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1915 PAGE 13



Published in the Reporter 4th September 1915.


Dukinfield Man Who Was Employed at the Wagon Works.

Private ERNEST HAWKSRIDGE, 1/9th Battalion Manchester Territorials, whose wife and family reside at 22. Gate Street, Dukinfield Hall, has been wounded whilst serving in the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on the Gallipoli Peninsula. He had to leave the trenches and go into hospital for shrapnel wounds in both wrists and left leg. Before he left for the war he was employed as a painter at the Great Central Wagon Works, Globe Lane, Dukinfield. In a letter to his wife dated August 4th he wrote - "I am glad to say my wounds are healing up nicely, but I am not able to use my left hand yet, but I dare say it will be all right in a week or so. There is no such luck as coming home for furlough from here the same as they do in France. I expect we shall be having some more ' Turkish Delight' before that comes off, but never mind, we shall all be home soon, and I hope it will not be long, for I am longing to see you all again. I have been shifted to another hospital about one hundred miles from Alexandria. It is called Casbin-al-Com. It is a nice little place, surrounded by orange trees, grape vines, and all kinds of fruit. The weather is at its hottest here now, and the mosquitoes worry the life out of you at night, but still they are not as bad as shells." Private HAWKSRIDGE is expected home shortly on sick leave.

Published in the Reporter 4th September 1915.


Private 2133 JOSEPH SMITH, of the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment (Territorials), whose home is at 17, Matley Street, Hurst Brook, has been reported missing since July 26th. His brother has identified him on the photograph of a member of the group of "C" Company which appeared in our last issue. The photograph was taken prior to July 26th. According to a letter, which has been received from a N.C.O. in the Ashton Territorials, Private SMITH, accompanied Lieutenant J.M. WADE in the last charge he led. If anyone can throw any light on Private SMITH'S fate, it will be eagerly received by the family. (Private Joseph Smith was never found. He is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing). 

Published in the Reporter 4th September 1915.


Lance-Corporal BRAY, of the Ashton Territorials, who has been wounded at the Dardanelles, writing to Major CONNERY, states: - "Just a few lines to let you know how I am going on. I am on board the Gloucester Castle hospital ship bound for Malta, that is what we have heard on board. She is a new boat. I believe it is her first trip, and it is a grand sight to go through her, and every care is given to the wounded. I have McGRATH on board with me, and I am doing my best to help him, and I thank you for your kindness towards me, and I hope you are a lot better by the time you get this letter. Give my best respects to the boys, and to Sergeant CHAPMAN". In another letter he says: - "We have landed at Malta and it is a grand place. We were met by ladies with tabs, and chocolates, and biscuits, and lemonade, and matches, and there were motor cars waiting to take us to the hospital, which is a grand place, and we are treated like gentlemen."

Published in the Reporter 4th September 1915.

DUKINFIELD MAN'S FATE - Ashton Territorial Reported Missing.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bates, of 34, Gate Street, Dukinfield Hall, are anxious to learn official news of their son, Private 1569 JOHN BATES, aged 19, of the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment. They received reports that he has been killed in the Dardanelles, and also that he has been taken prisoner by the Turks. Mrs. Bates has written to the War office for information. Mr. and Mrs. Bates will be pleased to hear from any of Private BATE'S fellow soldiers. (John Bates died on the 19th June and is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing).

Published in the Reporter 4th September 1915.


The residents of Hillgate Street, Ashton, gave Drummer HARRY WOLSTENHOLME a right royal welcome on Thursday evening on his arrival home from Southport where he had been invalided after his wounds in the Dardanelles. A large Union Jack that reached almost across the roadway was suspended from the chimney stacks. From every house near his home flags and small union jacks were displayed. The street was so profusely decorated that standing at the top of Curzon Road end, a view of the street was blocked by scores of ensigns. No returned Ashton Territorial heeds to have had a heartier welcome than Drummer WOLSTENHOLME got on Thursday. "My right hand has been affected as the result of the bullet wound. I cannot use it properly, while I can still hear the noise of the guns in my ears. Much of the past is a blank, but still I am recovering, and I am glad to get back once more to 103, Hillgate Street, Hurst." So remarked Drummer HARRY WOLSTENHOLME, of the Ashton Territorials on Thursday evening. Continuing, he said, " I was wounded on the 29th of May, and sent to the 19th General Hospital, afterwards to Roe-Lane Southport. I was wounded while we were sapping with the Inniskillings on the left flank." Drummer WOLSTENHOLME, who is 19 years of age, has been in the Territorials four years, and was a piecer at the Harper Twist Spinning Company. 

