On 12th October 1916, the 17th Battalion took part in a disastrous assault on German positions north of the village of Flers. Some advances were possible, but all progress was conceded in the face of relentless machine gun defences from the German Marines. Arthur Bell – who provides a large part of the narrative on this site – was wounded at Flers and in common with many of his peers, his active Service ended on this day. The anniversary also marks the end of the Battalion’s main action for the year. They want on to further significant deeds in 1917.
The majority of 17th Battalion’s casualties in the summer of 1916 had enlisted into the Manchester Regiment during 1914; or early 1915. The troops who were killed, wounded and captured in the assaults in July 1916 left very few ‘original’ Warehouseman and Clerks behind. Sixteen of the ‘original’ Pals died on 12th October 1916 and a total of twenty members of this group died in that month. The profile of the 12th July casualties are provided in this post.
Leonard Alfred EDMONDSON 8132 – Born Whalley Range, M/Chr. KiA. Aged 26 Former pupil of Warehouseman and Clerks Orphans’ School with his brother Charles and Arthur Bell. Son of Alfred and Madeline E. Edmondson, of “Alarldale”, Highbury Avenue, Prestatyn, Flint. XI Platoon “C” Coy. A.I.F. FLERS
|Henry Kay Evans (see letters here) 8135 – Born Levenshulme. KiA.. Aged 28 Son of Thomas W. and Agnes Evans, of 28, Ashwood Avenue, West Didsbury, Manchester. Trained with IX Pln, “C” Coy. Educated at Manchester Grammar 1904-1910, he had been a member of the Gymnasium Eight and played football for the school and YMCA. Father T.W Evans, Manager of the Manchester Evening News. A.I.F. FLERS|
Ernest FOALE 8140 – *Born Salford 1888. Resident Seedley. 1911 Salford .236 Liverpool St , occupation Warehouse man. KiA. “A” Coy. I Platoon. A.I.F. FLERS
|8241 Alec Mitchell – Born St Bride’s Manchester. Residence Sale. DoW. Age 25. “D” Coy. Son of Charles William and Kate Mitchell, of 4, Warrener St., Sale, Manchester. Native of Brooks’ Bar, Manchester. DARTMOOR “Grant him O Lord thine eternal peace.”|
|Harold PALMER 8265 – Born Greenheys, Manchester. “D” Coy. Aged 38. Husband of Susannah Palmer, of 4, Horton Rd., Rusholme, Manchester. THIEPVAL|
|Hubert CRAIG 8474 – Born Walsall, Staffs. Enlisted M/Chr. KiA. Aged 28. “A” Coy. III Pln. 17th Bn. Son of the late Hubert and M. J. Craig, of Rusholme. Manchester. THIEPVAL|
|Hugh Fraser HERBERT 8623 – Born & Resident Galashiels, Selkirk. KiA. “B” Coy. THIEPVAL|
|William NEWLAND 8766 – Born Hulme, Manchester. Resident Stretford. DoW.. Age 23 Son of Gilbert Newland, of 18, Portland Rd., Gorse Hill, Stretford, Manchester. “A” Coy. IV Platoon. DARTMOOR|
|Sidney PAGE 8800 – Born St. John’s, Pendlebury. Resident Irlams-o’-th’-height, Lancs. KiA. Age 23 “C” Coy Son of George and Sarah Ann Page, of 4, Prestwich St., Irlams-O’-th’-Height, Manchester. THIEPVAL|
|Arthur ROGERS 8826 – Born New Moston, Manchester. KiA. None “B” Coy. THIEPVAL|
