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"I Have Not Seen Hell Before, But I Think I Have Been In It". Pte. Jackson, 1/9th Battalion.

Published in the Reporter 7th August 1915.


A striking commentary on the apathy of those fortunately but a comparatively few young men who refrain from voluntarily offering their services to the military authorities, or applying themselves to the production of munitions, is conveyed in a letter, dated July 21st, which was received from Private TOM GARLICK, 1/9th Batt. Manchester Regiment (Territorials), by his sister, Miss Florence Garlick, who resides at 70, Moss Street, Ashton, where he formerly resided. Private GARLICK was wounded at the Dardanelles on June 4th, and he is now at Fort Ricasoli, Malta. He writes: -

"I have been here nearly a week, so by the time you get this I am hoping to be on my way back. There are a few of our lads at Malta wounded, but they are all getting on very well. Nearly all my mates have been killed, and there is not much chance of coming off the Peninsula alive now, but I am hoping for the best. I suppose everything is going on all right in Ashton. From the accounts received I gather that there are a lot of young men who have not yet joined the Army. I would either make them join or have them shot. Why, there are old men out here doing what the young men ought to be doing. I am now in the pink of condition, and I am now bigger than I ever was. My weight now is 13st. 7lbs, so you see I am not doing so badly." Miss Florence Garlick, sister of Private GARLICK writes stating that all her brothers are serving and only herself and her youngest sister are left at home. "We have no parents" she writes, " but we are glad to know our brothers are doing their duty." The two sister are proud of the fact that they have three brothers serving. In addition to Private TOM GARLICK, Private WILLIAM GARLICK is serving in the Royal Field Artillery, and Corporal JOE GARLICK is serving in the 6th Pals Battalion.

Published in the Reporter 7th August 1915.


Private HARRY HADFIELD, of E Company, Ashton Territorials, writing to his brother at 33, Beauchamp Street, Ashton, says - "I never felt better. We have had some exciting times while we have been here. You ought to be in the firing line when there is rapid firing going on, it is one of the nicest of sensations. I shall never forget the first time we were in the firing line. So many out of our Company had to go out with a pick, shovel, entrenching tool, and rifle, advance 130 yards, and then dig ourselves in. There were bullets flying all around us. We only had two killed, and two wounded. Our battalion has taken part in two charges, but each time we have had to retire, and that is where we have caught it. We have had some killed and some wounded, but that is only what is expected. Our battalion has been 21 days in the firing line without a relief, not too bad for Terriers. We are in the support at present. I hope the war will be over by the time you get this".

Published in the Reporter 7th August 1915.


Mr. S.M. Bailey, of Stalybridge, has received an interesting letter from a well known Stalybridge man, Private W.H. ILLINGWORTH, a brother of Messrs. Illingworth, rope manufacturers. He is in the 1/9th Manchester Regiment, D Company, attached to the gun section, but at the time of writing, July 16th, he was in St. George's Hospital, Malta. Private ILLINGWORTH says - "I am in hospital now at Malta. I have been in the firing line eight times. The first time I went in it was for eight days and nights. I was one of the gunners who outed the Turks in that big duel that came off. I caught them coming in 100 at a time. They nearly got to my gun, but I kept firing all the time. Our Sergeant said 'Look at them coming in, 100 at a time'. All I said was, 'Let them come; if they take the gun they take me'. I felt that I didn't care what became of me, but I succeeded in downing them. It was like cutting grass down. They tried to shell me out, but it did not come off. I will tell you what made me bad. One day, when I was in the firing line, I was having some tea, when they sent a lyddite shell at us. It went all around me, and in my tea, but it did not touch me. I was that dry that I drank of the tea, and it made me bad, and the smell of the dead lying about made me worse. I could not walk. I did not like leaving the firing line, but I had to do. But never mind. All I hope is that I will soon pull round, and get back to the trenches. I am just in my glory when I am doing a bit for the country. It is the first time I have had the chance to write for about ten weeks. We have nearly always been in the firing line. Hoping you are in the best of health, and that the next time I write I am the same. From your old Pal, HARRY". 

Published in the Reporter 7th August 1915.


Private JOHN JACKSON, of the Ashton Territorials, whose home is at 240, Cavendish Street, Ashton, is now at Alexandria, in the Deaconess Hospital, suffering from a severe wound in his left foot. He has been under two operations, and has had the bones taken out of his big toe. He was in the trenches two and a half days before being moved to the hospital. Private JACKSON had been in the first firing line for a month before he was wounded. About 20 of the Territorials were wounded at the same time through shrapnel fire. He says -

" I have not seen hell before, but I think I have been in it, and the battalion as well. They have fought well, and are a credit to the people of Ashton." In a letter to his uncle, Mr. J. Bunting, of Hooley Hill, Private JACKSON says - "I have had two operations and the wound is doing fine. I can't walk yet, but have to stop in bed. I think it won't be so long before I get a chance to come home because a lot of bad cases came in last night. I have had quite enough of it. It is the first I have been in, and I think it will be the last. The doctor told me I should never be able to walk properly again. Tell --- that one of the men from works Messrs. Hornby's, Reddish, called WILLIAM FODEN has been killed." Private JACKSON belongs to a family who have shown a fine spirit of patriotism. His uncle, Private TOM DEVONPORT, was wounded with the 6th Cheshire, but has recovered and gone back to France to do a bit more. His brother, Private Sydney Jackson, is in France with the South Lancashires, and his brother-in-law, Private Robert Whittaker, is also in France in the Lancashire Fusiliers. Many of his cousins are also doing their share for King and country in this Great War.

Published in the Reporter 7th August 1915.


Another Ashton Territorial, Corporal T. VALENTINE, arrived in Ashton from the Dardanelles on Tuesday at his home, 6, Mowbray Street, Ashton, having been invalided from the firing line on June 14th, the exposure in the trenches and the strain having debilitated him. Corporal VALENTINE, who was employed as a carter by the Ashton Co-operative Society, was the oldest soldier in the Ashton Territorials, being the proud possessor of the Coronation Long Service Medal. He is 45 years of age. 

"I was six weeks in the trenches", he said to a Reporter representative. "Being in the band as a drummer, I acted as stretcher bearer for part of the time, but for three weeks I was roughing it in the trenches with the boys of C Company. Whilst stretcher bearer I saw some terrible sights, sights that I will not forget if I live to be a thousand. Once we carried in two Turkish officers who had been wounded, and one said, ' Turks finished, Germans no good'. You could see by the look in their eyes how thankful they were for our attention to them. The Turks, to give them their due, have fought squarely. It was a square fight - no poison gases. There are some fine fellows amongst them, and some riff-raff, and they are good shots, especially the snipers, who are up to all sorts of devices. Some of them, however, have been using explosive bullets, and they make nasty wounds, and the noise of the impact sickens you. I have been in the battalion 26 years, but I never dreamt I should see what I have seen, which is a bit more than I wanted to see. A lot of our lads have been hit with spent shrapnel bullets that did not penetrate. I myself, as I lay in the doctor's dug-out, was hit on the leg with a piece of spent shrapnel, the size of a boy's dobber, which made me jump. It left a bruise, but did not penetrate the skin. I have been in six hospitals before I was finally sent home, and was at Lemnos at the same time as Captain OKELL, but did not know until I met his servant outside his tent. The worst of the whole affair is the absence of sleep. The Turks keep up a rapid fire, and attack mostly at night, and sleep is out of the question. In the daytime there is plenty of hard, laborious work in the digging of trenches and dug-outs. Our officers roughed it with us, and set a fine example. If it rained they were in it with us, and cheered us up. Often Lieut. STRINGER, poor chap, has cooked his meal at my fire, whilst Captain HAMER was a real trump. He looked after us well. I shall never forget one little act of kindness, which, although it might appear trivial, he showed to me. One wet night it had poured in the trenches, and we were up to the waist in mud-broth. When we came back to the dug-outs, Captain HAMER was there, and I happened to be the first one back. Captain HAMER looked very ill, and having known me for a long time he talked to me quite chummily. He had charge of the issue of rum for the Company, and gave me mine at once, in order to prevent me from catching cold, instead of waiting an hour or so until the rest of the Company came in. That was a typical act, which endeared him to us all. There are always 'grousers' in the best of regiments, and we had a chap with us who was always grumbling. Captain HAMER could not help continually hearing him 'grouse', and one day he suddenly turned round on him and said, ? You are always grouse, grousing. I am just as fed up with it as you are, but we have got to put up with it because it is our duty'. It was a fine reply, and the boys appreciated the spirit shown by Captain HAMER. Lieut. NED STRINGER was also immensely popular, and got on well with the boys. I shall never forget June 4th as we watched the great artillery bombardment. We had seen the fireworks at Belle Vue, but this sight knocked them into a cocked hat. It looked impossible for anyone to live in the Turkish trenches in that hail of fire. I was just behind Lieut. F. JONES when he was killed. We were standing in 'Shrapnel Gully' from which our trenches branched off, and Lieut. JONES and two other officers were stood at the top talking. Suddenly, Lieut. JONES fell down. One of the officers said, ' Have you slipped, JONES?', but when they looked at him he was dead. They carried him away on a stretcher, and buried him in the gully". 

