Soldiers of the Great War

(1914-1918)

14343 Private William ‘Willie’ Ainsworth of the 8th Bn, King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment).

He died of wounds on the 13 April 1918, aged 25 years, and he is buried in Pernes British Cemetery, France.

He was born in Denton in 1893 and he is the son of Samuel Ainsworth and Eliza Stopford who were married at St Paul’s Church, Portwood, Stockport, in 1878. In 1911 he was resident with his widowed mother and two siblings on Booth Street, Denton, employed in the hatting industry. Later he was resident on Heaton Street.
Two soldiers serving with the South Lancashire Regiment. The seated soldier is Private Albert Braddock of Manchester, but the identity of the other soldier is unknown.

Both were professional soldiers and this photo was taken prior to the outbreak of the war while they were serving in India. It was taken by N D Batra at Quetta.

3644831 (late 15195) Private Albert Braddock served during the Great War and in 1919 he was awarded a medal for serving on the North West Frontier in India.
14959 (late B/916) Serjeant Thomas Callaghan MM of the 62nd Company, Machine Gun Corps (late of the Rifle Brigade).

He was the killed in action on the 7 October 1917, aged 38 years, and is buried in the Godewaersvelde British Cemetery, France. He was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field.

At the outbreak of war he was a time-expired professional soldier who felt that it was his duty to re-join the army. During the interim he lived and worked in Denton, Manchester.

He is the son of Thomas and Catherine Callaghan and the husband of Mary A Callaghan. His brother, 2543 Private Edward Callaghan of the 1st Battalion, Manchester Regiment, died of his wounds in France on the 12 June 1915, aged 44 years, and is buried in La Gorgue Cemetery, France.
2348 Private Joshua Clarke of the 5th Australian Pioneers.

He died of wounds on the 1 November 1917, aged 31 years, and he is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium.

He was born in Denton on 1886 and he is the son of Joshua Clarke and Sarah Ann Crutchley who were married at St Thomas’s, Church, Heaton Norris, Stockport, in 1874. In 1901 he was resident with his widowed mother and siblings on Seymour Street, Denton, employed in the hatting industry. Later his address was recorded as Acre Street.
164702 Gunner Dennis Condon of the Royal Field Artillery.

He enlisted on the 4 August 1916 and at the time of his enlistment he was a labourer. He entered the Theatre of War in France on the 10 January 1917 as part of an Expeditionary Force. He was demobilised on the 25 April 1920.

Dennis Condon was born in Linton, Cambridgeshire, in 1884 and he is the son of William Condon and Mary Ann Hobbs who were married at St James’s Church, Bermondsey, in 1865. He married Edith Johnson at Holy Trinity Church, Gee Cross, Hyde, on the 10 September 1907. Their son, Clarence, was born in Hyde in 1912. By 1919 they were resident on George Street, Denton.
3378 Private Herbert Culley of the 3/6th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment.

He died of wounds on the 5 November 1916, aged 18 years, and he is buried in the Puchevillers British Cemetery, France.

Hebert Culley was born in Cheetham, Manchester, in 1898 and he is the son of George Culley and Elizabeth Williams who were married at Manchester Cathedral in 1874. In 1911 he was resident with his parents and siblings on Elizabeth Street, Denton, employed as an assistant in the hatting industry.
70243 (also 1008305) Driver Frank Grimshaw of the the Royal Field Artillery. He enlisted at Ashton-under-Lyne on the 9 January 1915 for 3-years Army Service and 9-years Reserve Service.

He survived the war and was discharged as physically unfit on the 8 April 1921.

He was born in Audenshaw in 1896 and he is the son of Charles Grimshaw and Ellen Campbell, who were married at St Mary’s Church, Droylsden, in 1895. He survived the war and he married Miriam Kay at St Mary’s Church in 1921.
95299 Corporal William Hawkins of the 12th Battalion, The King’s (Liverpool Regiment), formerly 20439 Private of the Manchester Regiment.

He died of wounds on the 30 June 1918, aged 23 years, and he is buried in Sucrerie Cemetery, France. He was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field.

