Category Archives: Great War

Remembering Private John Morrissey 8734. Died 2/11/1916.

John MorrisseyJohn Morrissey died on 2nd November 1916 as a Prisoner of War in Germany.  He is buried in NIEDERZWEHREN CEMETERY which includes many men who have been re interred from other previous PoW cemeteries.

Pt. Morrissey was 21 years old when he died having been born on 15/7/1895. The Service Number indicates he had enlisted in early September 1914 and records confirm he had served with B Company, having trained – alongside Arthur Bell’s brother in law, Herbert Vernon – with VIII Platoon.  The Medal Index Card confirms he entered France with the rest of the 2nd Manchester Pals on 8th November 1915; not quite a year before he died of wounds.

Documents released by ICRC in 2014 now provide further details of wounds and Prisoner of War status. These specify John was captured at Trones Wood on 8th [9th] July. He had grenade wounds to both legs and right fore arm. John was transferred through a series of German Camps returning to Ohrdruf on 21/10/1916. It. Is likely that this last transfer was to seek health care for problems with John’s wounds and an indication of his place of death.

John was the son of John and Ada Morrissey, of 3, Bank Place, Salford. John Snr was himself serving in No 336 Prisoner of War Camp, Pembury, as Pte 21153 with the  Royal Defence Corps, when he received funds from his son’s estate. The family had earlier lived at 15 North George. The 1911 census records that he had worked as an office boy, aged 15/16.  He is recorded on Salford’s St Philip with St Stephen – War Memorial– The Parish where he was born.  He also has a commemoration in Weaste Cemetery, Salford

In loving memory of our Dear son John Morrissey 2nd Man Pals Died of wounds received In France Nov. 2nd 1916

Far from his home neath foreign
skies in a soldier’s grave
our dear son lies

Courtesy Gerald Tiddswell,, who discovered John’s father was part of the Royal Defence Corps acting as guard in a British PoW camp.  The Friends of Salford Cemeteries Trust

Private Herbert Bell – Cousin. Killed in Action Palestine 6/6/1917.

Herbert Bell Obit Manchester Evening News 02 July 1917


A free weekend on a well known family history website led to a chance identification of a second family member who lost his life in World War I.  The Bell name was very common in Manchester and I had not previously been able to cross reference one of Arthur Bell’s cousins with any particular Herbert Bell.  I then recognised this Roll of Honour (RoH) record with the 48 Renshaw Street address – where Arthur Bell’s sister had lived with her Aunt Isabella in 1911.  Here’s my attempt to help remember Herbert:- Herbert was born in Manchester on 2nd April 1893 and was christened in Holy Trinity Church, Hulme soon after.  His father William had married his mother Mary Jane Henshall in Holy Trinity, on 19/1/1889 as witnessed by his brother Richard; Arthur Bell’s father. William’s father, Andrew is noted to be a Mechanic and he was probably living with Andrew at 48 Phillips Street.  Herbert was their second son.  Elder brother William Henry had been born in 1891 (went on to be a Lieutenant in RGA).  Younger sister, Edith was born in 1903.  William is noted as an Assistant teacher in the Baptism record and 1901 and 1911 census when the family lived in 16 Phillips Street and 29 Beresford Street respectively.  By 1911, Hebert was an 18 year old Clerk working in a Home Trade Warehouse.  Later newspaper reports indicate Herbert had been employed in Granby Shirt Company in Altrincham, prior to enlisting in Salford. As a man with half dozen family members who joined the Manchester Regiment, it is not known why Herbert chose the Lancashire Fusiliers as a Private – 2344 – with whom Herbert arrived with the 1/7th  Battalion in the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in Egypt on 3rd November 1914.  Unconfirmed thoughts suggest Herbert may have been a pre-war Territorial soldier.  The LF Medal Roll suggest Herbert was renumbered in early 1917 as 280493.

Herbert Bell wounded Manchester Evening News 13 August 1915

Manchester Evening News 13 August 1915 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The 1/7th LF were part of the East Lancs Division and entered Gallipoli in 1915.  At some stage after 4th July, Herbert was wounded (Wounded list published 7th July).  The War Diary for 5th July describes the principal action in the period “The Turks attacked on both flanks, but were driven back with heavy loss.  We again relieved the 8th LF in the firing line.” He was evacuated to Egypt and spent time in the Lady Douglas’s  Convalescent Home in Alexandria. The extracts of his letter illustrates the good treatment he received and some indication the “Turkish Delight” he had experienced in the Dardanelles. The Manchesters and their Division returned to Europe in August 1915 and it is anticipated Herbert was posted to the Machine Gun Corps after his recovery. He was latterly posted to 155th Company of the Machine Gun Corps and allocated number 59137. The 155th Brigade had arrived in Gallipoli with the 52nd (Lowland) Division in June 1915 and they withdrew to Egypt in January 1916. 155th Brigade include Territorial Battalions of the 1/4 & 1/5th Royal Scots Fusiliers and Kings Own Scottish Borderers.  After time spent in Cairo, the Brigade moved to the Gaza Defences of Palestine in 1917.  Herbert Bell was killed on 6th June 1917 after the second battle for Gaza.  He is buried in Gaza War Cemetery.

Herbert Bell Manchester Evening News 06 June 1918


Herbert’s Effects were left to mother and father, along with a large share to his fiance Edith Cox. His grieving father arranged the inscription on Herbert’s grave “He nobly fell at duty’s call. He gave his life for one and all” The extensive Obituaries in the Manchester Evening News in 1917 and anniversary 1918 illustrate the loss to family and friends. William and Mary Jane Bell’s testimony to their son is repeated:- Some day we hope to meet him, Some day, we know not when, To clasp hand in the better land, Never to part again. Herbert’s younger sister Edith and brother Will  remembered their brother and reference is made to ‘sisters’ little Marie and Alice.*1 Edith wrote on the first anniversary of Herbert’s death:- One long, sad year has passed away Since our great sorrow fell, Yet in our hearts we mourn the loss Of one we loved so well. Herbert’s Brother Will was serving in France, Commissioned in the Royal Garrison Artillery when he wrote:- He nobly fell at duty’s call. He gave his life for one and all, A loving brother, good and kind, A beautiful memory left behind. Herbert’s ‘broken hearted sweetheart’,

Courtesy Ibrahim Esam Jaradah

Courtesy Ibrahim Esam Jaradah

Edith Cox remained deeply grieving when she wrote for the anniversary:- I that loves you sadly missed you, As it dawns another year, In my lonely hours of thinking Thoughts of you are ever near. Writing from 48 Renshaw Street*2 Herbert’s aunt’s Mary Ann (Polly) remembered him with her sister Isabella Ridge who was grieving her own son Alfred Ridge (18th Manchesters)The supreme sacrifice – his bright young life. The message also refers to Cousins Edith, Bessie and Frederick Foulkes (21st Manchesters) Aunt Ethel (Unidentified) and Uncle Joe (in France) also paid their respects along “May his reward be as great as his sacrifice” with Aunt Ria and Uncle Will (in Palestine).  This was probably William Foulkes.

Photos before and after planting in 1926, courtesy CWGC Archives

Post Script

The development of this website has created some charming moments and Highlights. I remain moved by the help received from a young man in Gaza, who provided the photos of Herbert’s grave.  Ibrahim Esam Jaradah works for CWGC in the Gaza strip and kindly took the photos the day after my request on twitter.  Ibrahim’s twitter explains his perspective in the continuing pride in his family’s work “It’s an honor to Jaradah family to be in a work team of the in Israel and Gaza since the establishment and till now, some of its members earned MBE title.” 

