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"Manchester Pals"

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John_Hartley
he worked as a clerk on the railway

That'll be the Cpl W Gee commemorated on the LNWR Roll of Honour. Worked as a clerk at London Road Station, Manchester (now Manchester Piccadilly).

John

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Havrincourt

Hello chaps

I have found this a most interesting thread , I wonder if I can gain some information concerning these 2 Manchesters , are they listed in the Roll of honour, what were the Battalions doing on these dates?

George Robert Nicholson 18th Bn Manchester Rgt KIA 1st Aug 1917 [formerly RFA 165832]

Arthur Jean Ivan Gilman 16th Bn Manchester Rgt KIA 21st March 1918 [Formerly KOYLI 22622]

Both would appear to be Yorkshire men from local villages around Tadcaster

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John_Hartley

Havrincourt

It's pretty certain that as both your men are "formerlys", then they won't be amongst the original Pals in the Book of Honour.

Nicholson will have attacked on 31 July from Sanctuary Wood towards Sterling Castle and, on 1 August, the battalion was holding postions captured to the east of the Wood.

On 21 March 1918, 16/Manc was being pretty much decimated in the forward zone west of St Quentin. Google will find loads of stuff for you. Search on "Manchester Hill" and "Elstob" (their CO who won a posthumous VC on the day). Middlebrooke's "Kaiser's Battle" is probably the best account of the Mancs' activities.

John

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Guest cleder

Hello Dave

I am very new to this forum, I saw your offer to look up soldiers from the Manchester Regiments. I am looking for my Grandfather, he served in WW1, as far as we know he joined one of the Manchester Regiments. His name was Harold Atkinson and he came from Oldham, he enlisted on the 11th December 1915, aged 19 years 6 months. We know he served with The Manchester's but don't know which regiment, he was wounded in action at some point during the war. What we do know is that he ended up with the Border Regiment and was discharged from there on the 31st March 1920. We don't know why he ended up with The Borders, maybe his platoon had moved on or was decimated. We have a number for him which is:29866 Private. What we would like to know is which regiment he was in when he enlisted. He was listed as missing in action and his name is actually on the war memorial in Oldham as one of the war dead, however, he did survive! Would you know which battles his regiment fought in, he did mention Ypres but I don't know of any others.

Any information would be very gratefully received.

Thank you in advance.

Cleder

PS I have found another service number for him which is 49650 I don't know which is his Manchester number.

Thanks again.

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John_Hartley

Hello Cleder. Welcome to the Forum.

Harold's on-line medal entitlement records at the National Archives show that he first served with the Manchesters and this was his 49650 service number. It's not possible to tell which battalion he served in from that - you would need to check all the medal rolls for the Regiment (and you can only do that by visiting Kew). It's not an early number and I would be pretyty confident that he will have gone to France as one of the replacements for casualties in July 1916.

You say he was wounded at some point? It's also pretty certain that when he had recovered he will have been transferred to the Borders (as they will have been in greater need of replacements at the time). Alternatively, he may have been transferred in the early part of 1918 - I had a a great uncle similarly transferred and he had a fairly similar number.

Oldham's local heritage library holds copies of the Oldham Chronicle and, as Harold was posted as being missing, there is likely to be a newspaper report. Do you know how he came to have his name on the memorial when, in fact, he wasnt dead?

John

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Guest cleder
Hello Cleder. Welcome to the Forum.

Harold's on-line medal entitlement records at the National Archives show that he first served with the Manchesters and this was his 49650 service number. It's not possible to tell which battalion he served in from that - you would need to check all the medal rolls for the Regiment (and you can only do that by visiting Kew). It's not an early number and I would be pretyty confident that he will have gone to France as one of the replacements for casualties in July 1916.

You say he was wounded at some point? It's also pretty certain that when he had recovered he will have been transferred to the Borders (as they will have been in greater need of replacements at the time). Alternatively, he may have been transferred in the early part of 1918 - I had a a great uncle similarly transferred and he had a fairly similar number.

Oldham's local heritage library holds copies of the Oldham Chronicle and, as Harold was posted as being missing, there is likely to be a newspaper report. Do you know how he came to have his name on the memorial when, in fact, he wasnt dead?

John

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Guest cleder

Thank you John for replying so quickly!

We don't know when he was sent to France, I have spoken with an Aunt today (his daughter) she says he was at the Battle of the Somme, apparently he never talked much about his experiences over there, what she did tell me was that and the end of the Battle he said there were only 11 men left out of his Battalion, maybe thats why he was put with the Borders? My mum says he talked about being at Ypres as well.

We don't know much about him being wounded either, as I said he never really talked about his experiences as i'm sure a lot of other soldiers didn't either.

