GUEST BOOK

Feel free to introduce yourself and tell us what you’re looking for?

Any comments are welcome.  Some of the most exciting elements of this project has been the sharing of information, records and photographs.  Just a quick comment expressing your view or research queries will also be welcome.  The development of the internet opens new resources on a regular basis.  Queries, ideas, hypotheses and guess work can then be developed over time.

If anyone is disappointed or upset by any clumsy or inappropriate content, let me know.  Best wishes to all visitors to the site.

182 thoughts on “GUEST BOOK

  1. 8055bell Post author

    Thanks very much. I will have another look into your site. There’s so much data on the net, this will be an ongoing project. Hopefully a reasonable standard by the Centenary.

    Reply
      1. 8055bell Post author

        Thanks Geoff,
        I’m not a collector, but I’ve passed on the link to an aficionado.
        I double checked this isn’t my Gt Uncle first. The number confirms it can’t have been.
        Cheers
        Tim

  2. 8055bell Post author

    [Recieved via email]
    Name: RF Parrott
    Comment: My great-great-great-grandfather’s great-grandnephew Richard Frederick Parrott (Service No. 8267) was in the 17th Manchesters and died on the 27th of July 1916 in the Somme. If anyone has more info regarding his military life, please leave a comment.

    Reply
  3. 8055bell Post author

    Thanks for dropping in.
    I have been looking for man with the nickname ‘Polly’ and have noted your relative a few times. If he went to Clerks & Warehouseman’s Orphans School, please let me know.
    Private Richard Parrott is buried in Phillips Park, Manchester and was presumably severely wounded on 1st-3rd July or 9th/10th July and evacuated.home. http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/371653/PARROTT,%20R
    I’ll try to find out more, but try the true experts on http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php
    Cheers
    T

    Reply
  4. 8055bell Post author

    Courtesy Manchesters.org:-
    Pte 8267 Richard, Frederick Parrott of 77 Hinckley St, Bradford, Manchester was wounded at Montauban on 1st July and died of his wounds on 27-7-16,at the American women’s war hospital, Paignton. Worked at T Collier& Co, Manchester.

    Reply
  5. 8055bell Post author

    Courtesy the mancyclopedia of the Regiment – Mack
    pte 277134 james,arthur parrott – [Richard’s brother]
    2/10th manchesters
    born bradford,manchester
    enlisted manchester in may 1916
    landed in france june 1917
    survived the blood baths at messines ridge and 3rd ypres,killed in action near passchendaele ridge on 9-10-17
    lived 77 hinckley st,bradford,manchester

    pte 8267 richard,frederick parrott
    17th manchesters
    born bradford,manchester
    enlisted manchester in sept 1914
    landed in france 8-11-15
    fought through the battles of ypres,loos,albert and vimy ridge,dangerously wounded in the battle of the somme on 3rd july 1916,died in paignton hospital,devonshire on 27-7-16.
    lived 77 hinckley st,bradford,manchester
    See http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=248516.20

    Reply
  6. 8055bell Post author

    Richard’s Medal Index Card confirms entry into France on 8/11/15, consistent with most of the Battalion. He was entitled to 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

    Reply
  7. RF PArrott

    Sorry I have no info on his education, but if you can find out anything about that T. Collier warehouse that’d be really interesting.

    Reply
  8. cazscott

    What a fantastic website this is – so well research and presented in a really engaging way. I want to cancel work today and sit down and read all of it. Am respectfully taking my (invisible) hat off to you!

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Thanks Caroline,
      We have lots to learn from each other and many people following similar research. Have a look at my Acknowledgements section to see some other resources. I look forward to sharing ideas…
      Tim

      Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Hi Farren,
      I engaged with your poem and thought it made the mark for the Govt. failures. Great work.
      I’d assumed this was an old poem out of copyright. As such I’m sorry if my acknowledgment of your pen name needs to be expanded. Please let me know how you would like to be recognised. Equally, if you want me to remove your work from the site, I would understand.
      Noting your Scottish location, please let me know how I should reconcile the prospect of the break up of the Union when the 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers were very British 100 years ago. I realise the 4th South African Infantry were from a British dominion, but I’m struggling to imagine what the men lost in Guillemont would be thinking now. Feel free to decline the debate if you wish.

      Cheers
      Tim

      Reply
  9. Ally Goodman

    Hi Tim,

    Fantastic site. I came across it whilst looking for info on my Great Grandfather who is mentioned on your site – “Edward Barnett, who enlisted in the 19th Battalion, aged thirteen.”

    I will show this to his daughter (my Gran, aged 93) as she will be very interested and often talked about how young Edward was when he enlisted.