The Headlines Published in the Reporter 14th August 1915.


Published in the Reporter 14th August 1915.


"I am doing very well, only they say it will be about a month before I go back to the Dardanelles," writes Private W. H. ILLINGWORTH, a Stalybridge man, who is in the 1/9th Manchester Regiment, Ashton Territorials, to Mr. S Bailey. Private ILLINGWORTH was sent to hospital due to lyddite shell fumes getting into some tea he was drinking. In his letter, he continues, " All my pals out here have got killed, and I don't care how soon I am back again. You can bet the first Turk I get a hold of I will cut him up. Although we have lost heavily, the Turks have lost about three times as many. We never get downhearted, no matter what comes. You will always hear the lads singing the latest songs and a few new ones, some that we have made up ourselves about the war out here. We were going up to the firing line one time singing a song about the shells of the Dardanelles, when they sent some, but it made no difference, we kept on singing. There were some men coming out of the trenches, and they started laughing at us while they were shelling us, and we shouted out,' Are we downhearted?' and we and those coming out as well answered 'No!' It does not matter where you see the 1/9th Manchester gun section men, you will always hear them singing. I cannot tell you all, I should want a book, but I will tell you when I come back if I get through all right. Did you know NORMAN TAYLOR, of Tame Valley, who worked at the Old Mill, piecing? Well, he has got wounded in both legs with a bomb, and they tell me it is bad; but never mind, we have got the Turks licked every time now."   

 Published in the Reporter 14th August 1915.


"I've a feeling of sadness nought can dispel, I've a feeling of emptiness words cannot not tell. I've a lump in my throat, and it hurts as it swells. When I think how he fell in the far Dardanelles. When he first went away, with a simple 'good-bye', we had scarce a misgiving, hardly a sigh, But now at this parting I'm bowed down and sad, it's a last good-bye to you, Jim, my true lad".  

In these poignant words Miss Ada Higginbottom, 38, Wakefield Road, Stalybridge, tries to give assurance to her grief at the news of her sweethearts death, which occurred whilst he was fighting bravely with the Ashton Territorials. They were deeply attached to each other. Sergeant JAMES TAYLOR, whose home was at 39, Layard Street, Ashton, was 22 years of age. He worked for Messrs. Kershaw's mill at a twiner and had been in the Territorials about four years. His enthusiasm and smartness earned him promotion to Sergeant before the battalion left for Bury. Possessed of a strong, healthy character, he was immensely popular. He was a Sunday school teacher at the Gatefield School, and a member of the Gatefield Male Voice Choir. Although no official intimation has yet been received of his death, several letters confirm it entirely. Poor Sergeant LOMAS, whose death we reported last week, referred to Sergeant TAYLOR'S death in his last letter, but ample confirmation is to be found in a letter received by Miss Higginbottom from his brother Sergeants which reads - "Dear Miss Higginbottom, It is with painful regret that I have to inform you of the death of your fiance, Sergeant J. TAYLOR. It was on the morning of July 12th the sad event took place. I cannot express in words to you how deeply we mourn your loss of so a dear a comrade, and it will be some little consolation to know that he died serving his King and country like a true British hero. He was shot through the head by a bullet whilst carrying out his duties of an N.C.O. His death was practically instantaneous, and I can assure you he had no pain. He was laid peacefully to rest in a quiet spot, close to the beach, along with many other Lancashire lads. His loss is deeply regretted by all ranks of his Company. Please accept this as a token of our deepest sympathy. From his brother Sergeants, Company Sergeant Major CHADDERTON, Sergeant HARRY GRANTHAM, Sergeant JAMES SETON, Sergeant W. HAWKINS, Sergeant A. SCOTT, Sergeant A. SMITH, 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment". Sergeant A. SMITH, in a letter to his wife, who resides in Union Street, Ashton, gives further details of the death of Sergeant TAYLOR, and also he describes how he himself was slightly wounded. He says - "I received your welcome letter on the 13th, along with three others and the Reporter. I am pleased to hear you are keeping all right. I have a little news to tell you, but it is nothing to worry about. Sergeant GRANTHAM sent word to his mother, and I knew if she told you and I never mentioned it you would be upsetting yourself about it. The other day, while in a redoubt trench, an attack was going to be made on the Turks. Our artillery was shelling them very heavily, and I was struck on the head by a piece of shell. It was not so bad, and I was able to go down to the dressing station, and then resume my duties again. I shall be all right in a day or two, as it has only left me a little top heavy. Had it been bad I should have been taken away, but I still continue to resume my ordinary duties, so don't upset yourself. I am now decorated with a plaster cross, so if I get nothing worse, I shall take no harm. I am feeling worse from being overworked and short of rest, than I am from the wound. I have some very sad news to tell you. Sergeant TAYLOR had the misfortune to get shot through the head with a bullet. I bandaged him the best way I could. We had an awful struggle with him, as he was fighting against death and we had not much room to move in. I am very sorry to inform you that he passed away after he was taken out of the trenches. He was a good soldier, and always willing to do anything he was asked. In him I have lost a good friend. My sympathies go to his sweetheart, who I am sure, will scarcely realise it, but I do hope she will have the strength to bear up in her time of great trouble. My sympathies are also extended to his sister, with whom he lived, also his three brothers, for in JIM they have lost a brother second to none. He used to tell me of the times he would have when he got home, and he would not be long before he married when he had finished, and also what a meeting it would be when all four brothers met again with their medals. He was looking forward to a good time but all hopes are shattered. Now it is joy turned into sorrow. He used to speak a good deal about Ada, and longed to see her once again. I miss him just like a brother. He was just in the act of firing at the Turkish trench, and just as he pressed the trigger he fell back and shouted "Oh my head". I did my best for him, so did others who had him in hand, but it is great odds against you if you get hit in the head. I hope we lose no more, as it is heart rendering to hear them. It just shows you one minute you are up and the next minute you are down." Sergeant TAYLOR has two brothers in the Army, Drummer WILLIAM TAYLOR is in France with the 1st King's Own, and Lance Corporal WALTER TAYLOR is in India with the Prince of Wales, Yorkshire Regiment. His brother-in-law, Dr. J. HAMPTON is in France with the Army Service Corps.

Published in the Reporter 14th August 1915.


