The Cost

The loss of a generation

The full summary for losses for the 17th Battalion is below.

Assault/ Period               Losses             Deaths        Comments

Training England               N/K                        1              CSM Athur Haymes 30/9/15.

France 1915                        N/K                        1              Lt. Robert Johnston 13/12/15

Somme Jan-June 1916   N/K                        31           1 2nd Lt, 1 Srgt, 1 Cpl 1 L/Cpl & 27 Privates

                                                                                                29 Men on Heaton Park Roll

Montauban 1/7/16          350                         120         106 on Roll killed in action.

2nd -8th July 1916                0                              13           11 died of wounds. 2 KIA commemorated Thiepval.

Trones 9th & 10th July       196                         37           Killed in action.

11th – 29th July 1916          0                              8              5 died of wounds. 3 KIA commemorated Thiepval.

Guillemont                         274                         49           Killed in action.

August 1916                       10                           8              Including 3 died + 2 wounded in grenade accident.

September 1916               N/K                        4              Assumed died of wounds

Flers                                      213                         66           Killed in action.

13th-31st October 1916    N/K                        14           7 died of wounds. 7 KIA commemorated Thiepval.

Nov. –  Dec. 1916             N/K                        4              Assumed died of wounds

1917                                       N/K                        203         Including many men on Heaton Park Roll

Jan to 11th Nov 1918        N/K                        152         Some men on Roll

Armistice to Nov 1920    0                              8              Including 4 men on Roll

TOTAL                                   1,043                     719

The total casualties for the Battalion will have been significantly greater than the original roll.  Records of wounded men are incomplete, being compiled from records in the Manchester newspapers and limited Service Records.

Most records do not portray the prospect of men returning after convalescence; and possibly being wounded or killed thereafter. See Robin Bailey for an example of a man suffering Typhoid and returning to duty. John Bardsley (below) was also discharged fit for duty, but received an allowance for his heart complaint.

The Public Records Office in Kew was bombed by the Luftwaffe in the Second World War and many Service Records  and Pension were burned.  Some remained to enable us to paint a more vivid picture of a number of representative men.  However, for the remainder of enlisted troops, all that remains are Medal Index Cards.  The only other minor exception are Silver War Badge rolls which show men discharged during hostilities for for wounds or illness.

Where men lost their lives, there last resting place, or commemoration can be found from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). These records have been used to compile the table of casualties.   These are reasonably comprehensive, although men who died in Britain are not always recorded, including those that died of illness or wounds arising from their Service.

Following the men of Arthur Bell’s III Platoon of the 17th Battalion, it has been possible to compile a summary of known records for each individual listed in the Heaton Park Roll of Honour from March 1915.  The men that are known to have joined III Platoon on the Somme are also recorded.  These are solely intended to be a representation of men from the Manchester Pals.  It is important to recognise all the other men in the Great War that are not part of this list.

Thanks to members of The Manchester Regiment Group Forum – Index and Great War Forum for helping me fill many of the gaps in the profile of these men.

Using the March 1915 ranks, the cost of the Great War can be categorised as follows:-

Fatalities

Original Rank

Name

Number

Survival

Sergeant

James Turner

8903

KIA 1/7/1916

Corporal

Percy A. Amos

8047

KIA 1/7/1916

Corporal

Sidney Birks Hare

8170

KIA 1/7/1916

Lance Corporal

Stephen Broadmeadow

9084

KIA 10/7/1916

Lance Corporal

Louis Linney

8705

KIA 10/7/1916

Lance Corporal

Lewis Charles Brownjohn

9045

KIA 30/7/1916

Private

William Chant

8461

DoW 24/4/1917.

Private

Walter Ashton*

8364

KIA 10/7/1916

Private

F. Thomas Barnett

8387

KIA 10/7/1916

Private

Ernest Stelfox

8869

KIA 27/7/1918

Private

Frank Hoyle

8604

Died 05/12/1918

Private

Walter Frederick Scott

8856

KIA 1/7/1916

Private

Arthur Wilkins

8943

KIA 8/5/1917

Private

Ernest Conroy

9143

Died 15/11/1918

Private

Arthur Edward Bennett

8392

KIA 1/7/1916

Private

Joseph Clark

8472

KIA 1/7/1916

Private

Hubert Craig

8478

KIA 12/10/1916

Private

James Thomson

8901

KIA 1/7/1916

Private

John Law

8703

KIA 10/7/1916

It can be seen the majority of these fatalities relate to action in the 1916 assaults on the Somme.  The profile of these casualties have been recorded in previous sections:-

1st July 1916 – Montauban. Men

1st July 1916 – Montauban. Officers

9th / 10th July 1916 – Trones Wood

30th/31st July 1916 – Guillemont

12th October 1916 – Flers

The subsequent casualties related to a range of action and illness.

Pt. William Chant 8461

Platoon Signaler, Pt. William Chant 8461 had been wounded in both feet and the ear at Flers, reported to be on 16th October 1916.  After treatment in 48th General Hospital in Rouen, William was Posted to Home Defense, returning to Britain on 8th November; one year after arriving in France. Presumably resulting from wounds, Pt. Chant was admitted to 4th General Hospital in Stobhill, Glasgow suffering septicemia.  He died on 24th April 1917, aged 22.  William’s parents, Thomas and Anna Chant, will have attended his funeral and internment at Southern Cemetery in Manchester.  They lived at 6 Heslington Street, Moss Side.

MEN 27/4/1917 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

MEN 27/4/1917 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Anna Chant collected William’s medals on 12th October 1922; on the sixth anniversary of the initial assault on Flers.  While records suggest William was wounded on 16th October, his mother’s choice of date may suggest the wounds occurred during the initial assault.  In the context that the 17th Battalion had been withdrawn from the front at 10.30pm on 15th October, multiple wounds on the 16th are also surprising.  Hence, Pt. Chant may be III Platoon’s second fatality for the Flers assault and his bullet wounds to feet confirm he had left the trench, possibly indicating III Platoon had been a part of A Company that had gone over the top before CSM Ham stopped the slaughter.

William was commemorated at St James’s Church Memorial and Old Hulmeians Memorial.  William Hulme’s School Archive shows William attended the school 1906-1909 and worked at Messrs Deliyanni, wholesale tobacconists, of Moss Lane East, Moss Side.

William is buried in Southern Cemetery with sister, Ev and his mother who had been beneficiary of his Will.  His younger brother Robert is commemorated on this family grave and the St James’s Church.  Robert was killed at Jutland with HMS Invincible on 31/5/1916 CWGC .

Pt. Ernest Stelfox 8869

National Roll of the Great War - Manchester

National Roll of the Great War – Manchester.  The time of death is 12 months different to CWGC records.