    Many thanks,

    Ally Goodman

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Hey Ally,
      I’m glad you like the site and it’s great for relatives of the Pals to be sharing information a century later. I’ll rummage through my notes to see if I have more information on Edward this evening. If you have any stories from your Gran, I’d love to hear them.
      Tim

      Reply
      1. 8055bell Post author

        Ally,
        I checked out my notes. Mack on http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php provided the following and confirmed Edward was the youngest known ‘man’ to serve abroad in the Regiment – an amazing accolade!
        “i know all about pte 12932 edward barnett
        14 glen st,cheetham hill[parents jonathan+isabella]
        he enlisted on 27th may 1915 in the 19th manchesters and gave his age as 19yrs old,working as a draper,he went to france on 23rd december 1915,on 22nd january 1916 he was posted to A.coy,20th manchesters,after they discovered his age,they sent him home on 13th april 1916 and he was posted to the 26th manchesters at altcar where he was discharged on 24th may 1916,his age at the time was 14yrs,3months,his character was described as a well developed lad and a excellent soldier

        mack Grin”
        I’ll email a document to you and post a picture on a separate thread (techno alergy permitting). Give my warmest regards to your Gran. She should be very proud of her dad. Please think about joining the forum. If your Gran has any photos or tales, members would relish the prospect of learning more. Have a look on my acknowledgements section for more sources of data and also think about a book by Albert Andrews (on my Xmas list) who served with Edward in 19th.
        Tim

  10. Ally Goodman

    Hi Tim,

    This is all fantastic to read, thank you very much. I’ve just tried to register on the forum but it appears to be down at the moment (“registration is currently disabled).

    I will hopefully be heading to see my Gran either this week or next and will pass on all of this info. I’m sure she has at least one photo that I can recall of Edward in his uniform and will certainly share anything that she can be provide. I know she’ll be thrilled with all this.

    Is this the book you mentioned: “Orders are Orders – a Manchester Pal on the Somme: The Dairies of Albert William Andrews” I will check it out along with the others on your list.

    Ally

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Ally,
      You’ve got the right book. I think this will tell the tale of Gt Grandad’s service in the UK, before his journey to France and transfer the 20th.
      Looking forward to hearing from your Gran!
      Have you emailed Haribobs to join the forum? Others have had problems and I promise persistence will pay off.
      T

      Reply
  11. Charlotte Dover

    Dear Tim,

    I am the Archive Research Assistant at Cheadle Hulme School (formerly Manchester Warehousemen and Clerk’s Orphan School) and I am currently doing research into the ‘Old Boys’ who fought in the First World War with the aim of putting together a Commemorative Exhibition at the School.

    Whilst researching I came across your excellent website and saw that not only are you the grandson of one of said Old Boys, Allan Arthur Bell, but that you also have a lot of information about his military service and regiment as well as a number of photographs. Would it be possible for us to use some of the information and copies of photographs in our exhibition please?

    In addition, if there is any possibility that you could also send me a transcript of his interview with Martin Middlebrook it would be greatly appreciated, I tried to access the recording on the Imperial War Museum’s website, but it was not available. A first-hand account such as his would be invaluable.

    Any help with this project would be much appreciated, we in turn have some details of his time at the School which we would be happy to forward to you if you would so wish.

    Yours sincerely,

    Charlotte Dover
    Archive Research Assistant.

    Reply
  12. Pingback: Manchester Warehouseman and Clerks Orphans’ School – Manchester Regiment | 17th Manchester Regiment on the Somme

  13. Annette Roberts

    My Great Uncle Tom Sharples was one of the Manchester Pals, 17th Battalion 2nd Platoon killed on 1st July 1916 at Montauban, he was the third son of William Alexander and Mary Ann Sharples and brother to George, Alexander, Richard and Mary Ann Abbott (Polly) Sharples.
    He worked in the Contracts Dept., Manchester Town Hall and was well known in his tennis club and Secretary to the Mens Association, St Johns Church, Cheetham.
    Many thanks for the inofrmation on this excellant site.

    Annette Roberts

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Annette,
      Great to hear from you. Tom’s Service Record is on line. If you have any letters or photos, it would be very interesting. Stay in touch.
      Tim

      Reply
      1. 8055bell Post author

        Hi Annette,
        I find the Thiepval Project a great resource although my companions prefer not spending quite so much time in the Visitor Centre as I do. It’s a shame the records are not online. I now post information on unless it is 17th Battalion data which belongs here if people offer it. Have you read the Service Record and do you have the II Platoon Photo and Roll?
        Tim

    2. 8055bell Post author

      Hi Annette,
      I just picked up the following from themanchesters.org Anniversary of 1st July
      SHARPLES – In ever loving memory of our dear brother,
      “Lance-Corporal TOM SHARPLES, 2nd Pals, who fell in
      action at Montauban, July 1, 1916.
      One of the best.
      Sadly missed by all at home, GEORGE and ALICE.
      ALEC and MOLLIE, KITTY and MAUD.”

      Reply
      1. Annette Roberts

        The ‘Maud’ referred to is my late grandmother. George and Alec were his brothers along with Richard (Maud’shusband) my late grandfather.
        I send info on Tom to the Thiepval project, I haven’t directly accessed it myself. It contains photos and articles Tom wrote on his experiences of life in the trenches.

  14. gbuts

    Thanks so much for this information. Ralph Mariller Miller was my uncle and I will share this with the rest of my family.
    Susan Butcher (Nee Miller)

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Hi Susan,
      You are most welcome. ‘Jockey’ Miller seems to have been a bit of hero to my Grandad and you probably see I feel the same. https://17thmanchesters.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/anniversary-30th31st-july-1916-iii-platoon-17th-manchesters/
      I have seen somewhere he was recommended for a Military Cross, but these weren’t awarded posthumously. When I find the record, I will let you know.

      If you have any photos of Ralph or his records / medals etc, it would be a privilege to post them on this site.
      Tim
      ps You are officially a Highlight of this research!

