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1915 PAGE 17



The Headlines 30th October 1915.


Published in the Reporter 30th October 1915.


Private A. WILLIAMSON, of 40, Charles Street, Ashton, who had been in the Ashton Territorials for about ten years, has returned home on sick furlough. He was with A Company of the 1/9th Manchester Regiment on the Gallipoli Peninsula, and while fighting in the trenches was wounded on the knee with a piece of shrapnel. The injury, however, was only slight, and he was out of the firing line only two days. A few hours after his return, he was seized with enteric fever. He was taken to Lemnos, where he remained about ten days, and then transferred to hospital at Alexandria, and subsequently to Port Said. Private WILLIAMSON added that Captain HOWARTH, his company commander, had been suffering from enteric fever, and was now at Malta.

Published in the Reporter 30th October 1915.


Private W.H. ILLINGWORTH, of Stalybridge, who is a machine gunner in the 1/9th Manchester Regiment, writes a cheery letter to Mr. S.V. Bailey, High Street. A month or two ago Private ILLINGWORTH had to go into hospital with sickness caused by powder fumes from an exploded Turkish shell getting into some tea he was drinking. His letter is dated October 18th, and is sent from the convalescent camp at Ghein Tuffaiha, Malta. He writes : "I will write and tell you how I am going on while I am there doing a bit more for King and country. If I had my own way with these young men that won't join I would not bother them until the war is over, and then I would tell them what they are. Look at me, you can't keep me away from the firing line; it just suits me to a 'T,' and you can always hear me singing all the latest songs that are going when I am in the firing line. I will tell you what my mind is. It is this : If you are born to get killed you will get killed, and if you are born to go through it, you will go through all right. I hope by the time you write that I am in the firing line, and if I go through all right we will have a good time of it. We are badly knocked about now. I don't care how long it lasts, you can bet I will stop out until it is all over."

 Published in the Reporter 6th November 1915.

ONE OF THE 2/9th.

Stalybridge Man Killed in Gallipoli.

"He was a good father and a good husband, and never declined to do a good turn for anybody." Such is the testimony paid by Mrs. Mary T. Thompson, of 67, Tatton Street, to her husband, Private 2630 HARVEY THOMPSON, of the 2/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, of whose death in action she has learned this week. The distressing news was contained in a letter sent by Private HAGUE, of French Street, Stalybridge. He and HARVEY THOMPSON and Private TOM KILSHAW, of 37, Stocks Lane, (a brother of Mrs. Thompson) all went out to the Dardanelles together early in July, and they remained together until the tragedy of war effected their separation. Private KILSHAW was wounded a month or so ago, and has been sent home. Private THOMPSON has been killed, and Private HAGUE is now left "on his own" as he puts it in his letter. The communication from Private HAGUE was dated October 17th and was sent by him to Swallows Yard, off Warrington Street, where Mrs. Thompson resided until about seven weeks ago, when she removed to her present address. It was as follows: -

" Dear Mrs. Thompson, It is with a sad and heavy heart that I write these few lines to inform you of your sad and great bereavement. Your husband passed away at 11am this morning, having been shot through the head by a sniper whilst on duty at a sniping post in the firing line. I am sure the loss will be great to you, and I can assure you that I also have suffered a big loss. He was my pal, the best I have had, and I feel it strongly. I was not in the firing line at the time, but I was told 'THOMPSON had just been killed,' and I immediately went to see. Little did I think it was HARVEY, and when I saw it was I felt bad, I can tell you. I saw him carried out, and went and saw he got a decent burial. The funeral service was said by a parson, and I put a cross of white stones on his grave, and saw a wooden cross erected at the head. I hardly know how to express my sympathy, as I feel too full for words. Death occurred instantly, and was absolutely painless." Private THOMPSON joined the 2/9th Manchesters on September 15th last year. Prior to that period he had been employed as a piecer at Quarry Street Mills. He leaves three young children and a wife, who is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Kilshaw, of 27, Stocks Lane. Since he has been at Gallipoli he has sent one or two interesting letters to his wife. In one he says: - " We are up to the knees in water and I can tell you I never worked as hard in my life as I am doing now. We never have a nights rest. I am in good health now, and hope you and the children are the same. Don't get downhearted, as I am in the pink. We are out for a fortnight, called to be a rest, but we have to go out digging. I am always praying that God will pull me through all right." (Harvey Thompson died on the 17th October 1915. He is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing).

Published in the Reporter 6th November 1915.


Stalybridge Man's Experience in the Dardanelles.