Ernest Stelfox was a former shipping clerk.  He had been promoted to L. Cpl. And transferred to 12th Bttn. after 1915.  He was killed in action on 27 July 1918, aged 26.  The 12th Bttn. Held the line near Mesnil-Martinsart during this period.  The War Diary reports three men killed on 27th July, either in a heavy German bombardment or during reconnaissance patrols.  Ernest is buried at Harponville Communal Cemetary Extension, leaving behind his parents William and Elizabeth Stelfox of 20 Botham Street, Moss Side.  They arranged a narrative on their son’s grave “Blessed are the pure in Heart”. He was commemorated at Whalley Range Presbyterian Church Memorial and Kearsley Cross, Bolton.

Pt. Frank Hoyle 8604

Frank Hoyle is the first of two men that survived the Armistice and died of conditions relating to their service.  Frank’s shell shock, wounding and return to Hospital in early July has already been identified. Cpl Hoyle arrived Home on 13/7/1916. As the former 17th Battalion marksman he subsequently transferred to teach musketry with the 3rd Battalion Depot.  He was then posted to Colsterdale officers POW Camp, near Masham, N. Yorks as part of the Royal Defence Corps – 67160.  Frank was promoted to Sergeant and subsequently contracted pneumonia.  He died on 5th December 1918. A funeral cortege left his home in Farnworth for Sgt. Hoyle’s burial at Bury Cemetery, attended by a firing party from Bury Barracks and his widow Lillian. Frank is commemorated on Trinity Congregational Church Memorial, Farnworth

Pt. Arthur Wilkins 8943

M.E.N. 27th July 1916. Thanks to Kingo of

M.E.N. 27th July 1916. Thanks to Kingo of http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php

Similar to Ernest Stelfox, Pt. Wilkins was transferred to 12th Bttn. Prior to enlistment he worked at Hans Reynolds chain woks in Burnage and lived with his parents George and Alice Wilkins at 88 Sanderson Street, Newton Heath. He drowned on 8th May 1917 and is buried at Mindel Trench British Cemetery at St. Laurent-Blagny.  The Medal Roll and other records show Arthur had transferred to 12th Battalion and died from drowning.

Pt. Ernest Conroy 9143

Pt. Conroy  is the second member III Platoon to contract illness and die soon after the War.  Lance Corporal Ernest Conroy had been wounded at Montauban and convalesced at home.  In September 1917, he was attached to the Royal Army Medical Corps 13050, 3rd Hospital in Blackpool.  In common with many people in Europe, Ernest suffered Influenza with Bronchial Neurosis, being admitted to hospital for eleven days on 25th November 1917.

Immediately after his recovery, Ernest was disciplined for ‘(When on active Service) Disobeying an order issued by his superior officer’.  With his unblemished conduct record with the Manchesters, it is encouraging to see Ernest move on to Gateshead Borough Asylum, where he was posted as a Mental Health Attendant at No 8 RAMC Hospital in January 1918.

In October 1918, Ernest was transferred to Notts. County Hospital in Radcliffe on Trent.  The day after the Armistice, Major Howard recommended him to be registered as Mental Health Attendant –presumably as a civilian.  Ernest was appointed a Mental Attendant on 19th November.

During his transition to a civilian role, Ernest contracted influenza again.  He was admitted to his hospital with progressive to signs of pneumonia and heart failure.  Ernest Conroy died at 1.30am on 25th November 1918, aged 28.  Cpl. Conroy’s name is remembered on the  Kearsley Cross Memorial, Bolton, St Sephen’s Church, Kearsley Memorial the Philips Parks Memorial in Manchester.

Ernest’s brother Edmund was in C Company of the 17th.  Edmund was more fortunate than his brother and survived the war.  Ernest’s effects were collected in February 1919 and his medals were received by his sister Elizabeth in September 1921.  Ernest’s mother Elizabeth was on the original Register of Effects.

Wounded and Discharged

© IWM (Q 65412)

© IWM (Q 65412)

Original Rank

Name

Number

Survival

Private

Stanley Williams

8933

Discharged SWB 29/3/1917

Private

Leonard L. Snowdon

8868

Discharged SWB 25/10/1916

Private

Private

Private

Private

Alan Arthur Bell

James Hastings McCaig

Henry Brumfitt

Albert Hawksworth

8055

8728

8396

9148

Discharged SWB 14/3/1918.

Discharged SWB 24/10/1917

Discharged SWB 18/10/1918

Discharged SWB 3/10/1917

There is no other known record of the wounds for Stanley Williams apart from his entitlement for the three service medals for serving with 17th Battalion arriving in France on 8/11/1915.

National Roll of the Great War - Manchester Volume

National Roll of the Great War – Manchester Volume

Leonard Lythgoe Snowdon has an entry in the National Roll.  The wounding and discharge is consistent with the Medal Rolls, but the service in Battles other than the Somme does not seem accurate.

Arthur Bell’s injuries were reported in the Manchester Evening News of 20th October 1916.

MEN 20/7/1916

MEN 20/7/1916

 Arthur’s post war profile will be addressed later.  He retained the shrapnel in his foot until his death in 1977.

Simon Son & Co James McCaigPrivate James Hastings McCaig had enlisted on 3/9/14.  Following wounding he was evacuated Home. Following recuperation, he was transferred to the 3rd Battalion in Cleethorpes and then discharged on 24th October 1917, aged 28.  His medal entitlement all relates to 17th Battalion.

James had been born in Dumfries and previously employed as a salesman by Simon, Son & Co at 32 Oxford Street.  He was a warehouseman when he married Dorris Lyons in Urmston Parish Church in 1919 and died in 1955, resident in Denbigh in Wales.  James’ older brother 8729 Joseph also served with the Battalion, although he was discharged unfit prior to embarkation to France.  At that stage, their mother and father,  John & Jessie McCaig lived at 2 Westmoreland Road, Urmston.

National Roll

National Roll

Pt. Henry Brumfitt 8396

Henry Brumfitt’s Service Record is one of the few that remain.  This allowed him to be distinguished as an example for penalties for breaches of discipline.  The Record also provides an insight into the persistent cycle of wounding, recovery and wounding again, for some men.

Henry had recuperated in Leicester Hospital after his July wounds.  He returned to Manchester Depot and received two weeks leave with his family.  At the end of July Henry was posted to 25th and then the 12th Bttn.  in autumn 1916.

The 12th had been formed at the beginning of the War, but remained a New Army unit, similar to the Pals.  It is quite likely Henry would have had the opportunity to return to the 17th Battalion.  Many men rejected this prospect in after the summer of 1916, because they realised their original Pals had ‘gone’ and chose another Battalion, rather than returning to a unit that was unrecognisable.  Henry may have chosen 12th Bttn. or simply been ordered to this posting.