      Reply
  15. Pingback: Frank Dunn 8528 | 17th Manchester Regiment on the Somme

  16. Helen Wolfenden

    I have just found my Gt Gt uncle on reading JOHN HARTLEY’s ‘THOMAS BROUGH Private 9210’.
    I was hoping to see his name somewhere – it’s been a long journey trying to find him and was very good to see his name. John Lewis, Manchester Regiment died 30th July 1916. I have a photo of him if this can be posted to the site – let me know.

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Hi Helen,
      It’s great to hear from 17th Bttn relatives. I will create a separate Blog post for 8223 Private John William Lewis. We can use this to build a record including his entry in XIV Platoon Roll of D Company and the corresponding photo. If you have a portrait, I will be delighted to add this. John will have been killed during the assault on Guillemont.
      I imagine we will find out quite a lot of information that can be added over time.

      Tim
      Looking forward to building John’s record with you. If you can provide a separate comment with an email address, I will take the email and hide the post to stop your email being published to them evil phishers. There may be documents I can email to you, but not publish due to copyright.

      Reply
  17. Pingback: 8223 Private J W Lewis | 17th Manchester Regiment on the Somme

  18. Mark Macdonald

    Hi
    I’ve just found your site whilst searching for any new information on my Grandfather 2nd Lieutenant Norman Heywood MC who is mentioned on your Military Cross page. I have a photo that I can let you have so as to add to the page if that’s any help, from my perspective it would be good to see!
    I also spent some time at the Public Records Office in Kew some years ago and have pieced together a fair bit of information regarding his movements and actions during the War, I also used other sources such as Michael Stedman’s Manchester Pals, A History of the Manchester Brigades.
    I originally produced a document for my mother as prior to that none in the family really knew anything about his exploits during the war. It’s essentially a war diary for my Grandfather, I’d obviously be more than happy to share this and anything else that I have…… you’ve created a great site so I guess the more content the better?
    I will now spend a bit more time going over your site!
    Many thanks
    Mark

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Hi Mark,
      Contact with relatives is always great and adding a photo to Norman’s profile would be wonderful. I’ll happily create a separate page recognising your ‘War Diary’. I also wonder if the http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php would be better for the wider audience? Adding the pic. would be great whatever route you choose.
      Tim

      Reply
  19. Kate Ambler

    I am a researcher currently working on a BBC WW1 Factual Drama, and I’d like to speak to someone regarding obtaining the right to reproduce one of the photographs on this website.
    Many Thanks

    Reply
  20. Pingback: Ernest McNamara 18th Battalion | 17th Battalion Manchester Regiment on the Somme

  21. Jon

    Henry Kay Evans.8135, 17th Bn., Manchester Regiment who died on 12 October 1916 Age 28
    Son of Thomas W. and Agnes Evans, of 28, Ashwood Avenue, West Didsbury, Manchester.

    Dear Sir / Madam,

    I am writing to you about two letters that we have found.

    In the 70’s, living in Manchester, my mother brought a box of second hand books, There was an old bible in the collection and in the bible we have found two letters about the death of Sgt Evans.

    One of the letters is from Rev RW Balleine CF informing the parents (Mr and Mrs Evans) of the death of their son. It is dated 14th October 1916 and describes how he was killed in action two days before.

    The second letter is from Sgt Evan’s friend (Private A Wilkinson) who was in the foxhole with Sgt evans when he was killed instantly by ‘German machine gun fire’. This is an extremely touching and moving letter. it also makes reference to their friend Private John Kenyan.who was later wounded.

    The letters are typed in red ink, and in excellent condition.

    I contacted The Lancashire Military Museum and they were able to point me to the CWGC and the details with respect to Sgt Evans. Thanks to your web site we have got further details and see that he attended Manchester Grammar School and his father was the Editor of the Manchester Evening News.

    We would very much like to pass these letters and bible on to surviving relatives of Sgt Evans. There is no mention of a wife… so we are assuming he was unmarried. He will, it is likely, have nephews and nieces?

    So our ideal would be to send the letters and bible to his family, but failing that we would feel it would be right to send them to the archives for the Regiment he was attached to.

    You possibly have the contacts , knowledge and skills to help me with this quest?

    .Kind Regards

    Jon Stack

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Hi Jon,
      These letters sound wonderful and form an important part of the Battalion History!
      By strange coincidence I was reading some newly published letters from a member of C Coy of 17th Bttn last night. The insight into the real life experience is simply amazing.
      I agree that it is important to find the right home for the letters and I will email you later with contact details for the Museum. We can also try to find a living relative, but we will need to seek help for this quest. I know just the people..
      Great Stuff

      Tim
      ps My grandad went to County Cork in the 1920s to meet a friend from the 17th Bttn. I’m yet to find out who this was, so please bear this in mind during our meanderings through time.

      Reply
      1. Jon Stack

        Hi Tim,
        Thanks so much for your speedy reply!
        I have really enjoyed and learned so much going through your site.
        Hopefully, if the family can be tracked down and you would be interested they will agree to letting you have a copy. It just feels right to try to contact them first.
        My own Grandfather was originally from Mayo and moved to Manchester where my father grew up. I smiled when I saw that Sgt Evans’s father was the Editor of the Manchester Evening News…my father was editor of the Stockport Advertiser at the beginning of the 1980’s.

        There has been recent significant changes about recognising those from the RofI who fought in both wars. One of the most famous Cork servicemen (Naval) was Tom Crean who served with both Scott and Shackleton. An amazing story he had.
        kind regards
        Jon

        (I realised I entered the wrong email address last time. This is the correct one).