Private ALBERT PLANT, 2/9th Manchester Regiment (Ashton Territorials), who resides at 20, Victoria Street, Stalybridge, has been invalided home after suffering from dysentery. Private PLANT went to Gallipoli at the beginning of June, and only participated in one engagement before he was taken ill, and had to go into hospital. That was on August 8th. "We had been in the trenches seven days," he said to a representative of the Reporter, "which brought us up to August 6th, and then our artillery started bombarding the Turks. The Turks replied, and the bombardment became very furious. The British artillery bombarded from the land, and the Navy were bombarding from the sea, and we could see the shells dropping on Archi Baba Hill, which is strongly held by the Turks. It is the Turks best position, and if our men could take it we should be able to see into the Dardanelles, and to drop a few shells there. On the 8th August half of our battalion undertook a bayonet charge, but they had to retire in face of a fierce machine gun fire. Things were quieter after that for a time, and on the 16th August I had to go into hospital. From what I saw of the Turks I can say that they are very fair fighters. They fight uprightly. There was no gas used while I was there. When we landed it was just at the break of day on Cape Helles, and though it is pretty safe the Turks can still reach the landing place with their guns. On the Asiatic side they have a disappearing gun, which seems to run on a sort of railway and then stops up and fires. It never fires above once or twice from the same spot. It must be a German invention, for the Turks never had it in them to invent a gun of that kind."

Published in the Reporter 6th November 1915.


There is a good deal of uncertainty as to what actually happened to Private ALBERT WRIGLEY, of 1, Parliament Street, Dukinfield, and of the 1/9th Manchester Regiment. In the official list of casualties published on July 15th he was reported to have been seriously wounded on June 7th. According to the statement of his companion, Private W. HEADDOCK, also of Dukinfield. Private WRIGLEY was one of a hundred men selected for a bayonet charge. He was under Captain OKELL, and it was during that charge that he is said to have received serious wounds in the back. Private HEADDOCK, who was with the detachment to hold the ground captured from the Turks during the bayonet charge, was rushing forward with his comrades when he saw Private WRIGLEY lying on the ground. He got him into a trench, and there Private WRIGLEY remained for four hours. Then he was taken down to the beach and placed on a hospital ship, but since then no definite information has been received regarding him. Mrs. WRIGLEY has made inquiries from the Records Office at Preston, and also from the War Office. She got a letter dated July 16th, stating that he was wounded on June 7th, and a second message on August 16th said he was suffering from wounds. On September 17th the authorities at Preston said they had no further information, but on October 14th they wrote : "The latest information regarding Private A WRIGLEY is as follows: Considered unfit for service and not wounded. Handed over to Casualties Clearing Station." Meanwhile the War Office had written to say that he was not wounded. To make matters more uncertain still, in the official list of casualties, published on Friday evening last, his name occurs among the 'Previously reported wounded, now reported wounded and missing.' Mrs. WRIGLEY believes that her husband was seen on a hospital ship by people who knew him well. Naturally she is very anxious as to the exact fate which has befallen her husband, and will be very grateful for any definite news concerning him. 

Published in the Reporter 6th November 1915.


Private TOM KILSHAW, of 37, Stocks Lane, Stalybridge, who is in the 2/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment (Ashton Territorials) has returned from Gallipoli, where he has had a miraculous escape. He is only 17 years of age. He is still weak from a wound which he sustained in the head, and the doctors told him in hospital that a fraction deeper and it would have cost him his life. He is the brother-in-law of Private HARVEY THOMPSON, an account of whose death in action appears elsewhere in this issue. Private KILSHAW told a representative of the Reporter, that they went into the firing line on August 6th. "We were attacking on the 6th, 7th and 8th during the time that troops were bombarding at Suvla Bay. I was wounded on the 12th day. I was engaged in sapping operations when a sniper got me through the head. I was unconscious for about half-an-hour. After about ten days I was sent home via Naples and Gibraltar. Though it took us three weeks to get out, it only took us a week to get back, and on landing they sent me to the East Leeds Military Hospital. While I was there the King paid me a visit. His Majesty stopped at my bedside and asked me how I got wounded. I told him I got shot by a sniper, and he said he knew there were plenty of snipers out there, and he hoped I should soon be well again. His Majesty shook hands with me." Whilst he was at Gallipoli Private KILSHAW had two other narrow escapes. "I was cleaning a 'dixey' (cooking utensil) when I heard a shell coming. I dropped to the ground and lay flat, and it burst about four yards away from me. If I had remained standing it would have wounded or possibly have killed me."

Published in the Reporter 6th November 1915.


Lieut. J. BROADBENT, of the Ashton Territorials, has arrived home invalided from the Gallipoli Peninsula, where he had been since the battalion landed in May. He was reluctant to leave the Ashton Territorials, but the doctor ordered him home, in order that the jaundice which had attacked him should not have any more serious consequences.