This site is not a voice for current world affairs, or my own views on issues in Palestine.  However, the news of recent missile strikes close to Herbert’s grave is a firm reminder of the daily tensions faced by Ibrahim and his family 100 years after my distant cousin was fighting there.  Ibrahim placed a poppy wreath on Herbert’s grave for us:-

Courtesy Ibrahim Esam Jaradah

Courtesy Ibrahim Esam Jaradah

NOTES *1 The 1911 census confirmed only three siblings, meaning Alice and Marie must have been spiritual sisters, in laws or nieces. *2 48 Renshaw Street was the Foulkes family home in 1911.  Polly and Bella Bell were younger sisters of William Bell. *3 Cousin Ethel and Joe (in France) have not been identified at 48 Renshaw Street.  Neither has Aunt Ria and Uncle Will (in Palestine) of 81 Palmerston Street, Moss Side. Probably William Ewart Henshall and Maria Henshall who lived at the address in 1911.  Uncle Will  was Mary Jane’s brother and Herbert’s aunt.

William Henry Bell was Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Garrison Artillery 17/12/1917 and demobiliesed 25/10/1919, following which he relinquished his Commission on 1/4/1920, retaining the rank of Lieutenant (LG 13/12/1920). William was a Cadet at No 2 RGA Officer Cadet School, Maresfield Park, Sussex from 18/7/1917.  He had previously served as a Gunner 292476  with 125th Heavy Battery RGA, which has served in France from April 1916. He enlisted on 29/5/1915.  The 125th Heavy Battery was raised with the Manchester Pals as part of 30th Division, although arrival & service in France was separate.  They took part in the great bombardment of the German trenches prior to 1st July 1916 and the maintained the advance through hard fought territory including Mametz and Montauban.

The Historical Record for the Battery notes “Our stay in this part of the line [Savy] which lasted until May 31st war remarkable for the number of men sent home to train for Commissions. Gunner Johnson left us for that purpose at Liancourt, B.Q.M.S. Hill and Staff Sergeant Saddler Boone at Vaux and others were Sergeant Wheeler, Bombardier Baker, Gunners Bell and Newman.”

Records show William’s address with his mother at 29 Beresford Street, Moss Side and show his last unit as 260 Siege Battery. He had been a clerk prior to enlisting with W Ramsden, Painter & Decorators of 70 Spear Street.  William was educated at Ducie Avenue Higher Grade School, Greenheys.

What was my chance of Survival on the Somme?

How lucky am I that Grandad survived his service in WWI?   This is a fundamental question that remains in the background as I learn more and report hostilities.

Roll of Honour showing the names of the men in the photograph.

As a sample of Manchester Pals, I’ve used the III Platoon Roll as published in the Book of Honour.  We don’t know who’s who on the majority of the Platoon photo.  We do have some information on each of the individuals in the list.

Analysis of CWGC & SDGW records shows 19 of the 64 Men in III Platoon Roll died during hostilities.  A little under 30% of the sample were killed or died.

In view of my wider knowledge of The Cost the proportion of fatalities was surprisingly low.  Further analysis of the Roll shows a group of men that did not leave for France on 8th November 1915, who may be dismissed from a true sample of fifty five men who left England with the Pals.  Part of the excluded Group includes NCOs who’d been transferred to other Battalions or Corps and another man arrived in France during 1916.  However, the majority of the excluded group were not combatants.  These 6 men were either dismissed as unfit or unsuitable for service, or they served as Garrison troops away from Theaters of War.

Following the revised sample, it can be seen that 19 of 55 men died who arrived in France with the Pals.  The chance of survival was 65% – a little over 2/3rds survived.

III Platoon, 17th Battalion Manchester Regiment.  March 1916, Heaton Park.

III Platoon, 17th Battalion Manchester Regiment. March 1916, Heaton Park.




Cheadle Hulme School – Heritage Day 2014

WACOS Crest IIIt was a privilege to visit Cheadle Hulme School in early September, as guests at their Heritage Day.   The experience was shared with my  father, who is the son of a former Foundationer of the School when it was known as the Manchester Warehouseman and Clerks’ Orphan Schools.  Allan Arthur Bell attended the school in the first decade of the 1900s alongside his sister Dorothy and brother Douglas.  My cousin joined us a second grandson of Arthur Bell.

The pupils, staff, friends and wider community produced an excellent and well balanced commemoration of the history of their school, especially during the period of World War One.  The day started with a production introducing some characters of the school during the war period.  This included the portrayal of a number of girls and boys familiar to my research and definitely associates of my grandad, great uncle and aunt.  A long term research question was also answered when the production introduced the Ashworth sisters and their brother.  My father confirmed the ongoing friendship with Mr Ashworth as he and Arthur Bell’s other children had always purchased sports equipment at Ashworth’s sports outfitters of Stockport when they were children.  Arthur Bell was employed as a clerk in a sport outfitters in 1911 and it’s quite possible the young men worked together.

We were subsequently taken on a tour of the grounds and buildings.  Highlights were the dormitory where Grandad will have slept as a boy and the indoor pool where he learned to swim.  This led to his life saving award from the Humane Society of the Hundred of Salford, but also a possible explanation for subsequent generations passion for aquatic sport (missing my dad!).

A general display was provided showing the full heritage of the school.  This includes the first ‘whole school’ photo in 1906/07 – including grandad and his brother or sister.  The gems then kept being presented commemorating the pupils and staff during the war.  The impact on the community and use of the school as a Hospital was also provided.  Ultimately I had to accept my cousin and father were less enthusiastic to read every ounce of detail – more interested in eating sponge cake in the dining hall! This did provide the chance to pick up a copy of Melanie Richardson’s excellent book ‘Heads and Tales’, which provides further gems on the 150 year school history.

I hope Charlotte Dover and other members of the school community record all of Charlotte’s hard work.  She has done a wonderful job and it was delightful to see that I had been able assist with one or two bits and bobs.

Congratulations to Cheadle Hulme School for their successful Heritage Day.  (no marking of my spelling or grammar thanks)

For a start a gallery of some photographs are below for identified connections of the school with the Manchester Regiment, please see Manchester Warehouseman and Clerks Orphans’ School – Manchester Regiment




War Diaries at the National Archive

As time goes by the Anniversary project for digitising all unit War Diaries is coming to a head.

I have now discovered the newly digitised version of the War Diary for my Grandad’s Battalion – the 2nd Manchester Pals.  The 17th Battalion, Manchester Regiment for 1915-18 is @ 540 pages long and cost me £3.10 to download.

I have some happy hours ahead digesting the original notes concerning the men and events covered in this site and written by some of the Officers who now seem remarkably familiar.

The photo for this post concerns the disastrous withdrawal from Trones Wood This page of the Diary doesn’t mention the losses on on 9th July, nor the failed communication resulting in most of A Company being left behind and captured / killed.  Lots more reading is required.

Until corrected (?) I believe I can post these Crown Copyright images, because this site is non-profit. If the images later disappear we will know why!


Cyril Grindley Donnison – 69th Training Reserve & 9th Essex

Cyril was the son of Arthur Bell’s auntie Gertrude (nee Grindley) and uncle Charles – a Professor of Music.  Arthur’s Army Small Book registers his address with Cyril and his family at 6 Warrener Street, Sale.

Cyril was a former Clerk who enlisted as 26296 in the 69th Training Reserve Battalion on 1st May 1917 – a month before his 18th Birthday.  This was the successor unit to the 25th Battalion, Manchester Regiment and had the original objective of training men for the City Pals in the 16th, 17th and 18th Battalions.  At this stage in hostilities troops had little influence over their posting Cyril found himself in the 1/8th (Cyclist) and 9th Battalion Essex Regiment, to whom is Victory and British War Medals are credited with number 45682 The Medal roll indicates he also served in the 2nd Essex.  Cyril served in France and returned to England in February 1919 when he was granted 28 days furlough at home with his parents.

I have vague recollections of an ‘Uncle Cyril’ and his brother Charlie at family parties.  Watch this space for records of the Essex Regiment.

