David Carr recently left a comment on the one of the Trones Wood posts. His Grandfather John Carr served the 19th Manchesters and took part in many similar actions as the 17th Manchesters; notably Montauban, Trones Wood and Guillemont. John made a note of such locations in a bible that was quite likely carried with him in his breast pocket.
John Carr appears to have been given the Bible by the Curate of St Mark’s Church, Miles Platting. The Church was on Holland Street, where John lived and Rev. Sharples gave it to John a month after he had enlisted. The inside cover provides a synopsis of John’s cover – as confirmed by official documents. The fainter gray text seems to have been written first, introducing John’s service with 19th Battalion, Manchester Regiment. The Battles are listed below with the later black text illustrating dates. This starts with the Somme – July 1916 onwards- at Montauban, Trones Wood, followed by Guillemont and Givenchy. 1917 started at Arras – with the German defence of the Hindeberg line and continues at Ypres and Flanders. 1918 appears to relate to Manchester.
The remainder of the cover shows John’s promotion and age at enlistment in September 1914 as below the minimum 19 years at 18 years and 10 months. Service with 21 T.M.B. refers to the 21st Brigade’s Trench Mortar Battery; as part of 30th Division and IV Army Corps. Fini and C’est la guerre translated to ‘the end’ or ‘finished’, followed by ‘That’s war’.
With an early Regimental Number 12293 John enlisted in the 4th City Battalion on 11th of September 1914. He was a 19 year old Clerk, having been born in Miles Platting and resident with his mother Ann Cresswell Carr at 137 Holland Street, Miles Platting. His brother and sister are identified as Charles William and Edith Carr respectively.
John trained with XIV Platoon at Heaton Park, Belton Park and Larkhill Camp on Salisbury Plain. He entered France with the majority of the 90th Brigade on 8th November 1915, having sailed from Southampton the preceding day on board SS Queen Alexandra. The 19th was then transferred to the 21st Brigade, but stayed in the same 30th Division.
Working with David Carr, efforts have been made to identify the men in the group photo with John Carr. Some of these are informed guess work, for which a note of caution must be adopted:-
Jim Wilson (back left) may be 11701 Private James B Wilson, who trained with III Pln of 19th Bttn and later transferred to the Border Regiment 29782 – most likely after the Service Battalions were disbanded and subsequent to the 19th had been absorbed into the 16th & 17th Bttn.
11496 Nathan Burgess also trained with III Pln. He appears to hold the L/Cpl stripe in the photograph and was later promoted Corporal. Resident 5 Peacock Street, Salford (MRF). Nathan was captured near St Quentin on 21st March 1918, during the German Spring Offensive. At this stage the 19th Bttn had been absorbed into the 16th or 17th Battalions. His PoW records indicate he had served with A Company. Nathan was held in Cassel Camp and Massinhiem? His wife Florrie in Florrie was informed in Salford He was discharged ”fit’ on 10th March 1919. Nathan had been born in Salford on 13/4/1888.
12116 William L Hughes may be sitting to the left of the middle row. The MIC doesn’t reflect the L/Cpl rank, but the other 19th Bttn W Hughes had transferred to RE in 1915.
2nd Lieutenant Ernest William Mawdsley was VIII Platoon Commander in B Coy of 19th Bttn during training in Heaton Park. Prior to enlistment he was Solicitors articled clerk. His father, Walter, was senior partner of the practice, Mawdsley & Hadfield, Southport. (MRF). Similarly to John Carr, Lt Mawdsley was part of 21st Bgd Trench Mortar Battery. Ernest’s MIC indicates arrival in France in December 1915 – a month later than the 19th Bttn. Records (MRF) indicate he was wounded in the action at Trones Wood on 8th or 9th July 1916. He had been promoted to Captain by June 1917. The MIC indicates this promotion was General List, possibly indicating continuation of Service after hostilities.
11873 CQMS Francis George Lane. Francis was aged 22y 9m when he enlisted in the 19th Bttn on 7/9/1915. Francis was 5′ 9″ Tall. He was soon promoted through the NCO ranks as L/Cpl when he enlisted, Cpl 1/1/1915, L/Sgt 1/3/1915 and Sgt 7/4/1915. Reances was hospitilised for 3 days in Feb 1915. Francis was Qualified as Distinguished at Strensall Rifle Course in August 1915. He embarked for France on board SS Queen Alexandra on 7/11/1915. Francis attended Trench Mortar School from 23/2/1916, posted to 21/2 Bgd TMB on 23/4/1916 and promoted Battery QMS on 14/6/1916. Frances was granted Home leave for a week commencing 22/5/1916, before returning for the July offensive on the Somme. On 21/9/1917, Francis was admitted to Hospital in Cambridge with STD. He had transferred from Dover Military Hospital where he had been from 16/9/1917. Francis was discharged from Cambridge on 8/11/1917. On 27/12/1917, Francis was Appointed Acting CSM and WOII as a replacement for CSM J W Fishwick, who had been lost in Ypres the day before, from A Coy of 19th Bttn. This may indicate, Francis returned to his Bttn at this stage. On 7/6/1918 Francis was posted to Depot, having returned Home the day before ‘with a view to a Commission. He was admitted to Hospital for almost a month in August 1918 with a nasal obstruction. He was then posted to No 2 Officer Cadet Bttn in Cambridge on 21/9/1918. He was demobilized Class Z – Fit- on 13/2/1919 and lived at 12 Albert Road, Didsbury.