Lieut. BROADBENT is better known to Ashton as Major BROADBENT, councillor for St. Michael's Ward in the Conservative interest. In September last Major BROADBENT rejoined the 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, (from which he retired about four years ago with the rank of hon. major) and took over the duties of transport officer, for which he was admirably fitted, and he has rendered yeoman service to the battalion both in Egypt and at the Dardanelles. Lieut. BROADBENT has 21 years service to his credit with the old Volunteers and the Ashton Territorials, and it is well known that he revelled in the military life. He could not resist the opportunity of seeing active service with the men he had helped to train in times of peace, and the boys were proud to have 'the gallant little major' back with them. Lieut. BROADBENT came home on the Aquitania, and arrived at Mayfield Station, Manchester, about 1.30 last Thursday morning. He was taken to the Whitworth Street Military Hospital, and on Friday the medical board granted him a month's sick leave. Before motoring to his home, Bella Vista, Castleton, where he went to reside a few years ago, Lieut. BROADBENT paid a hurried visit to Ashton, and was heartily welcomed by those of his old aquaintances who were fortunate enough to see him. Had he been well enough on the Saturday he would have been present at the ceremony at the Ashton Town Hall, when his brother officer, Lieut. W.T. FORSHAW, V.C. was honoured with the Freedom of the Borough. Lieut. BROADBENT had a warm reception from his many friends at Castleton. He had taken a fairly prominent part in the local life of the district, and was a member of the Chapel-en-le-Frith District Council, and deputy chairman of the Highways Committee. Lieut. BROADBENT gave a Reporter representative an account of the splendid way the Ashton Territorials had played their part on the Gallipoli Peninsula. "One thing which has struck me more than anything else" he said, "is the cheerfulness of the men, and the fine way they have tackled everything they have been told to do. They are always laughing and joking. A funny man in a battalion is worth a great deal, and we had some rare humourist. They have been in some tight corners, but their spirits have never flagged. The old Ninth have done some fine work, and they have got a grand reputation amongst the soldiers out there. The Turks are very clean fighters," said Lieut. BROADBENT. "On many occasion wounded British soldiers have been found, their injuries carefully bandaged with Turkish bandages, and the Turks have left water for them to drink. I was speaking to poor FRANK HAMER just before he was killed. If ever there was a brave and true man on this earth it was FRANK HAMER. It was a knockdown blow when I heard that both he and ALBERT EDWARD STRINGER had been killed. STRINGER was wonderfully popular, and a jolly good chap. He was what you might term my 'stable companion,' for we shared the same quarters." Lieut. BROADBENT paid a glowing tribute to the work of Major CONNERY, who had infused much spirit into the men. Major CONNERY'S motto was "Men of the firing line first."

Published in the Reporter 6th November 1915.


Private BENJAMIN LOWE, of the 1/9th Manchester Regiment, and of 22, Princess Street, Hurst, has been wounded while in action on the Gallipoli Peninsula. In a letter he sent home recently he stated that he was wounded in the neck and shoulder with a shrapnel bullet. He was then in hospital at Malta, and added that the bullet had been extracted. A brother of his, Private JACK LOWE, also of the 1/9th Manchester Regiment, was killed in action several months ago while fighting in the Dardanelles. Private HARRY LOWE, another brother, has enlisted in the Ashton Territorials, and is now in training at Southport.

Published in the Reporter 6th November 1915.


Private T.E. THORPE, of 2, Beesom Lane, Millbrook, Stalybridge, who is in the 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, Ashton Territorials, has been sent home after recovering from wounds received at Gallipoli. Private THORPE sailed on July 1st from England, and was only in the firing line about a fortnight, when he was wounded by a bomb on August 4th. He was in a bomb-throwing section, and in an interview with a Reporter representative he said some of the men never reached land at Gallipoli. "You are under fire as soon as you get there," he said, "and in getting ashore it took me all my time to look after myself. All the fighting is done in the night time. The Turks came across and threw their bombs into our trenches. Where we were it is only about a mile and a half across the Peninsula from the Aegean to the Dardanelles, and Suvla Bay is about ten or twelve miles away, while away across the Dardanelles 'Asiatic Annie,' as we call one of the guns, keeps sending her shells over. 'Asiatic Annie' is a big gun at one end of the forts. It runs out a platform about half a mile long, and keeps popping up and firing and then disappearing, only to appear again at another point and repeat the process. When I was wounded on August 4th, we had just begun to bombard the Turks, and the artillery kept it up for four days. At the same time the Turks continued throwing bombs, and one that exploded near me threw me on my back. At first I thought that I christened myself, but when I got into hospital, I realised that I had been wounded in the groin."

Published in the Reporter 6th November 1915.