Manchester Warehouseman and Clerks Orphans’ School – Manchester Regiment


Courtesy Cheadle Hulme School

Courtesy Cheadle Hulme School

Courtesy Cheadle Hulme School

Courtesy Cheadle Hulme School

Courtesy Cheadle Hulme School

Courtesy Cheadle Hulme School

A recent introduction through the GUEST BOOK has inspired a wider interest in the boarding school where Arthur Bell and his brother were educated after their father had died.  This post will be used to develop connections between the school and the Manchester Regiment.  Arthur Bell referred to a school friend named ‘Polly’.  Still searching for him… The City Battalions were formed to enlist the Warehouseman and Clerks of Manchester.  It is somehow additionally rewarding to see the ‘natural’ destination for a number of pupils and staff in the 16th-23rd Battalions

Thomas Roberts H T Gaddum 16th Battalion

Corporal Thomas Herbert Roberts  6672 Died of Wounds 06/07/1916 aged 21 DAOURS COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION.  Son of Henry and Stella Roberts, of 1, Queen’s Terrace, Clarence Rd., Rusholme, Manchester.  From War Diary cpl 6672 Thomas,Herbert Roberts[B.coy],1 Queens Terrace,Rusholme wounded 1st july,has died in the casualty clearing station at Daours.  Thomas had been a clerk in a shipping warehouse in 1911, living at his parents’ address.  Prior to enlisting he was employed by H T Gaddum & Co of 57 Brown Street.  His father was an estate agent and received Thomas’ effects.

L/Cpl Edward Thomas Thanks to Atherton of MRF and Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

L/Cpl Edward Thomas Thanks to Atherton of MRF and Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Sgt E Thomas 16th Bttn X Pln C Coy Courtesy Book of Honour

Sgt E Thomas 16th Bttn X Pln C Coy Courtesy Book of Honour

Thomas E B 6563 6th Bttn Lance Corporal Edward Baldwin Thomas 6563 Birth Place:  Preston, Lancs 12/11/1886 Death Date:  3 Mar 1916 Enlistment Location:  Manchester 16th Battalion- X Platoon Sergeant in C Company 1915. SUZANNE COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION (Grave Incorrectly specifies 6th Battalion)

Obituary Thanks to Atherton of MRF and M.E.N. 18/3/16 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Obituary Thanks to Atherton of MRF and M.E.N. 18/3/16 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Courtesy of Cheadle Hulme School Archive ‘We regret to announce the death, in France, of Sergeant Edward B. Thomas who, we understand, was the first Manchester man to join the City Battalions. The following few lines, quoted from a letter sent by his Commanding Officer to his mother, will show how determined, and with what energy Thomas performed his military duties. “He was killed in his dug-out in the trenches – I personally feel his loss greatly, in fact the whole platoon worshipped him; he always took an interest and looked after them. He was an excellent N.C.O., very efficient, and absolutely fearless. He was a credit to his Battalion: He was buried with full military honours.” A finer testimony no man could wish for.’ (Magazine – May 1916, p15) The Officer was probably 2nd Lieutenant Sidney R. Allen who wrote to  6219 Corporal William Isherwood Brown’s family (Courtesy The bracketed italics relate to further information published in the Battalion War Diary.

Letter received from 2nd Lt. Sidney R. Allen…stated that he (Cpl Brown) was one of the remainder of 2 sections of their platoon [D Coy] who were sleeping in a dug-out [in Suzanne] when at about 12.20 am [1.30am] the roof fell [a portion in the far end] in burying most of them.  Three men were killed in this incident [the remaining 10 men escaped with their lives].    The cause of the collapse was the severe frost and thaw in the chalk above In a long letter, he states that when he arrived at the scene, the South Lancashires were digging furiously trying to locate the buried men. He and 12 others were in a dugout at North Street – this dugout had not been completed and was not safe. At 13.30 hrs it collapsed & William was killed in his sleep along with Pte 6977 John Cowell…and Lance Corporal 6563 Edward Baldwin Thomas…

Obituary Thanks to Atherton of MRF and M.E.N. 21/3/16 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Obituary Thanks to Atherton of MRF and M.E.N. 21/3/16 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Thomas E B 6563 16th BttnThe War Diary reports that the three men were buried in Suzanne Cemetery at 5.30pm.  It was a cold wet day.

6942 Private Frederick Norman Reno Warren

Known as Norman. Next of Kin Ida Marguerite (11 Rushmond Ave, Urmston) as shown living with brother and mother Ida Beatrice Warren on 1911 Census when Norman was a Warehouseman heavy drapery. Foundationer on 1901 Census. Enlisted as warehouseman 1/9/1914 aged 23 yrs 1 month. Trained with XI Platoon of C Company. France 8/11/1915. Wounded 1/7/1916 Montaiuban. Gun Short Wounds Head & Face, with both legs and eyes and arms. Returned Home on Carisbrook Castle embarking Le Havre 10/7/1916 and arriving 13/7/1916. Promoted Lance Corporal (unpaid) 1/7/1916. Treated in St Dunstan’s Hospital Brighton. Discharged Unfit Depot Bttn SWB 18/9/1916. Badge lost and replaced. Born Eccles, Manchester. 25% Disability Pension. Resident Craigside, Swanage, Dorset.

17th Battalion Private

Allan Arthur Bell 8055 As shown in One Recruit Arthur Bell attended the school in 1902 to 1909.  His brother Douglas (Richard Douglas) and sister Dorothy were also pupils.  Arthur won a Duncan Matheson Prize for the year of 1908-09. ‘(Founded by Duncan Matheson, Esq., on distributing the Prizes, October, 1884, and perpetuated by his daughter, Mrs Paddock, in 1904, in the memory of her father.)  Value £15, consisting of Two Silver Watches for boys, and Books of a superior character for boys and girls, awarded for excellence of conduct and general efficiency.’   He was also awarded a silver medal for the Humane Society for the Hundred of Salford, relating to a swimming competition at the School in 1909.



WACOS Prize 1908

WACOS Prize 1908

IMG_0641WACOS Prize 1908 Private Richard Wilson Bertenshaw 8077 Likely to have served with Lt Heyworth in C Company, although he is not included in any of the April 1915 Platoon photos.  A letter from Richard’s OC Captain Kenworthy on 28 June 1916 indicates he was serving with D Company at that stage.  He entered France with 17th Battalion 8/11/15.  Promoted unpaid Lance Corporal  9/2/16.  Paid 2/7/16.  Posted to Depot (Home) on 9/7/16, following Gun Shot Wound to his back at Trones Wood (MEN).  Treated in Northumberland War Hospital, Gosforth 15/7/16-1/9/16. Leave from 2/9/16, then Posted 3rd Battalion, Cleethorpes recovering after treatment on 11/9/16.  Returned  BEF 15/12/16 and posted to 16th Battalion 19/12/16.  Promoted Corporal 23/4/17, after defence of Arrras. Further posting to Depot as Corporal and candidate for commission on 22/10/17 after returning home – possibly wounded again.  Leave at home in Manchester 22/10/17 until Posted 15 Reserve Brigade 7/11/17.  Cadet posting 8/2/18 and Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant 30/7/18 – with 3rd Battalion in Cleethorpes – London Gazette 2/8/18.  Possible later service with 20th Reserve Battalion Royal Irish Rifles. Born St Luke’s Parish, Manchester and aged 25 when he enlisted on 2/9/14.  Previously employed as a commercial traveler. Married to Margaret Dobson and resident 7 Church Lane, Harpurhey. Capt.Kenworthy’s letter concerns allotment to Robert’s wife Margaret following their marriage at Hapurhey Parish Church on 20/6/16.  It is remarkable that the marriage could have taken place so soon before the Battle of the Somme! Brothers William, Harry and George Herbert (Served Royal Field Artillery Ex 4th V.B.).  Sister Sarah Anne resident 17 Amos Street, Harpurhey.  Lived at Mansfield Road, Blackley when he received his medals in 1938. Leonard Edmondson Fine Cotton Spinners

Private (Signaller) Charles Alan Edmondson 8131 Brother of Leonard Alfred Edmondson – signed up one after the other to be Boarders (no. 339 and 340), and also to enlist in the Army (8131 and 8132). Charles survived the war but his brother did not.  Enlisted 2/9/16. Aged 24 & 6 months.  Employed as Clerk with brother Leonard in The Fine Cotton Spinners & Doublers’ Association Ltd.  Discharged 23/11/14 Physically Unfit.  “Not likely to become and efficient soldier.” Resident 231 Heald Place, Rusholme.  Entitled to Pension.  Parents Alfred and Madeline living at 60 St Bee’s St, Moss Side with brother Sean Alfred  in 1914. Later 251 Heald Place, Platt Lane, Rusholme.