As for him being missing, we know my Grandma got a message saying he was missing, she never got a message saying he was alive, the first she knew was when he turned up on the doorstep whereby she fainted. We really have no idea why his name is on the war memorial! could it be because he was missing? he wasn't discharged until 1920 and I would assume that by the time he got home the memorial was already done? its the only explanation I can think of. I remember as a little girl my Grandad pointing his name out on the memorial and saying "thats me"

I don't live in Oldham anymore neither do any of the family, maybe I'll have to take a trip up there. Also if I can get to Kew I can look him up.

Once again Thank You for answering my query, we don't really have much to go on at the moment.

Cleder

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John_Hartley

Hi again.

If I may clarify a couple of bits of family history...

There was never a battalion of Manchesters that was actually reduced to only 11 fit men and certainly not at the Somme. In March 1918, thre 16th & 17th battalions were particularly devastated by the German attacks on 21 March (and the following days). With him having fairly similar Borders number to my great uncle (who i knwo was transferred round that time), I would hazard a guess that it was the same for him. However, you can establish this bit very easily by downloading his Medal Index Card from the National Archives website.

This is the search page - input his surname and service number. You can download it for £3.50

Search page

The bit about the memorial is still odd. Assuming it's the main town memorial in Oldham, then it wasnt completed until 1923. He'd have been home three years. I'm just wondering if he saw his name on it and assumed it must be him - but it was another H Atkinson altogether.

John

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Guest cleder
Hi again.

If I may clarify a couple of bits of family history...

There was never a battalion of Manchesters that was actually reduced to only 11 fit men and certainly not at the Somme. In March 1918, thre 16th & 17th battalions were particularly devastated by the German attacks on 21 March (and the following days). With him having fairly similar Borders number to my great uncle (who i knwo was transferred round that time), I would hazard a guess that it was the same for him. However, you can establish this bit very easily by downloading his Medal Index Card from the National Archives website.

This is the search page - input his surname and service number. You can download it for £3.50

Search page

The bit about the memorial is still odd. Assuming it's the main town memorial in Oldham, then it wasnt completed until 1923. He'd have been home three years. I'm just wondering if he saw his name on it and assumed it must be him - but it was another H Atkinson altogether.

John

Thanks John for getting back to us so soon

Also Thank you for clarifying a few things for us, we only have heresay to go on and like Chinese Whispers it can get distorted over time. I really have no idea about the war memorial, maybe there was another H Atkinson, although on the memorial if I remember rightly it has their name and number on it, I'll ask a friend to go and have a look for me. At least we know both of his army numbers! Which battle was it that so decimated the numbers if you don't mind me asking.

I guess what we really need is his regiment and that is at Kew.

Thanks again.

Cleder

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harribobs

harry atkinson of oldham, rfa/rha, 34263, dow 17/10/18

maybe he's the one remembered on the town memorial, it does sound a bit like granddads was having a little joke :)

1920 sounds very late to be discharged if he signed up for war service

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John Burnett

Do you have anything on William Greenlees, 23rd Bn Manchester Regiment. KIA 8/4/1916 age 21 Service No 22601?

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John_Hartley

John

Only that he was in 2 Platoon, A Company.

I think (although am not sure) that the regimental archives holds an unpublished battalion history. This is a link to their their on-line enquiry service - might be worth asking them if there's any mention of the day

clckety click

John

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robert bonner

The book in question relates to the Manchester City Battalion of the 90th & 91st Infantry Brigades - 16th to 23rd Battalions. Anyone interested in Pals from Oldham should study the 24th (Pals) Battalion The Manchester Regiment (Oldham Pioneers).

Raised at Oldham 24 October 1914. March 1915 to Llanfairfechan. April 1915 to Grantham and 91 Brigade 30 Division. Early November 1915 to France. 20 December 1915 to 91 Brigade 7th Division and to 22 Brigade 7th Division. 22 May 1916 became Pioneer Battalion 7th Division. 14th July 1916 - Bazentin-le-Petit Wood. November 1917 to Italy. November 1918 in Italy near Udine. Reduced to a cadre and disbanded 29 July 1919 at Ashton under Lyne.

The equivalent book for Oldham is The Oldham Battalion of Comrades Book of Honour. Published by

Sherratt & Hughes 1920. Copies are available for research in the Manchester Regiment Archives, Ashton-under-Lyne and in Oldham Local Studies Library.

For further reading on the 24th Battalion: Cotton Town Comrades. Mitchinson K W & McInnes I.

Bayonet Publishing 1993, ISBN -873996 01 2

Robert Bonner

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harribobs
Do you have anything on William Greenlees, 23rd Bn Manchester Regiment. KIA 8/4/1916 age 21 Service No 22601?