"I suppose you will see that I am now Lance-Corporal of the transport, for our sergeant has been taken away ill, so I am now in charge of the transport," writes Lance-Corporal R. KENWORTHY, under date October 7th, to his mother, Mrs. Kenworthy, of 15, Lodge Lane. He is attached to "A" Company, B.M.E.F. He goes on to add, "It is something to say 'lance-corporal' at the age of 17, and in action. We have 20 horses and 14 mules, which do the work of our battalion. I am glad to hear of McCARTHY being in England. I haven't heard anything about our JOHN since he went into hospital. I was surprised to see GEORGE ALLCOCK back to our battalion on the 5th October."

The Headlines of the Reporter Published 13th November 1915.


His Majesty the King has conferred the Military Cross upon Lieutenant ROBERT GARSIDE WOOD, of the 1/9th Manchester Regiment, Ashton Territorials, for distinguished service. Lieut. WOOD is the older son of Alderman R.Wood, of Stalybridge, and until war commenced was employed in the gas depot of the Stalybridge Corporation. He is a popular officer, and the gallant act which has gained him the high honour was performed on the impulse of the moment, to save a comrade whose life was in danger. Major R.B.HOWELL, commanding officer at the time described it in a letter sent to Alderman Wood, when Lieut. WOOD was wounded on May 25th. The letter stated that Lieut. WOOD went from his own lines to the assistance of a man wounded in the forward trench of the 10th Manchesters, which was under construction. He reached it in safety, though the approach was swept by machine gun fire, but was shot in the leg immediately after he got out the wounded man. He succeeded in rolling back into the trench, where he in his turn was rescued from drowning in the liquid mud by Private BURKE and Private SMITH. He was subsequently brought away by these two men, and carried to hospital. Lieut. WOOD was also mentioned in the dispatches of Sir Ian Hamilton, published on Saturday. "The telephone at the home was going all morning with congratulations," Lieut. WOOD told a Reporter representative. " I never expected that I should get something," he added, " but I am delighted and proud of it, I can tell you. It is a big honour. When I was wounded our surgeon saw that both the ankle bones were broken, and it looked almost impossible for it to heel. He said there was no hope, and on the hospital ship that took me away from the Peninsula they asked me if they might take the leg off. I said I would wait until we got to hospital at Malta to see what they said there. At Malta I was placed under a surgeon who, before being attached to the forces, was the head surgeon in St. Thomas' Hospital, London. I went under two operations, and after the second it was thought there was no hope of saving my foot. I lay on my back absolutely numb for three months. My foot was saved, and I am recovering very well from the injury."

MENTIONED IN DISPATCHES. Lieut. O.J. SUTTON, of the 1/9th Battalion, is also mentioned in dispatches of Sir Ian Hamilton. Lieut. SUTTON, who is 32 years of age, is the son of Mr. C.W.Sutton, of Great Clowes Street, Higher Broughton, Manchester, the chief librarian of Manchester. He was educated at Hulme Grammar School, and for some years had been an assistant at the John Rylands Library, Manchester. He joined the 6th Manchesters as a private, and in September last year he received his commission. Letters which have been received in Ashton state that Lieut. SUTTON, on his own initiative, conceived the ideal to make a reconnaissance, and voluntarily undertook to carry out this highly dangerous duty." Another Ashton Territorial to be mentioned in dispatches is Lance Corporal WILLIAM BURKE, who resides in Ashton. Unfortunately Lance Corporal BURKE has not lived to read Sir Ian Hamilton's praise. In the Reporter of August 21st, an account appeared of the death of Lance Corporal W.BURKE, (who had received promotion after the deed for which he was recommended in despatches) at Alexandria on July 23rd. from enteric fever. He was 21 years of age. Also mentioned in dispatches is Private JOSEPH EDWARD TAYLOR, formerly of 37, Queen Street, Dukinfield, and now of 11, Cooper Street, Dukinfield. He was engaged in the same action as Lieutenant WOOD, and was mentioned in dispatches for rescuing a wounded comrade while under heavy shellfire.

Published in the Reporter 13th November 1915.


