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