He actually DOW on the 8th and I think, if i read the WD right ( it's not an easy one to read), he was wounded on the 6th by trench mortar fire

chris

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harribobs
The equivalent book for Oldham is The Oldham Battalion of Comrades Book of Honour. Published by

Sherratt & Hughes 1920. Copies are available for research in the Manchester Regiment Archives, Ashton-under-Lyne and in Oldham Local Studies Library.

Robert Bonner

Robert

are there any plans to convert the 24th battalion book of honour into a CD version as the manchester and Lancashire Family History Society have done for 16th-23rd?

it might be suitable source of income for the museum?

chris

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John_Hartley
it might be suitable source of income for the museum?

As would publishing the unpublished battalion histories (to go alongside the 12 & 21st Bns).

John

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robert bonner
Robert

are there any plans to convert the 24th battalion book of honour into a CD version as the manchester and Lancashire Family History Society have done for 16th-23rd?

it might be suitable source of income for the museum?

chris

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CROONAERT
As would publishing the unpublished battalion histories (to go alongside the 12 & 21st Bns).

Wonder what happened to the 11th Bn History plans of publishing? I'd have thought this would have been done by now!

(tempted to get it published myself - I believe there's no copyright over it and there never was! ;) )

Dave

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Steve Newman

Wondering if this thread is still 'live' and whether you would kindly look to see if Edwin Clarke 17th Manchesters KIA 1/7/16 is in any of the platoon type pictures.

Thanks

Steve

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harribobs

oh yes!! this thread is certainly alive

we have a MSN group working as well to help people looking into soldiers of the regiment, working alongside the the manchester regiment museum

Pte E Clarke, S/N 8101 C coy plat 11

i can give you a copy of the roll and the platoon picture but i can't tell you which one he is

John Hartley will be able to point you to some very good work he has done on the 17th batt, which will give you a superb insight into the battalion upto 1/7/16 and i'm sure others will be very willing to help

cheers

chris

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John_Hartley

Steve

Modesty forbids me making any comment about the article this links to.

Clickety click

But if it didnt then I'd suggest that you'll not find a more comprehensive account for 17/Manc on that day.

John

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harribobs
Modesty forbids me making any comment about the article

well there's a first :D:D ...

Steve ...it's excellent

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manchester regiment

a few bits for the other enquirers

6517 allan kilding,reported wounded and missing,later declared dead

11295 arthur james brocklehurst 25 henhurst st north,harpurhey,m/c age 21[his parents address

28566 john thomas beaumont 53 phelan st,rochdale rd,m/c age 28,worked in the cleansing dept for manchester corporation.

7451 leonard dawson 173 sanderson st,newton heath,his father frederick was a rep for the key st spinning coy,preston,theres a picture of him in the manchester evening news.

9823 harold parkinson bannister,born barrow in furness,enlisted m/c,lived eccles,he was wounded on 1-7-16 says a comrade,CWGC says he was KIA on this day.

17990 sidney bland mowatt.died of wounds,he worked for the manchester corporation baths dept as a baths attendant at gorton baths,hyde rd,manchester.

from the MEN 1916

bernard

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robert bonner

Linda

In response to your original enquiry, the history of the 9th Manchesters was published earlier this year. It is 'Volunteer Infantry of Ashton-under-Lyne 1851-1971'. There are full descriptions of the mobilisation of the battalion in 1914, through Egypt, Gallipoli and the Western Front.

Comments by John and others regarding more published histories are understood but, to the best of my knowledge, the Manchester Regiment Museum has published more histories in the last twenty years about their Regiment than any other regimental museum. Publishing is an expensive business and museums do not normally have funds for this purpose. New books can only go to press when there has been sufficient profit from the sale of existing ones.

Also bear in mind that the history of the Regiment starts in 1758 so there are many subjects to be considered not just WWI. For those interested in enlarging their library have a look on the Tameside website where Manchester Regiment histories can also be ordered and paid for at:

www.tameside.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries/publications/momforsale.htm

Alternatively go along to the museum and visit the new Forshaw Gallery which was opened last Friday. It's worth a visit.

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John_Hartley

Robert

I understand the general financial issues about needing to be "in profit" before publishing a new book. I presume that, as the museum has published quite a number in recent years, then they must get into profit quite quickly. So hopefuly, those unpublished volumes might see the light of day in the not too distant future. Is the local authority not able to provide "set-up" funding to be recouped from sales?

On a related matter, I recall us discussing a Forum Pals "outing" to the Museum & Archives once Forshaw re-opened. Is this still a "runner" as an idea? Posts 37 & 38 on this thread refer.

regards

John

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