Private REGINALD POTTS, of the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, arrived at his home, 165, Margaret Street, Ashton, on Monday, from Redcar, where he had been recuperating after an operation he underwent at the Leeds Military Hospital. It will be remembered that at Leeds, Private POTTS was introduced to the King, and that King George V was heartily amused when after commenting upon Private POTTS being one of the gallant Manchester Regiment, Private POTTS replied that he was "One of the Ashton lads, and proud of it." A reporter representative, who saw Private POTTS (who is nineteen years of age), was quite impressed with his youthful appearance. He looked too young to have undergone five strenuous months of hardship and mental strain on the Gallipoli Peninsula, and to have spent a terrible night in a sap bombing and being bombed by the enemy, with only a few yards between. It was for his participation in the affair that Private POTTS received a congratulatory card from Major-General W.Douglas, which read: - "The General Officer Commanding the 42nd (East Lancashire) Division congratulates 1347 Private R. POTTS, 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, on the gallant action performed by him on August 13th. (Signed) W.DOUGLAS Maj. Gen." In a self-deprecatory manner Private POTTS told the story of the affair of August 12th and 13th. "I was acting orderly to our Colonel (Colonel FALCON), who had been attached to the 9th Battalion from Punjabia on August 12th. The Turks had commenced a heavy bombardment, and the Colonel sent me with a message to Captain KERSHAW. Captain KERSHAW sent me back with word that the Turks were attacking very strongly through the 'Vineyard,' and that reinforcements were wanted urgently. Shells were bursting in all directions, and the stretcher bearers were busy carrying ammunition to the firing line, where the Ashton boys, fighting shoulder to shoulder, were keeping the Turks back. An order came down the line for bomb throwers to go into the sap that extended from one firing line towards the Turkish trenches. By the way, ARTHUR BOOTH, of Cotton Street, one of the bravest lads in the Territorials, was killed here whilst bomb throwing. I saw him with one hand blown off, and his shoulder and leg injured, and saw him die. It grieved us all. I volunteered for the job, and went with Lieutenant COOKE. The others in the bomb-throwing place were mostly Burnley lads. I don't know how I stuck it at all. I never dreamed I should come out alive that night. Lieutenant COOKE did splendidly, and if anyone deserved the Victoria Cross he did. He kept the bombs going right merrily, and fought like a trump. It was awful to see the other chaps being knocked out, and to think every moment that it was your turn next. We kept it up for 20 hours, until relieved by a Scottish Division. Four more Ashton lads came into the sap in the morning after the night, and helped to keep 'lobbing' the bombs over at the Turks. You have no idea how cheerful the boys have been, or how well Major CONNERY has looked after them. He has been a source of encouragement to them, and always had a smile for the lads. 'Men of the firing line first,' was his cry, and he did everything he could for them. The lads simply worship him now. The new drafts from home soon settle down. We thought they would be a bit nervous, but they took to the new life as a duck takes to water. Talking about water, whenever we felt dirty we used to have a bathe in the sea, with shells dropping very close at times. It was surprising how soon the boys picked up the new tunes. Just before I left 'Keep the Home Fires Burning' had become very popular." With a twinkle in his eye, Private POTTS added, "The most dangerous time in the trenches was when the Reporter arrived. Hundreds were nearly killed in the rush. The Australians used to like to see it, for there were a number of them who had come from Ashton district originally. One chap who used to come across regularly for the Reporter formerly lived in Stalybridge." Private POTTS came home on the Aquitania, and passed Gibraltar on the voyage home exactly 12 months after he passed it on the way to Egypt, and he said: - "It brought back many memories of the boys who had gone, who had died, and done their bit for England, and particularly for Ashton."

Published in the Reporter 13th November 1915.


Believed to Be Turkish Prisoner of War.

Can any reader give Mrs. Ann Stones, of 4, Alexandria Street, Ashton, any news as to the fate of her son, Private 2089 PERCY STONES, who was reported missing after 13th August, after taking part with the Ashton Territorials in a fierce encounter with the Turks. Private STONES was his mothers only support. He was a motor body maker by trade, and served part of his apprenticeship in Stalybridge, and completed it at the Belsize Works, Clayton. He was 23 years of age, and joined the Ashton Territorials the day before they left Ashton for Bury. He attended the United Methodists Sunday School, Queen Street. Private MUTTER, his comrade (an Ashton postman, whose home is in Stanhope Road), wrote to Mrs. Stones on August 18th: - "Don't get downhearted, I think PERCY is a prisoner, as we had a terrible night the night he was found to be missing. If he is a prisoner he will be at Constantinople." (Percy Stones was never found. He is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing. His date of death is recorded as 8.8.1915).

Published in the Reporter 13th November 1915.


An Ashton Territorial's Story.

