Manchester Co-op’s Battle of the Somme

Co-op CoverThe mass recruitment of a citizen Army in 1914 has been a central point of interest in this Blog, with the 2nd Manchester Pals being an important part of the theme.  The contribution of these men in the enormity of the Battle of the Somme is another common theme.  These elements have been combined in  research using the Co-operative Wholesale Society War Memorial as a Case Study.  Manchester Co-op’s Battle of the Somme

Here’s the Blurb

Manchester was one of the most successful recruiting grounds for Kitchener’s Army in the Great War. The City was also significant in the ‘Pals’ movement and the formation of the University and Public Schools Battalions in September 1914.
The scale and breadth in which men joined the Services in the first few months of hostilities is difficult to envisage. This book embraces volunteers from the Head Office of the Co-Operative Wholesale Society as a case study – with a focus on the men who are commemorated on the Company’s Memorial. The Centenary of the Battle of the Somme brings Kitchener’s Army to the forefront of minds; and the men from Balloon Street, Manchester were part of significant actions in the tumultuous one hundred and forty one day offensive.
The records available for the men named on the Memorial provide some clear perspectives on the ordinary Co-op men undertaking extraordinary deeds. The Magazine provides a detailed record and commemoration on some of these individuals. This provides a clearer picture on the general nature of recruitment, training, warfare and casualties. The narrative helps illustrate hostilities for other men from the City and some context to other parts of the Country and Empire.

Sergeant Percy Amos is the first name mentioned on the Memorial and a member of Arthur Bell’s Platoon 1st July 1916 – III Platoon Men.  The research also features other Manchester Pals Battalions, noting the numerous losses at Guillemont.  The CWS men then provide wider examples of notable features of the Somme.

All comments are welcome.  As a merry blogger, I’ve gained some new respect for the writing skills and patient editing by published authors.  A number of lessons have been learned and more remain outstanding…

A particular lesson is the ability to find striking new material as soon as I publish.  Here’s a photo and great Obit on Fred Moffatt of 20th UPS Battalion Royal Fusiliers

CWS Inside Cover


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