  22. Jon Stack

    Thanks Tim,
    Thought about contacting MEN as soon as I saw that his dad had been the editor.. and then paused and thought I would make the contact with you first. Still may make the contact, and realised that it would, no doubt, make an interesting and good story, but will wait for a little with the other leads. The Manchester Grammar is another option… would be an interesting project?
    Regards
    Jon

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      I am sure the School and MEN will both be interested in the letters. Don’t hold back for me. These links sound like a BBC episode on the the 17th Battalion to me! I’ll try to help a bit.
      T

      Reply
    2. 8055bell Post author

      Jon,
      I’ve exhausted my limited leads for finding family members – it’s very difficult with such a common name. However I note that the Evans family lived in Levenshulme. This is where one of the http://www.themanchesters.org/forum/index.php members hails from. The chap is named Mack and I reckon he may help find the family. I’d be astounded if he doesn’t know a lot of information on Henry. I’m happy to raise the subject on the forum, but suspect you may prefer to deal with this yourself. Let me know either way.
      Cheers
      Tim

      Reply
  23. Jon

    Thanks Tim,
    Will try Mack and MEN… and see where it takes me.
    Will let you know exactly where it goes.
    Thanks so much for for your help with this)
    ( I will will then start to look up my own family history… my grandad, Maurice Stack, served with the cavalry in Turkey… Mesopotamia. Why didn’t I find out more when I could!!!).

    Kind Regards
    jon …

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Jon,

      I’ll watch with interest and hope to help a bit more when you get some further tips.Was Maurice in the Leinster Regiment?

      Reply
  24. Jon

    Thanks Tim,
    I have scanned the letters and would like to send them on to you for your interest. Not sure if I can send an attachment to you on this site? Any suggestions of how to do it?
    Have written to the news editor of the MEN with details… no news back yet.
    Asked my Mother today which regiment my Grandfather (on dad’s side) was with .. and she thought it was ‘Southern Irish Cavalry’… which could easily be ‘Leinster Regiment’ (not sure at all about how it works)… and she was just guessing a little. She did think his brother (possibly Jed?)… joined up at the same time. Are there equivalent sites to yours which would help out?

    Reply
  25. Jeni Sharpe

    This is a wonderful website and I have learnt so much. My great-grandfather Charles Henry Selby died in 22nd March 1918 and I have traced his grave to the Savy British Cemetery. He was born in Ardwick in Manchester on 29th January 1886 and lived in Moston. He was a private with the 17th Battalion Manchester regiment. I would be so grateful if anyone had any information about him at all.

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Hi Jeni,
      I’m glad the site has proved useful. It’s actually the feedback from people that makes it most interesting for me – and I think other visitors. I’ve made a start on researching Charles and will create a separate post on the Home page. For a start he was originally with E Coy of 19th Bttn and transferred to 17th Bttn when it was disbanded in 1918. He was originally buried in L’Epine de Dallon and relocated in the 1920s. If you have any photos or records of Charles’ military career let me know.
      Cheers
      Tim

      Reply
    2. 8055bell Post author

      On reflection, I need to ask you to go straight to http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php?topic=2480.msg17111#msg17111 and http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php?topic=5927.msg38441#msg38441
      You have other relatives that have preceded your research.
      The only bit I can add is Charles original Burial in Dallon. CWGC show this as a German Cemetery suggesting Charles died in captivity or the Germans buried 21 lost men here. I suspect the PoW option as more feasible and consistent with the Medal Card “Assumed Died”.

      Reply
    3. 8055bell Post author

      Jeni,
      I posted a Red Cross record on the Home Page ICRC Digitised Records. Is supect this is Mrs Selby asking information but need to get to grips with the new site.
      Tim

      Reply
      1. jeni2202

        Hi Tim,
        Thank you so much Tim for your help- apologies for taking time to get back to you. I am not very confident with IT and blogging but will get my head around it! Not managed to get on to the ICRC records yet but am working on it. I have been in touch with Charles Henry Selby’s Grandson who was researching Charles in 2009 but we have never met. He has sent me the copy of the Battalion with Charles Henry Selby in somewhere! Unfortunately, I haven’t got any photos or records of my Great-Grandfather other than this photos as my father was estranged from his father and ancestors.

  26. Steven Dias

    A very close friend of mine, Paul, is the grandson of 2nd Lieutenant Alan Thomas Selbourne Holt MC who fought with the 17th Battalion Manchester Regiment.

    If you have any information on 2/Lt Holt, I’d be pleased to receive it.

    Is anyone here able to provide any assistance ?
    Cheers
    Steven Dias
    (serving member Australian Army)

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Hi Steven,
      Alan Holt is one of the key men in my grandad’s journal and the two men followed very similar paths. Lt Holt could have had grandad court martialled for being “half” asleep on duty.
      Alan wrote some candid letters home and I’ve used these on my blog. Please see https://17thmanchesters.wordpress.com/honours/military-cross-awards/
      A main privilege of running this blog is making contact with people like Paul. Give him my best regards and I hope we can pull together something for Anzac day. The MC must be a treasured family possession.