Private JAMES MORRISON, of the 1/9th Manchester Territorials, son of Mr and Mrs THOMAS MORRISON, 29, Bridge Street, Dukinfield, has sent word that whilst in the trenches on the Gallipoli Peninsula he was taken ill with enteric fever. He lay three days in the trenches suffering acute pain before he could be removed to the hospital. His parents have just received a letter from him at Intarfa Base Hospital, Malta, in which he says : "I am feeling much better now. I fell I should like to have another dust at the Turks. I am now waiting to see what they are going to do with us wounded, whether they are going to send us to England or back to the trenches. The nurses say they are certain we shall go to England. I hope that is right, because I should like to see you all before I go back to the trenches." Private MORRISON is in his 19th year, and was a miner at Moss Pit. Mr and Mrs MORRISON have two other sons in the Kings service. Private THOMAS MORRISON, 1/9th Manchester Territorials, at present in the military police, stationed at Sandwich Bay, and Private WILLIAM MORRISON, aged 31, of Kitchener's Army, now in the Dardanelles. He is a married man, and his wife and three children live in Stalybridge.

Publisheded in the Reporter 14th August 1915.


For over 12 weeks no word has been received by Mrs. Pridham, of Kelvin Street, Ryecroft, Ashton, from her husband, Private 1736 WILLIAM HENRY PRIDHAM, of the Ashton Territorials, but she has received an official notification from the Territorial Records Office, Preston, stating that her husband is missing, either prisoner of war, or wounded. It is believed that Private PRIDHAM'S fate is linked up with that of Lieut. JACK WADE'S, for he is supposed to have followed the intrepid son of Colonel WADE at the charge on the Turkish trenches. Private PRIDHAM who was 26 years of age, had been in the Territorials for about 12 months. He worked as a piecer at the Lamb Mill, Droylsden. (WILLIAM HENRY PRIDHAM was never found. He is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing).

Published in the Reporter 14th August 1915.


Ashton Territorial - Trench After Trench Taken from the Turks.

"If only the 'slackers' in Ashton could see our wounded going to the dressing station they would not hesitate for a moment to join us," writes Private FRANK LEES, 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, Territorials, to his mother and father, Mr. and Mrs Lees of 22, Albermarle Street, Ashton. In making such an appeal Private LEES had received his inspiration from the bitter school of experience. He had seen his wounded comrades borne away from the fighting line, leaving gaps behind which required to be filled, and the daily sights and seeings around him fired him with the patriotic impulse. "We are still doing well here, capturing trench after trench," he continues, "and it is a very rare thing for the Turks to regain any of them. During one of our bombardments the Turks lost thousands of men. Our casualties are not half so heavy as they were at the commencement of hostilities. We are at present having a short rest in our dugouts. I don't think it possible for the Turks to have many more reinforcements, and I think the next two months will bring the operations here to a close? Private LEES' only brother is engaged in night and day work in connection with the production of munitions. 

 Published in the Reporter 14th August 1915.


A most interesting series of letters has been received by the parents of Sergeant TOM HARGREAVES and Private HAROLD HARGREAVES, whose home is at 430, Manchester Road, Droylsden. The two brothers have been wounded at the Dardanelles, and both belong to the Ashton Territorials, 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment.

I saw several Droylsden lads before the battle, but have not seen any since, except those in our battalion. Private TETLOW, of this battalion, has been killed in a bayonet charge. He lived in Edge Lane. Our HAROLD'S pal, Lance Corporal BIRCHALL, of Moorcroft Street, Droylsden, has been shot through the left hand. We are not allowed to tell the number of casualties or any idea of them, but when the casualty lists are published, you will see that the Terriers from Lancashire have done their share for the country. If you could have seen how the wounded bore their pains, and see them streaming down the gully which leads to and from the firing line, it would have brought the contrast to that old saying, 'England's last hope.' There are rumours of our division being relieved and having a furlough, but up to the present I have my doubts."    

On June 28th Private HAROLD HARGREAVES wrote, "On the 23rd we were relieved out of the trenches by the 4th Royal Scots Fusiliers, having been in 20 days. You will, no doubt, be surprised to hear of TOM'S misfortune, which occurred yesterday morning, the 24th inst. We were all working in broad daylight, digging a communication trench in clear view of the Turkish Artillery, the trench being only a few inches deep, which did not afford much cover from fire. We had only just arrived in the trench when two shells (shrapnel) burst over the trench, about 50 yards apart. One shell burst over the 4th East Lancashires behind us, killing one and wounding five. The other burst near TOM, and killed the next man to him, and wounded two others besides himself. From what I can gather the shrapnel has hit him in the first two fingers of the left hand. scraping the flesh off to the bone. He went to hospital." On July 2nd Sergeant TOM HARGREAVES wrote of his wound, stating that it was far from serious, although it would take about a month the heal up. He continued, "We came out of the firing line on June 22nd, after being in three weeks, and, on the 23rd we were put unloading boats (as a rest). On the 24th we were sent out with picks and shovels digging a communication trench (more rest), when the Turks spotted us and started shelling us. I stopped about four shrapnel bullets with the back of my left hand. All the bones are intact, but I lost a lot of flesh."

On July 12th, Sergeant TOM HARGREAVES, writing from Citadel Hospital, Cairo, mentions that they had a nurse there named MISS SHEARD, 'who hails from Ashton,' and is the daughter of our former Quartermaster, Captain SHEARD. She gets the Reporter and passes it around for the lads of the 9th who are here. "I dare say there have been many aching hearts and troubled breasts while waiting for news, and it must be a terrible suspense to all who have husbands, brothers, and sons away. It is the same with the lads here. All their thoughts concern those at home, and how they will take the news. The thoughts of being hit themselves is lost in the thoughts of others."

In a letter dated July 16th Private HAROLD HARGREAVES writes, "We have had a pretty rough time lately, having been four days in the firing line and three in supports, out of the last seven days. The second day in the firing line was the worst of the lot, owing to us having to keep up rapid fire whilst the French on our right made an advance. The next day the Scots advanced, which forced us to carry out the same plan as before, our shoulders being sore from the continuous firing, and our rifles blazing hot. On the fourth day we were relieved."

Published in the Reporter 14th August 1915.


The amusing views of trench warfare are testified to by Sergeant STANLEY WOOD, of the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, who has returned to his home, 45, Argyle Street, Ashton, suffering from wounds received in action at the Dardanelles on June 18th. He was in B Company, which in conjunction with C Company had to bear the brunt of the heavy fighting in which the Ashton Battalion took part in soon after landing at the Gallipoli Peninsula. He was shot in the cheek, the bullet fracturing the jaw and making its exit on the other side of the nose. He was a member of the Ashton Parish Church choir, and prior to the outbreak of the war he worked in the spinning department at Messrs. G.H. Kenworthy and Sons, Ashton. The humorous view of the situation was taken by Sergeant WOOD in referring to the methods adopted of clearing the Turks out of the trenches when they got so close to the British lines as to become a nuisance. ?We used jam pots and other articles for the use of improvised bombs,? he said, ?and we gave them names as John Jamstone?s Artillery and Tom Tiddler?s Tittlers. Jam pots were charged with high explosives, and hurled into the Turkish trenches, where they played havoc with the enemy. Sometimes the boys would say, ?What shall we give them this time around? And promptly the reply would come, ?Go give them plum and apple.? Then the nearest jam pot would be requisitioned and sent on it?s death dealing mission. If you happen to be a smart cricketer you may be able to catch one of the Turks hand bombs flying through the air and hurl it back from where it came. On one occasion there was a bit of bungling, which caused a few casualties. We had progressed to a position which bomb throwers were required to facilitate matters. Someone shouted ?Pass the word for the bomb throwers.? We waited patiently, but the bomb throwers never came. Then suddenly the Turkish bomb throwers appeared on the scene, and began to hurl the deadly missiles at us. A counter attack, however, checked them.? Referring to the action on June 18th, on which day he was wounded, he said, ? Owing to the enfilading fire of the Turks we were ordered to take a short dash. We charged, and took the trench at dusk. The whole of B Company, and a few of C Company took part in the attack. In consequence of the attack by the Turkish bomb throwers we had to retire. The Turks counter attacked about half an hour later, and during this I was shot. Lieutenant JACK WADE took part with us in the attack. The last time I saw him was when I heard him shout out ?Take deliberate aim, lads. They are all right. They will not come on.? I never saw or heard him again. The charge was led by Captain O?KELLY, adjutant of the 1/10th Manchester Regiment, and the other officers were Lieutenant WADE, Lieutenant A. CONNERY, Lieutenant ROBSON and Lieutenant Parker of the Ashton Battalion, and Lieutenant STOTT, of the 1/10th Manchesters. Captain SUGDEN was wounded by a bullet in the shoulder about the same time as myself. We were both placed in the hospital ship, and Captain SUGDEN died whilst the ship was in the harbour at Lemnos. Subsequently Lieutenant Parker and Lieutenant ROBSON were seized by enteric fever, and the latter died in the hospital.?