William Hawkins was born in Denton in 1895 and he is the son of James William Hawkins and Charlotte Alice Owen who were married at St Paul’s Church, Portwood, Stockport, in 1891. In 1911 he was resident with his parents and siblings on Stockport Road, Denton, employed in the hatting industry.
T/577 Staff Serjeant John Kemp of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.

He was born in Denton in 1892 and he is the son of John Kemp and Fanny Buckley who were married at Christ Church, Denton, in 1885. He survived the war although wounded in the thigh by a German sniper. He married Eva Burke at Christ Church in 1917 and was resident on Seymour Street, Denton.
Charles Edward Marlor enlisted with the 9th Battalion (Ashton Territorials/Ashton Pals), Mancheter Regiment, on the 10 October 1914 with service number 2322. By the 5 December 1915 he had been promoted to the rank of Corporal.

He was posted to Egypt and his entry into a theatre of war was on the 5 July 1915 and his medal card shows that this was Theatre 2b, which was the Balkans including the Gallipoli peninsular in Turkey. Following the allied withdrawal from Gallipoli at the end of 1915 he was posted to France.

At the beginning of 1917 Territorial soldiers were allocated new six-digit service numbers and his was 350735.

The War Diary of the 1/6th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment for February 1918 records that a draft of men were arriving from the 1/9th Battalion. It seem that the 1/9th and the 2/9th were merged and this produced a surplus of men who were transferred to the 6th Battalion. It must have been around this time (February 1918) that Charles Edward Marlor was transferred from the 9th to the 2/6th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment.

He was serving with the 2/6th Battalion when he died. The circumstances are that the Allied Fifth Army, of which the Manchester Regiment was a part, was driven back across the former Somme battlefields during March and April 1918.

Surviving records concerning his death conflict. His medal card states that he was killed in action between the 21 and 31 March 1918. In contrast to this, the Record of Soldiers who died in the Great War states that he died of wounds on the 26 March 1918. This conflicts with him having no known grave. This suggests two possibilities, the first being considered to be the most likely.
  1. He was killed in action, possibly on the 21 March 1918 when the German offensive began.
  2. He was wounded and taken to a dressing station where he was abandoned when the Allied Fifth Army was forced to retreat. When its position was overrun by the Germans he became a prisoner of war. While a prisoner, he died of his wounds and the Germans buried him without making records.
Either way, he has no known grave and consequently he is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France. His official date of death is given as 26 March 1918, aged 40 years.

Charles Edward mMrlor was born in Denton in 1878 and he is the son of Edward Marlor and Catherine Corless who were married at Christ Church, Heaton Norris, Stockport, in 1864.
10830 Private Nathan Marlor of the 9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment.

Nathan Marlor enlisted on the 7 September 1914 and he served in France where he entered the theatre of war on the 8 November 1915. In February 1916 a gas shell affected his eyesight and on the 1 July 1916 he received gunshot wounds to his head and shoulder. After receiving hospital treatment in Lichfield he was posted back to France where he joined the 1/7th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. He was then attached to the 126th Trench Mortar Brigade after which he joined the 1/10th Battalion where he received further injuries causing him to be transferred to the 8th Reserve Battalion and later to hospital for treatment. Finally, as a result of his injuries, he joined the 512th Home Service Company, Labour Corps, with 623821 as his new service number. He served in the Labour Corps for the remainder of the war and was discharged on the 26 February 1919.

Nathan Marlor was born in Denton in 1881 and he is the younger brother of the above Charles Edward Marlor.

In civilian life he was employed in the hatting industry and latterly as a lead worker at Oldham & Son Ltd, battery manufacturers.
33474 Guardsman Samuel Marlor of the Grenadier Guards.

He was born in Denton in 1884 and he is the youngest of the three Marlor brothers who served in the army during the war. He survived the war and married Annie Davies at St Mark’s Church, Dukinfield, in 1921. By the outbreak of war he was resident on Ashton Road, Denton.
580708 Private Samuel Marlor of the Labour Corps, formerly 33870 of the 1st Battalion, Border Regiment.

