Site Visitors and Manchester Regiment Connections

UNDER CONSTRUCTION and always hoping will be extended

Building the record of one Platoon in the 17th Manchesters has been made realistic by the records of Battalion and the men that served around them.  The Manchester Regiment Group Forum (MRF) and other resources have been helpful in building the framework of the record, with some amazing detail on some individuals and events.

The power of Google and other Search Engines has also led visitors this Blog, leading to some fantastic personal anecdotes, reciprocating information, photographs and connections between generations of men that served, a century after the events.  These GUESTS to the site are an unexpected Highlight and a privilege to report in the static content pages and here.  With precedence to III Platoon; A Company and 17th Battalion, here’s the Best Bits with huge thanks to everyone concerned:-

A Company, 17th Battalion

2nd Lt Alan Thomas Selbourne Holt – Work in Progress.

Lt Ralph Miller Courtesy Sue Butcher

Lt Ralph Miller Courtesy Sue Butcher

Sue Butcher (nee Miller) visited the GUEST BOOK and introduced herself as the  niece of 2nd Lieutenant Ralph Marillier Miller. Ralph Miller was the Officer that led Arthur Bell into the German lines near Trones Wood to recover the wounded Sgt Major and it is amazing for the grandson and niece to be sharing information 98 years after events shared by their ancestors. “Brave Jockey” was killed by a gas shell prior to the attack on Guillemont.  His profile can be found at  Anniversary 30th/31st July 1916

 2nd Lt W R Tonge. The 17th Bttn's 1st Officer casualty in the trenches,

2nd Lt W R Tonge.

Annette Roberts introduced her great uncle in GUEST BOOK.  9048 L/Cpl Tom Sharples was killed at Montauban on 1st July 1916.   I found an entry in the 1st July Anniversary Edition of 1st July 1917 and a record of his employment in the City Council Town Clerk’s Dept, where Annette tells us he worked on Contracts.  Annette also advised he was well known in his tennis club and Secretary to the Mens Association, St Johns Church, Cheetham.  Tom’s Service Record is available and his II Platoon Roll including  OC 2nd Lt Tonge, who was the first Officer casualty on the Somme.  When Annette returns we will compare more notes.

John Day is the grandson of Cpl 8374 Arthur Barlow and Great Nephew to 8375 F M Barlow with 8380 James Barlow, who was killed in a German Bombardment of Suzanne in March 1916,  See The Cost of Trench Life and Comments on Three Ramsden Brothers

Vin Staniforth visited the GUEST BOOK to talk about his Grandad 9427 Thomas Staniforth.  Here’s Vin’s video Walking the Somme and see Service Record for Thomas.

C Company, 17th Battalion



X Pln C Coy 17th Bttn Photo X Pln C Coy 17th Bttn Roll

Parrott R F MEN 1.8.1916


A distant relative of 8267 Pt Richard Frederick Parrott visited the GUEST BOOK.  Thanks to a member of MRF extensive details were available regarding Richard dieing of wounds in Paignton, following wounds at Montauban on 1st July 1916.Parrott Brothers National Roll of the Great War

8369 Edward Ashworth Courtesy Brian Donat and Keith Johnson

8369 Edward Ashworth

Another WordPress account has been recounting the history of Didsbury in the War and producing a display for the local library.  Having reblogged the link as Didsbury Manchester Pals | GM 1914 , I added the IX Platoon Photo & Roll.  Keith Johnson reciprocated with the use of the photo Edward Rose Ashworth, who war later commissioned in the Machine Gun Corps.   Also Courtesy Brian Donat.

Jon Stack also visited GUEST Book introducing some sad letters to the family of 8135 Henry Kay Evans, who had trained alongside Edward Ashworth in IX Platoon and lost his life at Flers

on12th October 1916.  The letters provide a little more insight into the circumstances of the assault when Arthur Bell was wounded.  Jon Stack is hoping to find a family member to return the letters and a diary that may also have been Henry’s.

EPSON scanner image EPSON scanner imageFamily treasures are always a privilege to display on a private blog.  The photographs provided by Clive Dunn are simply wonderful.  The pictures of Private Frank Dunn 8528 and his newly recruited Pals defines these men and all of the City Battalions.  Frank trained with XII Platoon of C Company.

Kate Ambler left a comment in GUEST BOOK requesting the use of some of the photos for a BBC drama.  It turns out Kate was researching for the wonderful BBC Three – Our World War series including the focus on Bert Payne and the 18th Battalion enlisting and fighting at EPSON scanner imageMontauban & Trones Wood.  Following email exchange and introduction to Clive Dunn, the wonderful photo of Frank Dunn and his C Company Pals at Heaton Park was used in the Title Sequence of Episode 2.  This is great for Clive and very rewarding to have played a tiny part in such a good series.

D Company, 17th Battalion

Helen Wolfenden introduced her Gt Gt Uncle in Guestbook as 8223 Private John William Lewis of XIV Pln. I compiled a little bit of research but lost Helen in cyberspace.

Alec Mitchell lived next door to Arthur Bell.  His great niece visited Formation of Manchester Pals and a separate post 8241 Alec Mitchell was made including a few pointers on Alison Mitchell’s grandfather. It’s very gratifying that neighbours from Sale have grandchildren comparing notes 100 years later.

Signal Sergeant George Royle with 3 stripes on his lower sleeve signifying no. of years service overseas.

