Centenary of the Somme – Ten Corps and Regiments

The Twelve Days of the Centenary Christmas

On the 1st Day of July – our family returned to Montauban
On the 2nd Battle of Ypres – we searched for a cousin and an uncle
On the 3rd day  we review 3 War Memorials
On the 4th day we  seek four Battalions at Montauban
On the 5th day we have 500 rounds in a minute
On the 6th day we view a six pointed Star
On the 7th day we had seven Pals from Manchester
On the 8th day we have an 8th Panel at Brookwood

On the 10th day we find 10 Corps & Regiments for Co-op men

Sergeant Percy Amos was a member of Arthur Bell’s Platoon in the 2nd Manchester Pals.  Percy has the first name mentioned on the Memorial Roll of Co-operative Wholesale Society Head Office and this inspired further research.   Employees from the Balloon Street office answered the call to duty and most enlisted in the Army during September to November 1914.  Each man’s choice of Regiment in this period has always intrigued me and the extensive records for the group created an interesting case study.  The Co-op men enlisted in numerous sections of the Army, ranging from the local Manchester Regiment and Lancashire Fusiliers to Royal Scots and the Medical Corps.  Representatives served in ten Corps or Regiments.  See Manchester Co-op’s Battle of the Somme

The recruitment, training and service of Head Office men was reviewed, with a clear focus on their losses on the Somme in 1916. The Co-operative Wholesale Society Cabinet Makers Memorial from Salford was found in a skip a few years ago and this Roll of Honour has been used as a comparison between the men from the Head Office.  More work is needed in 2017, possibly with a third review of the men from the Biscuit and Jam Factory in Crumpsall.

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