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1915 PAGE 3




Published in the Reporter 26th June 1915.


News was received on Wednesday by Captain RALPH LEES from Captain G. OKELL, that Lieut. A.E. STRINGER was killed in action in the Dardanelles, after a brilliant bayonet charge, and the capture of a Turkish trench directly in front of the Allies firing line.

The news was received with profound regret by everyone in Ashton who knew "NED" STRINGER, and it is not beyond the truth to say that even men had great difficulty in controlling their emotions. No one who ever came into contact with NED STRINGER could fail to appreciate his cheery and sympathetic manner. His personal charm was magnetic, and encouraged confidence. After he went to college, whenever he came back to Trafalgar Square School, the scholars had to beg him to teach them, and any teacher knows what a high tribute that meant to a teachers personality.

He was full of enthusiasm for his new calling after he had joined the Ashton Territorials, and whilst at Bury, prior to the battalions departure for Egypt, he was "beside himself with joy at setting out on a great adventure".

In his letter Captain OKELL describes the delight with which the officer and men of the Ashton Territorials took part in a hazardous undertaking. He says - "It is my painful duty to inform you that NED (Lieutenant STRINGER) was killed in action on the evening of the 7th inst. On that day our Company was ordered to charge the enemy and clear them out of the trenches in front of the firing line. On the left were other troops not belonging to our battalion, who had a similar task to perform. Captain F. HAMER and Lieutenant WADE were to charge one trench, and NED and I the other trench. I was posted a little to the left to give the signal for the advance. I gave it shortly after 7.30, and with a mighty cheer our boys advanced. Immediately the enemy opened a terrific rifle and maxim fire, but NED and I succeeded in reaching the trench. Unfortunately the enemy were able to open an enfilading fire, which made the trench absolutely untenable. We had to retire, but only about four of us succeeded in doing so safely. HAMER and WADE were subjected to cross fire. Captain HAMER fell before he reached the trench. WADE succeeded in capturing the trench, and held it until about 2 o'clock in the morning. I was of the opinion that the trench would be enfiladed as soon as dawn came, and ordered the troops to evacuate the trench. All the battalion was shocked at the terrible news of NED. NED had made himself a favourite with the men, and also with his brother officers. We all send you our deepest sympathy". Lieutenant A.E STRINGER was the eldest son of the late Edward Stringer J.P. headmaster of the Trafalgar Square Day School. He was 37 years of age, and joined the Ashton Battalion of the Territorials at the outbreak of the war. (Second Lieutenant A.E. STRINGER is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing).

Published in the Reporter 26th June 1915.


A telegram was received by Mrs CONNERY at Willow Bank, Henrietta Street, Ashton, on Tuesday, stating that her husband, the genial quartermaster of the 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, Major MARTIN CONNERY, had been wounded at the Dardanelles on June 19th, degree of injury not stated. It is to be hoped that Major CONNERY is not severely wounded, for no one in the 9th Manchesters exceeds him in popularity, and he returns the men's regard by looking after them in a manner that has won him unbounded praise.

Major CONNERY is one of the oldest officers in the Manchester Regiment, and he has seen service in various parts of the world. He has no fewer than four sons serving in the Manchester Regiment. Sir John Frenen, in his dispatches published on Wednesday, mentioned Quartermaster Sergeant J.T. CONNERY, of the 2nd Manchesters, for gallant and distinguished service in the field. Another son, Quartermaster and Hon. Lieutenant WILLIAM L. CONNERY, was mentioned in dispatches earlier in the present year.

In a letter sent to his wife, dated June 11th, Major CONNERY refers to the death of Capt. FRANK HAMER and Lieutenant A.E.STRINGER. He mentions that their son, Lieutenant ARTHUR CONNERY was in the firing line with his Company the previous week in the advance trenches, and then says - " Poor Captain HAMER was killed in a bayonet charge, and also Lieutenant STRINGER. They both did well. We lost 20 men and 25 wounded. Sergeant SMITH was also killed. His brother lives behind our house. ARTHUR (son) was on guard the night of the bayonet charge. The 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th Battalions have lost very heavily in the trenches. Poor Colonel HEYES was killed, and few officers are left in the battalions I have named. I think I told you Colonel WADE was wounded. We have Major R.B.NOWELL in command. Colonel WADE is in hospital at Alexandria. I am at the base, and have to go to the supply depot on the beach daily for the men's food. I have to be careful of the bullets".

Published in the Reporter 26th June 1915.



