Final Casualities prior to Disbandment – May to July 1918

Following the Battalion’s final battle at the Spoil Bank Ypres, the majority of casualties relate to men who died from wounds or sickness, many of whom were prisoners of war. 

There is also a group of three final battlefield casualties who died at Ypres on 7 May 1918.  The remnants of the Other Ranks from 17th Battalion were attached to 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment on 3 May 1918.  Together with the 16th Manchesters they formed B Company in one of three Composite Battalions forming 30th Composite Brigade.

Under the Command of 2nd Yorkshire Commanding Officer the Composite Battalion took over the front line south of Ypres, near Voormezeele, on 5  May 1918.  Following heavy bombardment on the night of 6/7 May, the Germans advanced against the British positions. The units were forced to withdraw and then successfully regained the line but they were forced to retire to reserve positions.

This was the final action for men posted to the Battalion, which subsequently became a training cadre for newly arrived US troops.  All three 7/8 May 1918 casualties have no known grave, being commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

The final casualties represent an interesting reflection of the changing nature of the men who served in the Battalion.  Corporal 8253 James Henry Nixon had been an original Clerk & Warehouseman, enlisting in the 2nd City Battalion on 2 September 1914 disembarking in France on 08 November 1915.  Private 27318 Robert Allen DCM had enlisted in 25th (Reserve) Battalion in December 1915 and arrived at the Battalion in France with a draft in May 1916. With fewer local men available, replacements arrived from many other Regiments and Private 43410 Frederick French must have assimilated in the ranks following his arrival from 10th Royal Sussex. 

LOWE HENRY REGINALD 33 03/05/1918 Private 17th Bn. ‘42158’ France LA CAPELLE-EN-THIERACHE COMMUNAL CEMETERY . Son of Ralph and Mary Jane Lowe; husband of Rosanna Lowe, of 31, Slater St., Latchford, Warrington. Rosanna remarried a Mr Gardner. Daughter, Emily Rose Lowe. Missing 22/03/1918. Died of heart failure as POW. Formerly T.4/124172, R.A.S.C. France after 1915.

FIRTH JOB 33 04/05/1918 Private 17th Bn.’51104′               France   HAUTMONT COMMUNAL CEMETERY Son of (former Royal Marine) Peter Job and Selina Firth, of 30, Gladstone Rd., Deal, Kent. Formerly S4/110034, R.A.S.C.  Captured POW Spoil Bank 26/04/1918. Inflammation of the lungs. Died in captivity.

EVANS   RICHARD 05/05/1918      Private  17th Bn. 33682′  France   SAINS-DU-NORD COMMUNAL CEMETERY Resident of Shrewsbury. Sister in law, Elizabeth resident 537 5th Street, Trafford Park. Trained 25th Bttn. Captured POW with B Company. Death assumed 09/04/1918-05/07/1918.  Buried by Germans in French civilian cemetery.  

Manchester Evening News 14 May 1918 Hough A

HOUGH ARTHUR 38 07/05/1918  Lance Corporal  17th Bn.’8173′    France   ARNEKE BRITISH CEMETERY Son of Allen and Sarah Ann Hough, of Ardwick, Manchester.  Employed by David Moseley & Sons. Enlisted 02/09/1914. France 08/11/1915. Died from broncho pneumonia. Pension records state 16th Bn.

Robert Allen

ALLEN   ROBERT               26 Distinguished Conduct Medal 07/05/1918        Private  17th Bn. ‘27318’ Belgium TYNE COT MEMORIAL    Son of Adam and Sarah Jane Allen, of 137, George St., Hyde, Cheshire.  Died of Wounds. Hyde War Memorial PHOTO

FRENCH FREDERICK CHARLES CAMFIELD 07/05/1918 Private 17th Bn. ‘43410’ Belgium TYNE COT MEMORIAL.  Son of William French of 87 West Street, Burgess Hill. Husband of Mary Ann French of 13 Annandale Street, Greenwich. Gas worker, attested at Woolwich 09/11/1915, aged 36. Posted 10th Sussex 15/11/1915. France 29/05/1916. GSW back 17/06/1916.  Poted IBD. Attached 17th Bn 12 July and Transferred from G/8203, 9th Bn Royal Sussex Regt 01/09/1916. Missing assumed dead. SOUTH METROPOLITAN GAS WORKS MEMORIAL