Two brothers, both members of the Ashton Territorials, Private W. HODGKISS and Private W. B. HODGKISS, have returned home to Cavendish Street, Ashton. When the 1/9th Manchester Regiment left England on foreign service, there were three brothers, but the youngest of them, Private 1401 EDWARD HODGKISS, of Droylsden, was killed on Whit-Sunday during the severe fighting on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Now Private WALTER. HODGKISS, the eldest of the three, has been wounded in three places, while Private WILLIAM B. HODGKISS is still suffering from the effects of dysentery. "It was on June 18th that I was wounded," said the elder brother. "Yes, we were at the Dardanelles, 'the dear old home' as we call it. I had been sick and in hospital at Mudros, and was going back to rejoin my battalion. I was on the beach and had to get my equipment, and had walked about a hundred yards when a shrapnel shell burst over my head, and pieces of it struck me in three places, on each knee and on my right foot. I was placed on a hospital ship for eight days, and then went into hospital at Alexandria. Afterwards I went to a rest camp, and then a convalescent camp, and then on a hospital ship, and was brought back to dear old England. As if that wasn't enough, I was for ten weeks in hospital at Cardiff. I was in the Territorials two years before the war broke out, and I can tell you one thing, the 1/9th is the best battalion in the whole lot, and it has won more honours than any other battalion at the Dardanelles." This proud claim was fully confirmed by the younger brother, Private W.B. HODGKISS, who is even yet feeling the effects of the enteric fever. He had not been so well, and was ordered to hospital. He had got nicely better, and had returned to active work, when the infection seized him, and a second time he was compelled to leave his pals. "I was with Lieut. FORSHAW when he won his V.C." Said Private HODGKISS, with just a suspicion of pardonable pride in his manner. "Yes, I was in the same trench, the Vineyard Trench. It was a terrific experience, and I was there for 22 hours, and during that time I never had a bite or a drink of water. The Turks made some desperate rushes. They made us clear out three times, and each time we drove them back again. We cleared them out with hand bombs. Yes, it was a most exciting experience. I am a bomb thrower, and we gave the Turks what for. We in "A" Company succeeded in holding that part of the trenches. I am proud to belong to "A" Company, and that is the Company that has got the most honours and successes. It was about a fortnight after that occasion that I came away. I went to a bombing school to learn special bombing, and while there I became bad with dysentery, and was taken to Lemnos Hospital." After coming to England Private HODGKISS was in hospital at Chichester, and then in a convalescent home at Worthing. Both brothers are now enjoying a ten day sick furlough. (Edward Hodgkiss died on 5.6.1915. He is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing).

Published in the Reporter 20th November 1915.


Brother Breaks Sad News to His Mother in Ashton.

News has been received that Private 1343 TOM HALL, of 50, Mansfield Street, Ashton, has been killed in action. He was 20 years of age, and belonged to the Ashton Territorials, having joined the battalion about four years ago. He was formerly a piecer at the Guide Bridge Spinning Company's mill.

His brother, Private WILLIAM HALL, of the 2/9th Battalion, who is also in the Dardanelles, has sent the following letter to his mother (Mrs. Lucy Hall): - "I am very sorry to let you know that my brother TOM has been killed whilst doing his duty on the battlefield. He was killed instantly on October 20th, and was buried the same day. I attended his funeral. He was buried in a decent grave by his comrades. I know this sad news will grieve you, but I want you to write back, and then I shall feel a great deal better, as I do not know where to put myself just now." Private WILLIAM HALL is 23 years of age, and joined the Ashton Territorials about 12 months ago. He was a partner minder at the Guide Bridge Mill. (Tom Hall is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing).

Published in the Reporter 20th November 1915.


Private ALBERT STOTT, of the 1/9th Manchester Regiment, and of Duncan Street, Ashton, has returned home suffering from the effects of gastritis and enteric fever. He enlisted soon after the outbreak of war and went out to the Dardanelles early in August this year. "I was on the Peninsula about six weeks," said Private STOTT, "and took part in the violent attack on the Turks. It was a terribly hot day. We had tin plates on our backs, and the sun shone on them and gave our gunners the tip that we were advancing. We sprang out of our trenches and charged at the Turks with the bayonet. We succeeded on getting one part of their trench, and then we started a bombing match. The fight went on from early in the afternoon till dark, and the bombing went on all night on both sides. Some time after, while I was in the trenches, I was seized with gastritis and dysentery. I could not walk, and they had to carry me out. I was taken to the hospital at the beach, and then on board a hospital ship. I arrived at Portsmouth seven weeks last Sunday. I was there five weeks before I could speak again. I had an unpleasant experience the first day I was in the firing line. We were going along a gully when my pal Private HARRY BROWN, West Street, Ashton, was killed. He was on the wrong side of the gully and the Turks were on the watch. I missed him very much, for we were together at Southport, and also in Sussex." Private JOSEPH STOTT, a brother is serving with the 12th Manchesters in France, having been out there since the middle of June. A brother-in-law, Lance-Corporal W BRAY, of the 1/9th Manchester Regiment, of 4, Taylor Street, Hurst, has been at the Dardanelles, and is now in hospital at Oldham. He was wounded in the hand, and is also suffering from enteric fever.

Published in the Reporter 20th November 1915.


Private LESTER STAFFORD, of the 2/9th Manchester Battalion, Ashton Territorials, has been invalided home from Gallipoli with dysentery. He is a brother of Mrs. Farrar, of 3, Old Road, Dukinfield, whose husband is at the present at the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough. In a letter to Mrs. Farrar recently, Private STAFFORD, writing from a hospital boat, stated that he had been ill and was then about forty miles from the Peninsula. His illness was nothing to trouble about, and he was being well looked after. He had received a letter from his brother, ANGIER, who was in France.  