Corporal Leonard Alfred EDMONDSON 8132 Member of XI Platoon, C Company – Born 18/5/1889, Whalley Range, Manchester. Killed in Action at  Flers 12/10/1916.  Aged 26. Son of Alfred and Madeline E. Edmondson, of “Alarldale”, Highbury Avenue, Prestatyn, Flint.   Buried A.I.F. FLERS.  Brother of Charles (above) and Sean.Employed as Clerk with brother Charles in The Fine Cotton Spinners & Doublers’ Association Ltd (See Roll with Charles) Parents Alfred and Madeline living at 60 St Bee’s St, Moss Side with brother Sean Alfred  in 1914. Later 251 Heald Place, Platt Lane, Rusholme. AIF Flers

Private (Signaller) Emrys Edwards 9033 Emrys was a member of IX Platoon of C  Company. Born Broughton. He had worked at J Dilworth & Sons since leaving school. Mother Anne Edwards was living at 7, Delamere Avenue, Pendleton, Manchester.  His report in the School Magazine (Nov 1915 and Nov 1916) Describes life in camp in Nov 1914 Mag, p38 – includes ‘By the way, the beds are not so soft as we were used to at the good old School: a straw palisse on a wooden floor is hardly a luxury; but no complaints are made.’  Emrys was killed instantaneously by a sniper at Montauban on 1/7/1916.  He has no known resting place and is commemorated at Thiepval Memorial.

Private Harry Hudson 8163

H Hudson in Roll of Honour

H Hudson in Roll of Honour

Harry was on the list  of boarders on the 1911 Census – in the same list and similar age as Arthur Bell’s brother Douglas.  It is most likely Arthur and Harry will have been familiar with each other through Douglas and also because Arthur’s later years at the School coincided with Harry’s arrival. Born in Hulme, Harry enlisted  on 2/9/16 aged 19 years 8 months.  Previously employed with Peel, Watson & Co, he trained with XV Platoon of D Company.  Holding a Chequered disciplinary record at Heaton Park and Belton Park  for absence and breaking out of camp.  This resulted in numerous days C.B. forfeiture of pay and Field Punishment Number I and II.  Also deducted 4 Days pay for being late back from final home leave from Larkhill  on 21/10/15.   France 8/11/15 Wounding to head in accident (Rifle Grenade) 18/8/16. Treated Bethune Hospital. Wounded and home 3/5/17. Gun Shot Wound Right Leg. Flesh Slight Superficial, but Septic. Posted Depot 4/5/17.  Leave to Hayden Avenue, Whitworth Park 24/7/17 after discharge from hospital.-3/8/17. 3rd Battalion 4/8/17.  Returned France 10/9/17. 2/6th Manchesters 28/9/17.  Record continues including Disobeying order and improperly dressed on parade.  Compulsorily  transferred to East Lancs. Regiment 31938. 18/6/18 after the 17th Manchesters had been disbanded.  Discharged Class Z 22/3/19.  Brother John Malcolm.  Sister Florence.

19th Battalion

Almond Leo  MEN 28.4.1917


Private Leo Almond 47366 Leo was the son of Thomas E. and Hannah H. Almond of II Boscombe Road, Blackpool.  He was shown as a 13 year old pupil in the 1911 Census with Douglas BellHeads and Tales  provides letters from Leo to his mother, principally concerning his passion for football and Manchester City.  Six years later he was serving in the 19th Battalion and killed in action on 2nd/3rd April 1917.  Lt Col Charles MacDonald (Former Adjt of 17th Bttn. See Merchiston Castle School) provided detailed reports of events and casualties for the respective Plaoons involved with the action at Heninel.  It is not possible to link these to the specific circumstances of Leo’s death.  He is buried in  HENIN COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION .Leo had originally been buried in the nearby Henin British Cemetery, from which his remains were relocated in the early 1920s.  His brother Edgar Hawley Almond also attended the School in 1911.  The family lived with 2 servants at 426 Stockport Road in 1901.  Thomas Almond agreed the inscription on his son’s grave “Until the day dawns and the shadows flee away”.  He was then living in Blackpool.  Leo is also commemorated at Christ Church, Patricroft.

William James Victor Crowther 12505.

Brother of John Crowther who died having served with 1/5th Manchesters. William trained with I Platoon, A Coy and was a member of the Battalion Bugle Band. William has been a pupil at the School in 1901. He had been an Iron Grinder aged 25 yrs 11 mnths when he enlisted in Manchester on 24/9/1914. He lived at 19 Fisher Street, Miles Platting – where he had been resident with wife Ellen and daughter Dorothy in 1911. His other daughter Hilda Cynthia died the same day. Paid Lance Corporal 11/9/1915. Transferred to Depot when he was invalided Home from France with sickness on 26/10/1916. Discharged from 3rd Scottish General Hospital Stobhill, Glasgow. Stayed at Home for remainder of Service. Revert to Private 4th Bttn 9/2/1918. Appointed Drummer. Discharged fit 6/5/1919. Resident 5 Highland Terrace, Factory Lane, Harpurhey. Received a Pension for wife an 2 children due to Shell Shock.

Captain George Raymond Swaine

19th Bttn Officers incl 2nd Lt Swains.  April 1915.  Courtesy Book of Honour.

19th Bttn Officers incl 2nd Lt Swaine. April 1915. Courtesy Book of Honour.

Captain Swaine

Captain Swaine

George Swaine is identified as being born in Calverley, Yorks and a 22 year old teacher at the School on the 1911 Census and he was Geography Master in 1914.  Arthur Bell’s brother Douglas Bell is shown as a pupil.  Records show George as relatively tall 6ft when he enlisted as 11706 Private Swaine in 19th Battalion on 7/9/14.  He was promoted Acting Sergeant on 16th September and then Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on 30th November – London Gazette 1st December.   When the Battalion went to France George was O.C. Battalion Scouts and part of D Company.  The 19th Official History also notes his

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser 17 July 1914

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVEDAdvertiser 17 July 1914.

involvement in the assault on Glatz Redoubt – where Arthur Bell in 17th Battalion followed through the assault and successfully took the village of Montauban.  The History Recounts “In addition, they [runners and scouts] with H.Q. Bombers and others, consolidated about thirty yards of Alt trench [German second line] built firesteps and dug a deep protective trench.  The C.O. and Sec. Lieut. Swaine established this post.”  See The 19th (Service) Battalion for more details of the 4th Pals.  He was on leave in England – possibly wounded – when married a Miss Clay on 13th December 1916.   Captain Nash of 16th Battalion possibly referred to George in his diary “Swaine, a subaltern who had been wounded at Montauban, rejoined the Battalion and was posted to my Company.” The reference to ‘rejoining’ may contradict the assumption.  The Diary later notes Swain was invalided by 24th March 1917. The Swaine family were living at 5 Birch Avenue, Stockport when he was accepted for his Silver War Badge having resigned his Commission with ill-health as Captain on 3rd May 1919.  In 1923 he lived at Fieldhead, Rose Hill, Marple in Cheshire, where he formed a new Co-ed boarding school in premises rented from the Earl of Derby.  Photos and more details to follow hopefully.  His Grandaughter Rosalind posted the following on BBC – Remembrance  “My Grandad Swaine was a scout and following active service on 1st July during the first Somme offensive and subsequent service, he eventually succumbed to trench fever and was gassed. He finally came home in December to get married. Being so tired, he slept in the train and went straight through the station at Wilmslow and ended up in a siding in Manchester. All the guests had to go home and he finally married the next day – Friday 13th December. he was ill for some time after.”  The portrait photo comes from this link.  Also See George Raymond Swaine

Sergeant 11681 Harold Lawton Taylor enlisted on 10/09/1914, trained with IV Platoon and went overseas as a Corporal with 19th Battalion on 8 November 1915.  Harold was captured at Guillemont on 23/07/1916 and held as a POW until he was repatriated on 22/11/1918, prior to his transferto Reserve on 15/02/1919. He had won a Swimming Medal with the School in 1909. Elder brother Frederick Norman Taylor had been a pupil at the School in 1911. He served in the Indian Army Engineers, prior to his Commission in the Royal Field Artillery.  He retired from the Army and lived in Canada.