|James ROBERTS 8840 – *Born Manchester. Resident Pendleton, Lancs. Enlisted 3/9/14. Employed as Printer. Father James, 91 Clarence Street, L/Broughton, then 2 Blackstock Rd, Chorlton-on-Medlock; Home of Uncle William, who was recipient of Williams effects (none) and medals. Mother died by 1916. James Nr was Pt. 41346 in Welsh Rgmnt. Promoted L/Cpl. 1/7/16. KiA. None “C” Coy. THIEPVAL|
|James Alfred RILEY 17738 – Born Ancoats, Manchester. KiA. Age 21 Son of Edward Riley, of 95, Bradford Rd., Manchester, and the late Mary Riley. THIEPVAL|
|Robert Jackson SETTLE 18421 – Born & Resident Farmworth, Lancs. KiA. Age 26. Son of Joseph and Elizabeth Settle, of 139, Lorne St., Moses Gate, Bolton; husband of Alice Settle, of 19, Green Lane, Kearsley, Bolton. Enlisted April, 1915. THIEPVAL|
Patrick MCGUIRE 24744 – Born Manchester. KiA. Age 28. Son of the late Martin and Bridget McGuire; husband of Maria McGuire, of 6, Blair St., Oldham Rd., Manchester. L/Cpl Patrick Mcguire (Paddy) leaves a Widow, Maria and Children. Played left back for Manchester City. THIEPVAL
|Fred TURPIN 26268 – Born Manchester. KiA. None THIEPVAL|
|Joe KNAPPER 28464 – Born Hollingwood, Lancs. KiA. Age 21. Son of Mark Knapper, of 8, Bower Lane End, Hollinwood, Oldham. News has reached Mr. Mark Knapper of 6, Bower lane end ,Hollingworth, that his son Pte 28464 Joe Knapper, who worked as a spinner in Oldham, has been listed as missing, on the 12th Oct 1916. He has now been reported as killed on this date. This is the second son that Mr. Knapper has lost in 17 days. Pte 7011 Mark Knapper of the 1/7th kings Liverpool Regiment, was killed on 25th September, 1916.Formerly served in the 3/9th Manchester’s THIEPVAL|
The casualty list provides an illustration of the replacement drafts, from Manchester, Lancashire and much further afield. 713 men had joined the 17th Battalion in July 1916. The few Service Records remaining for men who died in October 1916 enables there to be some extrapolation to assess the likely make up of the troops that replaced the original pals.
Personal accounts recount the changing nature of the Battalion when the first draft of men arrived in mid July. The unique status of the clerical workers was the first element to change when men arrived from the Manchester Regiment Reserve Battalions. Men attached to the Battalion with service number commencing 30000 are likely to have formed the first element of the July 1916 draft. There were no casualties in this number sequence before 10th July and these men are likely to have been attached from the 25th (Reserve), or Territorial Battalions. As such, the majority were Mancunian born or resident. Nineteen of the October Roll of Honour were part of this group and 16 died on 12th July 1916.
|John MORT 32390 – Born Hulme, Manchester. KiA. None THIEPVAL|
|George Bartlett ELLIOTT 32794 – Born Sale, KiA. None A.I.F. FLERS Manchester University Roll of Honour – Elliott, George Bartlett. Son of Thomas Phelps Elliott,
Holly Villa, Rectory Road, Crumpsall. Born 1895 at Sale.
Holly Bank S. ; Manchester G.S. O.T.C. Oct. 1915
to Jan. 1 9 1 6. Apprentice to the Cotton Trade. Enl. 1 9 1 6 ;
17th Bn. Manch. R. ; Cpl. ; Western Front. Killed 12th
Oct. 19 1 6 at Flers, Somme.