 A telegram has been received by Mr W.C. Brown, partner in the firm of Messrs. Wainwright, Son & Co, chartered accountants, Ashton, stating that Captain HAROLD SUGDEN has been killed in action in the Dardanelles.

Captain HAROLD SUGDEN joined the Ashton Territorials in July 1914, and was regarded as a smart, active officer, whose vigorous spirit and enthusiasm had made him popular with his men. He was a clerk in the office of the late Mr Edwin Whitehead, auctioneer and valuer, Old Street, Ashton, on whose death he succeeded to the business. He was married to Miss Emily Brown, younger daughter of Mr W.C. Brown, and there is one child, a little girl, of the marriage. (Capt. HAROLD SUGDEN is buried in the East Mudros Military Cemetery, Lemnos).

 Published in the Reporter 26th June 1915.


According to a letter which has been received by Mr. James Crowther, of Woodleigh, Oldham Road, Ashton, from Sergeant HARRY STRINGER who was in Mr. J.B. Pownall's office his brother-in-law, Sergeant 469 HARRY ILLINGWORTH, of the Ashton Territorials, was killed in the Dardanelles on June 5th, The letter says - " I am on a sorry mission in writing to you this journey. The last letter was congratulations, but this is to say that HARRY had the misfortune to be hit by a shrapnel shell whilst superintending the taking of ammunition on Saturday, the 5th inst. The shell struck him in the back of the head, killing him instantly. JOE HARROP was near him at the time, and we got him out of the trench, and did the only thing left for us to do, namely, give him a decent resting place, and got the minister to bury him. I need hardly say with what regret we laid him in his last rest. He was a friend of everybody, and particularly of the lads under his command. He was the first casualty in our Company, and also the first of our school lads. I need not say to you Jim, old lad, what the loss to us all means, but I ask you to accept not only the sympathy of his personal friends, but of the whole Company. Captain HAMER and Lieut. STRINGER were both going to write, but, alas, we had a task last night which took both away, and also NOEL BRAITHWAITE, and some 20 of the Company. Such is war, and both HARRY and NOEL have given their lives for the dear old country and for freedom, and have added names to the already too long list of the roll of honour. HARRY was dear to me, but JOE HARROP has lost both chums, and is not in a fit state to write to you yet. Perhaps he will drop a line to you. Write me from time to time, so that I can keep in touch with Ashton. HARRY was my chief source of information now that our family have left". Sergeant ILLINGWORTH was the son of Mr & Mrs J.B. Illingworth, of Woodleigh, Oldham Road, Ashton, and was 23 years old. He was employed in the mechanical department of Messrs. Summers and Sons Forge, Stalybridge, under his father, who was foreman of the department. He was educated at the Ashton Parish Church School, and the Ashton Secondary School. (HARRY ILLINGWORTH is buried in the Redoubt Cemetery, Helles).

Published in the Reporter 26th June 1915.



Colour Sergeant 1125 NOEL DUNCAN BRAITHWAITE, who is included in the list of Ashton Territorials killed in action at the Dardanelles, was one of the most popular non commissioned officers and his loss has elicited universal expressions of regret. Of him it may well be said, "He did his best". He left the business of Coal Merchant, which he had founded at Park Parade Station Ashton, and forsaking all his social obligations he, in a truly patriotic spirit, offered himself for foreign service on behalf of his King and Country. A bright and intelligent young man, he was greatly beloved by his comrades. As the camp correspondent of the Reporter he had a facile pen, and his graphic descriptions of camp life were always read with interest.

He was the son of Mr and Mrs John Braithwaite, Beech House, Queens Square, Mossley Road, Ashton, and was 24 years of age. (NOEL DUNCAN BRAITHWAITE is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing).

Published in the Reporter 26th June 1915.


Drummer 1437 WILLIAM REVELL of "D" Company, 1/9th Manchesters, writes to his parents, Mr and Mrs Revell, 35, William Street, Hurst, Ashton, describing how he was wounded. He was a piecer at the Cedar Mill, and a member of the Enville Hall Band. He says - " You will be rather surprised to hear that I have been wounded by a bullet just below the left knee, but I have had it taken out now, and I will bring it back as a souvenir when we come home. I am now on the hospital ship R.M.S Franconia, and I am living like a Lord, but I think it is a well earned rest. My word, the Turks are a nasty lot of fellows, but they are very much afraid of the cold steel, and of the Australians, who have earned the name of "The White Ghurkhas", on account of their splendid work. ADAM PLENDERLEAF is all right, and also J. MALLINSON and T. RADCLIFFE. We are in cabins in fours, but in our cabin there are only three, one of the 5th Manchesters, a drummer, and one of the Inniskillings".