View from Position of former Guillemont station with clear field of fire towards line of advancing British troops

Private James Waters 11692 Killed in action in the assault on the stronghold village of Guillemont on 23 Jul 1916. THIEPVAL MEMORIAL and St Thomas Church, Pendleton.  Born Pendleton, Salford 18/10/1892.  Son of the late Japheth (DIed 1898) and Helena Waters. Shown as 8 year old boarder in the School’s 1901 Census return. Former Resident Church Inn, 1 Ford Lane, Pendleton. Left Estate to James Wroe, Licencensed Victuallers manager. More than 500 men were missing after the attack.  146 are recorded by CWGC in the period from 22-25th July 1916.  The 16th 17th & 18th Battalions took part in the second (of many) failed assaults on Guillemont.  There are numerous Manchesters at rest in these fields with James.

20th Manchesters Belton Park

20th Manchesters Belton Park

20th Battalion

Lance Corporal Frederick Percy Leybourne 17410 MM Former pupil born 12/3/1893 who enlisted 17-11-14 and trained with B Company VI platoon of 20th Manchesters.  Former insurance clerk entered France 8-11-15.  Home address at 15 Tatton Road North, Heaton Moor with parents William & Florence.  Sent to 21st Officer Cadet Bttn at Crookham,on 9-3-17.  Commissioned 2/Lt 26/7/17.  Posted to 19th Battalion on 1/2/18, a week later posted to the 17th Manchesters when the 19th was disbanded.  22nd April 1918 posted to 21st brigade as intelligence officer.  He died of pneumonia on 1-11-18 at the 2nd Canadian casualty clearing station while attached to the 6th Cheshire Regiment, aged 25.  Y FARM MILITARY CEMETERY, BOIS-GRENIER. Awarded the military medal,gazetted 19-2-17 and also mentioned in despatches 27-12-18.  His family formerly lived at ash cottage Slade Lane, Levenshulme where his father had been previously married to Louisa, who died in 1889,his father died in 1902.  His mother applied for his medals on 12-12-1920.  Profile courtesy Mack of MRF. Also see Stockports Soldier Frederick Percy LEYBOURN

F P Leybourn's original grave commemoration. Courtesy Wpickeri Manchesters Forum

F P Leybourn’s original grave commemoration. Courtesy Wpickeri Manchesters Forum



Lance Corporal Herbert Wignall  18117 Died of wounds 18/4/1916. MERICOURT-L’ABBE COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION.  The War Diary shows the Bttn to have been serving in the trenches of C1 Sector, facing Fricourt in the days prior to Herbert’s death.  It is likely he was wounded by a sniper, stray machine gun, or German artillery. Arrived France 9/11/1915. Born in Levenshulme on 15/2/1890, he was the son of Elizabeth Wignall, of 37, Lindsay Avenue, Whitegate Drive, Marton, Blackpool, and the late Albert Wignall (d1906). The School Magazine reported Herbert had been “…an overseer on a sugar plantation in British Guiana, returned to England at the outbreak of the war to do his share, whilst his brother Sidney , who was away in New Zealand, joined the NZ Rifles unknown to any of his relatives in Manchester, and it was only when he was sent on Foreign Service that he communicated the news to his mother.” Elizabeth received her son’s effects. The parents had 14 Children. Herbert was an A.B, Seaman in the Merchant Service, resident in family home at 32 Barlow Road, Levenshulme in 1911. Other brothers seem to have served in the Manchesters. H Wilkinson Thos Hill & Co Ltf 18065 Private Harold Wilkinson Harold died of wounds on 2/8/1916 and is buried in ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY.  The Bttn was involved with a major assault on Bazentin Woods on 14/7/1916 and it is possible this is where Harold was wounded.  He had arrived in France on 9/11/1915 and left his Effects to his brother Ernest and his mother Gertrude S Wilkinson, who had emigrated to 1612, 10th Avenue, San Francisco, U.S.A.  The Head of the family in the 1901 Census was Harold’s father, Henry, aged 61. Harold had been born in Eccles on 11/3/1894. Prior to enlisting, Henry was employed by Thos. G Hill Co Ltd.

21st Battalion



CSM Frederick William Barker 19056 A Company’s CSM Barker died of wounds in 2 Stationery Hospital, Abbevile on 8/9/16 aged 33.  It is likely Frederick was wounded in the vicinity of Delville Wood.  The War Diary notes almost 250 men were killed wounded or missing in the period from 31st August to 5th September. He was the son of Mrs and the late Mr Frederick Barker of Kentmere, Westmorland, indicating the possibility of growing up as an orphan.  He left his Estate to his mother Mary Ellen Barker, with part to his siblings and is buried in. ABBEVILLE COMMUNAL CEMETERY  His Medal Roll shows Fredk arrived in France with the rank of Sergeant on 10/11/2015, promoted WOII by the time of his death.

Lieutenant George Coatman

George was a pupil at the School in the 1901 Census Roll.  By 1911 he was a stationery clerk living with his parents in Chorlton cum Hardy.  A Lieutenant George Coatman lived at Hartington Road, Chorlton when he received his British War and Victory medals in 1927.  A George Cartman had been commissioned 2nd Lt on 3/4/1915.  He was also included in the Manchester Grammar School roll of wounded, invalided or missing. Reported in MEN wounded list of 13/9/1916.

Lance Corporal William Burslem Poole 35700

M.E.N. 20/4/1917 Obituary Thanks to Atherton of MRF and Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

M.E.N. 20/4/1917 Obituary Thanks to Atherton of MRF and Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

W Pool Reiss BrosBirth Place: Manchester Residence: Chorlton-cum-hardy, Lancs Death Date: 2 Apr 1917  Killed in action in the successful assault on the German  line near Ecoust-Longule-Croiseilles.  The Manchesters suffered heavy casualties from machine gun fire.  The War Diary reports 18 men killed in action and 6 more died of wounds.  William is buried in  CROISILLES RAILWAY CEMETERY  Birth Place: Moss Side, Lancashire, England Civil Parish: South Manchester County/Island: Lancashire Country: England Street address: 22 Herbert St Whitworth Park Marital Status: Single Occupation: Mercantile Clerk Registration district: Chorlton Registration District Number: 464 Sub-registration district: HulmeMary Brown Poole  46 in 1911.   Son of Samuel and Mary Poole, of Manchester; husband of Beatrice Poole, of 119, Longford Rd., Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester.  Included in School Census return for 1901.  William was employed by Reiss Brothers prior to enlisting.  Their Roll of Honour shows that he had originally been rejected for Military Service.  He must have tried again, by successfully joining the 21st Battalion.

M.E.N. 20/4/1917 Thanks to Atherton of MRF and Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

M.E.N. 20/4/1917 Thanks to Atherton of MRF and Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

George Wallace William Graham & CoWallace, George Douglas 2nd Lieutenant in 21st Battalion Manchester Regiment. Killed in Action 26/10/1917, aged 37. On this day the Bttn took part in a major assault on the German positions near the Menin Road southwest of Gheveult.  The War Diary provides a vivid description of events in which 7 officers were killed, including Charles Critchlow 1 missing and 5 wounded.  Eighteen had taken part in the assault which commenced at 05.40am.  This was held up by heavy mud jamming all weapons – “almost before the advance commenced” – enfilade machine gun fire from both flanks and disorganisation as other troops mixed in with the Manchesters. PERTH CEMETERY (CHINA WALL) Second son of Jane Wallace, of 13, Leyborne Park, Kew Gardens, Surrey, and the late John Cuthbertson Wallace. George had been resident at 61 Bamford Road, Didsbury. Prior to enlisting, George was employed by William Graham & Co. He left his effects to his mother who was resident in Kew when she received her son’s medals. George had been a student at Manchester University and joined the 28th London Regiment in 1914 as 6035 (761194). Having arrived in France on 5/3/1916, he was later commissioned in the Manchesters on 24/6/1917. George is shown as a 10 year old boarder on the 1891 census return for the school. He had been born in Chorlton on Medlock in July 1880. The family lived in Withington in 1881. Father, John was a merchant’s buyer. Elder brother Charles had also been a pupil. He was killed on 23/4/1915 serving in the Canadian Infantry. Territorial Battalions 1st/5th Battalion 201699 Private John Crowther. Overseas 1916 onwards. Born Manchester 25/4/1894.  Withdrawn from School 22/1/1906 owing to bad health.  Enlisted Manchester – estimated December 1915.  Died at Home in a Hospital  on 2 Oct 1918, aged 24. There is no reference to wounds, suggesting John died of illness. Southern Cemetery Panel &  MANCHESTER GENERAL CEMETERY Screen Wall.  Son of late George William and Sarah Crowther, of 73, Lever St., Manchester. Estate Agents Clerk in 1911.  Sarah received her sons Effects.