He was born in Denton in 1894 and he is the son of Frank Marlor and Martha Harrison who were married in Ashton-under-Lyne in 1891. He is also the nephew of the above three Marlor brothers. He survived the war and married Ellen Brook at St Lawrence’s Church, Denton, in 1923. He was resident on Stockport Road, Denton.
13179 Private Eli Morrell of the 6th Battalion, King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment).

He died of wounds on the 27 August 1915, aged 18 years, and he is buried in Port Said Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

Eli Morrell was born in Sutton, near St Helens, in 1897 and he is the son of John William Morrell and Elizabeth Cheetham who were married in Altrincham in 1891. In 1911 he was resident with his parents and siblings on Dane Street, Dane Bank, Denton, employed as a farm labourer.
2856 Joseph Nadin of the 1st Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps.

He died of wounds on the 20 May 1915, aged 40 years, and he is buried in Chocques Military Cemetery, France.

Joseph Nadin was born in Ashton-under-Lyne in 1875 and he is the son of Samuel Henry Nadin and Hannah Maria Slater who were married at St Michael’s Church, Ashton-under-Lyne, in 1872. He married Mary Woolley at St Michael’s Church in 1894. In 1911 he was resident on Town Lane, Dukinfield, employed as a coal miner. Later, his widow was resident on Birch Lane, Dukinfield.
40251 Private Alec Renshaw of the 11th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers, formerly 49628 of the Manchester Regiment.

He was killed in action on the 8 July 1917, aged 19 years, and he is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.

Alec Renshaw was born in Hyde on the 23 October 1897 and he is the son of Joseph Renshaw and Margaret Ann Taylor who were married at St Michael’s Church, Mottram-in-Longdendale, in 1891. In 1911 he was resident with his parents and siblings on Stockport Road, Denton, employed by his father as a plumber. Joseph Renshaw owned a plumbing business specialising in water and gas fitting.
7682 Private Harold Percy Saxton of the 2nd Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers.

He was wounded in action in November 1914 and he died 13 months and five days later in Netley Military Hospital (Royal Victoria Military Hospital) near Southampton on the 19 December 1915, aged 33 years. He is buried in Denton Cemetery.

He was awarded the 1914 Star (Mons Star) and Clasp. The bronze clasp (bar) was attached to the ribbon of the 1914 Star and it bore the inscription ‘5th Aug.-22nd Nov. 1914’. A silver rosette confirmed entitlement to this clasp when ribbons alone were worn. Recipients served under fire of the enemy in France and Belgium between the 5 August 1914 and midnight on the 22/23 November 1914.

He is the son of John James Saxton and Lydia Poxon of Two Trees Lane, Denton. At the outbreak of war he was a reservist professional soldier and in civilian life he worked in the drawing office of the engineering firm of Kendal and Ghent in Gorton.
4912 Private David Saxton of the 10th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers.

He was killed in action on the 27 June 1916, aged 32 years, and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

He is the son of John James Saxton and Lydia Poxon of Two Trees Lane, Denton. He lived on Grafton Street, Hyde, with his wife, Bertha Reece, and their two children. He is the brother of the above Private Harold Percy Saxton. A third brother, Private John William Saxton, survived the war.
295206 Petty Officer Stoker Elijah Stopford of the Royal Navy ship H.M.S. Circe.

He was drowned in the North Sea near Aberdeen on the 8 December 1915, aged 33 years, and is buried in Hyde Cemetery.

He is the son of John Stopford and Sarah Ellen Batty and he was resident on George Street West, Hyde, Cheshire (no longer extant), with his wife, Maria Oldham, and young son, Wilfred.

H.M.S. Circe was built in 1892 as a torpedo boat and by the outbreak of war she had been converted into a mine sweeper. She was one of five ships in the Alarm Class, the other four being Speedy, Hebe, Jason and Leda.
Commemorative photo of 22961 Private Edgar Wilks Thorp of the 9th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) who was killed in action at Gallipoli on the 15 October 1915, aged 36 years, and is buried at Green Hill Cemetery, Turkey.