      Tim

      Reply
      1. Steven Dias

        G’day Tim
        Thank you so much for your assistance. It is good people like yourself that keep the memory of these brave men alive and for their families to treasure. Very much appreciate what you do !
        Cheers
        Steven

  27. Pingback: Henry Kay Evans, Killed 12th October 1916 – Looking for Relative | 17th Battalion Manchester Regiment on the Somme

  28. Rev. Nick Blair

    Hello..I’m sure we have had contact before..i am researching Merchiston’s Roll of honour…could I contact you re some information Best wishes Nick Blair

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Rev. Blair,
      The Merchiston College Masters & Pupils involvement with my grandad’s Battalion caught my imagination a few years ago.I did contact you briefly a few years ago and have since learned quite a lot more, particularly from the online version of the Book of Honour. It would be great to compare notes and I will also send you an email. In the interim please feel free to use the Search function on the posts to see numerous references to the School. I’ve summarised here – https://17thmanchesters.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/merchiston-castle-school-pals-and-chaps-from-edinburgh/

      Reply
  29. Terry Pugh

    My great uncle Private G.H.G. Thomas is shown in the photograph of C Company and I would be interested if someone could identify him from the list of the platoon members. I have no other details regarding my great uncle except that he was killed in action on 1/7/16 and that he was awarded the 15 Star,British War medal and Victory medal. Our church is organizing a display of those who died in WW1 for Sunday, 9th November and I would like to include a photograph of him.

    Terry Pugh

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Hi Terry,
      The Book of Honour provides the Roll and photo for each Platoon, but the order on the photo is not known. I will have a look what I can find and if you have any extra data, please let me know. You may also wish to ask on http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php
      From 1/7/17 Edition of M.E.N.
      THOMAS –
      Pte. G. H. G. THOMAS, Barton-st., Moss Side, 17th Manchesters, killed in action, France, July 1, 1916.
      Gone but not forgotten.
      Deeply mourned by his MOTHER and SISTERS.

      THOMAS –
      In loving memory of GEORGE THOMAS, No 8309, 17th Pals, who fell in action July 1st, 1916.
      Deeply mourned and sadly missed by his MOTHER,
      SISTERS and BROTHERS (now serving)

      Mentioned in MEN 16/7/16. Clerk at Barlow & Jones, Portland Street. Commemorated St James Church Memorial.

      SDGW
      Name: George Humphrey Gordon Thomas
      Birth Place: Moss Side, Manchester
      Death Date: 1 Jul 1916
      Death Place: France and Flanders
      Enlistment Place: Manchester
      Rank: Private
      Regiment: Manchester Regiment
      Battalion: 17th Battalion
      Regimental Number: 8309
      Type of Casualty: Killed in action
      Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

      Commemorated Thiepval
      Tim

      Reply
      1. Terry Pugh

        Tim – thanks for this information.I have tried to register on the Manchester forum but it is currently disabled. Will try again.The memorial in the July 1st 1916 edition of M.E.N.is interesting as it states that he has brothers and that they are serving. I knew he had one brother Lionel who was born 1883 and at the 1911 census was living in Dorset Street, Hulme but I didn’t know of any other brothers. I have been unable to get details re Lionel’s war service or medals awarded on the Ancestry site of which I am a member.
        The person arranging the display has today sent me a draft of George’s war experiences based on the information on the 17th Battalion. I have another great uncle who was fell on 16/9/18 whilst serving with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers but he acknowledges that there is far less information on him.
        I will send him your extra information.
        Thanks for your help it is greatly appreciated.

        If you would like to see a copy of the final draft I would be happy to send it to you.

        Regards

        Terry

      2. 8055bell Post author

        Hi Terry,
        There’s a L Thomas 8915, who is shown in 17th Bttn, D Coy, XIV Pln. No apparent Medal Index Card, which would mean he didn’t go overseas or served elsewhere. I can see 2 Lionel Thomas in the Artillery and 1 in Royal Welsh Fusils. I’d speculate this is your man if you had another relative in RWF. Let me know when you have your report and if you need me to help you join MRF, I can email a moderator. Have you used the same email address as the one for this site?
        Tim

  30. Terry Pugh

    Hi Tim

    Still no luck registering on the MRF site. Yes I would appreciate if you could email a moderator. Yes it is the same email address.

    It seems likely that Lionel could be the one in D Coy,17th Bttn. From his medal index card Pte Lionel Thomas of the RWF was born 1888 or thereabouts and my great uncle was born about 1883. He wouldn’t have known my great uncle (Joseph Hawkins) who was in the RWF.

    Thanks for your help.

    Regards

    Terry

    Reply
  31. Terry Pugh

    Tim

    Thank you for arranging to allow me to register on the MRF site.

    I have found Pte L.Thomas 8915 in the Roll UK Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1920 (awarded 1914/15 Star) and he disembarked on 8/11/15 along with Pte George Thomas. I can’t find any further details in the Silver War Badge section or in the medal index.I haven’t been able to find L.Thomas 8915 on your website. Could you throw any light please.