Henry arrived in France with 12th Battalion on 1st November 1916.  He was wounded for second time in March 1917 and returned to hospital in Manchester.  After two weeks leave at home, Pt. Brumfitt was posted to the Command Depot at Heaton Park and then 3rd Bttn.  He returned to France, with 11th Battalion in July 1917, to be wounded for a third time in October 1917.  Staying in France this time, Henry’s Service continued until he was wounded for a fourth time in August 1918.

Henry Brumfitt had received a gun shot wound in the leg.  He was treated in Preston, where his leg was amputated and then Queen Mary Hospital, Roehampton where he convalesced until September 1918.

Henry was discharged in October 1918, aged 25, with a Silver War Badge and what must have been a full series of wound stripes on his arm.  He signed ‘with thanks’ as receipt on his medal card on the first anniversary of the Armistice.  Whether this brave and battered man was being ironic, or simply polite, we will never know.  Genuine gratitude seems a tall order.

Refuge Assurance G N Moss8227 Private G N Moss’ entry in Refuge Assurance Roll of Honour indicates he had transferred to 16th Battalion.  The Medal records for 303539 Private George Newman Moss may relate to the same man who enlisted in Manchester Regiment Depot on 9/12/15, then posted to 11th and 12th Battalions, being discharged unfit with a Silver War Badge on 20/2/19 aged 34.  The second Battalion number suggests George may have been discharged from the City Battalions before leaving for France and then re-enlisted in the Service Battalions.  George received the British War Medal and Victory Medal, with no apparent 1914-15 Star.

Private Albert Hawksworth 9148

Albert’s Hawksworth’s MIC solely identifies the Award of only the 1915 Star. He had enlisted on 2nd January 1915 and transferred to the Cheshire Regiment 3608.  He entered France on 9th November; the day after the 17th Manchesters (may be incorrect date on Roll), where he had been a member of the Bugle Band.  He was discharged aged 35 from 57th Training Reserve Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment 4/3608 on 3rd October 1917 with a Silver War Badge.  Born in 1882 Albert had been a clerk residing in Jobling Street in Bradford, Manchester.  He died in 1947 when he had been living at Droylsden Road, Audenshaw.

Wounded and Stayed in Service

On the basis that records of the men’s’ wounds are limited, due to lost Service Records, when records have been identified; they provide a likely illustration of the fate of many more individuals.

Original Rank

Name

Number

Survival

Capt

Pln. Sergeant

Edward Lloyd

Frank Ewart Chandler MC

 8087

Wounded 28/1/1916

Wounded 25/6/1916 + 21/3/18

 CSM  John H Green  9070  Wounded 1916

Private

Harold Bretnall

8394

Injured 18/8/1916

Private

George Garbutt

8378

Wounded 1/7/1916

Private

Arthur Collier

8473

Wounded 1917 & 8/1918

Private

Bernard William Pemberton

8794

Injured 1918

Private

Joseph Leach

8706

Wounded back & head

Private

Private

Ernest Kemmery

George Edward Lancaster

9160

9163

Wounded / Illness Jan. 1916

Wounded – Transfrrd. 13th

Captain Edward Lloyd DCM

Lloyd MEN 2.2.1916 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

MEN 27/4/1917 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Edward Lloyd was a appointed Honorary Lieutenant and Quartermaster when he first enlisted in the 2nd City Battalion.  Recognising his Boar War service, he was formally Commissioned and promoted Captain and OC of A Company on 17/12/1914.   Edward was awarded DCM and mentioned in Despatches during his service in South Africa with 2nd Battalion. There are two E. Lloyds who served with the 2nd Battalion.  Both were entitled to Kings South Africa Medal with Clasps for 1901, 1902, Wistabargen, Cape Colony and Transvaal.  It’s likely Edward was Colour Sergeant 1817.

Captain Lloyd was wounded by shrapnel in the heel at Royal Dragons Wood near Vaux on 28th January 1916. Following recuperation he Edward was transferred to 25th (Reserve) Battalion in Altcar, where he will have trained many men who formed drafts in the the Pals.  He later transferred to 60th (Reserve) and remained at Home until his retirement to Blackpool in 1919.

In 1921 he lived at 44 Cavendish Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock. (Officers Service File details courtesy 17th Manchesters by John Hartley

CSM John H Green 9070CSM John H. Green A Coy 17th Bttn. Later WOI

In common with many men, the only records identified relate to his MIC, where there is no SWB award – confirming the men were not discharged with wounds.  John Green’s MIC tells us he remained with 17th Battalion until discharge in 1919.  At this stage he had been promoted to Acting WOI, and transferred to 20th Battalion.  The records of A Company certainly indicate John Green was posted elsewhere in 1916.  It is reported he was shot in the ankle at some stage that summer.

Sgt. Frank Ewart Chandler MC

Sgt Frank Chandler provides an interesting example of the Army making use of a soldier’s civilian skills.  Frank was introduced as one of the Battalion’s teachers who had studied for a teaching diploma in Maths and Applied Science.  After training with 17th Battalion in Heaton Park and Belton Park Sgt. Chandler was transferred to the Royal Engineers (RE), Special Company,  in September 1915 soon after his arrival at Larkhill.  The 1914/15 Medal roll shows Frank was a Sergeant when he arrived in France with the R.E. on 20/9/1915.  He promptly became Acting Company Sergeant Major and was commissioned 2nd Lt. on 14th/16th May 1916.  He was first wounded in June that year and returned to duty in early July.  In a 1916 interview transcribed by his Great Grandson, Andrew Chandler, Frank confirmed his retained allegiance to the Manchester Pals.  After providing the anecdote on CSM Oddy, he recounted spending time in the line near 17th Battalion at Maricourt.  While he missed the Montauban assault, the Special Company assisted the assault by successfully providing a smoke screen using specialist trench mortar shells.

Frank Chandler was awarded the Military Cross in September 1917 promoted to full Lt. that November.  He was then wounded on the first day of the German offensive and returned to England in March 1918.   After the war he returned to teaching and became Secretary of Education for Worcester. Frank had received his service medals in 1924 and was awarded an OBE for his civil defence work in WW2.  He died in Leeds in February 1985.

Pt. Harold Bretnall 8394

We have seen Harold Bretnall was injured in the fatal rifle grenade accident in August 1916.  Following further illness and recovery, Harold was posted back to France with 19th Bttn. and records also show he served with 2/9th Bttn.  He was then transferred as a Cpl. to the 3rd East Lancashire Regiment (E. Lancs.)  Harold was wounded for a second time in July 1917, returning to E. Lancs. Command Depot in September 1917.  He returned France again in January 1918 to be wounded with 2nd E Lancs. on a third occasion in March 1918.  Harold was discharged fit for duty in March 1919.

