Soldiers of the Great War

(1914-1918)

The Reverend Arthur Bamforth, a volunteer Army Chaplain with the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA).

By the outbreak of war, Arthur Bamforth was the Minister at the United Free Methodist Church on Manchester Road, Denton, and he entered the Theatre of War in France on the 7 April 1916. Prior to going to France he visited wounded soldiers in Manchester hospitals and in France he visited them at clearing stations near the front line. For his work as a civilian he was awarded the British Medal.

Arthur Bamforth was born in Featherstone, Yorkshire West Riding, in 1874 and he is the son of Edwin Bamforth and Jane Addey who were married in Pontefract, Yorkshire West Riding, in 1872. He married Martha Tyson at Guisborough, Yorkshire North Riding, in 1903. In 1911 he was resident with his wife and children in Dingle, Liverpool. He played cricket and football and he was a member of Denton Golf Club. In Denton he established the monthly People’s Service and the Pleasant Monday Evening Meeting for women.
9549 Private Alfred Bennett of the 2nd Battalion, Cheshire Regiment.

He was twice wounded in action but he survived the war.

He was a former regular soldier who served for three years in India before going to France after the outbreak of war.

He was resident on Greswell Street, Denton, and had worked at Denton Colliery and then for Sutton & Co who were general carriers in Ashworth Street, Denton.
3340 Private Clarence Booth of the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment.

He entered the theatre of war in the Dardanelles on the 22 October 1915 and he died of dysentery on the 8 December 1915, aged 19 years. He is buried in the Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

He is the son of Samuel William Booth and Elizabeth Barlow and he was born in Denton in 1896. He was resident with his parents on Pearl Street, Denton.
48687 Private Mark Booth of the 16th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers.

He died of wounds on the 7 September 1918, aged 36 years, and he is buried in St Sever Cemetery Extension, France.

Mark Booth was born in Denton in 1883 and he is the son of William Booth and Martha Ellor who were married at St Paul’s Church, Portwood, Stockport, in 1877. He married Florence Davidson in Ashton-under-Lyne in 1913. In 1911 he was resident with his parents and siblings on Lyndhurst Avenue, Denton, employed in the hatting industry. His widow was resident Elizabeth Street.
7487 Lance Corporal William Burt of the 1st Battalion, North Staffordshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s).

He entered the theatre of war in France on the 22 February 1915 and he died of wounds on the 4 May 1916, aged 22 years. He is buried in Bologne Eastern Cemetery, France.

In 1911 he was in the 4th Battalion, North Staffordshire Regiment, stationed at Whittington Barracks, Lichfield.

William was born in Congleton (Sandbach), Cheshire, in 1893. He married Alice Taylor at St Anne’s Church, Haughton, in 1914 and was resident on Moorside Lane, Haughton.
40647 Private Ernest Collis of the Royal Army Medical Corps.

On one occasion he and a comrade were carrying a wounded soldier on a stretcher when they were struck by a shell that killed his comrade and the wounded soldier. He survived the war.

His brother, 4064 Private Sydney Collis of the 10th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers, was killed in action at Vierstaat, south of Ypres, on the 5 September 1915, aged 24 years.

Ernest Collis was born in Denton in 1885 and he married Nellie Embley at Christ Church, Denton, in 1908. He was resident on Heaton Street and worked for Denton Urban District Council as well as being a member of the fire brigade.
18250 Lance Corporal John Condon MM of the 15th Battalion, Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment).

He was wounded in the head and arm on the 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, where he was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field. He was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of Arras, 9 April 1917, aged 28 years. He is buried in Bailleul Road East Cemetery, France.

John Condon was born in London in 1889 and he married Evelyn Moores at Ashton-under-Lyne in 1913. The couple were resident on Hyde Road, Denton.

He was connected with St Mary’s Catholic Church on Duke Street, Denton. Prior to the war he worked in the dying department of Messrs James Bevan & Co, hat manufacturers.
17014 Private Philip Leonard Davies of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

He enlisted in Hyde on the 6 November 1914 and he was killed in action on the 5 February 1915, aged 24 years. He is buried in the Cambrian Church Extension, France.