Published in the Reporter 14th August 1915.


Lance Corporal JOHN FLORANDINE of the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, has sent the following letter to the Rev. W. Titterington, minister of the Moravian Church, Old Road, Dukinfield, of whose Bible Class the lance-corporal was a member. Mitarfa Military Hospital, Malta. August 7th 1915. "My dear Sir, Just a few lines, hoping to find you all at the Old School in the best of health. I have had the misfortune to be taken ill with fever, which I think I caught through being in the trenches with dead all around us. I saw some very severe fighting in the Dardanelles whilst I was there. You are quite safe in the trenches so long as you keep your head below the parapet. When you are on look out duty you have to use a periscope. The only trouble you have is going in and coming out of the trenches. Then the fun begins; bullets start flying round you, then come the shells. You can hear the shells coming, but, of course, you do not know where they are going to burst, so you get under the best cover possible. Our battalion has suffered heavily in the advance, and the troops who took part did remarkably well. About 10.30 on the morning of that date the bombardment started, and at noon the advance was ordered - we were in the reserve trenches at the time, and the mass of khaki-clad figures rushed forward like a hurricane, and when you looked ahead of the British troops you could see the figures of flying Turks. On the night of June 18th about seven o'clock our Company had orders to charge a Turkish trench about 60 yards away. This was done, but with the loss of a few lives. Our boys got in one part of the enemies trench, but had to retire because we were overwhelmed and were being mowed down by machine gun fire. When I got back to the trench and all was quiet I sat down and thanked God for being spared from injury. Whilst you are in a charge all you think about is routing the enemy from his nest. You never know when the ending may come, but in a case like that you are in God's hands. Well, as I tell you, I thanked God for being spared. I could not help but do so. Then I sat down and lit my pipe to keep me from getting too excited. It is wonderful how a good smoke relieves your mind. We came out of the trenches on June 23rd, and I took ill on the 28th. I was sent to hospital on the 29th. I was then transferred to Lemnos Island, and was in hospital there three weeks. On July 21st I was taken along with some other patients to the hospital ship Neuralia. We sailed next morning, and landed in Valetta Harbour (Malta) on July 24th, but were kept on board overnight and disembarked the following day. When we got ashore we were greeted by some ladies, who gave us chocolate, cigarettes, matches, and drinks. The wounded as well as the sick got these gifts, and all those who received them thanked the ladies heartily. We were then conveyed in motor cars to the hospital, which is six or seven miles inland. From what little bit of Malta and its scenery I saw I think it is a lovely place. The hospital I am in is a large one, and has fine surroundings. How are all the boys at school? Have any of them joined the colours? I think they will have done, because I know they are not the sort to shirk when help is needed." FATHER ENLISTS - Lance Corporal FLORANDINE was in the Territorials prior to the outbreak of war. He then volunteered for active service, and has been in the battalion ever since. Whilst he has been away, his father has enlisted, and the home has been broken up. He was a regular attender at Mr. Titterington's Bible Class meetings on Sunday afternoons. There are several other members serving their King and country who have written brief letters to the minister informing him of their well-being. 

Published on the Reporter 14th August 1915.


After eight weeks of suspense, during which nothing was heard as to the whereabouts, a letter has been received from Drummer HAROLD CRITCHLEY by his parents, who reside at 10, Egerton Street, Ashton. Drummer CRITCHLEY, who has been serving with the Ashton Territorials at the Dardanelles, is at present in hospital suffering from nervous breakdown. He writes - " There are many Territorials in the hospital. Most of them seem to be a bit shattered in the legs, but I was shattered all over when I first came in here. They thought I would not get better, but I have surprised them. I have been suffering from shattered nerves and deafness, but my ears have been attended to, and it has done them a lot of good. I have been suffering from the effects of the bombardment at the Dardanelles. I took part in the operations, in which we succeeded in capturing a hill. The same week our colonel got wounded. I have been made Lance Corporal Drummer. The rations here are good - porridge, eggs and tea for breakfast, potatoes, chicken, and pudding for dinner, and eggs or fish for tea." Drummer CRITCHLEY was formerly a drummer in the Albion Boy's Brigade, and he worked at the Parkbridge Ironworks.

Published in the Reporter 14th August 1915.


Lance-Corporal FRED ARMITAGE, of the 9th Batt. Manchester Regiment, whose home is in Mount Street, Stalybridge, writing to his wife, says:- "I have never been without headache since I was blown through the air with that shell that hit the side of the trench, but I hope I shall soon be all right. I am feeling bad at present. There are some terrible sights in my ward, men with parts of their hands, arms, and legs off. I think I have done my little bit. I have accounted for a few, and taken part in two bayonet charges, and been blown through the air with a shell." Lance-Corporal ARMITAGE is well known in Stalybridge and Mossley. He is a well known footballer, and up to the commencement of the war was a playing member of the Mossley Club. He is in hospital at Malta, and from there has sent his wife some artistic views of places in the Mediterranean.


Published in the Reporter 21st August 1915.


A most remarkable and interesting story of an Ashton Territorial has been gleaned this week by a Reporter representative. Private BENSON BARRETT, a youth of the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, who resides at 5, Woolley Street, Hurst Nook, has just returned home after being in hospital for wounds received while fighting in the Dardanelles. Private BARRETT, when seen, was in the company of his young lady, and he had just been completing arrangements for his marriage, which is it to take place today (Saturday). He stated that he was in the trenches on June 4th, and during a heavy bombardment, he was struck by a bullet, probably shrapnel, which entered his body and remained there. He was carried away, and taken to the field hospital, and after removed to the hospital at Malta. He was in a serious condition for some time, but gradually recovered, and was able to be removed to England. But he brought the bullet with him - still in his inside. He has been under the x-rays, and the bullet has been located. "It is just behind my heart," said Private BARRETT. "It does not cause me any great inconvenience, but I can feel it, and it occasionally troubles me at night. Next Tuesday I have to report myself at the Armoury ready for duty again, and later I have to undergo another medical examination with view to having the bullet removed." Private BARRETT looked the picture of health and was in excellent spirits. After the chat he moved off down the street, arm in arm with his bride to be.

Published in the Reporter 21st August 1915.


News has been received this week that Lance Corporal William BURKE, aged 21, of the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, Ashton Territorials, who resides at 19, Stanley Street, Ashton, has died from disease. He had been in the firing line, and was removed to the hospital at Alexandria, where his death is reported to have taken place on July 28th. His death has been a great blow to his mother, for whom the son had a great affection. He wrote letters home regularly, and in one of his last, he mentions his little brother, and asked that he should be taken to Belle Vue at Ashton Wakes. Lance Corporal BURKE had been in the Ashton Territorials about four years. Before going out with the battalion he was a carter for the London and North Western Railway Company at Oldham Road Station. He belonged to a family of fighters. A brother, HARRY BURKE in the 2/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, is now in Malta. His uncle, named HARRY RIDLEY, brother of his mother, is in the Lancashire Fusiliers. He left Ashton for Australia about three years ago, but on the outbreak of war he returned to rejoin his regiment, leaving behind a wife and four children. He has had an exciting time at the front, having been twice gassed, buried twice under the debris caused by exploding shells, and was wounded in the shoulder. Another relative, TOM RIDLEY, of Welbeck Street, Ashton, is in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and is now in the Dardanelles.