|John ROWLAND 33381 – **Born & Resident Lees, Oldham. Originally 27th Battalion.. THIEPVAL|
|Cyril FURBER 33414 – Born Chester. Resident Oldham. KiA.. Age 26. Son of Annie Furber, of 133, Rock St., Mumps, Oldham, and the late John E. Furber. THIEPVAL|
|Albert HOPE 33608 – Born Pendleton. Residence Blackley, M/Chr. KiA.. None THIEPVAL|
|Horatio MATHER 33760 – Born Manchester. Resident Heaton Park. KiA. Age 30. Eldest son of Jane Mather, of 21, Park St., Heaton Park, Manchester, and the late William Mather. THIEPVAL|
|John Edward TIERNAN 33761 – Born Manchester. KiA. Age 28. Son of William and Mary Tiernan, of 101, Edson Place, Tieman Avenue, Corona, Long Island, U.S.A. Native of Manchester, England. A.I.F. FLERS|
|Charles Francis TAYLOR 33853 – Born Manchester. Resident Harpurhey. KiA. Age 25. Son of Charles and Sarah Catherine Taylor, of 22, Baywood St., Harpurhey, Manchester; husband of Teresa Taylor (nee Gowing). L/Sgt 33853 Charles, Francis Taylor of 22 Baywood St, Harpurhey has been killed in action 12-10-16 aged 25. Killed, shortly after marrying his sweetheart, Miss Teresa Gowing. WARLENCOURT BRITISH CEMETERY|
|Peter Swan WALKER 33876 – Residence Newton Heath. KiA. Age 31. Son of Charles and Mary Walker; husband of Edith Walker, of 500A, Oldham Rd., Newton Heath, Manchester. THIEPVAL|
|Arthur BOYLING 33988 – Born Thornham Lancs. Resident Chadderton. KiA.. Age 31. Son of Edward and Fanny Boyling. THIEPVAL|
|William CLARKE 33998 – Born Oldham. KiA. None A.I.F. FLERS|
|William MORAN 34516 – Born St . Helens. KiA. Age 22. Son of William and Katherine Moran, of 9, Hamilton St., Collyhurst, Manchester. A.I.F. FLERS|
|William NOLAN 34824 – Born Dublin. Resident Southport, Lancs. KiA. None THIEPVAL|
|Percy Robert MARSHALL 34855 – Born Stockport. Resident Withington.. Age 36. Brother of Harold Marshall, of 106, Oliver St., Stockport. WARLENCOURT BRITISH CEMETERY|
|James ORMISHER 35215 – Born Wigan, Lancs. KiA. Age 21. Son of John Thomas and Ann Ormisher, of 53, Northumberland St., Wigan. THIEPVAL|
|Moses VALENTINE 35375 – Born & Resident Standish, Lancs. KiA. Age 28. Son of John and Margaret Valentine, of 26, Church St., Standish, Wigan. THIEPVAL. Manager at dye works. Standish Cenotaph.|
Fourteen casualties numbered 43131-43246 were attached to the 17th Battalion, having transferred from other Lancashire Battalions, although one man was from Newcastle. Some of these men were returning to service after wounds and others had newly arrived in France after serving as reserves with their original Regiments. Eight of these Lancashire men died on 12th October.
|Thomas SCHOLES 43131 – Born St John’s Bolton, Formerly 16467, Loyal North Lancs Regt. DoW.. Age 32. Son of James and Caroline A. Scholes, of Bolton. DARTMOOR|
|Richard BENNISON 43132 – Born Bolton. Formerly 16117, North Lancs. Regt. KiA. Age 27. Son of Eliza Bennison, of 1, Gilnow Rd., Bolton, and the late George Bennison. THIEPVAL|
John DICKINSON 43133 – Born Chorley. Formerly 14284, 9th Loyal North Lancs Regt. enlisting on 7/9/1914. Wounded 7/7/1916 – Poss La Boiselle. Previously employed by Ellerbeck Colliery. KIA. Age 29. Son of Mrs. Emily Arrowsmith, of II, Carr Lane, Chorley, Lancs. THIEPVAL. Attended St Gregory’s Catholic Church, Chorley. Further details courtesy @SKnight1921
|Robert HEYS 43166 – Born Rawtenstall, Lancs, Formerly 25013, East Lancs Regt. KIA. None A.I.F. FLERS|
arry Dixon HEYS 43168 – *Born Lancaster. Former Butcher. Resident 78 Fleet Streer, Nelson Lancs. Enlisted27/3/16 26472, 12th Reserve East Lancs Regt.Embarked France 4/7/16. Attd. 17th MChrs. 11/7/16. Trsfrrd. 1/9/16. KiA. Age 21. Son of Matthew and Mary Ann Heys, of 17, Woodside Terrace, Nelson, Lancs. THIEPVAL
|Wilfred W WALKER 43179 – Born & Resident Brierfield, Lancs. Formerly 26308, East Lancs Regt. KiA. . Age 21. Son of Richard and Grace Walker, of 18, Halifax Rd., Brierfield, Burnley. THIEPVAL|
|Harry WIBDEN 43181 – Born Cloughfold. Resident Rawtenstall. Formerly 22145, East Lancs Regt. KiA. None THIEPVAL|
|Percy JONES 43237 – Born Glascote, Warwick. Resident Stockingford, Nuneaton. Formerly 18821, South Lancs Regt. KiA. None THIEPVAL|
Sixteen remaining men on the month’s Roll of Honour had transferred from other county Regiments; directly from reserve battalions, or recovering from wounds; none of the subsequent number sequence had been present at Guillemont . Ten of these men (2 assumed with Berks. connection) 43271-43339 had transferred from the Royal Berkshire Regiment; eight died on 12th October.