He is the son of Obadiah Davies and Martha Chorlton and he was born in Sheffield in 1892. In 1911 he was living with his parents on Stockport Road, Denton, and later the family moved to Kynder Street. He was a miner at Bredbury Colliery and was associated with St Lawrence’s Sunday School and a supporter of Haughton Green Rovers Football Club.
37120 Gunner John Diggle of “A” Battery, 80th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.

He died of wounds on the 16 September 1916, aged 26 years, and he is buried in Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension, France.

John Diggle was born in Denton in 1891 and he is the son of James Diggle and Sarah Jane Moores who were married at St Paul’s Church, Portwood, Stockport, in 1871. In 1911 he was resident with his parents and siblings on Booth Street, Denton, employed in the hatting industry.

His brother, Henry/Harry Diggle, was born in Denton in 1888 and he served in the army as 37300 Driver Henry Diggle of “A” Battery, 78th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. He died in Denton in 1920, aged 32 years.

Henry Diggle married Sarah Elizabeth Moores at St Lawrence’s Church, Denton, in 1909. In 1911 he was resident with his wife on Palatine Street, Denton, employed in the hatting industry.
7948 Company Quartermaster Serjeant George Downs DCM, “B” Company, 1st Battalion, Cheshire Regiment.

He was awarded his DCM for gallantry in a trench near Ypres, Belgium. He continued to operate his machine gun after the trenches on his left flank had been evacuated, thus preventing the line from being broken. He showed great ability in working his gun throughout the encounter, and in so doing secured the line. He survived the war.

George Downs was born in Denton in 1884 and he is the son of John Downs and Annie ‘Ann’ Taylor Downs who were married at St Mary’s Church, Stockport, in 1880. In 1901 he was resident with his parents and siblings on Mount Pleasant Road, Denton, employed in the hatting industry. Later his parents moved to Elizabeth Street.
987 Private Wilfred Eaton of the 1/6th Battalion (Hyde Territorials), Cheshire Regiment.

He entered the theatre of war on the 10 November 1914 and was killed in action on the 26 February 1915, aged 21 years. He is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.

Wilfred (aka Wilfrid) is the son of Herbert Eaton and Edna Booth and he was born in Denton in 1893.

In 1911 he was living with his parents on Hyde Road and later on Bentley Road. He was an apprentice hat finisher.
12879 Serjeant Thomas Henry Grant of the 7th Battalion, King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment).

He enlisted on the 31 August 1914 and entered the theatre of war in France on the 17 July 1915 and was killed in action on the 7 July 1916, aged 41 years. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

He served throughout the Battle of Loos without being injured.

He is the son of Thomas Henry Grant and Mary Barton and he was born in Hyde in 1875. He married Elizabeth Ann Harrison at St Mary’s Church, Newton in Mottram, in 1895. Thomas was survived by his wife and four children; Louis (b.1896 in Hyde), Bertha (b.1899 in Hyde), Florence (b.1901 in Hyde) and Mary (b.1907 in Denton).

He was employed as a coal miner at Denton Colliery and was resident on Peacock Street, off Ashton Road, Denton.
J/6892 Able Seaman Charles Evan Harbach.

He was serving on H.M.S. Monmouth, which sank after an action with a German cruiser off the Chilean Coast during the Battle of Coronel on Sunday, 1 November 1914. He died aged 21 years and he is commemorated on Panel 1 of the Plymouth Naval Memorial.

When H.M.S. Monmouth was sunk the entire crew was lost and among their number was Midshipman George Watson Muir, aged 15 years. He is commemorated on Panel 1 of the Plymouth Naval Memorial.

Charles Harbach was a regular in the Royal Navy and for some time he served on H.M.S. Highflyer. In 1911 he was on the battleship H.M.S. Queen at Gibraltar, which formed part of the Atlantic Fleet. The Commanding Officer was Captain Ernest F. A. Gaunt C.M.G. who was later promoted to Rear Admiral.