 Lance Corporal WILLIAM BURKE has sent home some interesting letters. Writing on July 1st to his mother, he said, "Just a line to let you know I am still in the best of health at present. I received three letters from you this week, one a large envelope with cigs. and paper, for which I thank you. I think it is quite safe to send parcels yet. I see they have the casualty list in the Reporter, but they have a few more to put in yet. You say you saw an account of Lieut. WOOD being wounded. I saw it all. He is our platoon commander. A party of 10th Manchesters ran out at night with some of ours, and dug themselves in, and next day two got wounded by snipers. Lieut. WOOD ran out across the open to bring one in who was badly wounded in the head. He got in the trench all right, and whilst coming back, about three yards off safety, he got hit on the shin-bone, breaking the bone in bits. ALF SMITH ran out across the open ground to bring Lieut. WOOD in, and got across with him without being hit. Lieut. WOOD is in hospital, and doing very well. It says in the Reporter that Lieut. JONES was the first to be killed in our lot. Well, ANDREW GEE was killed a fortnight before him. We have since lost Captain SUGDEN, killed, and Lieut. HUDSON, who was in our HARRY'S lot. Our HARRY says he expects going to Egypt. We are beating the Turks back steadily, and they are losing a great lot of their men. We only lose a lot when we advance because we attack in the daytime, and they attack at night. I don't think it will be long before they give in. Our division has given them a big lift here. We have nearly surrounded them now. I saw an awful sight the other day. One of our men got blown up in the air 40 feet through a shell dropping in his dug-out. It only killed one and grazed another's back. We don't get many shells since the last advance. In another letter to his brother he says -"You will be sorry to know our Captain got badly wounded and died at Lemnos. Captain SUGDEN and HAROLD COOK got killed the same day in a bayonet charge. He was shot through the head. It would be all right if you could get out here in our mob. I hear they are asking some of you lot to come out. I have got one stripe up for now, and I shall try for another. I won the first one for bringing our officer in under fire and across the open in front of the trenches. There was a gully full of snipers, but I got him right enough. I got recommended to the Colonel for it and promotion. It is a bit of a hot place, shells dropping all over the place and packed with snipers, and they are good shots too. The Peninsula is very narrow here. You all seem to think that I am downhearted. Not a bit, just the other way. It is great sport potting Turks off. It is dangerous, I will admit, but you have got to chance your arm. Our machine guns are doing good work here, but we could do with a lot more, for very nearly every Turk has one. There's no pals like the old pals, but we shall soon be together."

Published in the Reporter 21st August 1915.


Private JAMES TAYLOR, 1/9th Manchester Regiment, Territorials, whose parents reside at 27, Nelson Street, Dukinfield, in a letter home states, "I am all right and in good health again, but I had a great shock the other day. I was talking to a man who had come from an island where all the sick men were sent, and he told me that PERCY POULSTON (of the 1/9th Manchesters, son of Mr and Mrs George Poulston, of Nelson Street, Dukinfield) had died from enteric fever. I have made inquiries from other men, and they all say the same. One man has seen his grave, so it must be true. PERCY had been ill for a day or two, and I advised him to see the doctor. He did so, and was taken to hospital somewhere about June 3rd or 4th. Anyhow, it was the day before we went into the trenches when that big do took place on June 6th. JIM MORRIS is in hospital with fever. He was taken ill whilst we were in the first line, but his case is not serious. He is in Alexandria, I believe. Give my sympathies to Mr. and Mrs. Poulston. Tell them I have lost not only a good pal, but a brother. We were almost like brothers to each other. There is this consolation, he died in the service of his country, and he was also a brave and cool lad, nothing seemed to upset him. I have had a few shocks lately, but none later than this. I was within an ace of being blown to pieces when we were in the reserve trench. There were three of us deepening the trench, myself, Corporal BLAKE and a lad called FRANK JACKSON, who comes from Hurst, when a shell burst through the parapet of the trench, killing JACKSON, and wounding Corporal BLAKE slightly in the head and arm. I think I should have been killed too if I had not happened to be kneeling down in the bottom of the trench when the shell burst. I however, got a terrific bang on the head from air caused by the explosion. My helmet was knocked over my eyes, and I had a job to get it off. I had a lucky escape because I was only about three feet away knelt down at the side of JACKSON. The Terriers have done good work here, and the East Lancashire Division has been highly praised by Sir Ian Hamilton, especially the Manchesters. Our Company is not in the firing line at present. We are doing guard at the base, which is a welcome change from the trenches, but they shell us pretty hot every day. I saw a ship sink that was torpedoed by a submarine." Privates JAMES TAYLOR, 1708 PERCY POULSTON and JAMES MORRIS, all of Nelson Street, Dukinfield, were "Pals" in the Manchester Territorials.

Published in the Reporter 21st August 1915.


"The youngest soldier in the Gallipoli Peninsula". The speaker was a trim little figure in khaki, a few inches over four feet in height. He was a bright-eyed, red cheeked, little fellow, and in his uniform he held himself as smartly as any veteran Tommy. He was so fresh and boyish that one could scarcely credit the statement that he had seen active service. And in the Dardanelles too, the deadliest of the war zones. Yet it was perfectly true, if rather amazing. The smart little soldier, who was obviously so proud of his period of active service, was ALFRED BOOCOCK, son of Quartermaster-Sergeant BOOCOCK, 160, Katherine Street, Ashton. He is a true son of Empire. He attains his 15th birthday in October next. He and his brother, who is just turned 17 years, may claim to be the two youngest Territorials in the East Lancashire Division, if not in the North of England. Their father is one of the oldest Territorials in the district, and he has attended the annual camp of the old Ashton Volunteers and the Territorials for over 30 years in succession. They are both buglers in the 1/9th Manchester Regiment (Ashton Territorials), and at the last four annual encampments in which they have taken part they have amply demonstrated their usefulness and liking for the soldiers life. A few days after mobilisation they formally joined the battalion just like the other members. They went with their regiment, and were nine months in Egypt, being subsequently transferred to the Dardanelles. After being on the Peninsula for nine weeks, ALFRED, the younger one, contracted "Mediterranean fever," due to bad drinking water. Owing to his sickness he was taken to a hospital on the Peninsula, and was on a hospital ship for nine days, and at Malta for nearly three weeks. He landed in England on Thursday week. He was in Devonport Hospital four days, and he got seven days leave. However, Bugler BOOCOCK, his friends and admirers will be pleased to know, is now restored to health, for he looks quite fit and well. He and his brother are regarded as the mascots of the regiment. 

Bugler ALFRED BOOCOCK gave the Reporter representative an interesting description of his experiences on active service, which many an older man might have envied. He was employed in connection with the quartermasters store. "I was in the reserve trenches" he said, "which were about half a mile from the firing line. Yes, we were well within range of the shells and we got plenty of them. Often the shells would come within 10ft of where I was, and one kind especially, which we christened 'Asiatic Annies.' Even in the reserve trenches we had some killed and wounded, but I never got hit at all."... ' What are your impressions of active service?'... "Oh, I soon got used to it, and it didn't worry me. My brother and I lived in dug-outs for the nine weeks I was on the Peninsula. I got there on May 9th from Egypt, and I accompanied the battalion wherever they went. No, I didn't kill any Turks, as I hadn't a rifle, but I saw plenty killed. We slept in the dug-outs and also in the open, and I quite enjoyed the life. I was the smallest and youngest soldier on the Gallipoli Peninsula. My duties were to bring up the rations from the boat, where they were landed to the regimental base, a distance of about two miles. My brother was engaged on the same work, and we had to go every morning. The mule drivers and transport men took up the stores to the trenches."... ' Were you sorry to leave your comrades out there?'... "Yes, I didn't want to leave the battalion. They told me to clear out, and I didn't care to go myself. I wanted to go where the battalion went. But I had to come on account of my illness. My brother is still on the Peninsula doing the same kind of work I was doing." The plucky little bugler, who had carried up the necessary stores while the roads were under shell fire from the Turkish forts on the Asiatic side, told the story in a direct and intelligent fashion, and completely convinced one of his enthusiasm for military work. Small wonder that he was a favourite with all his comrades. The following extract shows the kind of reception he met when on the return journey. It is from the "Malta Daily Chronicle - "The little darling of the day was little BOOCOCK, aged 15, belonging to the band of the Manchester Regiment, who was being sent home for safety from the base where he had been enjoying himself for the last three months. Chocolates and caresses formed the first instalment of his welcome to Malta". The brave little soldier, who is proud that he has been 'doing his bit,' met with a hearty reception from his comrades at the Armoury where he has been assigned on military duties since he returned. His father, Quartermaster-Sergeant BOOCOCK has been wounded in the foot by a stray bullet, and is in hospital at Southport.