Drummer HARRY WOLSTENHOLME (front row, far right) with other wounded Pals of the 9th Battalion. (Photos courtesy of Mrs. Barbara Crane).

The Headlines of the Reporter Published 11th September 1915.



Published in the Reporter 11th September 1915.


The highest military honour, which can be conferred upon a British soldier has been bestowed by the King upon Captain W.T. FORSHAW, of the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, Ashton Territorials. His Majesty has awarded him the Victoria Cross for acts of the greatest bravery. It is a rare distinction, given only to the officer or man whose actions have been marked by the greatest bravery at the risk of his own life.

Thanks to Lieutenant FORSHAW, the Turks were prevented from seizing a portion of an important "Vineyard" position. He threw bombs for 41 hours, shot three of the enemy with his revolver, and still went on fighting when he was choked by bomb fumes and badly bruised by shrapnel. It is of course the first time the honour has come to Ashton, and it confers a distinction not only upon Captain FORSHAW, but also upon the Ashton Territorials and the town of Ashton, which will remain a cherished record for all time.


The following is the official notification issued by the War Office of the King conferring the V.C. upon Captain FORSHAW.

Lieutenant WILLIAM THOMAS FORSHAW, 1/9th Battalion, the Manchester Regiment (Territorial Force). For most conspicuous bravery and determination in the Gallipoli Peninsula from 7th to 9th August 1915. When holding the north-west corner of the "Vineyard" he was attacked and heavily bombed by Turks, who advanced time after time by three trenches which converged at this point, but he held his own, not only directing his men and encouraging them by exposing himself with the utmost disregard to danger, but personally throwing bombs continuous for 41 hours. When his detachment was relieved after 24 hours he volunteered to continue the direction of operations. Three times during the night of 8th-9th August he was again heavily attacked, and once the Turks got over the barricade, but after shooting three with his revolver he led his men forward, and captured it. When he rejoined his battalion he was choked and sickened by bomb fumes, badly bruised by a fragment of shrapnel, and could barely lift his arms from continuous bomb throwing. It was due to his personal example, magnificent courage, and endurance that this very important corner was held.  

Published in the Reporter 11th September 1915.


Lance-Corporal SAMUEL BAYLEY, No1 Platoon, "A" Company, 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, Ashton Territorials, serving in the Dardanelles is the first one to receive official recognition. The story of how he won the D.C.M. is simply told by himself in a letter which he has sent to his sister, Miss E. Bayley, with whom he resided at 8, Lowes Buildings, off Booth Street, Stalybridge. Writing on August 10th he says: -

" We have had it rough again for two nights, but I am proud to tell you I am quite safe, although I have had many narrow escapes. I have the pleasure to tell you that I have had a bit of honour attached to my name. Myself, and a few men and the Captain held a trench which was almost impossible to hold, but we stuck it like glue, in spite of the Turks attacking us with bombs. I can tell you I accounted for a few Turks. Our Captain has been recommended for the V.C. and I hope he gets it because he was very determined to hold the trench till the last man was finished. But we did not lose many. Our Captain has not got over it yet, but it is only his nerves that are shattered a bit, and he will soon be with us again. I have been congratulated by Sir John Francis Davies, commanding the 8th Corps. You will find it enclosed. You can show it to all my friends, they will be pleased to see it, as it is a great honour for a soldier to get on the battlefield. I only hope I shall get home, and be able to wear it, then I shall be a proud man. I am pleased to tell you that we are doing well out here at the time of my writing this letter, and I hope it will soon be over." The congratulations off his General that Lance-Corporal BAYLEY refers to was enclosed in the letter, and reads as follows :- "To No 180 Corpl. BAYLEY, 1/9th Manchester Regiment.... I congratulate you heartily on being awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for your gallant conduct in the field - Lieut. General Sir Francis Davies, commanding 8th Corps." 

Published in the Reporter 11th September 1915.


A number of interesting letters have been received by Mrs. Smith, of 2, Brook Street, Ashton, from her husband, Private JOHN SMITH, who is with the Ashton Territorials in the Dardanelles. Private SMITH, before the war, was a piecer at Reyner's Mills, Ashton. He has been slightly wounded twice.

Writing on August 17th, he regrets that he cannot spend Ashton Wakes with his wife and his infant son, who he has not yet seen, and he says: - " We are having a rest now after doing our bit of fighting. You will see it in the papers, and you must send me the Reporter with it in about us. Ashton people will be proud of the lads when they see how we fought."