Charles is the son of John Harbach and Ellen Williams and he was born in Didsbury (Withington) in 1893. He was resident with his parents on Manchester Road, Denton. He was a member of Hope Chapel Boys Brigade and was also connected with St Anne’s Church, Haughton.
20217 Lance Serjeant Harold Hardy of the 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards.

He entered the theatre of war in France on the 26 July 1915 and was killed in action on the 11 August 1918, aged 22 years. He is buried in Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, France.

He is the son of William Henry Hardy and Emma Warren and he was born in Hyde in 1896. He was resident with his parents on Farmers Fold, off Hyde Road, Haughton, on the banks of the river Tame.
14744 Lance Corporal James Horsfall of the 8th Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment. He entered the theatre of war on the 28 September 1915 and was killed in action on the 4 November 1915, aged 37 years. He is buried in Rifle House Cemetery, Belgium.

Rifle House Cemetery is one of three cemeteries in Ploegsteert Wood in the Ypres Salient, the other two being Ploegsteert Wood Military Cemetery and Toronto Avenue Cemetery.

He was a regular in the army and had served during the South African War. While on the Western Front he served in the signalling section.

He is the son of Edwin B Horsfall and Ellen Grice and he was born in Manchester in 1878. He married Ellen Wiseman at St George’s Church, Manchester, in 1903. He was survived by his wife and three children; Ellen (b.1904 in Ancoats), Madeline (b 1908 in Ancoats) and Thomas (b.1913 in Denton). The family was resident on Gibraltar Lane, Haughton Green.
GS/8784 Private Joseph Hough of the 1st (Royal) Dragoons.

He entered the theatre of war in France on the 19 May 1915 and was killed in action on the 5 June 1915, aged 36 years. He is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.

He was a regular in the army and served with the Imperial Yeomanry during the South African War. Subsequently, he joined a troop raised by Alfred Hopkinson of Ryecroft Hall, Audenshaw, before transferring to the dragoons.

Joseph was born in Ardwick in 1879 and he married Emily Meadowcroft at St Silas Church, Ardwick in 1903. Their first two children died in infancy but at the time of his death he was survived by his wife and three children; Arthur (b.1909 in Ardwick), Harry (b.1911 in Denton) and Alice (b.1913 in Denton). In 1911 he was employed as a carter for a tripe dresser and the family was resident on Two Trees Lane, Haughton.
3169 Private James Hulme of the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment.

James Hulme was born in Denton in 1879 and he is the son of John Hulme and Margaret Ann Bent. In 1905 he married Mary Alice Charlesworth in Ashton-under-Lyne.

He enlisted with the 2/9th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment on the 24 November 1914 and later he was transferred to the 1/9th Battalion. He was posted to Gallipoli on the 22 August 1915 and he received a gunshot wound to the shoulder on the 21 December 1915. He was taken to a military hospital in Alexandria for treatment and he was discharged from the army on the 18 June 1916.

Prior to the war he was employed in the hatting industry at Messrs Booth and Moores on Hyde Road, Denton. During the war his residence was on Katherine Street, Penny Meadow, Ashton-under-Lyne. He died in March 1932, aged 52 years.
7393 Private Leo Sebastian Mallalieu of the 16th Battalion, Manchester Regiment.

He enlisted in the army on the 10 January 1915 and was posted to France, arriving on the 8 November 1915. He was killed in action on the 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, aged 20 years. He is buried in Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, France.

Leo Sebastian Mallalieu was born in Denton in 1895 and he is the son of Thomas Mallalieu and Margaret Jane Robbins of Peel Street, Denton. He was connected with St Mary’s Catholic Church on Duke Street, Denton. Before the war he worked for the Agenta Meat Co of Hyde. His father was a Denton Councillor and General Secretary of the Felt Hatters & Trimmers Unions.
745029 Driver James Maude of the Royal Field Artillery.

He died of wounds on the 1 January 1918, aged 25 years. He is buried on the east side of Christ Church, Denton, and is commemorated on a special memorial near the church entrance.

He is the son of Albert Maude and Elizabeth Maude née Richardson. Prior to the war James Maude was an apprentice hatter living with his parents and sister, Jane, on Holland Street, Denton.
81482 Sapper George Middlemiss of the 202nd Field Company, Royal Engineers.