Captain Sam Dickson MC. Captain Sam Dickson MC was killed on 20/10/18, aged 27.  The War Diary notes that Sam was OC of C Company and killed by an enemy shell at Marou, north of Le Cateau.  He is buried at BELLE VUE BRITISH CEMETERY, BRIASTRE.  He was a former bank clerk, resident Marple, and son of Clara J. Dickson, of 4, Napier Rd., Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, and the late Samuel Dickson, formerly of Portadown, Co. Armagh.  Sam was Gazetted for his MC on 29 November 1918 for bravery when he had held the rank of Lieutenant “For conspicuous gallantry during an  attack.  He rushed a machine-gun team, shooting down the crew with his revolver.  Throughout a stiff day’s fighting he did excellent work in command of his company and set a splendid example of cool courage to his men”  Early speculation suggests the events took place on 2/9/1918 near Villers au Flos.  Two Captains had been wounded in this action and the 1/5th Battalion dealt with enfilade machine gun fire.  Sam had been Gazetted on 19/10/1918 as temp Capt ‘whilst commanding a Company 17/9/1918’. The Gazette of 14/12/1917 reported Sam’s previous promotion to Lieutenant on 1/7/1917 The 1901 Census shows Sam and and elder sister Emmie Dickson as Pupils. Former Corporal in Army Service Corps.  Commissioned 27/10/1915.  Arrived France 11/2/1917.

Private / Signaller Francis Septimus Hill 201676 Killed in Action 28 Mar 1918 aged 26.  The Battalion was defending the German spring offensive near the village of Ablainzeville, south of Arras. The enemy bombardment started at 8.45am and lifted at 10.10 when the Germans attacked in a number of attempts, being repulsed on each occasion with heavy losses.  2nd Lt C E Frost was killed, along with an estimated 40 Other Ranks.  Buried GOMMECOURT WOOD NEW CEMETERY, FONCQUEVILLERS Grave Photo Born Ardwick, Manchester 4/10/1891.  Born in Ardwick, son  of the late Richard Wright Hill and Alice Hill, of Gorton, Manchester.  Lived with mother in Gorton in 1911, employed as a Clerk. 1901 Census at School.  Enlisted in Manchester. Ralli Brothers R A Aspinwall

1st/6th Battalion

Private Rupert Allen Aspinwall 1802 Former pupil who served with D Company in Gallipoli.  Son of Elizabeth Aspinall of Trafford Bank, Chester Road, Old Trafford and late Alfred Aspinwall  Missing and assumed dead in Gallipoli 7/8/15 aged 22.  Rupert was killed in the vicious fighting in the Battle of the Vineyard – See  Stockport Soldiers Battle of the Vineyard.   Date if birth 22/8/1892. Rupert was a clerk in 1911 and is included in the Messrs Ralli Brothers Roll.  His brother Archibald may have been commissioned 2nd Lt. in the Machine Gun Corps in December 1917. No records have been found for youngest brother Alfred Douglas.  It is likely all three were pupils and older brother Hewitt emigrated to Canada. His effects were shared between Elizabeth and brother Archibald who had originally enlisted 3151 in the Duke of Lancs Own Yeomary and was resident in Ashton on Mersey in 1923,.

Corporal George Barlow 1513 George is another former pupil killed in Gallipoli / Dardanelles with the 6th Battalion where he had landed on 5th May 1915.  He has no known grave and was assumed dead on 4/6/15.  George was killed in the Stockport Soldiers – 3rd Battle of Krithia.  The Manchesters charged the Turkish trench and succesfully secured the enemy reserve.  However, without support on the flanks, the men were forced to withdraw.  Courtesy John Hartley as above “770 men of the 6th Manchesters had gone into action. By nightfall, when the roll was called, only 160 were fit enough to answer. 48 men had been killed. “C” Company had been virtually wiped out. The Battalions would still have to fight off Turkish counter-attacks during the night. The 6th Battalion, as the others, would be in the firing line for three more days before it was relieved and would suffer another 100 recorded deaths. It is believed that a significant number of the deaths recorded as occurring on the 5th and 6th actually took place during the initial fighting.” He was the son of Walter & Elizabeth Ann Barlow and born in Cheetham.  His elder brother John Edward died on 19/4/1917 serving with the 20th (Public School) Battalion Royal Fusiliers in France.  Younger brother Arthur is also listed on the Memorial as 17823 in the 15th Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment), having been a former resident of Kingshorn, Fife. Eldest brother Walter served as a signaler at Home and received George’s effects. Probationer at School on 1901 Census, aged 14.

Corporal Edmund Compton Butterworth 250558 – Previously 2614 Former pupil.  Arrived in Mediterranean theatre 23/7/15.  Served in Gallipoli and Syria.  Killed in action in France 20/06/1917 aged 33 and buried at  RUYAULCOURT MILITARY CEMETERY He is also commemorated at SWARM St Andrew’s Church, Eccles, Memorial Edmund was killed by German shelling as the Battalion relieved the previous unit in the front line near Ruyaulcourt *1 JH Pg 178.  SWARM Eccles & Patricroft Journal 6.7.1017. He had been born in 1884 and was the son of Frances Sarah Butterworth, of 56, Monton Rd., Eccles, Manchester, and the late Edmund Butterworth.  Frances received her son’s effects after his death. Prior to enlistment he had been a shipping clerk, resident in Eccles. Edmund had been a member of Eccles cricket and lacrosse clubs.  He had also played lacrosse for Lancashire and the north of England. His brothers Stephen (below) and Lionel “Laddie” (4th KLR) were pupils at the school in 1901.  Their parents had 7 children.

Stephen Compton Butterworth MM Edmund’s brother also enlisted in the 6th Battalion 252170, aged 28, as a former member of the 2nd Volunteer Bttn.   He was held in reserve until posted to 1/6th Btn in June 1916.  He was transferred to 2/5th, then 2nd Bttn at Etaples after wounding in June 1917, having arrived in France in April 1917.  Later transferred to 361408 R. Engineers after recovering from wounds 27/12/17.  John Hartley *1Pg 226 indicated Stephen received a Military Medal in April 1918.  He was discharged in 1919.  Stephen had been an insurance agent prior to enlisting, married to Mabel Isherwood in 1913 and resident 110 Russel Street, Moss Side with daughter Mabel Elizabeth who was born in May 1914.  Pupil Boarder in 1901.

Private Harry Coops 2378 See Stockports Soldier Harry COOPS part of MANCHESTER REGIMENT on CHEADLE HULME memorial and buried at Helles Memorial, Turkey. Charles Turton (Below) wrote to Harry’s parents, explaining that Harry had been preparing food when he was shot underneath the shoulder by a sniper. Killed in Action 26/5/1915. Arthur Hayes Jones BrosSergeant Arthur

Frank Lythgoe Finch 4345 According to the sequence of his Regimental number Frank enlisted in the 1/6th Battalion in November 1915. He served with 6th Battalion after December 1915 and was transferred at some stage into Loyal North Lancashire Regiment 29749. He retained the rank of Private throughout Service. Frank was a Foundationer pupil at the School in 1901. By 1911 he was resident at 24 Cicero Street, Moston employed as a shipping clerk.