In earlier letters he describes his experience: - "We were in the trenches, and had it very rough with the Turks. I saw WHITTLE yesterday, and he asked me if I had heard anything about CHARLIE, his brother (Private 1070 CHARLES SMITH, Ashton Territorials, reported missing). I am sorry to say I can't get to know anything about him. Nobody seems to know what became of him. I think he is a prisoner. On Saturday afternoon we had a very rough time with the Turks. It was like hell. The Turks started throwing bombs at us, but we stuck it like heroes, and we fought like mad dogs. We began to throw bombs back at them, and drove them out of the trench. We had no sleep for ten nights, and were done up. We had fought well, and we have been highly praised by the general for our gallant work. We went to reinforce a battalion. We had a good leader. I would follow him anywhere, and all the rest of our Company say the same. It was ------. He is the hero. I praised our bomb-throwers. They did fine work by bombing the Turks out. It was our boys that saved the trench. I think it is about time we had a rest. It is three months today since we landed here, and we have had it rough all the time since. I think the Ashton people should be proud of the 'Terriers' who are fighting out here, for they have done their share. I don't think they will say, 'Look what England has to depend on,' when we come home." Private CHARLES SMITH (brother of Private JOHN SMITH), 26, Brook Street, Ashton, who was with the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, is reported as missing after the engagement in Gallipoli on June 19th. Since the War Office intimation, no other news has been received by Mrs. Smith. He had been in the local Territorials for several years. He was a minder at the Whitelands Twist Company. Another brother, Private WILLIAM SMITH, has joined the Cheshire Bantams, the 16th Battalion, and is now at Draycott Camp. (CHARLES SMITH was never found. He is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the Missing).

Published in the Reporter 11th September 1915.


A rousing welcome was given Corporal JAMES HORROCKS, of the Ashton Territorials, when he arrived at his home in Jersey Street on Tuesday from Whitchurch, after being invalided home from the Dardanelles. Streams of bunting and flags were displayed, and the neighbours cordially greeted him.

Corporal HORROCKS, who has been in the Territorials a number of years, and was in the Cycle Company under Captain SUGDEN, is a minder at the Pear Mill, Stockport. He has been invalided home after contracting dysentery and throat trouble. In relating his experiences with the "boys" from Ashton, Corporal HORROCKS said he was one of the cooks, but took his turn in the firing line with the rest. He was seven weeks in the trenches. When they landed on the peninsula, someone shouted "Bravo Ashton!" They never seemed to be out of range of the Turkish shells, even when resting out of the front trenches. He is loud in his praise of the pluck of the Ashton Territorials, who never flinched under the heaviest fire, and went forward on the word of command like heroes, although some of them had never been in the firing line before. Sergeant SILVESTER not only earned the D.C.M. but he deserved the Victoria Cross. I never saw a lad with more grit or pluck. It would make your heart stand still to watch him under fire. He seems to be in his element when he is fighting, and he brought in the wounded under heavy fire. Corporal HORROCKS had quite a surprise whilst in the trenches, when someone said to him "Hello Jimmy." At first he did not recognise who it was, but finally discovered it was an old friend of his, CHARLES SMITH, who used to work in the binding department at the Reporter Office, and who had joined the Royal Scots in Edinburgh. Poor Smith's death was reported in these columns some time ago. 

Published in the Reporter 11th September 1915.

WOUNDED BY BOMB - Ashton Territorial Who Was Injured in Both Legs.

Private JOSEPH WILLIAM HARRWELL, of the 1/9th Batt. Manchester Regiment, of 102 Park Street, Ashton, has been wounded while fighting in the Dardanelles. He joined the Ashton Territorials in September 1914. Mrs. Harrwell received a letter on Friday from her nephew, Private JAMES BURKE, of Dukinfield, saying that her husband had been wounded by a bomb thrown by a Turk. However, on Monday morning Private HARRWELL himself wrote, the letter being dated August 13th. He writes: - "I am doing very well now, and I have had a taste of the war. I got wounded on the 9th August. One of the Turkish bombs burst and caught me on both legs, but I am glad to tell you the wounds are not serious. I am in a convalescence camp, and it is a grand place. You are well attended to, and you get plenty of something good to eat, so you don't want to be upset, but cheer up and you will make it a lot easier for me." Private HARRWELL was employed for some years at Whitelands Twist Co. but just previous to entering the war, he worked at the Guide Bridge Spinning Co. 