Published in the Reporter 20th November 1915.


Official news has been received by Mrs. Higham who resides with her parents, Mr. and Mrs Crowther, at 64, St. Marks Street, Dukinfield, that her husband, Lance-Sergeant 2139 GILBERT HIGHAM, of the 1/9th Manchester Regiment, Ashton Territorials, has died of wounds received in the Dardanelles. On the 7th of October he was sniped as he was leaving a dug-out. The bullet entered his head. He was unconscious when picked up by a relative who was in the same company. He was removed to the hospital, but only lived four hours. The neighbours in St. Marks Street have subscribed to a permanent large wreath under a glass case as a testimony of their sympathy and respect. A heart shaped tablet bears the inscription "In loving memory of GILBERT HIGHAM, killed in action, October 7th 1915, in the Dardanelles, with deep sympathy from neighbours in St. Marks Street. Sergeant HIGHAM, who was 23 years of age, joined the Ashton Territorials four days before they left for Egypt. He was well known in the local Sunday school football circles, having played for the Stalybridge Unitarians until just before the war broke out, when he got married, and afterwards resided in Dukinfield. He regularly attended the Hob Hill School, Stalybridge, and a memorial service was held in the church last Sunday. It was largely attended by relatives and friends. Before enlisting in the Territorials he worked at Messrs. Summers Ironworks, Stalybridge. He had two brothers serving their country in the present crisis, Private JACK HIGHAM is in the 5th Cheshire (Territorial) Regiment, and the other, ARCHIE HIGHAM is in the Royal Garrison Artillery. The latter was a constable in the Stalybridge borough police force before joining the army. Both brothers are now serving in France. (Gilbert Higham is recorded on a special memorial in Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery).

Published in the Reporter 27th November 1915.


With the Territorials In the Dardanelles.

Private JOSEPH KENWORTHY, of the 1/9th Manchester Regiment, and of York Street, Ashton, was wounded during the fighting at the Dardanelles on October 2nd. According to a letter received by relatives, Private KENWORTHY was in the Citadel Hospital suffering from rheumatic fever. He returned to the firing line on October (illegible) and was wounded three days later. Mrs. Kenworthy received a letter from her husband on Tuesday morning, stating that he was wounded in the arm but that he was now better and had returned to the firing line. Private KENWORTHY had been in the Ashton Territorials for about four years when the war broke out. Private JOSEPH KENWORTHY has two brothers; both at present are serving in France.

Published in the Reporter 27th November 1915.


Wounded in the Eye While in the Trenches.

News has been received at 26, Town Lane, Dukinfield, that Private 2712 ROBERT HATTON, of the 2/9th Battalion, Ashton Territorials, has been wounded in the eye by a piece of shrapnel whilst in the trenches on the Gallipoli Peninsula, on the 11th October. He was removed to St. Paul's Hospital, Malta. Letters have been received from him stating that he is doing very well, but he has to go to another hospital to undergo an operation for the removal of a splinter of the shell. Prior to his enlistment he was a carter in the employ of Clayton Bros., confectioners, Charles Street, Dukinfield. He was married two years ago last Christmas to Miss Ada Wragg, of Turner Lane, Ashton, who unfortunately died last Christmas whilst her husband was in training at Southport, at the age of 21 years. 

Published in the Reporter 27th November 1915.


Territorial Who Had a Mishap With His Knife.

Private WILLIAM BLACKSHAW, of the 1/9th Manchester Regiment, whose home is at, 6, Robinson Street, Ashton, was accidentally wounded while serving on the Gallipoli Peninsula on October 16th. Writing home to his parents, he states that he was on sentry duty, and while going along a trench to deliver a message to his comrades he had an accident with his rifle, with the result that his left foot was injured. He added that he was in hospital and going on all right. Private BLACKSHAW enlisted in the Ashton Territorials on the outbreak of war.

Published in the Reporter 27th November 1915.


The residence of Haughton Road gave a hearty welcome to Private ROBERT NICHOLS, of the 1/9th Ashton Territorials on his return on Tuesday evening. Streamers were hung across the narrow thoroughfare, while from almost every house were suspended flags or buntings. Private NICHOLS is recovering from a wound in the right foot. Speaking of his experiences in the Dardanelles he said, "We have had it very rough. I was attached to "C" Company, and if anything difficult required doing it generally was left to our lot to do it. I was in the attack when Captain FRANK HAMER and Lieut. E. STRINGER fell. I was wounded in the big advance on June 7th, being injured by shrapnel. After being operated upon in the Cardiff Hospital, I was sent to Chepstow to recuperate and if I get all right and I am able to walk again, I would not mind having a go in France." Private NICHOLS spoke in high terms of the way he had been treated since receiving his wounds.