Private William Andrew Greenhalgh 4335 Arrived Boulogne 4/8/1916. He was attached to LNL on 13/8/1916 and later Transferred to 9th Loyal North Lancs Regiment 29748 and then 1/5th LNL on 10/8/1918. BWM & VM Roll next to Frank Lythgoe Finch, suggesting they may have transferred at the same time, possibly enlisting together with William on 25th November 1915. William was a 26 year old textile buyer when he enlisted in Manchester. His employer had been the Commercial Bank of Spanish America, 45 Whitworth Street. He was discharged from 3rd LNL with Silver War Badge on 9/3/1919, resident 152 Weaste Lane, Pendleton. William had been born in Weaste. He had a gun Shot wound to the right loin & left arm on 12/9/1918 at Burton Wood. He was initially treated in 45th CCS before 1st Australian Hospital. He then returned Home on 22/9/1918 and was treated in 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham and Hospital in Worcester. He receives a minor Pension.

Stanley Hayes 88 “C” Coy. 6th Bn. Died in hospital 8 Jul 1915 from wounds received during a charge made on June 4th 1915 – Heliopolis:  Aged 32 Cemetery: Cairo War Memorial Cemetery,  Egypt.  Son of the late William Henry and Annie Hayes; husband of Edith Hayes, of Rose Bank, Crosby, Isle of Man. Born at Manchester 13/7/1882.  Likely to have been the Sgt A Hayes listed in the Roll of Honour for Jones Brothers Limited, York Street Warehouse. The Roll shows numerous men who served in the 6th Battalion.


Courtesy Cheadle Hulme School

Private James Harold Hayward 3830 / 251242 Killed in action near Nieuport 29/10/1917. Aged   22 ‘…the Manchesters were not the main target of the German infantry and they were fortunate to return to the reserve positions having suffered only one fatality – twenty-two year old James Hayward.’  *1John Hartley, p189 COXYDE MILITARY CEMETERY, Belgium.  Born 22/6/1895. Son of the late Thomas Ballinger Hayward and Eliza Hayward, of Manchester. Residence: Southport, Lancs. Brother of Lieutenant Frank Rupert Hayward, who died 23/8/1918 at Yatebury, Wilts serving with Royal Flying Corps. Known as Harold, he left effects to his mother Eliza and brother, Herbert Armitage Hayward.    Harold has lived as 78 Egerton Road, Withington and was a well known footballer.

Private Arthur Edward Heeley 2637 Killed in action 23 Sep 1915 at Gallipoli. Buried at TWELVE TREE COPSE CEMETERY, Turkey.  Born 24/11/1893.  Son of late Arthur Heeley and Elizabeth Heeley, of  4 Norbreck Avenue, Chorlton-cum-Hardy.  Employed as Insurance clerk in 1911, living with mother at 8 Gaddum Road, Didsbury. Resident Waterloo, Liverpool.  Estate left to his mother and Thomas Wilkinson, cotton goods manufacturer. ‘Mentioned in the Battalion War Diary as having ‘behaved very gallantly’,Sept 20th 1915. ‘Letter received giving particulars of the death… “He was shot by a sniper whilst crawling from the bombing pit to his dug-out. There were five of them who had been throwing these bombs, and he was the last to leave. He was killed instantly. You will be proud to hear that the Colonel has recommended him for the D.C.M.; but as so many are recommended and nothing is heard further of it, we are not thinking any more about it.” ‘ (Nov 1915 School Mag, p17-18) ‘Stanley Cooke was one of the men… ‘Bombs were flying thickly and I had some narrow shaves. Poor Ted Heeley met his death about 5:30am, shot through the head.” *1John Hartley, p135) Corporal George Haynes Heeley 3186 Arthur’s younger brother (born @1896) received the 1914-15 Star with 1/6th Bttn (14/8/15 2b) and is shown on the Roll as transferred to the RAF 26067 on 14/6/16.  His medals were unclaimed.  George lived in with his mother and brother in Didsbury in 1911, employed as a shipping clerk.  The November 1917 School Magazine reported “Corporal G.R.Heeley, 17 Eldon Square, Reading, after twenty months with the Manchesters, has been transferred to the RFC.”

Private Walter Heywood 2092 Death assumed at Gallipoli 07/08/1915, aged 23.    HELLES MEMORIAL Son of Mr. and Mrs. William Heywood, of 445, Promenade, South Shore, Blackpool.       Resident and born in Blackpool 26/4/1891.  Enlisted Manchester.  Walter left his effects to his brother, Stanley.  Possibly the Walter Heywood shown as wounded on the Roll for Broughton Copper Co Ltd Private John Harry Lawrence 1224 Born Flixton 1889.  Pupil in 1901. Costing Clerk Resident 25 Stretford Road, Urmston in 1911 when he enlisted in the Territorials.  Served in Egypt from Sept. 1914-29/6/15 when he returned Home wounded to left arm and side from a Turkish hand grenade at Gallipoli on 4/6/15.  He returned Home via Malta on the Glengaron Castle Hospital Ship.  Discharged 14/4/16.  He lived at Urmston in 1918.

Private William Harry Lee 3315.  William had been born in Crumpsall in early 1897.  He enlisted in 1/6th Battalion on 19/1/1915, close to his 18th Birthday. He served in France, where he was wounded and after recuepration he was discharged wounded with a Silver War Badge on 11/12/1916.

Private James Harold Leonard 49850 Born Manchester 1898. Foundationer in 1911.  Served with 1/6th Battalion in France 1st to 5th April 1918.  James was then transferred to 31401 in 11th E Lancs, where he served until 20/8/1918.  He then transferred to 43rd Battalion Royal Fusiliers – 83751 – until retuning Home on 28/11/1918.  James elder brother Albert was killed in Flanders on 9/4/1918, serving with the Highland Light Infantry

Private John Stuart Selbie 2432
Regimental number sequence suggests enlistment in September 1914. Later Commissioned 24/10/1916 Machine Gun Corps Rank: Lieutenant Medals Awarded: British War Medal and Victory Medal 1914-15 Star Private Shippers Clerk in 1911, living at 35 Roseneath Road, Urmston when he enlisted.  Later Resident St Catherines, Parkland Grove, Ashford, Middx

Corporal Douglas Smith 250832 Killed in Action  near Serre 24/6/1918.      BERTRANCOURT MILITARY CEMETERY.   Born Levenshulme, Manchester 26/1/1895. Son of Mr. I. Smith, of 11, Beech Road, Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire. Stockports Soldier Douglas SMITH

Charles Turton Courtesy Vanessa Dixon

Courtesy Vanessa Dixon

Private Charles Greaves Turton 2143 Killed in Action 04/06/1915 aged 26.  HELLES MEMORIAL. Born 21/8/1889.  Son of John William and Margaret A. Turton, of 7, Grosvenor Terrace, Otley, Yorks. Charles had been a friend of Harry Coops and written to Harry’s parents after he had been killed.  This was only a fortnight prior to Charles being killed.  A wonderful photo album was recently found and scanned showing employees of the Manchester & County Bank.  A photo of Charles can be found with two colleagues from the Stockport branch. Thanks to Vanessa Dixon for the Photo  Employed by the Bank since July 1906. Charles Turton

Lieutenant Alfred William Whitehead 13 year old pupil on 1911 Census.  Enlisted in 6th Battalion as Private 2442 – later renumbered 250488.  Arrived Gallipoli 17/8/15. Survived hostilities and Commissioned Lieutenant 5/2/19.