Published in the Reporter 11th September 1915.


Private 2742 J. SPEDDINGS, of the 2/9th Manchester Regiment, Ashton Territorials, who had only just reached his sixteenth summer, fell in the bayonet charge at the Gallipoli Peninsula on the 8th August, after being in the trenches for 17 days. The official notification reached the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Speddings, of 68, Holden Street, Ashton, on Friday last, and sincere sympathy has been extended, for the youthful soldier was beloved by a large circle of friends. Prior to enlistment, SPEDDINGS was employed at the Hurst Mills, and was a member of the St. James' Church Sunday School, where a memorial service was held for the deceased on Sunday last, at which the vicar, the Rev. W. Parry, made appropriate reference to the high character of the deceased. SPEDDINGS was also well known in junior football circles, having played in a number of matches in the Dukinfield Lads League. SPEDDINGS visited his home nine weeks ago, when he came home on furlough. His brother, WILLIAM SPEDDINGS, expects leaving for the Dardanelles any day.

Published in the Reporter 11th September 1915.


Lance-Corporal SAM WHITTON, of the Ashton Territorials, and one of the oldest members of the battalion, has been invalided home through rheumatism, which the exposure in trench and dugout has accelerated, and is now undergoing treatment at the Highfield Red Cross Hospital, Droitwich. Corporal WHITTON, who is the proud possessor of the long service medal, has been Colonel WADE'S servant for the last twelve years, and a mutual attachment had sprung up between them. After Lieutenant Colonel WADE was injured and removed to hospital, Corporal WHITTON acted as servant for Major BROADBENT. Since his return home Lieut. Colonel WADE has seen Corporal WHITTON, who lives at 192, Fleet Street, Ashton, and is seeing that he gets the best treatment possible. Whilst in the trenches Corporal WHITTON had a very narrow escape. A shell just scraped by him and struck another man on the thigh. 

Published in the Reporter 11th September 1915.


"I am still alive and kicking, and I hope you are keeping your pluck." wrote Private ALBERT SMITH, of the Ashton Territorials, in what has turned out to be his last message to his wife, Mrs. Smith, of 5, Back Cambridge Street, Ryecroft, for she has since received an official intimation to say that her husband was killed in action on August 9th.

SMITH, who was a labourer at the Dukinfield Wagon Works, was 26 years of age, and he leaves a wife and two children. He had been connected with the Dukinfield Hall Chapel for a long time, and a memorial service was held on Sunday, when the 'Last Post' was sounded, and the Dead March played. In his last message he also said: - " I dare say there was some weeping when the mothers who have lost their sons out here saw the Reporter with all the names and photos in, but, never mind, they all died like heroes, and I must say Ashton has reason to be proud of what the boys have done out here."     

Published in the Reporter 11th September 1915.

BURIED AT SEA - Ashton Territorial Dies on the Way Home.

To receive word that their son, Private JOHN HENRY CONNOLLY, of the Ashton Territorials, although wounded, was on his way home, and then to receive an official notification that he had died at sea from his wounds on August 16th has been the sad lot of Mr. and Mrs. Connolly, of 77, Crescent Road, Dukinfield. Writing from Preston, the Colonel in charge of the Records says: - " The enclosed letter has come into my hands. I trust it will be of some consolation to you in your sad loss." The enclosed letter, written by Father F.L. HACKET, the Catholic chaplain on board the hospital ship Asturias, says: - " Dear Madam, It is with the deepest regret that I have to write to tell you of the death of Private J. CONNOLLY. I dare say you may have already heard from an official source, but as I am the Catholic chaplain on this hospital ship I thought perhaps you might like to hear particulars from me. Mr. CONNOLLY came on board at Alexandria, and it was hoped that it might be possible for him to return to England. This unfortunately did not prove possible, and he died early in the morning of Monday, August 16th. I was able to have a short talk with him on the previous afternoon, and I am sure it will be a consolation for you to hear that he was able to make his confession and receive absolution. He told me that he had received the last Sacraments before leaving Alexandria. He was buried on the day he died - at sea - between Alexandria and Malta. May I be allowed to say how deeply I sympathise with you at your sad loss, and I pray that Almighty God may comfort you and help you to bear up in your trouble. His end was most peaceful, and I need hardly tell you that he received every care and attention from all who looked after him, and everything possible was done for him. Wishing you every grace and blessing, believe me, dear madam, yours sincerely, F.L.HACKET."

Published in the Reporter 11th September 1915.