 Published in the Reporter 26th June 1915.



Lieutenant JACK WADE, writing to a friend in Ashton states - " The other evening, Captain HAMER, TED STRINGER, and myself took an enemy trench with about 70 men. Out of the three officers I was the only one who returned - the others are gone, and we sadly miss them. However, you may take it from me that the Division has covered itself with glory, and has rightly earned all the praise which it has got". 

Published in the Reporter 26th June 1915.


Wounded Ashton Territorials Letter.

Lance Corporal 1968 A. WILLERTON of "B" Company, 1/9th Manchesters, writing to Mr. Joseph Robinson, of 5. Samuel Street, Stalybridge, from the Red Cross Hospital, Sadiah Schools, Giza, Cairo, who was wounded on Whit-Sunday, May 30th, in the shoulder, says his wound is healing grandly, and he hopes soon to be alright. He writes - " Before I got wounded I had some splendid 'owd' relics for you, including a Turkish bayonet, a bandolier full of ammunition, and a leather belt belonging to a sniper, who had been 'outed'. You should see the way the Australians and the New Zealanders fight. They are complete terrors. The way they charge and their language when charging turns the air blue, and has even been known to stop the Turkish bullets in their flight". 

  Published in the Reporter 26th June 1915.


Private 1178 MATTHEW REDFERN, of 16, Cecil Street, Ashton, who was in "D" Company of the Ashton Territorials, and went out to Egypt with the battalion, is reported to have been wounded in the Dardanelles on May 23rd, and has since died in hospital. He was 21 years of age, and was the son of Mrs. Rebecca Redfern, of 202, Guide Lane, Hooley Hill.

 (MATTHEW REDFERN is buried in the Lancashire Landing Cemetery, Helles).

Published in the Reporter 26th June 1915.


A Very Hard Struggle.

In a letter to Mr and Mrs Harry Ward, of 8, Edward Street, Cockbrook, Pte. 350512 RAY GIBSON, of the Ashton Territorials, who formerly worked at the Whitelands Twisting Co's mill, says " I expect you will have seen it in the papers about our lot going into action. We have had a few killed. When I left the battalion on 22nd of May I was wounded in the thigh, but the bullet went straight through, and gave me very little pain. I hope you are still on full time at the old firm. Tell B. Wakefield that I have not forgotten him. I shan't be sorry when this lots over, for it has been a very hard struggle for the land we have got. We are fighting for a hill called Achi Baba, and when this is taken it is good-bye for the Turks, but we shall lose plenty of men before it is taken."  

 Published in the Reporter 26th June 1915.


Audenshaw Youth Killed in Dardanelles.

" He was a nice quiet youth, loved by his comrades, and respected by his fellow workmates at the Guidebridge Rubber Company". So remarked Mrs BALLARD, of 26, Hill Street, Ashton, sister-in-law of Private 2003 FRANK BALLARD, of the 9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment (Territorials) who has been killed in the Dardanelles.

Private BALLARD, who is the son of William Ballard, of Dale Street, Hooley Hill, was 24 years of age, and prior to residing in Ashton had lived in Hooley Hill from infancy. He was a smart youth, and had gradually worked his way up, gaining the respect of all who knew him. Mrs. Ballard, whose husband is in the 3rd Manchester Regiment, was much distressed when the news arrived of her brother-in-laws death. The deceased had resided with his brother for six years. (FRANK BALLARD is buried in the Redoubt Cemetery, Helles).

Published in the Reporter 26th June 1915.


Mr. Samuel Hague, of 24, Crowthorn Road, Ashton, has received official intimation that his son, Private 1390 ALBERT HAGUE, of the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, has died from wounds received on or about June 20th. Private Hague, who was 16 years of age, attended Trafalgar Sunday School. He was a member at Messrs. Barker and Ashworth's mill, Ashton. He joined the Territorials in March 1913. (ALBERT HAGUE is buried in the East Mudros Military Cemetery, Lemnos).

Published in the Reporter 26th June 1915.


"Much as I miss my lad, I would rather know that he lies in a soldiers grave than he should have been a slacker. I have made my sacrifice," writes Miss Lily Burgess, of 8, Greg Street, South Reddish, in sending to the editor of the Reporter news of the death of her sweetheart. Private 2151 WILLIAM HENRY FODEN, of the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment (Ashton Territorials), who was killed in action in the Dardanelles on June 13th.