George Royle Snr & George Royle Jnr

George Royle Courtesy Dianne Norwood BBC Memorial WallDianne Norwood made contact in respect of DCM and MM records.  She has since produced a parallel site on her grandfather who trained with John Lewis in XIV Pln.  I posted some information here Sergeant George Royle MM DCM Please visit Dianne’s site and her entry on Signal Sgt George Royle – Lives of the First World War

E Company, 17th Battalion

Arthur Shore Courtesy Allan JonesPrivate Arthur Shore’s grandson visited Heaton Park page.  Allan Jones provided information about Ernest being the camp Barber and being a former resident of Rhode Island, USA where he and his brother Ernest Shore had been born.  Photos of the Platoon Roll and Photo were added to Private Arthur Shore – Lives of the First World War. Allan added the colourised photo.  Ernest also enlisted in the Manchesters and subsequently fought and died with the US Air Force during WW2.

17th Battalion – Unknown Company

Lt Norman Heywood with friends

Lt N Heywood Courtesy Mark Macdonald - his Grandson.Mark Macdonald visted the Military Cross Awards page and introduced his grandfather  Lt Norman Heywood MC.  Mark provided these great photographs of youthful officer cadets and a dashing subaltern.  These pictures say a thousand words and help bring the whole history of the Battalion to life.


16th Battalion

Margaret Quilter posted comments on the Post for Arthur Bell’s cousin James Frederick Bell.  Margaret’s grandfather and great uncle, Percy and Harold South both served in X Platoon of 16th Bttn.  Percy survived hostilities, but Harold died at Montauban on 1st July 1916.  Platoon pics and Roll were uploaded with likley employers for both men to Private Harold South – Lives of the First World War and Private Percy South – Lives of the First World War.  As this blog is dedicated to 17th Bttn, I find the Lives site a good place to place images and research data.  There is contradictory evidence that James Bell and Percy South worked together at Manchester Stock Exchange.

Sgt George Henry Thompson MM – Vin Thompson requested information on the citation for his grandfather’s Military Medal as a comment on Military Cross Awards.  Whille the MM citations are not published, Sgt Thompson’s Service Record was identified.  This shows he served with 3rd Bttn, attached to 2nd & 16th Bttns when the  MM was awarded ‘for Gallantry’ in August 1918.

18th Battalion

1095 L/Cpl. Alfred A Ridge was Arthur Bell’s cousin.  He was fatally wounded at Polderhoek, near Passchendaele and captured by the Germans.  He died in hospital near Wygelm on 21st January 1918 and he was buried in Menen Wald German Cemetery. After the war, his remains were moved to Harlebeke New British Cemetery.  We have visited Alf many times.  Captain John Oliver McElroy was captured in the same action.  His Prisoner of War Statement throws more light on events.

Anne Warn left a comment on concerning her great uncle Ernest McNamara in 18th Battalion.  She was about to visit the Somme area and we hope to hear how she found her first visit.  The Post on Ernest is developing over time.

19th Battalion

I had found intriguing information and built a post on Ernest Barnett the Youngest Manchester Pal. Ernest’s Great Grandson then kindly provided some more information and photographs.  Thanks to Ally Goodman.

Jeni Sharpe visited the GUEST Book and requested information on her gt gt Grandfather 12696 Charles Henry Selby.  Charles had enlisted in 19th Battalion and transferred to 17th Bttn when the 19th was disbanded in Feb 1918.  Henry was captured near St Quentin and died as a Prisoner of War on 22nd March 1918.  Having been a father of 6 children, it’s not too surprising to find earlier research from family members Dodd & Gilbert on MRF.  To celebrate the release of ICRC records and extended information from CWGC with a home page post on the ICRC Digitised Records

David Carr introduced his Grandfather from the 19th Battalion in the Trones Wood then and now Post.  John had kept a note in his pocket bible of the places he fought with the Manchesters.  We shared information on the post Corporal John Carr, 12293

In David’s words “Somme,Montauban,Trones Wood,Guillemont,Givenchy,1917Arriars,Ypres,1918 M/C Hill Flanders then in French Cest la guerre Fini.  He was a lucky lad how any one survived all that.”

23rd Battalion

Caroline Scott’s great grandfather was one of the 23rd Battalion Bantams.  Caroline is an avid researcher and publisher of her own site, including a transcribed War Diary of the 23rd Manchesters.  She was a welcome GUEST and someone who continue to compare notes.

18th Bttn Kings (Liverpool) Regiment

View of Montauban from Glatz Redoubt, overlooking Railway Valley.

View of Montauban from Glatz Redoubt, overlooking Railway Valley.

Tim Beer shared an interest on Glatz Redoubt where Samuel Edwin WILLIAMS MM DCM had served alongside the 19th Manchesters in the first phase in the successful assault on Montauban on 1st July 1916.

2nd Bttn. South African Infantry

Pt. Vernon Edkins - 2nd South African Infantry.

Pt. Vernon Edkins – 2nd South African Infantry.

Lt Ralph Miller Courtesy Sue Butcher

Lt Ralph Miller Courtesy Sue Butcher

Pt A A Bell - 17th III Platoon

Pt A A Bell – 17th III Platoon

Iris Howes left comments on the Trones Wood Page.  With an air of optimistic speculation, we think it possible that Iris’ grandmother’s brother Vernon Edkins may have helped rescue the wounded sgt major with Ralph Miller (above) and Arthur Bell.  It would be quite a connection to be in contact with descendents of this brave act almost a century later.

General Visits

M WACOS AdvertCharlotte Dover of Cheadle Hulme School visited the GUEST Book with the hope of using some of the content from this site for her Centenary Exhibition.  We’ve exchanged a lot of information enabling me to expand on information on Arthur Bell as One Recruit.  I was also fortunate to attend a wonderful Heritage Day at Arthur’s former school.  When passing through various archives & data sets I now keep an eye on other former pupils of Manchester Warehouseman and Clerks Orphans’ School As a foundationer, my grandfather boarded at the school from 1902-1909 and must have had close bonds with the other children – akin to a larger family group.  These men have therefore become another tangent for research, especially those with the Manchesters.

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