Private NORMAN REVALL, of 133, Portland Street, Ashton, who has been with the 2/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, Ashton Territorials, fighting in the Dardanelles, has been wounded in action in what is described as "one of the most gallant charges of the war." His mother has received the following letters:- Dear Madam, Your son, I am sorry to say, has been wounded in one of the most gallant charges of this war in his left, and by all accounts, is getting along satisfactorily, and in a short time hopes to be able to use it again, and then he hopes to be home with you, and by all accounts you have no reason to be ashamed of his conduct both on the field and also on this ship, where he has won many friends by his patience under his suffering. He wishes to be remembered to Mr. and Mrs. Briscoe, also Marie - Yours sincerely, L. CARBINES (one of the engineers of this ship). 

"Dear Mrs. Revall - Your son, Private REVALL has asked me to write and tell you that he is in hospital wounded. He was wounded in the left arm on August 8th, and was brought in here off a hospital ship on August 14th. He is getting on well, and every possible care is being taken of him by doctors and nurses, so you need not worry about him. Believe me, yours sincerely, S.J. NISBET WALLACE, Chaplain to the forces.

Private NORMAN REVALL wrote - "Dear Mother, Just a few lines to let you know I am just recovering from my wound which has been awfully painful to me. I was only in the trench half a day, and at night Jimmy Turk troubled us. They came on us like a swarm of bees, but we fairly mowed them down. I got shot through my left arm, and it didn't half give me some jip. I shall be very glad when I get round as I am booked for home, but I don't know when I shall land. The sisters are very kind to me; they will do anything for me. I can't use my arm yet, as it is not better, but it won't be long before it's alright and well again." Private REVALL is 19 years of age, and joined the 2/9th in September last year. He was a piecer at the Cavendish Mill. He has a brother, NOWELL REVALL, aged 20, who is in the 3rd Cheshires, and a cousin, Private FRANK SUTCLIFFE, of Fitzroy Street, Ashton, who is in the 2/9th Manchester Regiment.

Published in the Reporter 11th September 1915.


Information has been received by Mr. and Mrs. Walker, of 3, Anne Street, Dukinfield, that their son, Private ROBERT WALKER, who is in the 9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, Ashton Territorials, has been wounded in action in the Dardanelles. He was struck with shrapnel, and wounded in both legs, and has been sent to the 21st General Hospital at Alexandria. Private WALKER is well known in Stalybridge, and has been with the Ashton Territorials since they went from England. In a letter to his parents he says: - " We have had a very hot time of it, and on the 18th day of June I was wounded in both legs, but I am very glad to say that they are not so bad, and will soon be better again." Writing to his aunt, Mrs. Prichard, of 13, Robinson Street, Stalybridge, he mentions the fact of having been taken to hospital with gunshot wounds in his legs, and says that he had undergone an operation to have a piece of shell taken out of his leg, and is getting on grand now. "I shall not be long before I am out of the hospital," he adds. In a subsequent letter he says: - " Do not be afraid because Alf has gone to the front. He will be all right. I think every able- bodied young man should be wearing khaki at a time like this. Did you hear of Ted, our Sarah's husband? He got wounded on the 1st June. I saw him being taken to the base, but I have not seen him since." 

Published in the Reporter 11th September 1915.


Private TOM HEWITT, of the 1/9th Manchester Regiment, now in the Dardanelles, has sent some interesting letters to his sister, giving a graphic account of what it is like in the trenches. He says it makes them feel sad to see their chums going under every day, and they never know who will be the next. In a letter dated 2nd August, Private HEWITT said he was still in the best of health, and in good spirits, but he told of some hard work they had been engaged in with the Turks. Later on came word to say that he had the misfortune to get wounded in the head and shoulder. He was put on the hospital boat, and sent to hospital, where he says he is being well looked after, and is progressing. Prior to mobilisation Private TOM HEWITT was in the Territorials four years, and was one of the first lot to proceed to Egypt. He is 20 years of age, and at one time resided in Zetland Street, Dukinfield, with his mother. He has a brother in the Australian Troops, who is a gunner, and has gone through various big battles in France.

Published in the Reporter 11th September 1915.