He is the son of John and Lavinia Thorp of Shipley, Yorkshire, and husband of Ann Longson of Brierley Green, Bugsworth, who were married in the Chapel-en-le-Frith District in 1905.

From left to right, Edgar, Elizabeth Ann, Phyllis, Marion, John Joseph, Gladys, May, Leslie (in his mother's arms) and Ann, widow of Edgar Wilks Thorp.

201627 Private George Norman H 'Norman' Watson of the 3/4th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment.

Aged 19 years, he enlisted at Leicester on the 12 October 1915 and on the 22 October 1915 he was posted to Belton Park for basic training.

He survived the war in spite of being wounded and sent back to the front.
Right, 300620 (late 2835) Private Alexander ‘Alex’ Whitehead and, left, an unknown soldier of the 1/8th Battalion, Manchester Regiment.

He was born in Bradford, Manchester, in 1897 and he is the son of James Whitehead and Jane Whiteley who were married at St Silas’s Church, Ardwick, in 1886. He survived the war and married Harriet Lomas at Christ Church, Bradford-with-Beswick, in 1919.
Second Lieutenant Russell Willis of the York and Lancaster Regiment but was attached to the 1st Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment.

He was killed in action on the 25 October 1914, aged 19 years, and is buried in the Pont-du-Hem Military Cemetery, France.

Russell Willis was in the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and he disembarked in France on the 30 September 1914. He was posthumously awarded the 1914 Star (Mons Star).

He is the son of William Willis and Anne Maria Lightfoot of Dawlish Road, Wallasey, Cheshire, and he was born in Denton in 1894. William Willis was the headmaster of the Russell Scott Memorial School in Denton for many years.
Front row, left to right: Three first cousins, Ronald Woolfenden MM, Frank Woolfenden and Edward Woolfenden.
Back row, left to right: Robert Schofield Hopwood Woolfenden, Joseph Woolfenden and James Henry Woolfenden.

The Woolfenden family of Dane Bank, Denton, were associated with J Woolfenden & Co, Silk & Felt Hat Manufacturers.

PS/5969 Private Ronald Woolfenden MM of the 20th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers.

He entered the theatre of war in France on the 14 November 1915 and he died of wounds on the 18 August 1916, aged 21 years. He is buried in Daours Communal Cemetery, France. He was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field.

He is the son of Robert Schofield Hopwood Woolfenden and Lillie Bell.

PS/7907 Private Frank Woolfenden of the Royal Fusiliers.

He is the son of James Henry Woolfenden and Eva Salkeld and he survived the war.

8983 Private Edward Woolfenden of the Manchester Regiment who was transferred to the Royal Defence Corps with Service Number 89171.

He is the son of Joseph Woolfenden and Emma Taylor and he survived the war.
841297 Private Ellis Yates of the 42nd Battalion. Canadian Infantry.

He was killed in action on the 9 April 1917, aged 29 years, on first day of the Battle of Arras. He had enlisted in the Canadian Army and Canadian troops fought in the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the most crucial offensive of the Battle of Arras, during which the Canadians suffered over 10,000 casualties. He is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial, France.

Ellis Yates was born in Denton in 1887 and he is the son of Abel Yates (1850-1891) and Eliza Ann Wood (1854- ) who were married at St Paul’s Church, Stalybridge, in 1873. In 1911 he and his brother Thomas were boarding with the Holt family on Seymour Street, Denton, and both of them were employed in the hatting industry. At some point after 1911 he emigrated to Canada where he enlisted in the Canadian Army at the outbreak of war in 1914.
A group of soldiers serving with "B" Company of the 1/6th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment).

Back row, left to right: Alfred Arnold Simpson, Joseph Wainwright Waterhouse, George Barnes, James Edward Hamer, and Christopher Niven.

Middle row, left to right: Albert Richardson, George Henry Waterhouse, Harry Gordon Benstead and Joseph Barnes.

Front row: Crouching, Arthur Marchington, and, seated, the gentleman with whom they were billeted.

It is likely that the photo was taken somewhere in Luton in late September or early October 1914 before the 1/6th Battalion left for France in February 1915.

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