He entered the theatre of war in France on the 10 November 1915 and was killed in action on the 23 May 1916, aged 36 years. He is buried in the Cerisy-Gailly Military Cemetery, France.

George Middlemiss is the son of Thomas Kerr Middlemiss and Isabella and he was born in Galashiels, Peebleshire, Scotland, in c.1880. He married Frances Bilton at St Thomas’s Church, Hyde, in January 1914 and the couple had one child, George, who was born in Denton on the 13 November 1914. He was resident on Osborne Road, Denton, employed as a stonemason. Another residence was on St Anne’s Road. It seems that Francis Bilton was the second wife of George Middlemiss, the first being Hannah Sophia Nelson, born in Sutton, Hull, Yorkshire, in 1877, who he married in March 1899.
17172 Private Wilfred Stanley Moores of “A” Company, 20th Battalion, Manchester Regiment.

He entered the theatre of war in France on the 9 November 1915 and was killed in action on the 1 July 1916, aged 19 years. He is buried in Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, France.

He is the son of Albert Henry Moores and Sarah Middleton and he was born in Denton in 1896. He was resident with his parents on Gibraltar Lane, Haughton Green. He was an apprentice letterpress printer.
18068 Private Harry Williams of the 20th Battalion, Manchester Regiment.

He enlisted on the 17 October 1914 (his birthday) and he entered the theatre of war in France on the 9 November 1915. He was killed in action on the 23 April 1916, aged 23 years. He is buried in Citadel New Cemetery, France.

He is the only son of Samuel Henry Williams and Martha Ann Hampshire and he was born in Denton on the 17 October 1892.
22556 Private Robert Lawrence Wilson of the 23rd Battalion, Manchester Regiment.

He died of illness on the 28 November 1915, aged 21 years, and is buried in Gorton Cemetery.

He is the son of James Wilson and Amanda Mooney and he was resident with his parents on Town Lane, Denton. He was employed as a shell dresser at Beyer, Peacock & Co of Gorton.
1436 Private Albert Wood of the 2nd Battalion, Manchester Regiment.

He entered the theatre of war on the 14 April 1915 and died of wounds on the 16 May 1915, aged 24 years. He is buried in the Divisional Cemetery, Belgium.

He is the son of Samuel Wood and Rachel Reece and he was born in Denton in 1891. In 1911 he was living with his parents on Emily Street, Oldham. He worked in a mill as a Cotton Mule Spinner Piecer.
1035 Private James Yearsley of the 2nd Company, 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards, formerly 23216 of the Grenadier Guards. His medal card records his rank as Lance Corporal.

He entered the theatre of war in France on the 16 September 1915 and he died of wounds/illness on the 11 September 1916, aged 18 years, and he is buried in the Corbie Communal Cemetery Extension, France.

James Yearsley was born in Denton in 1897 and he is the son of Alfred William Yearsley and Elizabeth Bailey who were married in Ashton-under-Lyne in 1892. In 1911 he was resident with his parents and siblings on Belgrave Street, Denton, employed as a green grocer’s boy. Later he was in the employ of Messrs Wilde & Booth, hat manufacturers. By the end of the war the family was resident on Lyndhurst Avenue.
33267 Private Harry Yearsley of the 4th (Queen’s Own) Hussars.

At the outbreak of war the 4th Hussars were based on The Curragh, County Kildare, Ireland. In August 1914 they entered the Theatre of War in France as part of the 3rd Cavalry Brigade in the 2nd Cavalry Division for service on the Western Front. Here they took part in the Great Retreat in September 1914, the First Battle of Ypres in October 1914 and the Second Battle of Ypres in April 1915. They also helped to halt the German advance at the Battle of Moreuil Wood in March 1918. This conflict that saw their commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel John Evelyn Carmichael Darley, killed in action on the 31 March 1918, aged 38 years. Harry Yearsley survived the war to be demobilised.

Harry Yearsley is the brother of the above James Yearsley and was born in Denton in 1899.

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