Lance Corporal 1218 JAMES HOLLINGWORTH, of 18, Ashton Street, Stalybridge, who was in the 1/9th Manchester Regiment, Ashton Territorials, has passed away in Egypt after suffering from enteric, supposed to have been contracted in the trenches in the Dardanelles. The news has just been received by his wife (Doris), and it states that he died on July 14th. The deceased was employed at the Victor Mill, Stalybridge, and was well known in the Hyde district of the town. He was 24 years of age. In a letter to his wife Lance Corporal HOLLINGWORTH said : - "You would see by the paper that you sent me that we are in action, as there are the photos of the commanding officer and two other officers in it. We have been out of the trenches now for four days, but we are not so far away from the firing line, as we get a musical box now and again whistling over our dugout; but they play the wrong kind of music, as they give one long whistle and then burst. Then you duck your head in any bit of hole you can, as it fairly rains bits of lead round you. We have heard out here that the people of Ashton district want to know about the casualties. I think they will get to know in due course, and they will all open their eyes when they do. I did not know what to do when I saw it in the paper about my father and sister being dead; but I thought it was no use fretting about it, as I have quite enough to think about here. It is as much as we can do to keep out of the way of death at times." (James Hollingworth is buried in the East Mudros Military Cemetery).

The headlines of the Reporter on 18th September 1915.

AN INTERVIEW AT CAIRO - Lieutenant W.T. FORSHAW, the Manchester Territorial officer who won the V.C. in the Gallipoli Peninsula, is here convalescent. He has been the recipient of numerous telegrams expressing admiration of his gallantry. General Douglas has wired his own and General Sir Ian Hamilton's congratulations on his well deserved award. Eyewitnesses say that Lieutenant FORSHAW was magnificent. He treated bomb throwing as if it was snowballing. Lieutenant FORSHAW, they say, looked thoroughly happy all the time. Interviewed by the Press Association's correspondent, Lieutenant FORSHAW said he was terribly excited and had never enjoyed anything better than the desperate fight, which lasted 44 hours. All through that time he smoked continuously for the pure use of lighting the fuses of the bombs, which were constructed out of jam tins. This, coupled with the fumes of the bombs brought on sickness and a complete loss of voice lasting several days. Lieutenant FORSHAW said: - " It was a strange feeling suddenly to see three huge Turks facing you. There is nothing like a revolver in such circumstances. I shot my first man as he was attempting to bayonet a corporal, the second as he was running for our ammunition, and a third as he was attempting to bayonet me. All was over in a few seconds, but the Turks had fled."


The official account stating the gallantry for which Sergeant GRANTHAM was awarded the D.C.M. is as follows: - Sergeant 969 H.GRANTHAM, 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regt. (TF), of 41, Raynham Street Ashton-Under-Lyne. For conspicuous gallantry and ability south of Krithia, Gallipoli Peninsula, on 10th and 11th July, when making a reconnaissance of the enemy's new trenches under very dangerous circumstances. He gained valuable information and located exactly the hostile positions.

Sergeant GRANTHAM, whose home is at 41, Raynham Street, Ashton, according to all accounts, has displayed much calm courage during the operations in which the Ashton Territorials have been engaged, and thrilling hairbreadth escapes seem to leave him absolutely unruffled. His fearlessness is evident from the following extract from a letter which he wrote to his father, Mr. J. Grantham, who is employed in the ballast department of the G.C. Railway. He wrote; "I have seen plenty of men shot, but it never enters my head about being shot myself. Somebody will come home to tell the tale. I hope I am one of the lucky ones." Sergeant GRANTHAM had not been inclined to write about his own bravery, and even in a recent letter to his sweetheart, Miss Annie Norton, 38, Herries Street, Ashton, made no allusion to his own welfare, but contented himself with the brief statement that he had been wounded in the neck, and that he was in the New Zealand Hospital, Alexandria. Sergeant GRANTHAM is 26 years of age, and a Primo of Victory Lodge, R.A.O.B. Before the war he was employed by Messrs. R.A. Barrett and Co. mineral water manufacturers, Ashton.


The official account of the awarding of the D.C.M. to Lance-Corporal 1358 G.J. SILVESTER, 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regt. (TF) is as follows: - For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Although wounded on the 20th May he continued to perform his duties, and showed the highest courage on 25th May in aiding the wounded under fire.

Published in the Reporter 18th September 1915.