Private FODEN, who was 23 years of age, joined the Ashton Territorials at the same time as his friend, Sergeant "Ti" CROPPER, of the King William Hotel, Stamford Street, Ashton. He was born in Glossop, but had lived since a very early age at South Reddish, where he attended All Saints Day and Sunday Schools. He was an engineer by trade, and worked at Messrs. Hornbys Ltd. His prowess as a sprint runner was well known, and in May last year, Mr. Cropper of Henrietta Street, Ashton, saw to him being trained at Rochdale for the Blackpool £100 sprint, which he won on August 7th 1914. Whilst in Egypt he ran in the military sports on Boxing Day and won a silver cup in the 200 yards race, and ran second in the 100 yards. (WILLIAM HENRY FODEN is buried in the Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery, Helles). 

Published in the Reporter 26th June 1915.


Parted on the Battlefield.

That the world is but a small place after all has been demonstrated by the experiences of Pte. 1746 JOHN CHAPMAN, 9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment (Territorials), whose death is reported to have taken place whilst on active service at the Dardanelles. Pte. CHAPMAN is a son of Mr and Mrs T. Chapman, 128, Portland Street, Ashton, and prior to the mobilisation of the Territorials he was employed in the Ashton Corporation Sterilised milk Depot, as the driver of the milk float. As he went about his daily rounds delivering milk he familiarised himself with the public, and was highly respected by those with whom he was brought in contact. He was 17 years of age. According to the official intimation received from the military authorities he died of disease on June 13th (presumptive). In a letter to his parents he refers to an unexpected meeting on the second day after he arrived in the Dardanelles with his cousin, Pte. HARRY CHAPMAN, whom he had not seen for a long period. Naturally, both were surprised to meet under such circumstances, and to be able to grasp each other's hands for what, unfortunately, proved to be the last time. His cousin, whose home is in Hillgate Street, Hurst, was serving in the Transport Section, Lancashire Fusiliers. Neither of them knew of the others presence at the Dardanelles. "It is wonderful how small this world is when you come to think of it" wrote Pte. CHAPMAN in referring to the meeting. Throughout his correspondence with his parents there sounded a stirring note of contempt for the "unspeakable Turks" with whom he displayed a keen eagerness to "have a do" as he termed it. (JOHN CHAPMAN is buried in the Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery).

Published in the Reporter 26th June 1915.

Wounded Territorials Letter.

"There are many people in Ashton who believe that the Ashton Territorials have not been in the front firing line" writes Pte. 376681 FRANK DYSON, of the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment (Territorials), whose home is at 32, Russell Street, Ashton. "But we have been in the first line of fire for five days, and have had a warm time of it. I am keeping in good health, but unfortunately whilst we were going into the trenches for the second time I was wounded in the thigh. There is nothing to be afraid of; it is not serious, for I can walk about. It was done by shrapnel, but luckily for me the bullet went straight through. I had it dressed, and in about an hour I was on my way to hospital camp at ---, on the Greek Island of --- . It is a beautiful island, and I wouldn't mind staying here until the war is over. I suppose I shall be here a week or two, but when I get well again I expect to go back to the firing line. If it had been in France, I should have had a chance of getting home for a while"  

Published in the Reporter 26th June 1915.


Ashton Territorial's Fate in the Orient.

In the prime of his life, and after many stirring adventures, Pte. 1855 JOHN EDWARD SWAIN, of the 9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment (Territorials) has been laid low by the disease, enteric fever, (Typhoid) after serving his King and country at the Dardanelles. He is a son of Mr and Mrs S. Swain, 97, Charles Street, Ashton, and prior to the outbreak of the war he was engaged as a gardener on the Ashton Moss. He volunteered for foreign service with a determination to "do or die" for his country's cause. He left with the Ashton Battalion for Egypt, and subsequently took part in the landing operations at the Dardanelles. He was stricken with enteric fever, and died at the 17th General Hospital, Alexandria, on June 15th. He was present at Kantara, when the Turks attacked the Indian troops, and were forced to retire. Throughout the operation he escaped without injury, and finally fell victim of the ravages of disease. A sympathetic letter has been received by his parents from the chaplain of the hospital. He formerly attended St. Peter's Elementary Day School, and the Ashton Town Mission. (JOHN EDWARD SWAIN is buried in the Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery). 

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