Cpl 8253 J H Nixon Manchester Evening News 28 May 1918

NIXON   JAMES HENRY    27 08/05/1918   Corporal 17th Bn. ‘8253’ Belgium TYNE COT MEMORIAL. Son of William R and Mary Ellen Nixon of 121 Hamilton Street, Collyhurst.  Employee of Tootal Broadhurst, Lee & Co for 9 years. Enlisted 02/09/1914. Trained X Pln and Bugle Band. France 08/11/1915. Killed in Action while attached to 90th Brigade Trench Mortar Battery.

GERMAN ARTHUR KENNETH 22   16/05/1918 Private Manchester Regiment 1st/6th Bn. (Formerly 17th Bn.) United Kingdom ‘8149’  France   DOULLENS COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION NO.2  Son of George and Hannah Mary German, of 411, Rochdale Rd., Manchester. Employee of Co-op Wholesale Society. Enlisted 02/09/1914 and trained XII Pln. France 08/11/1915. Sick or wounded in 1916. Home 69th Training Reserve 09/09/1916, 24179. Transferred to 12th, later 1/6th Bn. Died of wounds.

HILLEBRAND LOUIS FRANCOIS 22/05/1918 Private 17th Bn.’51183′ United Kingdom PADDINGTON OLD CEMETERY, KILBURN. Died of wounds. Profile. PHOTO                    

STURGIS ERRIS VICTOR   31 26/05/1918   Private  17th Bn. ‘400154’ United Kingdom WEST HAM CEMETERY, Screen Wall.  Son of Mr. and Mrs. Sturgis; husband of Ada Sturgis, of 71, Burrard Rd., Custom House.  Two children. Born at Reading.  Former GWR employee. Formerly 4877, Lancashire Yeomanry.  France after 1915.  Posted 19th and transferred to 17th Bn. Died of wounds at Orpington Mil Hosp.

WILLIAMS EVAN HUGH   0                            02/06/1918 Lance Corporal Manchester Regiment 2nd Bn. (formerly 17th Bn) United Kingdom ‘8977’ France CABARET-ROUGE BRITISH CEMETERY, SOUCHEZ. Son of W P & Margaret Williams of 23 Bangor Street, Port Dinowic, Canarvon. Employed by Barlow & Jones Ltd, enlisted Sept 1914. Trained IX Pln. France 08/11/1915. Transfer to 2nd Bn. Killed in action. Memorial

FLOCKTON JOHN HINE    19 16/06/1918   Lance Corporal  17th Bn. ‘26135’ United Kingdom MANCHESTER SOUTHERN CEMETERY. Son of William John and Elizabeth Flockton, of 24, Linwood St., Greenheys, Manchester.  Watch maker. Enlisted 20/07/1915. Previous service with 20th,France 20/03/1916, 26th, 21st & 3rd Bns and 22nd KLR. Home Depot 01/14/1918. Wounded 22/03/1918. Died of GSW foot and appendicitis at Carlisle War Hosp. OBIT

Manchester Evening News 22 June 1918 Flockton J H

HILL JAMES EDWARD 27 22/06/1918 Private 17th Bn.’12871′ United Kingdom MOSTON (ST. JOSEPH’S) ROMAN CATHOLIC CEMETERY. Husband of Louisa Winifred Hill, of 13, Howell St., Queen’s Park, Manchester. Driller, enlisted 19th Bn April 1915. Married Lousia at St Edmund’s Church, Manchester on 06/11/1915. Overseas and posted 30th IBD 16/07/1916. GSW hand 19/08/1916. Home depot 24/08/1916. Returned to France 24/05/1917 and rejoined 19th Bn as Sgt but chose to revert to Pte. Shrapnel wound to head 01/10/1917. Rejoined Bn 14/10/1917. Posted to 17th Bn 06/02/1918.  Wounded in legs at Ypres 25/04/1918. Died of wounds and septicaemia at Military Hosp, Whalley.