Many will sympathise with Mrs. Rhodes, of 50, Bennett Street, Ashton, in the loss she has sustained in the death of her son, Bandsman HAROLD RHODES, of the Ashton Territorials, who died from wounds and dysentery at the Devonport Isolation Hospital on September 7th. It is doubly sad for the bereaved mother to lose her son after there seemed to be a possibility of his recovering from the injuries caused by shrapnel shell. He had undergone three operations, and the extent of his injuries was such that nearly half-a-pound of shrapnel was taken from his body. Yet whilst on the way home to England from Malta scarlet fever and dysentery developed, and proved fatal. An Army chaplain wrote to Rhodes telling her that her son had said "they had just put a bit of lead in him whilst he was on his way to the rest camp." The truth was that he had been terribly injured about the back and thighs by shrapnel. He was, however, in the best of spirits; the only thing that troubled him was the fear that his mother, of whom he thought the world of, would learn from the casualty lists that he was dangerously wounded. Bandsman RHODES, who played the claronet in the Ashton Territorial Band, was only 20 years of age. He worked as a turner at Messrs. Jones' Sewing Machine Co. Guide Bridge. He joined the Territorials in September 1913, and went out with them to Egypt in September last. He participated in two bayonet charges whilst at the Dardanelles, and after being wounded arrived at Malta on June 30th, where he remained until August 17th. He landed at Devonport on August 26th, and was taken to the Isolation Hospital, where he died on Tuesday last. Bandsman RHODES was buried with full military honours at the Devonport Corporation Cemetery on Friday last. His mother would have liked to have had him buried at home, but it was not possible. Mrs. RHODES and family, and Miss Florrie Valentine, his sweetheart, attended the funeral. A detachment of the 1st Battalion Worcester Regiment paid the last honours to a gallant soldier. A memorial service was held on Sunday at St. Stephen's Church, Audenshaw, which was attended by a Company of Ashton Territorials from the Armoury, in command of Captain R. LEE, Colonel D.H. WADE was also present. 

Published in the Reporter 18th September 1915.


Private THOMAS SMITH, of the 1/9th Manchester Regiment (Ashton Territorials) is reported missing. He is the son of Mrs. Smith, Lordsfield, Turner Lane, Ashton. He was formerly employed by Messrs. Manden and Hall, wine and spirit merchants, Stamford Street, Ashton. When he went out with the Territorials he acted as groom to Major CONNERY, and he was with Lieutenant A. CONNERY at the engagement from which he was subsequently reported missing. This was on June 14th, and they were having a skirmish with the Turks. A brother of his, Private FRANK SMITH, was present on the same occasion, and the last he saw of THOMAS was his disappearance over a hill and down a ravine. It is believed that he has been taken prisoner by the Turks. During the fighting on the Gallipoli Peninsula he was twice wounded, once in the leg. About the same time Lieutenant JACK WADE, son of Lieutenant-Colonel WADE, commanding officer of the Ashton Territorials, was reported missing. Nothing has since been heard of either. Private FRANK SMITH met with a serious injury while fighting. A shell burst amid a group of men. The concussion knocked Private FRANK SMITH down, and so affected his nervous system that he became deaf and dumb. He has been in hospital at Southport, and was afterwards removed to Liverpool. He is making good progress, and is now able both to speak and hear again. Another brother is Private ROBERT SMITH, of the 2/9th Manchester Regiment, and is now in training.

Published in the Reporter 18th September 1915.



Private EDWARD HENNESSEY, 1/9th Manchester Regiment, whose home is at 32, Wellington Street, Ashton, was wounded on August 7th during the big attack in which the Ashton men distinguished themselves. He is the only son of his mother, who is a widow. Mrs. Hennessey has received the following letter, dated August 18th, from her son: -

 "Dear Mother, I am at present in hospital with a bullet in my leg, but it is not worrying me a bit. It is just a rest for me. I don't want you to think that it is much, because it is not. They don't know where to send us yet, because every place is full up with the wounded. The only place where there seems to be room for us is at home in England. I may get a chance of seeing it with a bit of luck. I was attached to the R.E. with the miners. We were practically in the firing line, going under and making listening galleries and mines. Then I was officer's orderly, and used to take the notes for him. I got hit during the night. I thought it was a horse that had kicked me. They have not got the bullet out yet. It's the only chance you have of having a rest. It is the first time I have seen a doctor since I left England. It is also the first time that Teddy (Private EDWARD KERSHAW, of the Ashton Territorials, also of Wellington Street, his pal) and I have been parted since we left home. I feel lonely without him. Tell them all at home I shall be all right in a week or two." Private HENNESSEY, who was only 17 years old last May, had been in the Territorials about a year before the outbreak of hostilities. He was with the first batch to go out, and formerly worked at New Moss Colliery.

Published in the Reporter 18th September 1915.


