Lieutenant Frederick John Gordon Whittall MC
Frederick Whittall took command of the 17th Battalion on 9th July 1916 at Trones Wood. He was gazetted for a Military Cross on 26/9/16 for the action. His citation reads “For conspicuous gallantry in action. He led his company with great dash, and for 24 hours, under heavy shell fir, occupied and improved a line of trenches. On two previous occasions he had displayed great courage in action.” In Spring Lt. Whittall had been OC IV Platoon of D Company.
Lieutenant Robert Forbes Mansergh MC
The III Platoon Officer for Arthur Bell was awarded MC for deeds in the summer of 1916. Arthur Bell had referred to his prior bravery in preventing injuries during an accident in grenade training. “Perhaps a notch towards an honour later. In fact, he was awarded the M.C. in September, 1916.”
Robert’s citation, dated 26/9/16, reads “When an enemy shell lighted an ammunition store, he and his orderly [Pte A Hall who was awarded the DCM], although they had been knocked over by the explosion, helped to organise a party to remove the ammunition. Continual explosions were taking place around them. Later he assisted to dress and bring in the wounded.”
See The Cost
2nd Lieutenant William Harrington Hulton Dawson MC
William Dawson was gazetted on 10/1/17 for taking command of part of B Company during the failed assault at Flers – where Arthur Bell was wounded. His citation reads “For conspicuous gallantry in action. He displayed great courage and ability in organising the consolidation and defence of the position [thought to be Bayonet Trench]. Later, although wounded, he reported the situation to Battalion headquarters.” William appears to have joined the Battalion in France during 1916. He was subsequently transferred to the Indian Army and promoted Captain. He went on to live in Shropshire.
2nd Lieutenant Harry Vivian Taylor MC
Harry Taylor was gazetted for his MC on 26/5/17. His citation reads “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He gallantly led his company against several machine guns and succeeded in putting 6 of them out of action, thereby undoubtably saving his battalion from many casualties. He set a fine example of courage and initiative.” This probably relates to the action at Flers where he must have been one of the few officers to remain. Harry was later promoted to Captain. He was originally posted missing and presumably assumed killed on 22/3/18 near St Quentin. He is buried in Savy Cemetery. Aged 24, Harry was the son of Henry and Elizabeth Taylor, of “Netherly,” Rivington Road, Pendleton. Born 29/1/1894. Harry has originally enlisted in the 20th (Public Schools) Battalion Royal Fusiliers Number 5746. He is commemorated on the Memorial Plaque at St James Church Hall, Eccles Old Road, Hope. Also Old Salfordians Memorial.
2nd Lieutenant Alan Thomas Selbourne Holt MC
A Company’s former subaltern was gazetted on 18/6/17 for action at Heninel. His citation reads “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When in the second line of the enemy position with only a few men, he succeeded in holding the position. When he was wounded, he encouraged his men to carry on the work and gave directions for the defence before withdrawing.”
Alan Holt’s father Edwin was an affluent solicitor. In 1901 the family lived in Platt Lane, Rusholme and employed four servants. Alan was born in May 1896. He attended Merton House School, near Conway and Rugby School (1911 Census), where he served three years in the Officers Training Corps. He graduated Manchester University with a Law degree in 1913. He had been a solicitors articled clerk; before his commission on the same day as Norman Vaudrey on 28th September 1914. Alan Holt’s Application for a Commission was counter-signed by his father, Edwin; the Minister of Hale Congregational Church and Headmaster of Wadham House School. It refers to an earlier application to join the infantry that was signed by the Vice-Chancellor, indicating a connection with the University.
In the Spring of 1915, Alan was OC of XV Platoon in D Company. He arrived in France on 5th January 1916, presumably staying back with the 25th Training Reserve Battalion when the 17th left for France in November 1915. During his time with A Company he wrote some vivid and increasingly dry letters to his mother Sarah. These recorded wounds at Guillemont and during a fatal accident during rifle grenade training see Flers in August 1916 when his left foot was wounded.
Arthur Bell noted “It had been he (Lt. Holt) who, one night, when, after much marching, I was on sentry duty go – more than half asleep standing up – challenged me and told me the consequences of being asleep on my post. I learn from the official record that he subsequently gained the M.C. (Military Cross). Mr Middlebrook’s book shows that he was alive at the time of writing.”
Alan Holt returned home on 22nd August and treated for wounds in England and soon transferred to the 3rd Battalion on 3rd October, for General Service at Home, as part of the Humber Garrison. He reported this to his parents from his billet at 31 Grant Street, Cleethorpes on 30th October 1916. His attendance at the Board was delayed as a result of influenza and his brother’s wife having German Measles. Reported fit on Christmas day 1916, he later recovered from a nasal problem- in which cigarette smoking was discouraged- and the Medical Board recorded 2nd Lieutenant Holt fit for Overseas duty on 9th February 1917.
Following recovery from wounds Alan Holt returned to the Battalion where he was promoted Lieutenant and placed in command of A Company. In the action at Heninel, Allan was recognised for his valour, but also captured and lived our the rest of hostilities as a Prisoner of War, repatriated on 4th December 1918. He was not initially aware of his Award which was made simultaneously with MC for Captain Cartman and RSM Coates. See Pg 7 Captain Thomas Cartman Scrapbook_Part_1 Private Flaherty received notification of his DCM at this time.