Published in the Reporter 21st August 1915.


Further letters have been received by Mr. J.Q. Massey, Canterbury Street, Ashton, giving details of his son GERALD'S death in action with the Ashton Territorials in the Dardanelles. Second-Lieutenant C.E. COOKE wrote :- "Dear Mr. Massey, I thought that you would like to know a few details about your poor son from me, I was at the time commanding his platoon, and I am glad to say that his conduct during the six days I was with him in the firing line left nothing to be desired. As a N.C.O. he was indispensable under fire. Only the morning before his death his portion of the parapet had been blown in by a shell. Two of his four men wounded, all five of them knocked over, but it was he who helped me to fill up the gap with sandbags, though we were under a hot fire from the Turks 200 yards away at the time. I know for an absolute fact that his rifle was responsible for several Turks, and it was while firing that he was hit himself. I can guarantee that his was a painless death as he was unconscious all the time. Tendering you my most sincere sympathy in your great loss. I remain, yours sincerely, C.E. COOKE, 2nd Lieut. 9th Manchester Regiment." Private TOM PICKFORD also has written :- "Dear Mr. and Mrs Massey, It is my very painful duty to inform you of the death of your beloved son, GERALD. He was killed in action on Sunday morning, June 20th, about half past ten. I tender our heartfelt sorrow in your and our sad bereavement. All the boys wish me to let you know that they are sharing the unfortunate trouble it has produced amongst us. Private GERALD MASSEY was such a nice lad, and well respected by us all. He was very popular. He was a brave and plucky lad, and was making a name for himself out here. Where he was he was always good company. I sincerely hope you will not be too grieved, but try and bear up. You may have a little consolation in knowing he was so well liked and popular with his comrades, and above all he fell doing his duty for his King and country. The Lord have mercy on his soul. God bless you all. I was your late son's friend; he was my section commander and I have now got his place, but I would rather he had been spared. He had a very nice grave behind the firing line. I helped to bury him. Our minister prayed very nice over him. I placed a cross on his grave. I remain, yours, TOM PICKFORD." 

 Published in the Reporter 21st August 1915.


No news has been received by the relatives of Private 1169 HERBERT HOPKINS, of the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment (Ashton Territorials), and of 150, Oldham Road, Ashton. He went out to Egypt in September last with the Ashton Territorials, and subsequently accompanied his regiment to the Gallipoli Peninsula. He was in the great charge of the Manchesters on June 18th, and he has been missing since June 19th. The first intimation came in a letter from Sergeant JAMES TAYLOR, of the Ashton Territorials, a friend of his, who was killed recently in the Dardanelles. Some time afterwards official notice came from Preston that Private HOPKINS had been reported missing. It is nearly nine weeks since his parents received any word from him, and Mrs. Hopkins informed a Reporter representative they believed he had been taken prisoner by the Turks. Private HOPKINS had been in the Territorials for four years, and before going on active service was a piecer at the Atlas Mill, Ashton. (HERBERT HOPKINS, aged 21, was never found. He is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing).

Published in the Reporter 21st August 1915.


Private JAMES HARLOW, of the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, Ashton Territorials, who resides at 177, Old Road, Ashton, is at present in the Military Hospital at the Mechanics Institute, Ashton, having been invalided home with rheumatism. He has been in some of the hardest fighting with the battalion in the Dardanelles, especially that between June 4th and June 9th. He was in the desperate charge when Captain SUGDEN got killed, and on that occasion, his Company (B Company) lost a good many men. He came out of the charge unscathed. Afterwards he was seized with rheumatism and had to be sent to the hospital, but it was necessary on account of his aliment to bring him back to England. He is loud in his praise of his treatment in the hospitals, and says that at the Mechanics Institute they have done him a great deal of good. He is a married man with three children, and is 29 years of age. He has three brothers who are in the army. THOMAS is in the Royal Field Artillery, MARTIN is in the Scottish Fusiliers, and JOHN is a sapper in the Beaumaris Militia. His stepfather, Private JOHN WELCH, of Bentinck Street, is in Kitcheners Army. He had previously been in the Cheshire Regiment, and had served in South Africa.

Published in the Reporter 21st August 1915.


A further letter has been received this week by Mr. and Mrs. Hargreaves, of 430, Manchester Road, Droylsden, from their son, Private HAROLD HARGREAVES, an Ashton Territorial, who has been engaged in the Dardanelles. Bearing the heading 'Government School Hospital, Port Said,' and dated July 27th, the Private says, referring to his accident on Thursday morning, July 22nd: - " We were digging the mule trench in the daylight, next to the one where TOM (his brother) was hit. During the night 900 men out of our four brigades started the trench digging, which is quite safe in the dark because the Turks never give the position of their artillery away in the dark. Next morning at 7 am all servants, stretcher bearers, and duty men had to go digging in the daylight. We had been on the job about an hour when the Turkish artillery began shelling our position. The first shell burst near me, and one of the shrapnel bullets hit me behind the left ear, which made me very dizzy. One of the stretcher bearers digging with me bandaged me up. I afterwards crawled into the trench on the stretcher, and was carried by the stretcher bearers down to the base medical station. I was afterwards taken with other hospital patients on the hospital ship Grantully Castle, which set sail at night, and arrived in Port Said last night. The wound is not very bad. It has caused my jaw to swell a bit, which makes me unable to chew very much."   

Published in the Reporter 21st August 1915.


Private CECIL HIRST, of the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, who resides in Blandford Street, Ashton, and was wounded by a bullet from a Turkish shell at the Dardanelles, is progressing well, and has been brought from the hospital at Port Said to the British Red Cross Hospital at Hale, Cheshire. Writing to Mr. Rogerson, Cavendish Street, Ashton, he says he has been ordered back to bed, but when he gets up he will try and arrange to spend a day in Ashton. He adds that it does seem grand to be once more in England, 'so calm and peaceful after Gallipoli.'  

Published in the Reporter 21st August 1915.


Private JAMES HILL, 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Territorials, whose wife and family reside at 147, Pickford Lane, Dukinfield, is at present in the Richmond Hill Military Hospital, Ashton, suffering from wounds sustained whilst serving in the trenches during the operations on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Dardanelles. He was shot in the muscle of the right arm by an exploding bullet, and he was also struck on the side of the face. A bullet also struck his rifle, and shattered the weapon as he held it in his hands. The loose portions of the exploded bullet were extracted, and Private HILL has brought them home with him as a memento. He had been at the High Street Military Hospital, Manchester for three weeks. He was sent on to the Richmond Hill Hospital, Ashton. On Tuesday afternoon, he paid a visit to his home in Pickford Lane, where he met with a cordial reception from his neighbours and friends, flags being hung out of the bedroom windows. After spending a few hours with his family, Private HILL returned to the hospital in the afternoon. He still carries his right arm in a sling, but he is gradually recovering. Private JOHN HILL, 1/9th Manchester Territorials, a brother, is also in the Dardanelles with the Maxim gun section. Private WILLIAM HILL, 2/9th Manchester Territorials, another brother, is at present stationed in Sussex. Private WALTER CLEGG, 1/9th Manchester Territorials, brother of Mrs. JOHN HILL, went out with his battalion to the Dardanelles and has been missing since the 19th of June. Private ALFRED CLEGG, 1/9th Manchester Territorials, also a brother of Mrs. Hill, is also 'somewhere in the Dardanelles,' but nothing has been heard of him in some weeks. 