In the course of an interesting chat, Regimental Quartermaster-Sergt. GEORGE BOOCOCK, of the 1/9th Manchester Regiment, gave the Reporter representative an interesting story of his period of active service. Quartermaster-Sergt. BOOCOCK was wounded in the left foot while serving with the Ashton Territorials in the Gallipoli Peninsula, was invalided, and recently returned to his home on Katherine Street, from Southport. He has an unbroken record of service with the local Volunteers and Territorial forces of 39 years, and was one of the first members to join the Volunteer movement in Ashton. He accompanied the 1/9th Manchesters to Egypt, was with them at Kantara, on the Suez Canal, and in May sailed from Port Said to the southern end of the Gallipoli Peninsula. As they neared the landing place they had a good view from the ship of the fighting then going on. They went ashore in the ship's boats, which had been previously riddled with bullets at the famous landing fight of the Dublin Fusiliers. When the stores and supplies were being landed, one of the boats full of ammunition sank near the beach. Major CONNERY, who had charge of the operations, returned to the ship and as he reached the side the boat, which was pierced with holes, it began to sink, and the gallant officer had a narrow escape from being drowned. "We landed the heavy baggage amid some lively scenes," said the Quartermaster. "There were plenty of bullets and shells flying about, and it was a nice reception for us to see hundreds of wounded belonging to the first landing party being brought down. We were continually under fire, though not in the firing line, and we moved up to a hill three-quarters of a mile, near the main hospital, and later on we moved near Sedd-el-Bahr, where our troops made the first attack, and I am sorry to say some of the 9th were killed and wounded. All the way we were getting bullets through the fantasias (the tins used for carrying water); bullets went through our camp kettles and even the biscuits were full of bullets. The worst of it was the Turks were using dum-dum bullets by reversing the cartridges and firing them flat end first. The cooks had a lively time of it as well as the troops. After five days we had to remove to a fresh place as the spot became too hot. We were here not far from the centre, and our troops were quite close to Krithia. One amusing incident happened. We were making dug-outs for our men to cook in, as the bullets were again coming along fast. As the men were digging they came across bodies of dead Turks. "Nay, this 'ull never do" said one of the men, "there's a chap here already!" The dug-outs extended for at least a quarter of a mile. The back trenches were quite as dangerous as the firing line, except, of course, when the men were making a bayonet charge or were attacked by the Turks, and many were killed in the reserve trenches. In fact, there was not a safe place on the Peninsula. The Turks were knocking the men out galore all over the place. From the top of Achi Baba and the surrounding hills they had a fine view of our chaps, and they put the shells wherever they wanted them. I was close to the stores where the cooking was going on, and preparing the rations to go up to the trenches when a stray bullet caught me in the left foot. It went in at the top and right through, and stuck in my boot sole. That was on the evening of July 13th, and there had been a heavy bombardment of our lines and thousands of stray bullets were flying about. Sergeant CHAPMAN (Master cook) had to cut off my boot, and then dressed the wound. I had to be carried by stretcher down to the first dressing station, and there were plenty of bullets flying about on the journey, I can assure you. The same day Major CONNERY, and Private WIN had got hit. I was attended to and sent on the ship, landing at Southampton. I enjoyed the trip, but the foot was often painful. It is not quite better yet, but I shall soon be alright again." Quartermaster-Sergeant BOOCOCK bears two decorations, the Volunteer long service medal and the King George Coronation medal. He spoke in terms of high appreciation of the officers. "It was a sad and heavy blow to all of us when Colonel WADE got wounded. Every man missed him, and especially when strange officers joined the battalion. Major CONNERY is a wonder. He has been wounded twice. Once a shrapnel bullet got him on the muscle of the arm, and then he was hit in the hip, but despite these and indifferent health he has stuck to his work. I remember at a prize distribution some years ago Colonel WAINWRIGHT described him as 'the King of Quartermasters.' From my experience with him on active service I can quite endorse what he said. He saw that we had plenty of food and equipment, and if it was possible to get it at all, he got it. I don't think any regiment on the Peninsula had better officers and non-commissioned officers than the 1/9th Manchesters. The fighting has been terrible, and although the lads have done 18 days at a stretch in the trenches, when they were called upon again they responded cheerfully, and sang as they went. I am proud of such a battalion, and I am quite ready to go back if called upon. Captain FORSHAW and I worked together for practically nine months, and he stuck to his work well, and I am delighted to know that he has got the V.C. He has thoroughly earned it. I wish other Ashton lads, friends of those who have done their duty out there, would come forward and help them. I hope this new campaign will draw in a lot of recruits to keep up the high standard of the glorious Manchesters."

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