 38 years and 3 months old.  George was relatively tall, at 5’ 9 1/8”.

In civilian life, George had been employed as a General Gardener / Excavator and lived with his family at 16 Gardens Walk, Hyde Road, Ardwick. George was the son of James and Lousia Conduit.  He had been born in 1877 and had worked as a Labourer for Manchester Corporation in 1911. He had married Edith Cotter at St Philip’s Church, Ancoats in 1898.  The couple had two daughters.  Edith had been born in 1902 and Agnes followed in 1903.

George was posted to the 19th Battalion on 8th June 1915.  The Battalion was then training with the other City Battalions at Belton Park near Grantham.    He was posted to 26th (Reserve) Battalion on 13th August.  This change may have related to sickness, injury, general fitness for the rigours of training, or solely due to the lack of training as a result of recent enlistment.  26th Battalion was based in Altcar, near Southport and was a Reserve unit, training men to be drafted to the City Battalions.

George was transferred to 1st Garrison Battalion as an unpaid Lance Corporal on 4th February 1916.  The Garrison Battalions were manned by troops who were unfit for the front line, but healthy enough for general military duties.  George embarked for India on 25th February 1916.  Having arrived with 1st Garrison Battalion he was found guilty of some misconduct.   He lost his stripe on 14th March 1916, reverting to the rank of Private.  George remained in India until 23rd July 1918, when he arrived in Singapore.  He subsequently departed Singapore and arrived Home on 7th April 1919.

George was transferred to Reserve on 3rd May 1919 and received a Pension for Pulmonary Tuberculosis (TB), due to his service, with 100% disablement. He died at home, at 16 Gardens Walk, Ardwick on 12th December1920 aged 43. His death was caused Pulmonary TB and he was buried in Manchester Southern Cemetery on 18th December 1920.

Edith received a Widows Pension of 20/ per week, commencing 15th December 1920.  The family continued to live at Gardens Walk.  Edith also received a British War Medal for her late husband’s overseas service.   George was not entitled to other service medals, as he had not served in an operational theatre.

It appears Edith may have also received the Victory Medal and 1914/15 Star and records inaccurately refer to service at Gallipoli with 8th Battalion. It is possible George was entitled to these medals if he stopped in Egypt on route to India.

The National Roll of the Great War was a subscription publication.  It is known to be inaccurate in many ways.  George did not serve in Gallipoli, yet the reference to hospitalisation in India with TB would seem pertinent.  He did not serve in China and the second reference to hospital would seem to accord with events.

In common with many men who died after discharge from the Army, George’s grave was not commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Pension Index Cards were recently published and these sometimes enable the cause of discharge to be identified and the cause of death.  For an individual to be commemorated after discharge, it needs to be shown that they died from a condition attributable to, or aggravated by military service.  George’s Pension Cards confirm the TB was attributable to service and the Widows Card indicates TB as the cause of death.

The cause of death was confirmed by George’s Death Certificate and an Application is being made, through the Ministry on Defence, for George to be categorised a casualty of the Great War.  If / when this is successful, the case will be passed to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and they will accept George’s burial into their care.

Sources for the research

Pension Index Cards
Medal Index Cards
Medal Rolls
Silver War Badge Roll
Service Record
Manchester Burial Records
National Roll of the Great War
Findagrave
British Library National Newspaper Archive. Crown Copyright

Thanks for invaluable help from:-
In From The Cold Project
Manchester Regiment Forum
Salford War Memorial Project

Awaiting Commemoration – L/Cpl 34005 Norman Lawson Usher. Died 17th May 1918. 16th Bttn Manchester Regiment

This post commemorates a young man who died in 1918, due to Tubuculosis he had contracted on the Western Front.  Identified as an ommssion by Mack on the Manchesters forum, the research has produced a package of records that In From The Cold Project are using for Norman Usher to be recognised as a casualty of the Great War.

Norman attested in the Manchester Regiment under the Derby Scheme on 7th February 1916, aged 21 years and 5 months.  He was mobilised on 6th March 1916 and joined 25th (Reserve) Battalion for training, probably serving with 16th Battalion intitially.  Norman served overseas with the 16th Battalion disembarking in France on 27th July 1916 and joining the Battalion of 7th August.   It seems Norman may have initially been posted to 17th Battalion, but this was changed to 16th.  He was Apppinted Lance Corporal on 24th December 1917, having had 10 days home leaving during September 1917.

6 William Street, Harpurhey.

6 William Street, Harpurhey. (C) Google

Born on 7th February 1895, Norman was the son of James Lawson and Mary Jane Usher, who had six children.  His father and brother John had died in 1912 with  one of his sisters, Sarah (Sissie) passing away in February 1914.  The family lived at 6 William Street, Harpurhey and prior to enlistment Norman was employed as a Packer.

Norman suffered from Bronchitis and Colic during his time on the Western Front. He succumbed to Tuberculosis (TB) in France and Belgium and returned Home on 24th January 1918. His obituary indicates the TB may have related to gas poisoning on the Western Front, although official records indicate the disease was contracted due to exposure and infection with the bacteria.  Norman was treated at Bell Lane Military Hospital, Didsbury from 31st January 1918. He was discharged as 100% disablement, with TB attributed to service on 17th May 1918.  It was a recommended that Norman should receive treatment at a sanatorium.

Norman died with Pulmonary TB at Baguley Sanitorium, Cheshire on 24th July 1918, aged 23.  He was buried in the family plot in Manchester general cemetery, Harpurhey on 31st July 1918.  Norman lies alongside his father, brother and sister in Non-Conformist grave 1076 31/7/1918. A third son James was killed on 20th October 1918 serving with 1/5th East Lancashire Regiment. He is also commemorated on the Headstone.

N L Usher Grave Credit findagrave

N L Usher Grave Credit findagrave

In common with many men who died after discharge from the Army, Norman’s grave was not commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Pension Index Cards were recently published and these sometimes enable the cause of discharge to be identified with the cause of death.  For an individual to be commemorated after discharge, it needs to be shown that they died from a condition attributable to, or aggravated by military service.  Norman’s Pension Cards confirm the TB was attributable to service and the Dependents Card indicates TB as the cause of death.

The cause of death was confirmed by Norman’s Death Certificate and an Application is being made via IFCP, through the Ministry on Defence, for George to be categorised as a casualty of the Great War.  If / when this is successful, the case will be passed to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and they will accept Norman’s burial into their care.

Sources

Pension Index Cards
Medal Index Cards
Medal Rolls
Silver War Badge Roll
Service Record
Pension Record
Manchester Burial Records
National Roll of the Great War
Findagrave
British Library National Newspaper Archive. Crown Copyright
Great thanks for invaluable help from:-
In From The Cold Project Terry and Chris for patient corrections to innacurate reports.
Manchester Regiment Forum Particularly Mack for help identifying Norman’s and reviewing non-commemorations.

Apologies if I’ve missed anyone. Please let me know.