Published in the Reporter 27th November 1915.


Sportsmen in Ashton and district will hear with regret that Private SAMUEL E. BONSALL, of the 1/9th Manchester Regiment, whose home is at 77, Blandford Street, Ashton, has been wounded in the Dardanelles. According to letters he has sent to his wife, he received a nasty injury to his knee as the result of being struck by a shrapnel bullet. Mrs. Bonsall received a letter on Saturday, in which her husband says he is all right in general health, but the wound being right in the bend of the knee was taking a long time in healing up. He had been in hospital in Alexandria, and was at present in a convalescent camp there. He said he expects to come home for Christmas. Private BONSALL is a well known local boxer, and has figured in many contests in Ashton and district. He was very popular with the crowds who attended the matches last year at the Drill Hall, Stalybridge, promoted by Mr. J. Morris, of the Oddfellows Arms. In one notable engagement when a match was being made for an English heavyweight, he stood up to Parnell, of St. Helens, in a seven round contest, and although he did not win he put up a good fight. In other encounters he beat Private WINSPEARE, of Ashton Barracks, at Mossley, in April last year, and he has beaten Grady, the Irish champion at Dublin. He also boxed second in a 15 round match for the heavyweights of England, being beaten in the final by Goldthorpe at Rochdale. His fame accompanied him to Egypt. His chief match was Dusky Coleman, a black, in a match for about £40 or £50. BONSALL came out of the encounter with flying colours. BONSALL, who gained quite a reputation among the soldier in Egypt as a boxer, met and defeated Joe Bowers, described as the Australian champion. This was quite a triumph for BONSALL since Bowers had a big reputation in Australia.

Published in the Reporter 27th November 1915.


An interesting letter has been received from Lieutenant OLIVER J. SUTTON, of the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, Ashton Territorials, from which we are permitted to publish the following extracts. Lieutenant SUTTON was recently mentioned in dispatches of Sir Ian Hamilton. He is 32 years of age, and is the son of Mr. C.W.Sutton, of Higher Broughton, Manchester. Letters which have been received in Ashton state that Lieutenant SUTTON, on his own initiative, conceived the idea of making a reconnaissance, and voluntarily undertook to carry out this highly dangerous duty. Lieutenant SUTTON'S letter is as follows: - "My dear father, Back here again and had two days in the firing line; two very interesting days, but bitterly cold. For the first time being I find myself in command of B and D Companies, half the Battalion, at just over three-quarters full strength. Joe, that is Joe Turk, is not very active at present, except when he bombs or mines, and then he goes fierce. Yesterday he was particularly aggressive with his bombs, with the result, the only result, that all our sandbags, blankets, and ground-sheets are stained yellow with gas from the bombs. My sandbag dugout is about 10 yards behind the firing line, and all day long lumps of dirt were falling on my ground-sheet roof, and whilst I was out of it for a few minutes a square inch of steel made an ugly gash in the roof, and spoilt it's rainproofness. Of course, anything that gets in the dugout is only slow moving, and has lost the velocity and can do no harm. The trench is only twenty yards off at places, and we both have bomb-pits in between, so you can imagine we have a lot of fun now and then. I believe the Turk is very good natured about it all. Yesterday our snipers were trying to stop him working at a new bit of trench, and every shot from our men was signalled a miss by the Turk who waved his shovel in the air. That was only twenty yards from our lines. We gave them bombs after that and stopped them. Part of our trench is protected from bombs, and rather a good job too; when I was in that part this afternoon half a dozen bombs reached the trench and burst outside. They make a noise but never touch anybody. Yesterday, whilst waiting for dinner, an explosion took place underground. I went off to find out where it was, and after travelling along the trench some way, found a man coming out of a shaft. He was a bit shaky, and said he had heard a man shouting below. I could get no candles or lamps, so I doubled back to the dugout and got the lamp you sent me. Without a light it was no use going down because the mines are complicated, and I had not been in before. Wandering about below I came across the new sub...Bernard, and in a few moments discovered one of the men gassed and unconscious. It was hard work carrying him out, as the roof was very low, but we managed to get him to the shaft, and there he was hoisted out. He came round in a few hours, and is now none the worse for his experience. No damage was done to the mine, but the gas from an explosion 20 yards away was forced through the ground into our mine, and was too much for the man. Later, when it does not matter to the censor, I will describe the position of our trenches, which is interesting. I am feeling very fit now, and quite glad to be here. The danger now, is very small, and casualties are scarce, though the day before I arrived the C.O. (the sixth, I believe) was killed by some informal instrument. Just had a bit of a joke here. Someone threw a tin of apricot jam in the middle of a fatigue party. They all ran like rabbits."  

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