Haugk, von Zabern & Co. George S Garbutt

MEN 24/7/1916 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

MEN 24/7/1916 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Private George Shields Garbutt 8570

George Garbutt transferred to Machine Gun Corps (MGC).  Arriving in France on 8th November 1915 is consistent with the rest of III Platoon.  However, his 1914/15 Star was referenced to the MGC.  This suggests he may of transferred at the time of arrival in France, although he may still have been attached to 90th Brigade with the MGC.  George was discharged from MGC ‘fit for duty’ on 22/2/1919.  Prior to enlistment, he had been an employee of Haugk, von Zabern & Co. shipping merchants.  Press reports indicate George received a Gun Shot Wound to the leg at Montauban on 1/7/1916 and recovered in an Epsom Hospital.

Pt. Arthur Collier 8473

Pt. Collier did not go to France with the majority of the 17th Bttn. in November 1915, possibly staying behind as part of the training regiment.  He missed the actions in Montauban and Trones Wood, arriving in France on 22nd July 1916.  Medal Rolls show Arthur served with 19th and 2nd Bttns.  He was initially wounded in the right hand in hand and treated at Bristol Hospital.  He then returned to France to be wounded again in August 1918.  He was then treated in 3rd Scottish General Hospital.

Pt. Bernard William Pemberton 8794

Bernard Pemberton’s Pension Record shows limited data on his Service.  He arrived in France with the majority of the 17th Bttn. in 1915.  He then fractured his left clavicle in June 1918; falling off a bicycle in Amiens. He was treated in Exeter, Blackpool and Preston Hospitals before being discharged fit in March 1919, when he was also suffering a hernia.  In the period between November 1915 and June 1918, we have no record.

Pt. Joseph Leach 8706

Following recovery from wounds received at Trones Wood , Joseph Leach subsequently served as a Gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery; 224515.  He survived the war and was transferred to reserve ‘fit’ on 29/1/1919.  Joseph collected his trio of medals in 1924.

Pt. Ernest Kemmery 9160

Ernest Kemmery has already been identified as an early Battalion casualty, suffering a gun shot wound in March 1916.  Following recuperation, Ernest was posted to the 14th Kings Liverpool Regiment (KLR), entering the Mediterranean  Expeditionary Force in Salonika during November 1916.  Following further wounds or illness Ernest returned to Britain in September 1918.  He was then transferred to the Western Command, Labour Corps, 647793 with posting in Seaforth and Malaria Concentration Centre in Oswestry.  Pt. Conroy was demobilised in February 1919 – with a pension arising from the original injury sustained in the Spring of 1916.

Private George Edward Lancaster 9163

Courtesy National Roll of the Great War - Manchester

Courtesy National Roll of the Great War – Manchester

George Lancaster’s MIC  also shows he was transferred to reserve, fit for duty in March 1919 with his original rank.  The National Roll tells us he was injured in the summer of 1916 and then transferred to serve in the Mediterranean.  Medal rolls confirm continuing service with the Manchesters, George transferred to the 13th  and then 9th Battalion.

Prisoners of War

Original Rank

Name

Number

Survival

Private

Arthur Jones

8190

Captured 9/7/1916

Private

Arthur Watts

8941

Captured 9/7/1916

Private

Louis J Darnborough

8508

Captured 9/7/1916

Private

Henry Guest Waller

8937

Captured 23/4/1917

Three men are recorded as captured at Trones Wood and held as Prisoners of War (POW).  Arthur Bell recounted his friend sharing leave in Amiens with one of the Platoon who became a prisoner.

“My mate on this trip {Amiens] was nicknamed “Shackleton” and a few weeks later a letter was handed to me from his home asking if it was known what had happened to him.  Hardly believing in the possibility, I told them he just might have been one of those taken prisoner at Trones or Guillemont, and it turns out that he was.  Hope you are still alive, Shack, down there in Derbyshire.” (1)

Watts A POW MEN 21.8.1916

© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Arthur Elijah Watts may have been Arthur Bell’s friend ‘Shackleton’ on the leave to Amiens.  He was reported missing in the Manchester Evening News of 12th August 1916 “Private Arthur Watts No. 8941, Manchester “Pals”, missing since July 4 [9th], formerly with Mr Wm. May, pawnbroker.  Parents: 32 John Street, Wirksworth, Derbyshire.”

Arthur Watts was held at Dulmen Prisoner of War camp, west of Munster.  It is possible Private Watts was Arthur Bell’s mate “Shack”; whose Derbyshire based parents may have asked Arthur Bell about their son’s plight.   Perhaps he was a bit of an adventurer during his time with the Pals, similar to the famous explorer Ernest Shackleton.

All these prisoners spent the majority of the war in Dulmen Camp in Germany.  They were all repatriated at the end of hostilities and discharged fit in early 1919.

Courtesy ICRD

Courtesy ICRD

C_G1_E_04_01_0043_0193 C_G1_E_04_01_0034_0009 C_G1_E_04_01_0028_0061Arthur Jones is one of the few III Platoon men to be included in the Manchester Volume of the National Roll of the Great War. National Roll of the Great War - ManchesterHis ICRC record indicates capture on 9th July 1916 as part of A Company.  Arthur’s date of birth is noted as New Year’s day 1893 and next of kin identified as Mrs Jones of 10 Cottenham Street.  He was held in Minden on 23/2/1917 and possibly moved to Friedrichsfeld on this date.  Arthur had been a Prisoner in Dulmen on 14/10/1916, having been transferred from Cambrai where he had been held since 26th July 1916.

MEN 12/8/1916. © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

MEN 12/8/1916. © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Courtesy ICRC

Courtesy ICRC

Louis Joseph Darnborough were transferred to Sprottau Camp in January 1917

Arthur Watts & Louis Joseph Darnborough were transferred to Sprottau Camp in January 1917

A little more profile has been provided on Arthur Watts’s (Possibly Shackleton) capture.  The ICRC record indicates his capture at Trones Wood with the date of 19th July (more likely 9th).  He was initially moved to Cambrai on 23rd July and appearing to arrive at Dulmen Camp on 16th August.  During his time Dulmen, Arthur reported the unfortunate demise of Kenneth Macardle at Trones Wood.  He was then held in Sprottau Camp from 29th January 1917.  After the war, Arthur returned to live in his birthplace in in Kirksworth, Derbyshire.  Arthur lived a full life and died in Derby in 1974, aged 79.

