Category Archives: Manchester Regiment

Who Do You Think You Are? Lee Mack

Last Night’s Episode featuring Lee Mack is worth watching on catch-up.  Lee’s Greandfather was an original member of the 17th King’s Liverpool Regiment (1st Liverpool Pals) and Prof Peter Doyle gives some good background of the Pals movement – albeit not mentioning the 30th Division neighbours in Manchester.

Best of all Lee walked north from Maricourt to Montauban.  He then visited the Manchester and Liverpool Pals Memorial, where the historian advised that ‘other Battalion’ entered the village, without mentioning which Regiment they were from.  Lee did read the inscription though.

I realise I’m being oversensitive, because the producers couldn’t add too much detail, without losing some of the personal impact of Lee’s recognition of his Grandfather’s involvement.


Robert Mayson Calvert Killed in Action 9th July 1916. 17th Manchesters

Photo Credit RBL

2nd Lt. Robert Calvert. The Times 21.7.1916

The Times 21/7/1916.

Memorial Plaque in St Michael’s Church.  Burgh by Sands, Cumbria. Robert was originally educated at Carlisle Grammar School 1903-1910.   In common with a large group of 17th Bttn Officers, Robert was also St Bees Old Boy (1910-14) and was a Hastings Exhibitioner at  Queen’s College, Oxford (1914-15).

He was  killed at Trones Wood on 9th July. Robert’s body was eventually recovered and he is buried at Serre Road Cemetery No2.  In common with at least three other members of the Regiment, Robert had originally had a battlefield grave in the south west corner of the wood, close to the point where Trones Alley had entered.  His exhumation record from 1929 indicates Robert’s remains were identified with the help of his pipe.  Kenneth MacArdle’s final contribution described Robert in his diary as “Calvert – a student of classics lately from St Bees in Cumberland, with bored looking wrinkles on his forehead and an inability to pronounce his “R”s which he substitutes with “W”s. He was meant for the Civil Service but makes a good enough soldier and is as comic as a clown with a tired resentful expression.” (Thanks to John Hartley) Robert Calvert had been an accomplished scholar, as a Hastings Exhibitioner at Queens College, Oxford. His parents were Robert and Fanny Calvert.  A Major L Calvert  finally arranged the inscription on Robert’s memorial “Remembered at his home, Burgh-by-Sands, Cumberland”.

In one of last letters to a school friend, Robert quoted Aes Triplex, by Robert Louis Stevenson “Does not life go down with a better grace foaming in full body over a precipice than miserably struggling to an end in sandy deltas?” 

As suggested in St Bees Roll of Honour, this might stand as his epitaph.

Not Forgotten.


Didsbury Manchester Pals | GM 1914 Edward Ashworth

Centenary Post for Edward Rose Ashworth, Killed in Action with MGC 28th March 1918, Formerly 8363 Private in XI Pln, C Coy

17th Battalion Manchester Regiment on the Somme

Didsbury Manchester Pals | GM 1914.  is a local site helping the Didsbury library build a presentation for the anniversary.  Here’s some photos to help remember 8369 Edward Rose Ashworthof IX Platoon, C Company.  He was part of the advance Group of the Battalion that traveled from Southampton to Le Havre with the Transport Section on 7th November 1915.  He had a minor wound in a bombardment on 11/1/1916 (See above), where he was treated in the Field.

Edward received a Gun Shot Wound to the right buttock on 17/6/1916.  He was admitted to Hospital in Abeville and evacuated Home for recovery.  He was later Commissioned in the Machine Gun Corps and killed in Action on 28/3/1918.

Courtesy Book of Honour Courtesy Book of Honour

8369 Edward Ashworth Courtesy Brian Donat and Keith Johnson 8369 Edward Ashworth Courtesy Brian Donat and Keith Johnson

Courtesy Book of Honour

Courtesy Book of Honour

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Manchester Blitz Article

via A Fire Watcher on the Town Hall in the Manchester Blitz

Commemmorating Lance Corporal Alf Ridge. Died of Wounds as German Prisoner 21st January 1918.

1095 Alfred Ridge with Poppy

Alfred Ridge – Harlebeke New British Cemetery

Alf Ridge was an Old Contemptible of the 1st Battalion Manchester Regiment and was previously a member of the 6th Volunteer Battalion, before his service with the Regulars in India.  He later served in the 12th and 11th Battalions during the Great War and was finally posted to the 18th (3rd Pals) Battalion.

Alf was wounded in the backside by a German granade during a local assault near Polderhoek Castle in Flanders.  He was taken prisoner and treated in a German Field Hospital near Wevelgem.

Alf died from his wounds on this day in 1918.  He was buried in Menen Wald German Cemetery and concentrated to Harelebeke New British Cemetery in the 1920s.

Alf was my grandfather’s cousin.  My family and friends have visited his grave to pay our respects on a number of occasions.  Alf is definitley not forgotten and I hope a few others will rememember him on the Centenary of his death.

For more photos and background see my original research. 1095 L/Cpl Alfred Ridge