    Thanks

    Terry

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Hi Terry,
      I’m just the messenger for the MRF site, but hope you also find the site helpful.
      You’ve alerted me to new data on the Ancestry site. These Medal Rolls have only just been published. Medal Index Card searches still don’t produce L. Thomas, which is a shame because the Card would show his first name. Very sad to see George listed next as KiA.
      Discharged Class Z means he was fit for service. Hence no SWB.
      I have a busy week end ahead cross checking these Medal Rolls.
      Cheers
      T

      Reply
  32. Michelle Perry

    Just found a photo on this site of my Grandad, Nat Burgess11496, who unfortunately I never got to meet. I have just been put in charge of a note book of his from when he was a prisoner of war in Germany No: 60205. Unsure what to do with the note book and where to go for information. Any Advise would be welcome. Thank you Michelle

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Hi Michelle,
      It’s great for fresh research to provide new data for family members. The hard copy of Nat’s journal belongs with his family or the Regimental archive. There will be notes that relate to other Manchester men and it would be great if you could publish on the web. As this site should stick to 17th Bttn I suggest you post scans on http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php . There are other suitable places I can suggest too. I’ll have a look at further notes for Nat later.
      Tim
      ps Notes added to https://17thmanchesters.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/john-carr-19th-manchesters/ from ICRC Records (Mixed in Machine Gun Corps)

      Reply
  33. Phil Bunt

    Fantastic site, so much information, we followed the 17th’s footsteps of the 1st July 1916, from Maricourt through Montauban. Staying at Bernafay woods b&b allowed us to walk/explore Montauban/Trones/Guilemont and the whole area, using Michael Stedman’s book as a guide.
    we then moved North, to the site of the Ligny/Thilloy attack, the next day we walked the Heninel to Cherisy fields.
    Passing all the information to our Grandson’s who will hopefully continue the awesome pride we have for the Manchester regiment particularly the 17th
    My Grandfather was Thomas Arthur Godfrey. Volunteered 15th June 1915

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Hi Phil,
      I recollected your name and ran back through the posts on the Manchesters forum. http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php?topic=8030.0 is a great photo of a reunion. I expect my Grandad was there too. The entry in the National Roll is also interesting, most particularly because it seems accurate- many aren’t. I can’t add much to your current data, just a thought that he enlisted towards the end of June 1915.
      Thanks for the kind words about the site.
      Tim

      Reply
  34. Jarrod Chandler

    Gday,
    I found this site whilst researching my Great great Grandfather 26968 PTE George Ernest Chandler who died on the 30th July 1916 whilst serving with the 11th Bn Royal Berkshire Regiment. He may well have ended up attached to the 17th Manchesters and be one of the missing during the battle of Guillemont.

    I would love to hear from you in the event that you manage to track down where he ended up. As part of his direct bloodline and with a proud military background of my own it would be a great honour to be able to find his body and finally lay him to rest.

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Morning Jarrod,
      My notes suggest George prob arrived in France on 24th July with the 11th Labour Bttn and wasn’t part of the earlier 5th RBR draft who are confirmed as being present / killed at Guillemont. I’ll carry out some further digging in the next few days to see what more I can find. There are numerous casualties in unmarked graves or unknown soldier plots in CWGC cemeteries. Hopefully we can work out more about George’s death, but the prospect of finding his resting place is miniscule. Seeing the rolling countryside, Guillemont Road Cemetery or Thiepval Memorial is as near as families can get. I’m passing Thiepval next month. Would you like a photo of George’s inscription? https://17thmanchesters.wordpress.com/guillemont/guillemont-gallery-29-31st-july-1916/ https://17thmanchesters.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/thiepval-memorial-reflections/

      Reply
  35. Mark

    Great site for a ‘newcomer’ to the Manchester Regiment scene with a specific interest in the 17th Battalion’s XIII Platoon, whose members I am researching with a view to identifying, as far as records allow, what happened to them all during the war. I see that you(?) may have done some casualty analysis with III Platoon so there may be scope for combining research in order to broaden the database for analysis.

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Hi Mark, I started my III pln research @ 3 yrs ago and improved data keeps arriving on the net. If you provide your personal connection to XIII pln, I’ll happily supply my leads as I recall them and you are welcome to reciprocate. I’m returning from US tonight and can create a research page for us to share for others to follow as well. Could be an informative project.
      I must also recommend http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php?action=recent for sharing data as a start point

      Reply
  36. Mark

    Tim, my interest is no more than curiosity to get a feel for what happened to the members of one sub-unit during the war, having got a Victory Medal to one of them and then come across the platoon rolls in the Regiment’s Book of Honour. My preliminary results, having identified the medal index cards of 63 of the 68 men on the XIII Platoon roll, are that about 70% went overseas with the Battalion in November 1915, that 23% died and 2 were awarded MMs. Two of the ‘missing’ 5 are currently completely unidentified (possibly commissioned before they first went overseas) but I have an almost certain ID on the third, a probable ID on the fourth and a rather uncertain ID on the fifth. With so much having come on-line recently it is going to take some considerable time to systematically go through all the sources so I intend to take it at a walk. In reaching my current position I have a little niggle that some clerks may have written 2nd Manchesters occasionally to mean 2nd City Bn Manchesters (i.e. 17th Manchesters). Have you encountered this? A case in point is 8989 Pte Edward Williams who went to France on 8 November 1915: his MIC and 1915 Star roll entries shows him as 2nd Manchesters; his BWM/VM roll entry as (initially) 17th Manchesters. Mark

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Mark,
      We’ve followed very similar paths with a research question. New data keeps arriving, but also have a look at John Hartley’s book which provides a profile of all the men in the Platoon photos. There are few details I’ve picked up after publication such as Medal Rolls, IRRC records and Soldiers Effects. Because John and I have compared notes many times and his book features Grandad, I’ve always tried to use this as back-up. I also started this site at a similar time and don’t wish to steel his thunder on his much more comprehensive history for the full war and not just the period up to the Somme.
      I picked up most lose ends on the Manchesters Forum, where members have details of numerous ‘missing’ men.
      There are loads of anomolies on all these records, but you’ve found a new one on me. Edward Williams SWB record shows he was discharged due to wounds from LNL in Dec 1916. He had served with their 8th Battalion after arriving in France with 17th Manchesters on 8/11/15. Edward was part of a large batch Pals – mainly 16th Bttn – who had been transferred to LNL. This must have been after the initial Somme offensive, where I suspect he may have been wounded first time and then posted to LNL at IBD to be wounded again pretty soon after. The Forum would know more through the 16th Bttn experts.
      Cheers
      Tim

      Reply
  37. David Elley

    A great page, My Great Great Uncle was Colonel William Carter DSO MC. I am trying to find information about him and any pictures He retired in 1932 And relinquished command of the 6th Battalion in April of 32. I live in Canada so it is very difficult to find information about him. Any help would be great.