L Darnborough

L Darnborough

C_G1_E_04_01_0029_0105Louis Joseph Darnborough was also captured at Trones Wood on 9th July and held as a Prisoner of War.  In common with Arthur Watts he was held in Cambrai, Dulmen and then Sprottau.  He was previously employed in the head office of Bradford Dyers’ Association Limited.

Blakeley & Bleving Ltd - Henry WallerC_G1_E_04_01_0081_0045 C_G1_E_04_01_0056_0117 C_G1_E_04_01_0059_0157 C_G1_E_04_01_0071_0033

Darnborough POW MEN 21.8.1916

© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Darnborough POW MEN 21.8.1916

© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Henry Waller was captured by the Germans during the assault on Heninel 23rd April 1917.  By this time, Henry had been promoted to Sergeant, having been a Private on arrival in France.  He is included in a Wounded List published 29/2/1916 and must have recovered at some stage.  Prior to hostilities, Henry was an employee of Blakely & Beving Limited.  IRRC records show Henry was wounded in the right arm and was probably initially held in a hospital or clearing station.  He was the transferred to Langanzelsa on 2nd June 1917, followed by Darmstadt from 14th or 20th June.  He then arrived in Giessen in August 1917, finally staying in Hameln in November 1917.  Following his return to England he was Discharged fir on 28/3/1919.  Henry is noted as being born in Barnsley on 8th September 1887 and his mother’s address is identified as 602 Stretford Road, Old Trafford.

Courtesy IRRC

Courtesy IRRC

As part of the interpretation of records it has been useful to identify the PoW record of Lieutenant Leslie Brian Humphreys, who was also captured at Trones Wood (Longueval on IRRC) and held at Gutersloh.

Service Maintained in Manchester Regiment

The following group from III Platoon are recorded as surviving hostilities, without known wounds and demobilisation in 1919.  Records indicate they maintained Service with the 17th Bttn., although it is possible they may have been attached to other Battalions, or Regiments.

Original Rank

Name

Number

Comments

2nd IC (3) Capt.

Edmond Fearenside DSO OBE

n/a

Died 1959 aged 78.

CQMS

Henry Waddington

9348

Commissioned 11/8/1916. 20th Bttn.Resigned 5/9/21

III Pln. OC (1) 2nd Lt.

Robert Forbes Mansergh MC

n/a

MC. Transferred to other Platoon.

Lance Corporal

Percy H. Kay*

8693

Discharged Fit 27/2/1919

Lance Corporal

Samuel Lucas*

9094

3/4/1919Discharged Fit     

Private

Tom Hawkins

8595

Transfer 2/9th Bttn. Discharged 5/4/1917

 

 

Private

John Bardsley

8388

Discharged 16th Bttn, 25/2/1919

 

 

Private

Courtenay G. Jones

9027

Discharged Fit 14/4/1919.

Private

Thomas C. Roscoe

8823

Discharged Fit 26/5/1919.

Private

John Carlin

8469

Hospital 12/18 Bronchitis Discharged Fit

Private

Thomas Brown

9046

Commissioned 17th Bttn. 25/9/1917

Private

Robert Schofield

8284

Discharged Fit 21/3/1919

Private

George Lancaster*

9163

21/3/1919 Discharged Fit

Capt. Edmond Fearenside

Capt. Fearenside was  2nd in Command (2IC) in the Platoon Roll.  Following the demise of Captain Ford at Montauban he effectively took command of A Company and provided the vivid notes of the action at Guillemont.  In October 1916, he had sone respite after the assault at Flers, leaving for a Commanding Officers course in Aldershot on 13th October.

Capt. Fearenside returned to France in January 1917 and appointed OC of his old A Company.  He promptly became the Battalion 2IC.  Apart from postings to Brigade HQ, Capt. Fearenside remained with the Battalion until it was disbanded in July 1918.  By this time Edmond Fearenside was temporary Lt. Colonel (Lt. Col.) and he spent the remainder of the war Commanding 14th South Lancashire Regiment.  Lt. Col. Fearenside received his OBE (Military Division) in 1919, one month before retirement from service in July 1919.  After retirement he was one of the few former teachers or pupils able to return to Merchiston School in Edinburgh and remained there until retirement in 1935.  In the 2nd World War Edmond Fearenside returned to teaching at St Edwards School in Oxford.  He died in Oxford Hospital in     1959, aged 78.

This information is courtesy of Mack from Manchesters Forum.  A full profile can be found here. http://www.themanchesters.org/Lieutenant%20Colonel%20Edmund%20Fearenside%20DSO%20OBE.htm

CQMS Henry Waddington 9348

CQMS Waddington - unconfirmed from II Pln Book of Honour

CQMS Waddington

CQMS H Waddington

2nd Lt. Robert Forbes Mansergh

Robert Mansergh was III Platoon OC from March 1915, to the summer of 1916, although other officers seem to have fulfilled this role from July onwards.   He was also a member of the Battalion Bugle Band.  Arthur Bell had referred to his prior bravery in preventing injuries during an accident in grenade training.

Southern Reporter 5/10/1916 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Southern Reporter 5/10/1916 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

“Perhaps a notch towards an honour later.  In fact, he was awarded the M.C. [Military Cross] in September, 1916.”

The former Selkirk High School and Merchiston pupil, Robert Mansergh was awarded the Military Cross for action near Trones Wood.  His citation in September 1916 reads “When an enemy shell lighted an ammunition store, he and his orderly, 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.”   Pt. A Hall was awarded a DCM in this action, while serving as Lieutenant Mansergh’s Orderly.  At this stage Robert was acting Adjutant for the Battalion, probably appointed after the Trones Wood withdrawal on 11th July.

It is possible the MC award relates to events at 3am on 30th July, prior to the Guillemont assault.  90th Brigade War Diary notes fire damage to a telephone cable serving the advance Brigade Headquarters at the Briquetrie “…by an explosion of S.A.A. & Grenade Dump in the vicinity of the BRIQUETERIE & about 100 yds of the Cable was destroyed.”  It is possible the 17th Battalion Adjutant would have been present at Brigade HQ and likely he would have helped at the incident – under the watchful eye of some senior officers.

In view of the limited number of Officers (4 per Company) taking part in the Montauban assault, it is thought Robert was not present in the 1st July assault.  However, the War Diary indicates he formed an advance party to provide guides to the assembly trenches on the night of 30th June.

Robert Mansergh was appointed Adjutant in mid July 1916 and later promoted Captain.  He was wounded in the hand during fighting in 1918.

Robert was promoted to Captain during service and retired at the end of the War.  He was living at Farmwouth in Belle Vue, Morecambe when he collected his medals in 1923.

Lance Cpl. Percy Harry Kay

In common with a group of III Platoon men that survived hostilities, all that has been found are Medal Records.  These shows Percy being promoted to Corporal by the time of his discharge in February 1919.  He was fit for duty.