Alan Holt did go on to live a long life. Records show addresses in Hale and 2 Booth Street, Manchester in 1921. Alan also married Catherine O’Neil at Barton on Irwell in the summer of 1921. Alan Holt delivered the Silent Toast – “Fallen Members” at the 16th Reunion Dinner at the Waldorf Hotel.(See Pg 19 Captain Thomas Cartman Scrapbook Part_2)
He was cremated in Altrincham in May 1980.
Captain Thomas Cartman MC
Thomas Cartman was gazetted on 18/6/17 for action in April 1917 near St Quentin. His citation reads “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He showed great coolness and courage in organising the consolidation and defence of the position under very heavy fire. Although wounded, he continued to direct operations until compelled to retire.” Records indicate Thomas was the Battalion bombing officer. Thomas died in the Second World War as a 47 year-old Lieutenant when the pre-war liner SS ‘Arandora Star’ was torpedoed. Thomas Cartman is commemorated on the Brookwood Memorial to the Missing in Surrey. See photo ans further details at Roll of Honour – Second World War | Bury Grammar | Alumni Which includes detailed Service Record here MoD Cartman_Letter0001
Regimental Sergeant Major Henry Coates MC 9369
RSM Coates’ citation in the London Gazette of 18/6/17 refers to the award for “Conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He was largely instrumental in getting three wounded officers into safety under heavy fire. He set a splendid example throughput under very heavy fire.” It is assumed these took place at Heninel in April 1917. Henry was commissioned and survived hostilities. He was married with three daughters and returned to Salford Police.
2nd Lieutenant Frank Ewart Chandler MC 8087.
While serving with Royal Engineers Special Brigade, III Platoon’s original Sergeant had been commissioned 2nd Lieutenant and awarded MC. Gazetted 14/9/17 For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Whilst engaged upon special work behind our front line, circumstances led him to suspect that a hostile raid was approaching, whereupon he manned the parapet and supplied his men with bombs. The raid followed as onece, and was repulsed owing to his remarkable forsight and skilful disposition, and as soon as all was clear again he took his section back and continued work. He has consistently done excellent work and set a splendid example of steady courage. See Enlistment and The Cost
Lieutenant John Francis Cottrell MC
Gazetted 26/7/18 for action assumed to be St Quentin in March 1918. His citation reads “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty while in command of a company. By his energy and zeal he was responsible for heavy losses inflicted on the enemy, and so orgainsied he defence that when the enemy took a position, he promptly ejected him, capturing thirty-one prisoners and a machine gun, and liberating several men of a neighbouring unit. His liaison with a neighbouring battalion was admirably carried out under difficult circumstances, and his reports were most valuable.” Originally serving with the 1/16th London Regiment and entering France in November 1914, John was Commissioned in the 7th Battalion Manchester Regiment on 28/5/15. At some later stage he was transferred to the 17th. He retired in 1919 with entitlement for a Silver War Badge. He went on to live in Newcastle.
2nd Lieutenant Norman Heywood MC
Gazetted 26/7/18 for action assumed to be St Quentin in March 1918. “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during recent operations. During the eight days his battalion was in action this officer on several occasions displayed the utmost coolness and personal gallantry, the men being considerably inspired by his example. He also led a patrol and bought back valuable information regarding the movements and dispositions of the enemy.” Originally enlisting in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps Norman Heywood was promoted acting Lance Corporal before being commissioned in the Manchester Regiment in June 1917. After hostilities, he lived in Altrincham in 1926.
2nd Lieutenant Thomas Frederick Goldsmith MC & Bar
Thomas Goldsmith’s MC and Bar were simultaneously gazetted on 16/9/18 and probably relate to deeds at Ypres in April 1918. The first citation reads “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. This officer held out in a redoubt for thirty-six hours with four mortars, firing eighty rounds of T.M. [trench mortar] ammunition at the enemy at close range, when he was surrounded on three sides.” The BAR citation reads “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during an attack, when he moved from post to post encouraging the men and helping the wounded. On one occasion, when an enemy machine gun was established within 50 yards of his position, he left the trench with a small party and silenced the gun. It was largely due to his courage and determination that the position was held in face of terrible odds.” Thomas originally enlisted as a Private in the Kings Liverpool Regiment and entered France the day before the 17th Manchesters. In 1919 he had addresses in the Gold Coast, Africa and 3 Thompson Street, Moss Side.
2nd Lieutenant Fred Ruddy MC DCM
Fred Ruddy was gazetted on 16/9/18 for action near Shelley Farm at Ypres when he was in command of the composite A & B Company of the 17th Battalion forming part of the 16th. His citation reads “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty while commanding a company during a hostile attack. He formed a defensive flank and when the enemy broke through and both flanks were in the air he held on and inflicted sever loss on them, before withdrawing in good order. He then took up a new positions, collected stragglers from other units and maintained his position in spite of heavy barrages and strong attacks for two days when he was relieved.” Fred had previously been awarded a DCM prior to his commission on 25/9/17, while serving as 2058 Lance Corporal in the 11th Royal Fusiliers – 25/11/16.
Major Hugh Tunbridge Pomfret MC
Major Pomfret was gazetted on 1/1/19 “For distinguished service in connection with Military Operations in France and Flanders.” Records indicate Hugh Pomfret had been a professional soldier in the Boer War with the Provisional Mounted Police when he was awarded the King’s South Africa Medal and Queen’s South Africa Medal.
Captain Charles Sadler MC
Captain Sadler was gazetted on 3/6/19 “For distinguished service in connection with Military Operations in France and Flanders.”
Captain Ernest George Woodward MC
Captain Woodward was gazetted on 30/1/20 “For gallant and distinguished service in the Field”