Category Archives: Rembering

Remembering Frederick Whatmough 8959 – 17th Battalion Manchester Regiment. Died 2nd June 1916

CWGC Certificate

CWGC Certificate

Chippily Communal Cemetery Extension. COurtesy CWGC

Chippily Communal Cemetery Extension. Courtesy CWGC

19 Year old Private Frederick Whatmough died on this day 100 years ago.  Records show his grave in Chippily Communal Cemetery Extension in a plot adjoining Private J Redfern of the 16th Battalion, who died on 20th June 1916.

Frederick’s Medal Index Card identifies he died, rather than being killed in action.  John Hartley’s painstaking research Stockports Soldier Frederick WHATMOUGH finds Frederick drowned while swimming at  Chippily.  This is south east of Albert, and west of Vaux, down the river Somme.  The Battalion had withdrawn from Vaux trenches the day before to a camp at Bois Celestine.  Frederick was in VI Paltoon of B Company.  John Hartley (see 17th Manchesters by John Hartley) recounts a letter from his OC, Captain Norman Vaudrey (see 1st July 1916 Anniversary – Officers)


“I very much regret to have to break the news to you of the death of your son, Signaller Whatmough, who was drowned whilst bathing here – a few miles behind the firing line – yesterday afternoon, June 2nd. Though a strong swimmer he must, we think, have been seized with cramp and despite efforts made by his comrades, particularly a man named Hassall, he sank and was drowned. We worked hard to recover him, but it was too late when we did. He will be buried with military honours tomorrow. Since being out here he has always been good at his work and anxious to do his duty; and a favourite amongst his comrades. As you know, he joined right at the beginning of the War, and has been with us all the time, and although his death did not actually occur in the face of the enemy, he died for his country which he served so well. We fully realise how much you will feel this blow and I hope you will accept the sympathy of the officers and men of his company.”

The Regimental Number of 8959 indicates Private Whatmough was one on the original 2nd City Pals to enlist in September 1914.  He must have been 17 years old at that time. Casualties of the MANCHESTER REGIMENT 04/08/1914 to 31/12/1916 tells us Frederick was the Son of Frederick W. and Ellen Whatmough, of 9, St. Paul’s St., Stockport.   Prior to hostilites, Fred had been employed by Peel Watson & Co of 6 Parker Street, Manchester.  7 men enlisted from the firm, as shown on the Roll of Honour.  This includes Harry Hudson, who been at Manchester Warehouseman and Clerks Orphans’ School with Arthur Bell’s brother Douglas.

Not Forgotten

H Hudson in Roll of Honour

H Hudson in Roll of Honour


Remembering 9439 Private Percy Grundy. 17th Battalion Manchester Regiment. Died 1/2/1919

XX Pln, E COy 17th Bttn Photo

XX Platoon Photo in Spring 1915. Individuals are not identified. Courtesy Book of Honour

Percy Grundy was one of the 17th Battalion casualties who has not been readily apparent in records, being shown as serving in the Labour Corps or 3rd Battalion Manchester Regiment.
Percy died on 1st February 1919, aged 42. He is buried in COLOGNE SOUTHERN CEMETERY with the inscription “At Rest” paid for by his father. This post remembers Percy alongside other Pals in the 2nd City Battalion.

CWGC records show Percy served with 3rd Battalion Manchester Regiment and transferred to (432349) 212th Area Employment Company, Labour Corps. This was part of the Army of occupation, formed as a condition of the Armistice. His Victory & British War Medals were issued to Labour Corps roll but the 1914/15 Star was issued on the 17th Manchesters roll, noting arrival in France on 25th December 1915. Neither Medal Roll indicates when the transfer to the 3rd Battalion or Labour Corps took place. The initial posting to 3rd Reserve Battalion in Cleethorpes is quite likely to have followed his wounding or sickness in France.

The Roll of Honour shows Percy trained with XX Platoon. This was part of E Company, which became the 25th Training Reserve Battalion for those men that stayed in Manchester when the majority of the Battalion left for Grantham in the late spring of 1915. Many men were also transferred in to A to D Companies at this stage, but it is anticipated Percy stayed behind, or he would most likely have arrived in France with the Battalion on 8th November 1915.

Percy was the son of Samuel and Mary Ann Grundy, of 32, Tewkesbury Drive, Sedgley Park, Prestwich, Manchester. He was born in Salford in 1878 and the family lived at 130 Broughton Lane, Salford in 1881. In 1911 Samuel lived with his elder brother George and family at 22 Coudray Road, Southport, employed as a trading clerk, West Africa.

Percy Grundy's name in the Book of Honour.

Percy Grundy’s name in the Book of Honour.

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.


Anniversary 9th / 10th July 1916 – III Platoon Men

Picture Courtesy IWM864

The 90th Brigade assault on Trones Wood on the morning of 9th July was initially successful and the 17th Manchesters occupied the northern part of the wood. Following continuing German bombardment the position became untenable and the Battalion withdrew at 5.30pm. At this stage, communication with outlying Platoons and Sections was impossible and many men were left behind when the Germans launched a successful counter-attack. Few men returned and many were taken prisoner. Today we remember the men of III Platoon who died. None of these have known graves; being commemorated at the Thiepval Memorial. The Commonwealth War Grave Commission register the date of death as 10th July, although many of these men will have lost their lives the previous day.

It is not clear which officer was in command of III Platoon. Please see Trones Wood for details of the Officer casualties. These prominently include the diarist 2nd Lieutenant Kenneth Callan Macardle

The most senior NCO, from III Platoon to have died at Trones Wood, was Sergeant Louis Linney 8705. Born in Failsworth, Louis was living at Clayton Bridge before he enlisted and worked at Haslams Limited. He was 28 when he died, having been promoted through the ranks from Lance Corporal in the Heaton Park Roll.

Roll of Honour Broadmeadow S.Amongst the other casualties of III Platoon was, former Lance Corporal Stephen Broadmeadow 8084, who had been out drinking with Arthur Bell in Grantham, during their stay at Belton Park. Following promotion to Lance Sergeant, he was Killed in Action at Trones Wood on 10th July 1916, aged 31. Stephen is commemorated on Memorials at Sale Rugby Club and Sale United Church. Courtesy Trafford War Dead. Stephen left is effects to his father Joseph. He had been born in Moss Side and educated at St Margaret’s School Whalley Range and then St Mary’s School, Ashton on Mersey.

Thomas Barnett Courtesy Adelphi Book of Remembrance

Thomas Barnett Courtesy Adelphi Book of Remembrance

Lance Corporal F. Thomas Barnett 8387 was another NCO that died at Trones Wood. Aged 29, Thomas had been born in Lower Broughton.   He was one of the 1,080 members of the Adelphi Lads Club, Salford, to have served in the War. Resources – Salford War Memorials.


Also missing from III Platoon at Trones Wood was 8364 Private Walter Ashton. Before the war, Walter had worked as a pawnbroker’s assistant and resident in Stalybridge. He had been a member of Foundry St Primitive Methodist Church and is named on Chapel Hill Memorial and the Baptist Church Memorial, Dukenfield.

David Midgley & Sons Ltd - R Schofield & J LawA second Private to have lost his life at Trones Wood was 8703 John Laws. John had been born in St James Parish in Salford.   John’s Will shows he was married to Agnes and lived at Cornet Street, Higher Broughton in Salford.  The Roll of Honour indicates he was employed by David Midgley & Sons Ltd, enlisting with Robert Schofield.

Trones Wood 10/8/1916 IWM Q861

Trones Wood 10/8/1916 IWM Q861