Private Norman Wells 2861 Born 19/5/1892. Foundationer in 1901. Died of Wounds in 36 CCS. ZUYDCOOTE MILITARY CEMETERY 25/9/1917. Left Estate to John Charles Whitehurst. Norman had been Resident 52 Brompton Road, Rushholme. Employed as clerk in 1911 and resident with uncle and aunt. Baptised Feb 1893 as Son of Harry (died 1899) and Amelia Wells died 1910 (springer) of 26 Whallley Avenue, Chorlton cum Hardy. Medal records show service as Private in 1/6th Manchesters 2861,Corporal in 1/9th Kings LIverpools 332951 and Commissioned 26/6/1917 in Lancs Fusils 1/2nd Bttn attached 16th Bttn. Arrived Egypt with 1/6th Manchesters 2/8/1915. Siblings George (Jutland with RN) and Dorothy.

Private Arthur Chester Yates 2286 Pupil between1889 & 1904.  Died of Wounds in Malta Hospital 8/6/15 following injuries to his thigh in Gallipoli assault on 4/6/15.  More details here Stockports Soldier Arthur Chester YATES part of MANCHESTER REGIMENT on STOCKPORT memorial and buried at Pieta Military Cemetery, Malta. Employed by Tootal Broadhurst & Lee. Private William Chester Yates 2337 William was known as Billie and a pupil at the school between 1905 and 1911; as shown on the Census.  He was killed in action in Gallipoli on 7/8/1915.  Originally posted as missing, his body was never recovered. More details here Stockports Soldier William Chester YATES part of MANCHESTER REGIMENT on STOCKPORT memorial and buried at Helles Memorial, Turkey Employed by Tootal Broadhurst & Lee. Private Wilfred Chester Yates 2357 The third Yates brother who was a former pupil (1902) and served in the 1st/6th.  Records show he was wounded in the hand in Gallipoli.  There is some confusion between the two W C Yates.  One received a Silver War Badge when he was discharged with wounds on 7/6/16.  Probably in common with his brothers, Wilfred had enlisted on 31/8/14. 2nd/6th Battalion Private James Poole 250745 Died of wounds 9 Oct 1917 aged 22.  NINE ELMS BRITISH CEMETERY.  Born 26/2/1895. Only son of Susannah and the late James Henry Poole, of Sandy Mount, Eccles, nr. Manchester.  Enlisted Manchester.  Susannah received his Effects.

1st/7th Battalion

Lieutenant Coutts Bewley Douglas MC 6th and 7th Battalions Lieutenant in 1/7th Manchester Regiment  27/3/15.  Previously 6th Bttn. Enlisted 1/8/1915. Received 1914-15 Star.  Disembarked 10/2/17.  Demob. 18/1/19.  MC 11/1/19.   Shortly after the commencement of an attack all the officers of his company became casualties, and two of his platoon sergeants were killed. Alone he led his company to its objective in a thick mist, established it there, and on his own initiative pushed forward two platoons and occupied a position of great tactical importance in front of his objective. He set a splendid example of cool courage to all ranks with him.{Person%20identity}={Douglas,%20CB}%29 Herbert Nidd Sparrow Hardwick & Co Captain Herbert Henry Nidd MC 16th & 7th Battlions Herbert Nidd was the son of John George Nidd of Queen’s Gate, Manchester Road, Wilmslow, Cheshire. Herbert was born on 16 July 1877 in Higher Broughton, Salford. His mother, Sophie, died when he was 15. He had spent some time living in London, moving back to this area in 1900. In 1914, was working for Manchester textile merchants, Sparrow, Hardwick & Co, as a mantle buyer. On 2 September 1914, he enlisted, as a private, in the 16th Battalion, The Company Roll shows numerous men serving with the 16th (1st City ‘Pals’) or 1/6th Territorials. Herbert was quickly commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on 27 October 1914. He was promoted to Lieutenant with effect from 1 June 1916. Around this time, Herbert took command of “B” Company and these new responsibilities were noted with the award of a temporary rank of Captain. This was made permanent with effect from 27 March 1917. He saw service at Gallipoli and in France. After three and a half years continuous service, he had been offered six months leave at home, but only took 10 days. On 21 March 1918, the Germans launched a massive offensive driving the British back across many miles of the hard-won gains of the previous years. It was not until the 25th that the Manchesters found themselves under attack and had to withdraw. The next day found them at the outskirts of the village of Bucquoy. This had a certain irony with the troops as they had been “at rest” here eight months previously. There were no prepared trenches and the men had to find whatever cover they could. For Herbert and the rest of “B” Company, there was precious little to be found. They held this position all day under frequent artillery shelling. Over the next two days, the enemy continually shelled the British front line and the German infantry made gallant attempts to advance, but without real success. The Battalion’s War Diary, for the 27th, records that, at 11.30am, the shelling increases to a bombardment which continues until dusk. There was constant enemy movement during the day. “Lines of them advance, apparently to attack, but attack is not pushed home on our front. Enemy is apparently endeavouring to secure an assembly position in shallow dead ground about 200 yards from our own front. Our rifles and Lewis Guns do a lot of execution. Our casualties considerable.” For his actions during this time, Herbert was awarded the Military Cross. His citation reads “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty under an intense hostile bombardment. At a critical moment, when the enemy appeared to be working round his flank, he quickly rallied his men and counter-attacked, driving them back. He continually walked about under heavy fire, encouraging his men and showing a total disregard for his personal safety.” Herbert had also received a minor wound but he continued to be “at duty”. After this, the Battalion went into “rest” during May. Not long after this, Herbert’s health deteriorated and, on 18 July, he was hospitalised, first in France and then in Leicester. He was subsequently invalided out of the army and returned to live in Cheadle Hulme with his aunt and uncle. The history of the Battalion records “We had always known that his grit and determination exceeded his physical capacity, but his splendid sense of duty led him to ignore this fact, although it was common knowledge that had he so wished he could have been invalided out of the army long before. After severe trials at Gallipoli, a campaign he went through from June to evacuation (he was one of the very few men to whom the evacuation was irksome), he had a relapse in hospital in Egypt for some weeks. The Bucquoy fight, however, had proved too much for him and he never really recovered from the ill effects of it. This was accentuated by the death of two of his near and dear friends…………..His name can be added to the long list of victim of the great German offensive in March.” Herbert died at home in Cheadle Hulme. His death certificate records cause of death as acute endocarditis and epileptiform convulsions. His family, including his stepmother, were with him when he died. Herbert is buried in Willow Grave Cemetery Profile Courtesy of John Hartley Roland Armstrong Mather & Platt Roland Armstrong 2804 Private 52142 in 19th Kings (Liverpool Regiment), formerly 2804 7th Battalion Manchester Regiment.  Killed in Action 20th Sept 1917.  Born Salford 20th Sept 1897 (CHS).  Enlisted Manchester.  Son of Mary Jane Armstrong, of 59, Roberts St., Patricroft, Manchester, and the late John Henry Armstrong. Tyne Cott  and Christ Church Patricroft Memorials.  Left most of his effects to his mother with shares to his siblings.  Inmate at School on 1911 Census. Previously employed by Mather & Platt Limited.

1st/8th Battalion Private Herbert Hampson Rofe 61143 Killed in Action 6 Nov 1918 aged 20. HARGNIES COMMUNAL CEMETERY, NORD. Born Flixton 2/11/1898.  Son of Harry James and Sarah Louisa Rofe, of Tan-Y-Gwalia, Tal-Y-Cafn, Denbighshire.  Enlisted Stockport. See Stockports Soldier Herbert Hampson ROFE Sources *1 Particular credit to John Hartley for his book – 6th Battalion Manchester Regiment in the Great War ‘Not a Rotter in the Lot’.  John’s painstaking research provides a clear journey of these Territorial Battalions journey  through hostilities.  The details information on the men also illustrates this alternative group of Pals.

Manchester City Battalions Book of Honour, Sherratt & Hughes 1916 – Review

The Book of Honour has been a wonderful resource for this site.  Platoon rolls provide a list of names and group photographs of the Pals that trained together at home in Heaton Park Camp.  With the help of various forums, the images of individual men have been identified from the Platoons – truly helping to remember these men for generations to come.  The large volume also provides HQ photos and list of men serving from large Manchester firms.  This clearly shows the context of the young men enlisting in autumn 1914 and helps illustrate to likely impact on the City they left behind.


Guillemont then and now