Lance Cpl. Samuel Lucas

While identified as a L/Cpl. on the III Platoon Roll, his MIC indicates he was a Private when he arrrived in France and when discharged fit in April 1919.  Samuel also served with the 13th & 9th Bttns, most likely after wounding on more than one occasion.

Tom Hawkins 8595 & 353106

Tom Hawkins MIC shows he was discharged fit for duty in April 1919.  At this stage he had received the new Service Number for the 2nd/9th Battalion.  Tom’s 1914/15 Star relates to the 17th Battalion and he probably transferred after wounding in France and recovery at Home.

Private John Bardsley 8388

John Bardsley is one of the few men where a full service record is available.  He enlisted on 3rd September 1914, two months before his 20th birthday.  John spent more than three years, almost continual service, in France from November 1915 to the end of January 1919.  His entry on the Absent Voters List in December 1918 shows him still serving as a Private with 90th Brigade HQ and a home address as 14 Ashwell Street, Pendleton.  Brothers Ambrose and Charles were serving with the Labour Corps and South Wales Borderers.  John was discharged from 16th Battalion (17th was disbanded) in February 1919.

The only break in John Bardsley’s Service seems to have been two weeks leave from overseas in October 1918.  He took advantage of this opportunity by marrying Annie Hurst at Pendleton Church on the 19th October.  Two years before Pt. Bardsley had been disciplined for overstaying leave.  In view of the prompt wedding in 1918, one may imagine he was delayed courting Annie.

John was demobilised in February 1919, with an conditional weekly allowance of 7s6d.  This principally related to DAH – Disordered Action of the Heart – attributable to Service.  The allowance took account of his wife and new daughter.  They couple lived at 9 Annes Street in Salford.

Manchester Corporation Electricity Department - C G JonesPrivate Courtenay George Jones

Courtenay Jones transferred to 1st Battalion at some stage and was discharged fit for duty in April 1919.  He then lived at 196 Erwood Road, Levenshulme and worked as an electrical engineer.  He subsequently lived at 31 Hambleton Drive in Manchester and died in June 1960.  C G Jones is included in the Roll of Honour of the Electricity Dept. of Manchester Corporation.  It is likely this is Courtenay Jones.

Private Thomas Charles Roscoe

Thomas Roscoe’s MIC shows that he had been promoted to acting Warrant Officer Class 2 by the time of his discharge, fit for duty, in May 1919.  Thomas had also served with 13th Bttn.  He had been included in the Salford South Absent Voters list in 1918, as a resident of 13 Sussex Street.  A Sergeant Thomas Roscoe is recorded as being one of 1,080 members of the Adelphi Boys Club, Salford; to have served in the war.  Resources – Salford War Memorials

Private John Carlin 8469

John Carlin was 33 years old when he enlisted on 3rd September 1914.  The former warehouseman from Pendleton was promoted L/Cpl in July 1915; Cpl in August and then L/Sgt. and Sergeant on 1st October 1915, prior to departure to France.  He was then promoted to Sergeant.  John was admitted to Northumberland War Hospital in December 1918; with acute bronchitis.  He had been posted back to England on 4/12/1918.  Following recovery, he was provided fulough from 26/12/1918 to 6/1/1919 and discharged fit for duty and living with his wife Frances and two children, in 3 West Clowes Street, Eccles in March 1919.  John received an initial Pension payment reflecting 20% disability.  In April 1922 the John Carlin and his wife emigrated to Botany, New South Wales with their daughters Frances and Ethel.  The Absent Voters List confirms the Carlin family had lived at 3 West Clowes Street,in 1918. Resources – Salford War Memorials

Private Thomas Brown 9046

Thomas Brown was promoted to L/Cpl. in the 17th Battalion by the time the Battalion arrived in France and later Corporal.  He was then commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in September 1917.  His MIC shows he retired from Service in September 1921 and then lived at 46 Lawton Street in Crewe.

R Schofield

R Schofield

Private Robert Schofield 8284

Robert Schofield’s MIC shows he was transferred to Reserve as a Private and fit for duty in March 1919.  The Rolls show he served in France with the 17th, 13th & 9th Bttns, most likely following wounds on one, or more, occasions.  Prior to enlistment he had been employed by David Midgley & Sons Ltd.  Robert lost four brothers in 1915/16.  This included 2 eldest brothers who died as civilians in 1915 and Thomas who served with Kings Royal Lancs Regiment and died on 7/7/1916.  Younger brother 9519 Private Ruben Schofield was killed at Montaunban with 17th Bttn.  Arthur Bell recognised the significance of this loss:-

“Our lot were under canvas, and we were told what heart-breaking roll-calls there had been. One particular man in our platoon had lost the younger brother whom he had been at great pains to have transferred from another battalion.”

Service maintained after transfer.

Many original members of III Platoon were discharged after the end of hostilities from other Regiments or Corps.

Original Rank

Name

Number

Comments

Lance Corporal

Frank Handley

8155

Commissioned Cheshire Regt. Att. MGC

Private

Thomas Lavin

9162

Transferred to Kings Liverpool Regt.

Private

George H. Robinson

8822

Transferred to Army Service Corps.  No Star.

Private

John Bell

8378

Transferred to Middx. Regt.

Private

Albert Hawksworth

9148

Transferred to Training  Bttn.+ Cheshire Regt. Disch.  3/10/1917.

Private / Drummer

Robert Barrett

9075

Transferred to Royal Field Artillery. Star.

Private

Frederick Forsyth

8547

Transferred to Lincs. Regt. No Star

Private

Herbert White

8942

Transferred to Labour Corps

Private / Drummer

Ernest Pollitt

9077

Transferred to 33rd London Regt.

Private

Percy Murch

8726

Transferred Army Cyclist Corps and RSF.  Sergeant Dich. Fit 3/5/1919

Lance Corporal Frank Handley 8155

Frank Handley’s MIC identified his date of entry in France consistent with the rest of 17th Bttn.  He was Commissioned 2nd Lt. in the Cheshire Regiment in January 1918 and attached to 222nd Machine Gun Company (MGC).  This Company’s history shows service in India and Pakistan.   The Absent Voters List identifies Frank’s continuing service with the 3rd Cheshire Regiment in December 1918 and his home address as 6 Seedley Terrace in West Salford.  The Medal Roll indicates he had been promoted to Lieutenant.  His brothers John and Ernest were also serving as 2nd Lieutenant in 58th RAF and Private in Army Service Corps respectively.