    Cheers,

    Dave

    Reply
  38. Dianne Norwood

    Hi Tim I have just found out about Rawlinson. I got hold of Michael Stedman & this is what he said.

    Many thanks for this. Apologies for the slow reply. I hope that you’re well. Rawlinson continued to command the Fourth Army after the opening day of the Battle of the Somme. The Manchester battalions that were engaged that day did suffer heavy casualties, as did all units so engaged, but it is incorrect to describe it as a “Slaughter of the Manchesters”. Because the Manchester Pals battalions were engaged in what was a relatively successful attack, both at Mametz and towards Montauban, their casualties were, in relative terms, lighter than similar units engaged along the less successfully prosecuted western and northern parts of the battlefield that day and where topographical conditions were more favoured towards the defence. Rawlinson continued to command at Army Level throughout the rest of the Great War – in laymen’s terms that meant that he was effectively acting as joint Second in Command to Haig who was the overall Chief General Officer Commanding the British and Empire Armies.

    Happy Christmas.

    Di

    Reply
  39. Dave Brown.

    Hi Tim
    I’ve found this site by pure chance after researching your grandfather (who was also my great uncle Arthur).
    I’ve booked accommodation in Albert for the centenary this summer in the hope of getting tickets for the memorial at Thiepval, however like most applicants I’ve not got tickets. However, I’m planning to walk the route the manchesters took 100 years ago. I’ve driven past and through Montabaum many times, always stopping to pay my respects at the memorial to the Manchesters.
    As you are probably aware, my grandfather (Harold Brown) did not make it to France as be broke his leg in training and was discharged when our great grandmother told the army he was only 15!
    Anyway, I’ve enjoyed reading up on Great Uncle Arthur

    Regards

    Dave Brown

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Hi Dave,
      It’s great to hear from you. I was really gripped by Great Uncle Harold’s journal and it’s good you’ve enjoyed some of the musings on your Great Uncle. I’d volunteer to have a family reunion at Cambridge Copse, but my ticket application also failed and I think I’ll go some other time this year. Did you have other relatives at Montauban?
      I’ll drop you an email.

      Tim

      Reply
  40. Matt Kemp

    Hi

    My great uncle, Henry Brenchley, was posted to the 17th Manchesters from the 6 Bn The Buffs in July/August 1916. His service record (one of the relatively few which survived the Blitz) indicates that it was either 31st July 1916 or 1st September 1916, following a suspended sentence of 1 year’s Hard Labour, which is in itself intriguing! I’m keen to find out as much about him as possible. He was killed in action near Zillebeke on 28th September 1918 while serving with 1 Battalion The Border Regiment.
    How much detail do you have on 17 Manchesters?

    Matt

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Hi Matt,
      Thanks for your comments.
      Henry is certainly a colourful character! Multiple variations on his name is always a clue.
      The 6th Buffs were the first volunteers answering Kitchener’s call for a Service Battalion. It’s hard to see what he did with the Buffs from July 1915. They arrived in France at the beginning of June 1915 and took trenches in Flanders on 23 June. He must have served overseas with them to receive the Star for 1/6/1915. It looks like his offence took place in early July 1915-although I can’t find out what he did. I have a feeling National Archives may have these Court Martial papers still.
      He had married Ellen Amelia Bishop on 15/5/1915. Ellen still received a Pension though.
      He was wounded 3/7/1916 with 6th Buffs in the opening days of the Somme and treated in 36 Fd Ambulance. Men arrived a Etaples at this stage and seemingly were posted where most needed. Seems a bit harsh after such a short period…
      His Manchester number is in the heart of a batch allocated to the drafts that were attached in mid July 1916 (11th July for Henry) and formally transferred on 1st September. Have a look at this for some early musing confirming these drafts were in action straight away. Royal Berks Research This would have had Henry arriving in time the Guillemont attack and subsequent actions.
      The transfer to 1st Borders on 6/6/1918 is consistent with the transfer of a draft of the 17th Bttn when it was disbanded. It’s amazing that anyone survived this period unscathed!
      I can see that Henry’s remains were relocated to Hooge in 1920. I can’t see from where though…
      This site is focused (intended but often wandering off) on the 17th Bttn on the Somme. As such, I’m no expert on events after 1916. You would be very welcome as a member of http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php and you will find out more at Arras & Ypres
      Please let us know if you find any nuggets on 17th Bttn and I’ll keep my eyes open for Henry.
      Happy Easter
      Tim

      Reply
  41. Paul Frost

    Really interesting material here. I am enquiring whether I can seek permission to use the story of Charles Kerr and Edith Appleton in a song to be included in a presentation at St Antony’s Heritage Centre. Trafford park on July 3rd. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Hi Paul,
      It’s a very sad but charming story and if you make a recording, please let me post it on their blog entry.
      You are most welcome to use my data, but it would be great if you contact Dick Robinson as well. He is a source who I firmly acknowledge, but also Edie’s Gt Nephew. ediesdiaries@gmail.com
      Tim

      Reply
  42. Paul Frost

    Thanks for your prompt reply and yes I certainly will contact Dick Robinson and should we successfully complete the song I will send a copy to you..Thanks again.