FARRELLY JOHN RUPERT 21 25/06/1918  Lance Corporal  “C” Coy. 17th Bn. ‘10276’ Germany BERLIN SOUTH-WESTERN CEMETERY. Son of Nicholas Edward and Eleanor Hannah Farrelly, of 29, Elms Rd., Whitefield, Manchester. Warehouseman at Hampson Mill Co, Blackford Bridge, Stand, enlisted 18th Bn 07/09/1914, aged 17. Attended All Saint’s Church, Stand. Trained VIII Pln. France 08/11/1915. Accidental wounding to back leg 29/06/1916. Someone had dropped a bomb in camp.  No6 Gen Hosp 01/07/1916. Joined 19th Bn 30/07/1916. Paid L/Cpl 06/02/1917. Posted 17th Bn 06/02/1918. POW Captured at Roupy 22/03/1918. Died from Pneumonia in Stendal Hosp. Parents not notified until 05/07/1920.            

BOOTH  ARNOLD 22 26/06/1918 Lance Corporal  17th Bn. ‘43207’ Germany NIEDERZWEHREN CEMETERY, KASSEL Son of Lydia Booth, of 171, Ashton Rd., Newton Hyde, Manchester, and the late Ernest Booth.  Painter and decorator attested 32970, Cheshire Regt 11/12/1915. Mobilised 14th Ches 22/01/1916. France posted 10th Ches.  Attd 17th Bn 11/07/1916 and transferred 01/09/1916. Treated 98 FAmb 29/04/1917. Captured 22/03/1918. Died in Freiburg Hosp of dysentery & heart failure as POW.     GRAVE

AUSTIN JOHN WILLIAM  34 28/06/1918   Private  17th Bn.’43276′  France   WASSELONNE (WASSELNHEIM) PROTESTANT COMMUNAL CEMETERY    Son of John Austin, of Maidenhead; husband of Ellen Austin, of 23, Denmark St., Maidenhead. Formerly 20975, R. Berks Regt. Captured 22/03/1918. Died of Bronchial Pneumonia as POW.           

Leicester Daily Post 24 December 1918 Kenny W

KENNY  WILLIAM 29 30/06/1918 Private  17th Bn. ‘41076’ Germany BERLIN SOUTH-WESTERN CEMETERY Son of Mrs. Louisa Kenny (later Hobson), of 5, Hill St., Leicester. Formerly 4612, Leicestershire Regt. Posted 19th Bn and transferred to 17th Bn.        D Coy, captured 21/03/1918. Died from inflammation to lungs as POW.

GOSLING FRANK HERBERT 38 01/07/1918 Corporal 17th Bn. ’17/8568′ France NEUF-BRISACH COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION.  Son of Joseph & Elizabeth Gosling. Grundy, Lamb & Grundy Solicitors clerk. Resident of Stockport. Trained I Pln. France 08/11/1915. Captured A Coy at Vaux 22/03/1918. Died Dysentery or inflammation of the lungs.                 

FOAD Henry John Wellard 23 10/07/1918 Private 17th Bn. ‘51173’ Germany BERLIN SOUTH-WESTERN CEMETERY. Son of Henry William and Emma Mary Foad, of 1, Percy Cottages, Durlock, Minster, Ramsgate. Roll of Honour at St Mary the Virgin Ramsgate Kent. Captured 22/03/1918. GSW Right Hip. Died a POW Magdeburg.

DIXON   WILLIAM BALDWIN 27 11/07/1918 Lance Corporal 17th Bn. ‘55023’ Germany BERLIN SOUTH-WESTERN CEMETERY. Son of James and Jane Dixon of 9 Whitton Street, Burnley. Formerly 23320, East Lancs Regt. Captured B Coy 22/03/1918. Died from Pneumonia as POW.   

Burnley Express 12 July 1919 Dixon W B

Credit to the Manchester Regiment Forum for POW records and extra snippets.  Press Reports © British Library National Newspaper Archive. Headstone images credit Findagrave.