Private Thomas Lavin 9162

Thomas Lavin entered France on 8th November 1915 with the Manchesters.  He transferred to Kings Liverpool Regiment 56343, serving with 14th and 18th Bttns.  Evidence of the Medal Roll suggests four other men from 17th Bttn transferred to the KLR at a similar time.  This may have been at the end of hostilities, but more likely after the returned to France together following recuperation from earlier wounds. His date of demobilisation is unknown.

Private George H. Robinson 8822

George Robinson arrived in France on 8/11/15 consistent with the majority of the 17th Manchesters.  His 1914/15 Star Roll shows he transferred to the Loyal North Lancs on 23/9/1916, possibly after recovering from wounds that summer.  He was then transferred to the Army Service Corps on 11/7/1918, being discharged fit on 3/7/1919.

Private John Bell 8378

National Roll of the Great War - Manchester

National Roll of the Great War – Manchester

It appears John Bell was medically downgraded  BI or BII and transferred to the newly formed 1st Garrison Battalion Manchester Regiment; formed at Knowsley Park, Liverpool in September 1915. Officers and men for this battalion were classified as permanently unfit for active service but fit for service abroad in a garrison or labour battalion.  Records show John served in India from February 1916 then subsequently China and Siberia.  He also transferred G/102588 to the 25th Bttn Middlesex Regiment.

The 1st Garrison Battalion sailed to India on 25 February 1916.  HQ was initially based in Allabahad.  The battalion was later split into two; in Hong Kong – presumably including John Bell – and Singapore .   Meanwhile a British naval force had already landed at Murmansk in March 1918, and five months later troops of the 25th Battalion Middlesex Regiment sailed into Vladivostok. They too were a Garrison Battalion, sent out to the tropics in 1917.

In September 1918 a platoon of the Manchesters based in Hong Kong was sent to Vladivostock to reinforce the Middlesex, remaining with them until returning to the UK late in 1919.   It would appear John Bell will have transferred to the Mddx. Regt.  when stationed in Russia; consistent with his MIC.  However, he returned in advance of the Battalion after being invalided home to 18 Gomm Street Ardwick, with heart trouble.  He was demobilised in May 1919.

Thanks to Robert Bonner The Manchester Regiment Group Forum and Courtesy National Roll.

Private Robert Barrett 9075

Robert Barrett’s Medal Records show he entered France with the Manchesters on 8th November 1915.  He transferred to serve as a transport Bombardier 225375 with the Royal Field Artillery and his date of demobilisation is unknown.

Fred Forsyth

Private Frederick Forsyth 8547

Frederick Forsyth transferred to the 1st Garrison Battalion of the Manchesters and then the equivalent Bttn. of the Lincolnshire Regiment.  He received no 1915 Star and no date of entry is specified.  In common with a number of other Manchester Regiment men who transferred to the Lincs, Frederick only received the British War Medal and not the Victory Medal.  This suggests the group of men left Britain, but did not serve in a theatre of war.  The Roll of Honour for Cotton Merchants Stadelbauer & Co. of 50 Bloom Street suggests Fred also served in the 1st Garrison Battalion, Manchester Regiment.  This was stationed in India and Russia.

Private Herbert George White 8942

H White

H White

Herbert White’s MIC shows he entered France on 8th November 1915.  He transferred to the Labour Corps 879651and discharged fit on 27/3/1919.  The Roll of Honour indicates Herbert was employed by Oxendale & Co. prior to enlisting.

Private Ernest Pollitt 9077

Ernest Pollitt was a drummer in the 17th Bttn. Bugle Band, alongside 2nd Lt. Mansergh and Pt. Albert Hawksworth.  Medal records show he entered France with the Manchesters on the same day as the rest of III Platoon.  The Medal Records show he left France on 16/10/1916 and it is safe to assume he was wounded at Flers on 12th October.  Ernest then returned to France and the Manchesters on 14/6/1917, returning home on 4/10/1917.  The 17th Battalion were in reserve at this time and Ernest must have returned Home with sickness, or more likely, wounded while serving with another Battalion. He subsequently transferred to 33rd (City of London) Bttn. London Regiment as Rifleman 860618 arriving Boulogne in France from 3rd July 1918 and serving at Ypres and Courtain before leaving France on the day of the Armistice on 11th November.  Ernest’s date of discharge is not known.

Private Percy Murch 8726

Percy Murch had been a drapery salesman and lived with his uncle in Muriel Street, Broughton prior to enlistment.  He had transferred to the Army Cyclist Corp 9114 and entered France with 30th Division on the same day as 17th Manchesters.  Following promotion to Sgt, Percy was transferred to the 2nd and later 1st Royal Scots Fusiliers; 25366.  He was discharged fit in May 1919 and went to work as the caretaker for Northern Assurance in Cross Street.  Percy married Jessie Maud Gregory in 1921, aged 74.  He died in Stepping Hill Hospital in 1961, when he had been living at Westmount, Rowarth in New Mills.

No Known Overseas Service

The following men have no identified records of serving in France or other theatres of war.

Original Rank

Name

Number

Comments

Lance Sergeant

H. Dixon

9054

No MIC

Lance Corporal

H. F. Barton

9051

No MIC

 

Private

T. Gray

10772

No MIC

From Book of Honur. Lance Sgt Dixon has no record of serving abroad in WW1

From Book of Honour. Lance Sgt Dixon has no record of serving abroad in WW1

South African veteran RSM Oddy has been found to have been discharged on health grounds and it is likely some of the men in this list followed the same path.  It is also possible they maintained service, without leaving the country, preventing entitlement to medals.

Alternatively, they may have transferred to other Regiments, possibly when commissioned.  It is noted that the MIC for Pt. Percy Murch makes no reference to the Manchester Regiment.  Hence, if the men on the list transferred, they may not have been identified.

Private G N Moss’ entry in Refuge Assurance Roll of Honour indicates he had transferred to 16th Battalion.  He has no evidence of Overseas service with the Regiment.

17th Battalion men excluded from III Platoon Roll of Honour

The profile of men serving with Arthur Bell cannot be complete without mention of those that served with him, survived hostilities, but were not included in his Platoon in March 1915.  The relevant men that lost their lives have been identified in earlier sections of this journal.

Lt. Col. Herbert Alfred Johnson

Col. Johnson was the CO of the 17th Manchesters from formation in September 1914 until he was wounded at Montauban on 1st July 1916.  He returned to command the Battalion at the end of April 1917.   His MIC specifies his address in 1920 as the stately home of Allestree Hall near Derby.

RSM Henry Coates 9369

RSM Coates had been admitted to Hospital suffering rheumatism in May 1916.   Following his return to the Battalion Henry  was awarded the Military Cross (MC) for his conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in the attack on Cherisy on 24th April 1917.  He showed fine leadership while in command of a Company, although under heavy shell and MG fire, he posted his men at all the vantage points, after repulsing two German counter attacks,the battalion withdrew during the night.  RSM Coates was presented with his MC by the king in August 1917.