|Archie Edgar BLUNDELL 43271 – *Born & Resident 3 Stratfield St, Bow. Labourer. Wife Alice. 2 Daughters & Son (Died). Enlisted 1/9/14 11580, 1st & 3rd Bttns. Royal Berks Regt. France 23/2/15. GSW Back (1st Btttn.) 15/5/15, Richebourg. Home until 7/12/15. Transferred 17th M/Chrs 1/9/16. KiA. Brother’s letter confirmed service in B Coy. 6th Platoon using RBR No.. Age 34. Son of Mrs. B. Blundell; husband of Mrs. Alice Glitz (formerly Blundell). THIEPVAL|
|Albert John GARDNER 43273 – Born Newington, Wallingford, Oxon. Formerly 9219, 1st Bttn Royal Berkshire Regt. KiA. None L/Cpl 43273 Albert, John Gardner of Newington, Wallingford, Oxon. A letter from Pte Briggs to his sister Sarah of Oxford states: “I saw your brother killed and buried by a shell along with 3 other men at Flers on 12th October”. He was 21yrs old and had worked as a farm labourer, for Mr. frank Stubb since leaving school. Arrived France 20/9/1914 with Regular RBR. Parents James and Sarah. THIEPVAL|
|Frederick ATKINS 43277 – Born Staton Church. Residence Henley-on-Thames. KiA. Age 34. Husband of Ethel Jane Atkins, of Turville Village, Henley-on-Thames. THIEPVAL|
|Edwin BURROWS 43278 – Born Oxford. Enlisted Acton, Middx. KiA. Formerly 19171, Royal Berks Regt.. Age 37. Son of Charles and Martha Burrows; husband of Helen Burrows. THIEPVAL|
|A BOSELEY 43280 – Born Tilehurst. Resident Reading, Berks. DoW. Formerly 20969, Royal Berks Regt.. None FLATIRON COPSE|
|Robert JENNINGS 43307 – Born and Resident Stanford-in-the-vale, Faringdon, Berks. Formerly 20955, Royal Berkshire Regt. KiA. None Pte 43307 Robert Jennings of Stamford in the Vale Farrington Berkshire has been reported missing 12-10-16 aged 35. A quarryman. Joined the battalion on 1-9-16. THIEPVAL|
Frederick William SEYMOUR 43336 – *Born Tilehurst, Berks. 1901 Son of Henry & Mary Ann. Employed packer with G.W.R. Engineering Dept. Pangbourne. Resident 10 Downing Road, Tilehurst. Married Elizabeth Hiscock 19/5/16.. Attested in Reserve Dec 1915. Mobilised Feb 1916 20171, France 29/3/16.C Coy. 9th Royal Berkshire Regt. 10.4.16, Bovington. Wounded 28.6.16. Wimereux Hosp. 29/6/16. 5th Bttn. 30/6/16. Attached 11/7/16 then Transfer 17th M/Chr 1/9/16. KiA Age 27. Commemorated on GWR Memorial, Chester.. None THIEPVAL
|Arthur James THOMAS 43339 – Born & Resident Penzanze Cornwell, Enlisted Reading. KiA. Age 34. Son of the late John and Eliza Stella Thomas, of 43, Belgravia St., Penzance, Cornwall. THIEPVAL|
Four of the group (1 assumed) had served with the Royal Fusilier, one with the Royal Sussex and one transferred from the Middlesex Regiment. All of these men died on 12th October.
