Three Ramsden Brothers in the 17th Battalion Manchester Regiment

After making a connection via Norman Wood Ramsden – WW1 Memorial and Life Story.

With a summary from Nancy Ramsden Owen we start the research on three brothers who served together in the 2nd Manchester Pals.

Hello, my grandfather and two of his brothers were members of the 17th Battalion, 2nd City Manchester Pals; Ewart Gladstone, Norman Wood, and Percy Gordon Ramsden. Norman was killed on 1 July 2016, and Percy was killed 23 April 1917. My grandfather survived after being “claimed out” by an elder brother, and was sent to serve with the Royal Engineers in Palestine and Egypt. Thank you so much for this wonderful contribution to our understanding of what our families undertook 100 years ago. I am determined that my own family shall not forget nor be forgotten. Should you have any information about my grandfather or great uncles, I would be most grateful. With warm regards, Nancy Ramsden Owen

As data arises, I’ll add it.These were the sons of Herbert and Clara Ramsden.  The family lived ar Bury New Road in the late 1890s and Herbert was employed as a Foreman Plumber. By 1911 Herbert had died.  Clara and her sons then lived 23 The Crescent, Deyne Avenue, Prestwich.

Private 9521 Norman Wood Ramsden worked at T.Seymour Mead Co Ltd prior to enlisting.  Records show he had completed his apprenticeship as a Painter with Messrs Steel & Woods.T Seymour & MeadT Seymour & Mead Ramsden N W

Norman originally enlisted in the Kings Own

Royal Lancaster Regiment, number 15568. Based on his Service number, Norman was transferred to the Manchesters in the Spring of 1915.

Norman went to France with the majority of the Battalion on 8th November 1915 and trained as a Machine Gunner.  He was killed in action at Montauban on 1st July 1916.  He has no known resting place, bring commemorated at Thiepval.  He left his Effects to his mother and sister in law, Mabel. Based on the War Gratuity of £7 Norman had joined the Colours in December 1914.  Norman was engaged to be married before he went off to France.  His sweetheart went on to marry Ewart (see below) and became grandmother to Nancy.

Ramsden  N W Manchester Evening News 15 July 1916.1

Manchester Evening News 15 July 1916

Ramsden Manchester Evening News 15 July 1916

Ramsden N W Manchester Evening News 15 July 1916

Norman is Commemorated on the Prestwich Weslyan Church War Memorial.

Percy Gordon Ramsden

Percy Gordon Ramsden courtesy Nancy Owen

Private 8834 Percy Gordon Ramsden was born in Prestwich in 1891.  In 1911, he also lived with his widowed mother and family, employed as a tea broker’s clerk  He is listed in the X Platoon Roll in the Manchester City Battalions Book of Honour.  Percy had been born in Prestwich and  was still employed as a clerk and lived at Whitefield prior to enlisting on 3rd September 1914. Another record indicates Percy was a school master. Percy’s Service Record identifies prior service with the 7th Lancashire Fusiliers Territorials. Percy married Mabel Moody at Unsworth Methodist Church on 27th Match 1915.  For unknown reasons he was missing from the Platoon photo in, in April 1915; although he is included in the Supplementary Photo below.  Percy also went to France on 8th November 1915. On 5th March Percy injured his right Tibia and sprained his left ankle. On 13th March 1916 Percy was posted to Depot, having returned Home after treatment in a Rouen Hospital. He was treated in a Bristol Hospital and recuperated with the 25th Reserve Battalion from 14th April 1916, when he was promoted to the Rank of Corporal.  He was Posted 4th Reserve Battalion in Lincolnshire on 13th December 1916 and returned to France on 20th December.After treatment for scabies, he returned to the Battalion on 5th March.

Percy was posted missing, later presumed killed in action near Heninel on 23rd April 1917. His remains were later identified and Percy is buried at Cuckoo Passage Cemetery. He left his Effects to  Mabel, who lived at 1 Higher Parrs, Unsworth. Mabel received a Pension of 15/- per week.

Percy is Commemorated on the is Commemorated on the Prestwich Weslyan Church War Memorial..