Published in the Reporter 28th August 1915.


Private EDWARD ASHWORTH, D Company, B Platoon, 9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, who is with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Dardanelles, writes to his father and mother, Mr and Mrs JAMES ASHWORTH, 497, Astley Street, Dukinfield Hall, as follows :- "I am looking after myself as much as I can. I feel all right, and am looking well. I have had some narrow escapes with shells just going above my head, but I keep my head down as much as possible. It is very hard when you have been working with a pal in the trenches, and then a Turk's shell comes burring along and blows his head off. It is very hard to see it. I hope you are all praying for me every night, for I am in danger wherever I go. I never know when it is my turn to get shot. I hope I pull through all right, and I think if I put my trust in God He will carry me through. I would sooner be in Egypt than where I am now. I was sure of my life then, but not now. I shall be glad when it is over. We are giving the Turks some hammer. We have been in the Dardanelles over three months, and we have a rough time under shell fire. It was like hell on earth. I gave my life up the time we landed. I saw my 21st birthday on the battlefield. It is the first time I have been out to a war. I wish it was my time to come home, and then I should know I should be safe from all the bullets and shells. I wonder what it is like to be in a warm bed. We live in a dugout in the firing line. That is our home just at present. One of my pals got killed not so long since, and I volunteered to bury him in the open against the Turkish trenches. I did, and came back safe. I close my letter by saying the Lord's Prayer, and singing my favourite hymn, "Remember Me, Almighty One."

Published in the Reporter 21st August 1915.


Private 1740 JOSHUA BENNETT, of the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, is reported missing by the War Office authorities from the 19th of June. In a letter recently received by his mother, Mrs. Annie Bennett, of 72, Brook Street, Ashton, he says, " I write these few lines hoping you are all in good health, as it leaves me at present. Please send me on some writing paper, because we can't get any here. You can send me plenty of tabs, but it is no use sending money, for it is of no use here. But the officer has done his best for us. He got some tabs for us and gave each man about 60. Our food is good, and we get plenty of it, so you see we cannot grumble at anything, only we could do with the tabs, for they are the main thing." His father is Private 2602 JOSHUA BENNETT, of the 2nd Manchester Regiment, who was wounded in the fight for Hill 60, but has now recovered. During his absence from home his youngest daughter aged 7 years, was taken ill with pneumonia, and died on February 2nd. In a letter to his wife he says, "I have just received your letter with sad news in. I am very sorry to hear that our Lizzie has died. I answered your letter and tried to come, but I cannot get away. I have been thinking how she was going on every day and night. You must do your best for her, but I know that God will enable me to see her last resting place. I hope all the other children are well. I am sorry for you lass. I know how you will be fixed, but I cannot do anything at all till this lots over. I am so upset; I don't know what to do with being away, for you know how she loved her dad. We are in a funny position now, and I can't write much this time."  

Additional information was published in the Ashton Herald : The people of Ashton have displayed their patriotism in the present crisis in no unmistakeable manner, and there are many instances where several members of a family are serving with the colours. But the record of Mr and Mrs JOSHUA BENNETT, of 72, Brook Street, will be hard to beat. Mr. BENNETT, who is himself serving in the Army, is one of six brothers who have seen service in the trenches. One of them has already forfeited his life for his King and country, while Mr BENNETT himself has been wounded, and his son JOSHUA is reported missing. Mrs BENNETT has four brothers serving, while another brother, who is deaf and dumb, has received a badge to go on munition work. Another son of Mr and Mrs BENNETT, ALBERT BENNETT, who is not 16 years of age succeeded in joining the Army and had been in training at Colwyn Bay for a month when he was claimed by his mother. An official intimation has been received this week that Pte. JOSHUA BENNETT, of the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment is reported missing since June 19th. His last letter to his parents was dated May 15th, and since then his parents have heard nothing from him. He then stated that he was all right. Pte. BENNETT formerly served as a boiler maker at Messrs. Beeley's works at Hyde Junction, and he went to Holy Trinity Day School. He took part in the bayonet charge led by Lieut. JACK WADE when the latter was reported missing. Referring to Pte. BENNETT, a comrade said they were both together, side by side, and when he looked round he was gone. Where he had gone to he did not know.Pte. BENNETT'S father, who also worked at Messrs. Beeley's works, was a reservist in the 2nd Manchesters and he was one of the first to go to the front in August last year. He returned home wounded, and left Ashton a month ago for Cleethorpes, while last Tuesday he sailed for the Dardanelles. He was wounded in two places - the thigh and the back - part of his thigh being blown away by the bursting of a shell. At the time it happened Mr BENNETT was engaged with his regiment charging into a wood and the shell burst behind him, inflicting the injuries. Intimation has also been received by Mrs WHITTLE, of 4, Brook Street, that her son, Corporal JAMES WHITTLE (who is Mrs BENNETT'S brother) has been wounded in the fighting on the Gallipoli peninsula. Corporal WHITTLE is also in the 9th Manchesters. In a letter to his wife, dated 19th August, Pte. WHITTLE says :- "I am sorry to say that I am sick in hospital at Malta. Do not let this letter upset you, as I am not seriously ill. I daresay I will be out again in about two weeks. Malta is a fine place and the nicest I have ever been in. I am in St. George's Hospital. There are a great number here from the Dardanelles, and they are treated fine. I only landed here this afternoon, and I had two eggs, bread and butter, and jam, also plenty of "tabs" to smoke and a cigar. The King couldn't grumble at it, I am sure." (Pte. 1740 Joshua Bennett was never found; he is listed on the Helles Memorial to the missing. His father, Pte. 2602 Joshua Bennett MM never did get to see his daughters grave. He died of wounds on 26.4.1917 and is buried at number 8 casualty clearing station, Duisans, Etrun, near Arras).

 Published in the Reporter 28th August 1915.


Expecting to Be Blown to Pieces.

Corporal ROBERT GRIMSHAW, of Park Street, Ashton, of the 9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment (Ashton Territorials), who went out to Egypt with the first batch of local men, has been in some severe fighting in the Dardanelles, having been in almost every engagement in the Gallipoli Peninsula that the Ashton men have taken part in. Writing to his cousin, Mr W. Tonge, of Howard Street, Denton, on August 8th, he says - "God has spared a few of us yet, and surely He will allow some to come home, for He only knows what we have gone through and what we are going through at the present time. Yesterday we entered the firing line after leaving our bivouacs. We had not been in the firing line an hour before the Turks came in thousands. What with the shells, the bullets, the smoke, and the smell, hell can't compare with it. My rifle was absolutely red hot with firing. I can assure you I accounted for a few Turks, but I am sorry to say the Turks accounted for a few of ours, my friends were dropping all round. It is awful. I am sure the people at home can't realise what we are going through. I will not deny I have offered God many a prayer whilst I have been here, for we never know who's the next to go under. At present we are in a place that is known as a redoubt (a redoubt is something similar to the puzzle gardens at Belle Vue), only there are trenches with the Turks about twenty yards to the front in another redoubt, and our bomb throwers and their bomb throwers are trying to bomb each other out. So you know that it is no joke expecting being blown to pieces any minute. Putting all our troubles on one side, I think after the work we have done in Egypt, they will not keep us here after being away twelve months. There are no signs of us getting a few days furlough yet, so we have to keep living and hoping for the best."

Published in the Reporter 28th August 1915.


Ashton Territorial Killed.