Francis had been born in Stockton, near Rugby, Warks. Prior to hostilities Francis had been been employed as an Electrical Inspector having served a 5 year apprenticeship. His parents, Frank & Ann lived as 5 Rushton Street, Didsbury. Brother Herbert and Sister Lilian Riley also lived in Didsbury.
12135 James Lolley trained with XII Pln. His Service Record survives and tells he was a 28 year old warehouseman when he enlisted on 7th September 1914. He married Annie Males on 29th March 1915 at Manchester Registry Office and his daughter, Annie Lolley, was born on 4th August 1915. James mother and family lived at Severn Street, Deansgate and he had siblings Thomas Lolley and Eleen Bell (I wonder). James left Southampton on SS Queen Alexandria on 7th November 1915, On 21st March 1916, he started an attachment to the 21st Bgd Trench Mortar Battery, The record shows period of leave in Jan 1917, rest camp in August 1917 and leave again in December 1918. In February 1918 the Separation Allowance was paid to Ellen in respect of James’ child on account of his wife having an illegitimate child. Records indicate James has transferred to 16th Bttn on 1st Feb 1918 and captured (at Manchester Hill) on 21st March 1918. He was then held as a Prisoner of War, including Giessen Camp, until repatriation at Dover on 7th December 1918. James was demobilised Class Z – fit for duty – on 9th March 1919. He lived in his mother’s Severn Street address in 1921.
John Carr had been posted to 21st Brigade’s Trench Mortar Battery in April 1916. This earned him the flaming grenade insignia as shown on the group photographs. The insignia also means the portrait shows in John after he had served some time in France. 21st TMB were instrumental in breaking the German wire on 1st July 1916. They were placed at the end of russian saps and helped the Manchester Pals to liberate Montauban. In December 1916, he was admitted to 96 Field Ambulance with fever. John returned to duty in April 1917, having had 10 days leave. At some stage in 1917, John was possibly ill or wounded and returned home. John Carr was promoted to Corporal on 13th September 1917.
He was posted to the Depot Battalion on 4th December 1917 prior to training as an Officer Cadet. In the interim he was posted to West Lancs Reserve Brigade in Oswestry on 20th December 1917. His training as an officer cadet then commenced on 11th May 1918 at No. 1 Officer Cadet Battalion at Membland Hall, Newton[?] Ferrers, near Plymouth. It seems hostilities ended before John received his commission as he returned to Manchester Depot as a Corporal on 22nd November 1918.
John was transferred to reserve on 18th February 1919, Class Z – fit for future service. His address is noted as 168 Brook Street, Hulme Hall Lane. In January 1919, John has been posted to B Machine Gun Company, Training Battalion of 3rd Battalion, Manchester Regiment.
John Carr earned the usual Service Medals Pip Squeak and Wilfred, which were received in April 1921. At some early stage after hostilities John and his friends Jimmy Shoreman and Albert Blair probably took part in an act of remembrance, such as the parade in 1926. ARMISTICE DAY – British Pathé. It’s possible they had traveled to France, although the dry stone wall looks more like Lancashire than the downland of Picardy.
12447 James Shoreman had trained alongside John Carr in IX Platoon (his name immediately follows John’s in the Roll above). In 1911 he was a 15 year old solicitors clerk living round the corner from John in Brook Street, Miles Platting. It can be safe to assume the two men were friends, but 19 year old Jimmy enlisted three days earlier than John on 8th September 1914. When Jimmy enlisted, his family then lived at 15 Stanhope Street, Levenshulme. Similarly to John, Jimmy became and NCO, promoted to Lance Corporal on 30/6/1917 & Corporal on 8/9/17 – 3 years after enlistment. When the 19th Battalion was disbanded, Jimmy was absorbed into 17th Battalion on 6/2/1918. He was than captured on 22nd March 1918 during the German Spring Offensive near St Quentin. He saw the rest of hostilities as a Prisoner of War and was repatriated on 6/12/1918. Jimmy was hospitilised for 5 days in King George’s Hospital, London, for treatment to gun shot wounds in his upper arm and back before returning home for furlough. He was demobilised from 17th Battalion on 10/3/1919 and received a small pension, assessed as 20% disability.
Albert Blair was probably 17557 in 20th Battalion. Albert was transferred to the Royal Engineers and later returned to the Manchesters before his discharge in June 1919.