Henry Coates' letter to Mayor of Salford. Courtesy Salford Local History Library and SWARM

Henry Coates’ letter to Mayor of Salford. Courtesy Salford Local History Library and SWARM

In November 1917 Henry was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant to the Garrison Battalion of his Boar War Regiment -the Royal Welsh Fusiliers- where he had served 16 years prior to initial retirement and joining Salford Police,  In previous service, he was present at the occupation of Crete between July 1897 and August 1898.  He was also present at the relief of Peking in 1900 for which he was awarded the China Medal in Silver.

Henry retired for a second time on 5th September 1921 and lived at 1 Wilmslow Street, Eccles New Road and subsequently Higher Openshaw.  He died at salford in 1924 aged 44.

Profile Courtesy Mack of The Manchester Regiment Group Forum

Lieutenant Alan T S Holt MC

Please see Military Cross Awards

2nd Lieutenant Richard William Leslie Wain VC

2nd Lt. Richard Wain-Courtesy Wikepedia

2nd Lt. Richard Wain-Courtesy Wikipedia

Richard Wain had been Commissioned on 16/6/1915 and arrived with Battalion in March 1916.  He was the only Officer from A Company to survive the attack on Montauban on 1st July 1916, albeit wounded.  Following recovery from wounds, Richard Wain returned to the Battalion on 28th October 1916.  He was transferred to 25th Battalion and then the 2nd Battery Tank Corps in December 1916.  Captain Wain was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross (VC) following his death at Cambrai on 20th November 1917.  Following a direct hit on his tank, he had continued the fight with a Lewis gun and despite severe wounds, single handedly enabled the advance of troops, before a sniper forced him to succumb to the defending Germans.  Richard was buried alongside the tank in an unkown location south-east of Havrincourt.   Richard’s Father received his son’s VC and campaign medals in August 1922.

Lieutenant Herbert Haslam

Born in Bolton on 18th December 1895, Herbert enlisted in the 24th (Oldham) Battalion as Private on 21/11/1914.  He promptly rose to the rank of Sergeant in Home training and was later Commissioned, possibly to 14th Battalion, likely to have been 29/6/1915.  He was posted or attached to 17th Battalion with St Bees men Richard Wain (later VC above) & Robert Calvert killed at Trones Wood and John J Ilett on 12th March 1916.  Herbert was subsequently transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, receiving his Certificate for flying a Maurice Farman Biplane at Ruislip on 10/5/1917.  Herbert wasserving in 6 Squadron when he went missing and was assumed dead on 16/9/1917.  He is commemorated at ARRAS FLYING SERVICES MEMORIALand left his estate to his father, Alfred, a store man in an iron works of 62 Tamworth Street, Oldham.

2nd Lieutenant John J Ilett

John was Commissioned on 19th July and joined the 17th on the same day in March 1916 with subalterns Wain, Haslam and Calvert.  He survived hostilities resigning in June 1919 with a Silver War Badge.  He went on to live in 31 Headingley Mount, Kirkstall Lane, Leeds.

Private Albert Hurst 9311

National Gas Engine Co Ltd Roll of Honour

National Gas Engine Co Ltd Roll of Honour

Former public school boy Albert Hurst had enlisted 16/2/1915. Following recovery from his wounds received at Trones Wood, Albert was transferred to reserve and return to his civilian job with National Gas Engine Company.  He was discharged from Service on 14/12/1918 with a Silver War Badge.

Private Nathaniel Needham 8764

Nathaniel Needham was one of the men who survived the withdrawal from Triangle Point, near Montauban on 2nd July 1916.  Records indicate Nathaniel was from 28 East Wynford Street, Salford, although the Absent Voters List specifies 13 New River Street, for him and two brothers.   Nathaniel was discharged fit for duty in April 1919; to return to Salford and died in 1949, aged 54.  Nathaniel’s third brother, Albert,  died on the 1st November 1918 serving with the 17th Lancashire Fusiliers.  Albert is buried in CWG Kezelberg Military Cemetery.  Courtesy SWARM.

Private Herbert William Vernon 8923

Herbert Vernon was  discharged with a Silver War Badge on 11th November 1916.  Family records indicate his hand had been wounded in the Montauban assault on 1st July.  Herbert returned to his wife Dorothy and later lived at 59 Stockport Road, Ardwick.  Arthur Bell clearly spent time with Herbert and his sister Dolly when they returned from Hospital.

“I well remember my brother-in-law, who had also been in the same battalion, with a cup of tea in my hand saying “Well Americans are pouring into France like flies!” At the same time he broke his cup of tea on something! That helped me to remember that.”(1)

Records indicate Herbert and Dorothy had four children.  Herbert died in Bucklow, Cheshire in 1969.  He had been born in November 1890.  Records indicate Herbert had common ancestry with the Donnison family.

Rev. Robert Wilfred Balleine

Reverend Balleine had been Archdeacon of Manchester and author on religious educational books.  He was gazetted to the Army Chaplains Department in September 1914.  He was mentioned in despatches on 15th June 1916 – before his Division’s first battle – and subsequently received the Military Cross. Robert’s brother, Cuthbert died as a Captain in the Rifle Brigade in Flanders on 31st July 1915. His curate was his other brother, Austen and their sister subsequently joined them in the newly built rectory.  This was funded by the Balleine family.

Appropriately, Fallowfield was a new post war estate allegedly built for the “Heroes of the Great War”.  The Balleine brothers supervised the construction of the new St Crispins Church buildings.   These were designed by architect Hubert Worthington, the former Captain and OC of A Company in the 16th Manchesters (3)  Rev. Balleine died in Moorfields Eye Hospital in 1951. Photos and profile courtesy of St Crispin’s Church can be found here Padre Robert Balleine.

Hubert Worthington was subsequently knighted and as a childhood friend of Lieutenant Colonel Wilfrith Elstob VC, it is understood he was instrumental in his former colleague’s posthumous valour award for the defence of Manchester Hill in 1917.  Notably, Hubert seems to have been the catalyst in bringing Wilfrith Elstob and his colleagues and pupils from Merchistons and subsequent men from St Bees.

Thanks to members of http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php for helping with data and collation of these records.

3 thoughts on “The Cost

  1. Pingback: National Roll of the Great War 1914-1918 | 17th Manchester Regiment on the Somme

  2. Pingback: What was my chance of Survival on the Somme? | 17th Battalion Manchester Regiment on the Somme

  3. Pingback: Silver War Badge and Kings Certificate | 17th Battalion Manchester Regiment on the Somme

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