    Reply
  43. John Royle

    I have very recently discovered that my great-uncle, Harry Copsey (17th Battalion), was killed on 13 May 1916 and is buried in the military cemetery at Suzanne. My limited reseach (particularly from this very helpful site) suggests that he was killed at Royal Dragons Wood. Although Royal Dragons Wood is referred to several times in documents I cannot find its precise location. I have found a reference suggesting that the wood is between Eclusier and Vaux but it appears on no map I have found.

    I visited the area this week and noted that there was a wood several hundred yards behind the Eclusier town hall which is at the top of the hill above Eclusier. I wondered if this was ‘Royal Dragons’. Is there any more precise information on the location of this site?

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Hi John,
      Thanks for your comment. I’ve added a map at the end of the post here Map of Suzanne / Vaux You will see Royal Dragoons Wood at the shoulder of the hill as it turns from Suzanne towards Vaux. It rises very steeply. THis is now a private wood and my only photo just shows a leafy lane Royal Dragons Wood
      I need to do more research, but I’ve seen evidence that Harry was killed in Vaux Wood. This is on a steep hill overlooking Vaux village.
      Have you seen Harry’s photo and obituary here Harry Copsey obit

      Reply
      1. John Royle

        Thanks very much for your quick response and the map which confirms that Royal Dragons Wood is where I had concluded it to be. I think you are probably right about Harry being killed in Vaux Wood – I must return to read my sources more carefully. We passed along the edge of Vaux Wood as we drove to Vaux village.

        Quite by chance I found Harry’s photo and obituary on this site on Monday night – we visited the cemetery at Suzanne on Tuesday. So that added an extra dimension to what was a very interesting and worthwhile visit. I shall now read the rest of your site with interest.

        Thanks again,
        John

      2. 8055bell Post author

        Hi John,
        I’ve added a few more bits of data on Harry and his Pal Herbert Mercer of the same Platoon-who was killed the same day and quite possibly with the same shell. The War Diary confirms C Coy were in Vaux Wood. Beautiful Place.
        If you have any background data on Harry, I’d be happy to add it.
        Not Forgotten
        Tim

  44. John Royle

    Tim,

    Thanks, once again, for the extra information. I don’t know much about Harry as he married into a side of the family I know little about. It was only because the genealogy site I use came up with his military records a few weeks ago that I began to investigate.

    However, It appears that he was born in Peterborough in 1883 and the family was living in Victoria Place(?), Manchester by the time of the 1891 census. The 1911 census shows the family living in Higher Cambridge Street and Harry was working as a porter in what looks like ‘Horne’ trade warehouse.He married Annie Baggs on 14 July 1912 at St. James’ Church, Moss Side – so they had just 4 years of marriage. There were no children as far as I can tell.

    Having been drawn into this by the link with Harry, I have to say that I find it astonishing that so many men just dropped everything and joined the army. Clearly they lived in different times!

    We did not walk in Vaux Woods when we were there earlier this week but we did stop at the viewing point above Vaux and drove down to Eclusier. It did seem to be a beautiful area.

    As you say, not forgotten.

    John

    Reply
  45. Nancy Ramsden Owen, Bloomington, IN USA 47408

    Hello, my grandfather and two of his brothers were members of the 17th Battalion, 2nd City Manchester Pals; Ewart Gladstone, Norman Wood, and Percy Gordon Ramsden. Norman was killed on 1 July 2016, and Percy was killed 23 April 1917. My grandfather survived after being “claimed out” by an elder brother, and was sent to serve with the Royal Engineers in Palestine and Egypt. Thank you so much for this wonderful contribution to our understanding of what our families undertook 100 years ago. I am determined that my own family shall not forget nor be forgotten. Should you have any information about my grandfather or great uncles, I would be most grateful. With warm regards, Nancy Ramsden Owen

    Reply
  46. Anne Wakefield nee Brock

    I am the oldest granddaughter of William Priestley Brock. Earlier today, on the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, I was wishing that I knew more about his wartime life and remembering his injuries – both physical and psychological. It was wonderful to find his name on your website and to know that he is still remembered by others. Thank you. It is critical that we do not forget soldiers’ sacrifices and the huge impact that war has on the survivors.

    Reply
    1. 8055bell Post author

      Hi Anne,
      I’ve just returned from a trip to the Western Front. I walked in our grandfathers’ footsteps and tried to remember all the men who fought and died at Montauban.
      I’ll add some more data on Bill Brock on the earlier centenary post https://17thmanchesters.wordpress.com/2014/12/26/reflections-on-the-anniversary-of-world-war-i-1914-2014/
      We walked back to our cars across the former battlefield on Friday afternoon and it’s impossible to imagine the sights Bill faced 100 years before. Please listen to Bert Payne’s IWM interview to learn more http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80009677?nomobi=true
      Feel free to let me have any anecdotes about Bill’s life and I’ll be delighted to add this to the post.
      Tim

      Reply

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