In a letter to his mother, Mrs. Ivell, of 594, Oldham Road, Bardsley, Private ALBERT IVELL tells how his chum, Private WILLIE NUTTALL, with whom he had played and worked in the village of Bardsley, was killed in action on August 7th. Both youths worked together as piecers at the Maple Mill, and attended the Bardsley Church School. Private IVELL is a member of the Bardsley Cricket Club, and has won the Reporter bat and ball on several occasions.

Private IVELL wrote - " I got three letters today, one telling me about you having that wounded soldier at the house for tea. I was very glad to hear about him being with all his pals in the trenches from the Maple Mill. I am writing this letter heartbroken. I have lost my best pal, WILLIE NUTTALL. He got shot in the head yesterday about 3 o'clock, and died at night at 11. Yesterday we left our dug-out at 5 o'clock in the morning for the trenches to support the Lancashire Fusiliers, who were going to advance to take one of the Turks trenches. That they did, but they had to retire about ten to three in the afternoon. BILL and T. ROGERS were firing rapidly covering them. BILL, who was almost over the parapet, was shot down and T.OPENSHAW attended to him at once. We bandaged him up, and agreed to carry him to the dressing station at once. This we did do, but the doctor said there was poor hope for him. I will tell you mother, it brought tears to my eyes to see my old pal shot down against me. I will tell you he was fighter, he was bringing the Turks down as fast as they advanced, in fact, we could not miss, there were thousands of them. It was hell let loose. He is a great loss to the platoon, for everyone liked him. Just break the news to his mother the best you can, and tell her he died a soldier. He never spoke from being shot to dying; he was unconscious and fighting for his breath. Poor Bill." (WILLIAM NUTTALL is buried in the Redoubt Cemetery, Helles).

Published in the Reporter 28th August 1915.


Mr. J.C. Stephens, of 254, Higher Kings Street, Dukinfield, writes, "My brother, Private 1428 STANLEY H. STEPHENS, B Company, 9th Manchester Territorials, has been reported through the War Office to be missing in the Gallipoli Peninsula, Dardanelles, since June 19th, and as we, and also his parents, have had no news from him since June, we are very concerned about him. It may be possible that one of his regiment may see this account of him in the Ashton Reporter, and thereby communicate with us, and let us know something about him. Private S. STEPHENS joined the 1/9th Battalion, Ashton Territorials about two and a half years ago, and he was a very good shot, having won several prizes in the shooting competition. On the outbreak of war he was sent to Bury with the rest of his battalion, and from there on to Egypt, until the operations in the Dardanelles. Previous to the outbreak of war he lived with me and my wife at the above address for a few years, having come from his home in the north of London. While he was in Egypt he wrote to me frequently until his battalion went into action, and then his letters became fewer. The last one that we received was dated June 3rd, and I enclose a copy of the same. - " I received your letter on May 31st, and also the Ashton Reporter, with other papers. I always look out for the news of our battalion in the Reporter, but I have not seen much just lately. I expect it would be on account of us not being able to let you know where we were. I believe I mentioned to you in my last letter that we were on the Suez Canal where we expected an attack from the Turks, but when they knew the 9th Manchesters were there they would not risk it. I have just come out of the trenches, after being in a second time, and we have been here three weeks last Sunday. In an advance we made we lost several of our chaps, whom I knew very well. I would rather be in the firing line, as it is much safer than behind, as the shells are falling all round us. When we were in the reserve trenches, the officers took us for a bathing parade every other day, which we all enjoyed, although an occasional shell would burst over the gully. We get quite used to the shell and rifle fire, and feel quite at home in the trenches. I quite enjoyed the cake you sent me, as we only get biscuits and bread once a day. Father sent me a pipe, and we get tobacco issued out to us, so that I am able to enjoy a smoke. It is getting very hot here, but not as hot as they will be having in Egypt. We had very heavy rain about a week ago, just before we came out of the trenches. It simply ran down our trench like a waterfall, and down into the valley below, and we were fairly plastered with mud. I have seen any amount of tortoise in the water, and also several snakes, which are about four feet long. I hear that both Harry and Arthur are in France, so that makes three of us in the fighting line. I had some very good times while I was on the Suez Canal, and was able to go out into the sea twice a day when not on duty, and boats used to pass and throw us tobacco and cigarettes into the water." (STANLEY HAYDEN STEPHENS, aged 25, was never found. He is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing).

Published in the Reporter 28th August 1915.


Private EDWARD ASHWORTH, D Company, B Platoon, 9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, who is with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Dardanelles, writes to his father and mother, Mr and Mrs JAMES ASHWORTH, 497, Astley Street, Dukinfield Hall, as follows :- "I am looking after myself as much as I can. I feel all right, and am looking well. I have had some narrow escapes with shells just going above my head, but I keep my head down as much as possible. It is very hard when you have been working with a pal in the trenches, and then a Turk's shell comes burring along and blows his head off.It is very hard to see it. I hope you are all praying for me every night, for I am in danger wherever I go. I never know when it is my turn to get shot. I hope I pull through all right, and I think if I put my trust in God He will carry me through. I would sooner be in Egypt than where I am now. I was sure of my life then, but not now. I shall be glad when it is over. We are giving the Turks some hammer. We have been in the Dardanelles over three months, and we have a rough time under shell fire. It was like hell on earth. I gave my life up the time we landed. I saw my 21st birthday on the battlefield. It is the first time I have been out to a war. I wish it was my time to come home, and then I should know I should be safe from all the bullets and shells. I wonder what it is like to be in a warm bed. We live in a dugout in the firing line. That is our home just at present. One of my pals got killed not so long since, and I volunteered to bury him in the open against the Turkish trenches. I did, and came back safe. I close my letter by saying the Lord's Prayer, and singing my favourite hymn, "Remember Me, Almighty One."

Published in the Reporter 28th August 1915.


Private A BUCKLEY, of the Ashton Territorials, sends an interesting letter to his brother, Mr. S. Buckley, of Lumb Lane, Littlemoss, in which he describes several narrow escapes he has had in the Dardanelles operations. At one time Private BUCKLEY was employed at the Reporter Office. He writes : - " I am in the pink of condition. That is something to be thankful for. As you remark, I have not been a soldier so very long, but we have all gone through the mill since the war began, and I hope I have not to do the same over again. No one realises what we have gone through since we arrived here. I have never worked harder nor had such an experience in all my career before. Words cannot express what we have gone through, and it has fairly put my wits together. But I have pulled through it all very nicely under the conditions we have been in during the last three months. When our division arrived here it was about twelve to one, and before reinforcements came we were fighting against great odds, and we were praised in the papers for making such a gallant stand. I can tell you we have had to fight hard to hold our positions until help came, but we are now at the base for a rest. I have seen some awful sights since I came here, some I wish never to see again. I never thought war was so terrible before, and no one can realise what it is like only those who are in it. I have had some of the narrowest escapes anyone could have. About five weeks ago I was caught under the right eye, the bullet just grazing the skin. A week after that, whilst having my breakfast, a Turkish shell fell right on the top of the parapet, carrying three sandbags clean off, and how it missed me God knows. It spoiled my breakfast, and I had to shake my shirt and clothes, as they were full of yellow powder and sand. I heard one of the boys shout, "Are you hurt?" but I could not speak for about a minute, it shook my head so much. I thought my last day had come, I can tell you. Things are rather quiet here at present, but we are expecting a big bombardment to take place shortly, and then things will be a bit lively. In the last bombardment we had the Turks were forced to evacuate their trenches. All our division, with the exception of the East Lancashires, have been away to a general rest camp for two weeks. The weather here is very warm during the day, but it gets rather cold at night. It would be a beautiful place here in peace times. We get all kinds of fruit off the trees; it must have been well cultivated before the war broke out, but now the shells have fairly routed the ground." Private BUCKLEY concludes by wishing to be remembered to certain friends, and says that he receives the Reporter regularly, and finds same most interesting.

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