Mabel remarried a Mr Jones in the 1920s and Percy’s mother and remaining brothers went to live in Illinois, USA.

C & D Coy Supplementary 17th Bttn

Private Percy Ramsden is in this photograph. Book of Honour

Nancy’s Grandfather was Private 13618 Ewart Gladstone Ramsden in the Manchester Regiment. The Service Number is more consistent with the 11th or 12th Battalion sequence,Ewart may have transferred between respective Battalions.  He was under the moninum age of 18 and repeated attempts may have been made to enlist. Ewart was transferred to the Royal Engineers (91058) before overseas service.  He arrived in France aged 16 on 30th July 1915 and served as a Driver.  Ewart was demobilised fit for duty in July 1919.

A Private 25116 Joseph W Ramsden had been identified enlisting in the Rifle Brigade on 2nd December 1915. He was transferred to the Labour Corps and discharged with wounds on 11th February 1919.

A John Walter Ramsden Z/5804 served at Home in the Royal Navy Voluntary Reserve. The records for 1918 shows he was born 4/1/1900 and served in the Mersey Division.

6 thoughts on “Three Ramsden Brothers in the 17th Battalion Manchester Regiment

  1. John Day

    Hi a reply to the post of the Ramsden brothers 2nd City Pals as the only three brothers to serve in the battalion my grandfather Lance Corporal Arthur Barlow 8374 and my two Great uncles private Charles F M Barlow 8375 both A company 1 Platoon and James Henry Barlow 8380 killed in action 15th March 1916. JAMES was in 4 platoon A company all enlisted August 1914 . My grandfather Arthur Barlow was wounded in the foot and leg in the attack on Montauban 1st July 1916.Hope this my give some added information to your records . My great uncle James is buried in Suzanne Communal Cemetery Extention I will be visiting his grave this July to pay my respect to him I am most proud of the Barlow brothers my mother’s family , I am John Day grandson and great nephew I hope this will be of interest

    1. 8055bell Post author

      Hi John,
      Thanks for you Comments. Have a look at The Cost of Trench Life and you’ll see a photo of James Barlow’s grave in Suzanne and a report in the Manchester Evening News. Do you have any family photos you would like me to include with this post? When you visit Suzanne, make sure you drive round to Vaux and Eclusier. It’s beautiful and impossible to imagine your great uncle being killed by German shells.
      I’d forgotten about the three Barlow brothers and the correction has been made. For your reference recruitment in the 17th Bttn was started on 2nd September 1914. I’ll see if I can find out more about the Barlows but it will take a little time.

      1. John Day

        Hi Tim , James Henry Barlow is on the remembered plaque in St Philips church Salford as I know his brother my grandfather sang in the choir and attended the church and I would think James did as well I have some family photos in my possession of my grandfather and grandmother him in uniform before he went to France both my grandfather and my great uncle Charles where both wounded on the Somme .later Charles was transferred to the Kings Liverpool Reg no 56344 and then the Machine Gun Corps 139014 before being discharged from the army due to wounds or illness on 24th April 1917 my grandfather was also discharged from the army on the same day 24th April 1917 as his wound was serious . Best regards John Day

  2. Pingback: 17th Battalion Service Records | 17th Battalion Manchester Regiment on the Somme

  3. Prestwich Sloopy

    Lovely research to put pictures to the Ramsden lads.( As Prestwich born lads they are on my list of names that I’m working on. Joseph W was also a brother of Percy & Norman & Ewart (1911 census and they all had a younger son John. I’ll link your post to my list (if I ever finish it !) When I looked them up in 1901, and saw they were on Wash Lane, Prestwich I was…”please let it be number 13″ …and it was ! This address (no longer standing was the last home of The Electrican : William Sturgeon. A Prestwich Legend…who should be a household name. ( love it when stories tie together. I can add this family into the Sturgeon story as an interesting side line. Back on topic….I have their father buried in St Mary’s, 1901. I’ll see if I can find the plot, and I’ll look to grab a decent photo of the war memorial next time I pass.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s