|Charles Henry CHILDS 43353 – Born Acton, Middx. Formerly G/26271, Royal Fusiliers. KiA. Age 35. Son of the late George and Esther Childs. THIEPVAL|
|George Henry KING 43358 – Born Elmfield, Ryde. Formerly 8701, Royal Fusiliers. KiA. Age 43. Son of Charles John and Mary King, of Elmfield, Ryde, Isle of Wight; husband of Florence King, of 106, Salisbury Rd., West Ealing, London. Served in India with 1st Bn. Hampshire Regt. for 12 years, and in South Africa with 2nd Bn. Royal Munster Fusiliers for 4 years. L/Cpl 43348 George, Henry King of 108, Salisbury Rd West Ealing has been killed in action; 12-10-16 aged 41. Joined in a draft on 1-9-16. His body was located by a grave registration unit, and reburied at Marlencourt. A postman. WARLENCOURT BRITISH CEMETERY|
|Montague Sinclair PAYNE 43362 – Born & Resident Edmonton, Middx. KiA. None THIEPVAL|
|J WAKELIN 43372 – Born & Resident Ealing. Formerly G/26267, Royal Fusiliers. KiA. Age 21. Son of Mrs. E. Wakelin, of 56, Bedford Rd., West Ealing, London. A.I.F. FLERS|
|Stephen PARSONS 43409 – *Born Crawley, Sussex. Resident 16 Spencer Road – Bricklayers Labourer. Parents Nathan Peter & Annie. Enlisted 28/10/15 G/8057 Royal Sussex Regt. – Time expired Territorial 4th Bttn. – 4 Yrs. Posted 10th RSR Nov. 1915. France March 1916. GSQ R/Hand 29/6/16. 9th Bttn .Aug 1916. Transfer 17th M/CHr 1/9/16. KiA. Age 34.. None THIEPVAL|
|Albert HACKETT 43419 – *Born Horley, Surrey. Bricklayer’s labourer & resident Newtown, Near Bognor. Attested 25th (Reserve) Middx. Regt. 11/12/15 Posted 24/3/16. France with 18th Bttn. 1/7/16. Transferred 17th M/Chrs 1/9/16.KiA Poss. Age 34. Age 32. Son of George and Ellen Hackett, of 52, Essex Rd., Bersted, Bognor, Sussex. Pte 43419 Harry Hackett of 52, Essex Rd, Newtown Bognor was reported wounded and missing at Flers 12th October aged 33. Joined the battalion 1-9-16.A bricklayer’s labourer. Parents; George and Ellen. THIEPVAL|
Records compiled from CWGC, SDGW, Census, Service and Pension Records. Significant nuggets also obtained with thanks from http://www.themanchesters.org/ and members of http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php & http://salfordwarmemorials.proboards.com/
Officer casualties include C Company OC, Captain MacDonald Warriner Brown of Dane-in-Shaw 13 Elms Avenue, Lytham, Lancashire, aged 26. His Widow was Jean Warriner Brown – nee Dodds. MacDonald is commemorated at Thiepval and at home in Cirencester Parish Church and Grammar School Memorial, Bingham Hall, Cirencester. He had been born in Penarth in 1890. Please See Henry Kay Evans . A Master at North Manchester School, he joined the staff of the School in 1910, and joined the Public Schools Battalion in Nov. 1914. Granted a commission in the 17th Manchesters in 1915. He was grenade instructor, and only a fortnight before he fell he was made Captain. Quite recently CO, Colonel Johnson, remarked to another officer how splendidly Brown was doing, and how it was a certainty that he would get speedy promotion and honour. Who that heard him talk to the Natural History Society on the birds of the Fens, or of the Cheshire meres, will ever forget him? He was just at his best then, and would give, from his fascinating stories connected with the pursuit of his favourite hobby.
“The memory of his generous, sunny nature and of the healthy influence he exerted among all who worked with him, will long be treasured.”