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1915 PAGE 4 



Published in the Reporter 19th June 1915.


Probable Reason Why Casualties in 9th Have Been Few.


Private W. OLLERENSHAW, 9th Manchesters, writing to his father and mother, 20, Meadow Lane, Dukinfield, says: - " We are amongst it. I am still safe, and I am hoping to come home safe. We have not been in the first line yet, but we do not know how soon we will be. It is a creepy feeling for the first time to have the bullets whistling over and around you. I was sorry to hear my uncle Harry has been wounded, but I hope it is not serious, and that he will soon be all right again. I am sorry I could not write sooner, for all the time we were on the Suez we could not write any letters for military reasons, but we are allowed to write now. On our way here from Port Said we had a very nice voyage. As one of the sergeants said, it was more like a train ride than a sea trip. The sea was like glass most of the way, and when we arrived it was a sight worth seeing. There were ships everywhere, some of the biggest in the world. I hope you are not looking on the gloomy side; always look at the sun and keep smiling. All our lives are in the hands of God, and we must pray to Him to spare them, and I ask you to give a prayer for the men in the trenches". Private W. OLLERENSHAW is the son of Mr. and Mrs. S Ollerenshaw, 20, Meadow Lane, Dukinfield, and grandson of Mr. Samuel Ollerenshaw, 13, Back Brierley Street, Stalybridge. He is a nephew of Private Harry Ollerenshaw, of Parkside, Dukinfield, who was wounded at Hill 60. He has another uncle in training in the 9th Manchesters.

Published in the Reporter 19th June 1915.


Official notification has been received that Pte. 1796 RICHARD VAREY of "B" Company, 1st/9th Battalion, Ashton Territorials, who resided at 3, Crickets Brow, Ashton, has died of disease in Alexandria on 9th June, he was only 17 years of age. He was the son of Mr and Mrs Thomas Varey. In a letter to his brother last month he said, "I am very glad to tell you that we are in the trenches, and are having a fine time". (Richard Varey is buried in the Cairo War Memorial Cemetery).

Published in the Reporter 19th June 1915.


Ashton Territorial Had Just Written to His Sweetheart.

Official news has been received that Pte. 1809 ISIAH SMITH of Dukinfield has been killed by being struck in the head by shrapnel while in action with the Ashton Territorials in the Dardanelles. It states that the Ashton men were going in to relieve the Inniskillings. Pte. SMITH was removed to the hospital at Alexandria where he died on June 11th. He had previously written a cheerful letter to his sweetheart, Miss Louisa Bradley of 11, Platt Street, Dukinfield Hall. Pte. SMITH was in his 22nd year. He joined the Territorials about three months prior to the mobilisation to Egypt, and was stationed in Egypt for some time until operations commenced in the Dardanelles. The last news received from him was shortly before he went into hospital, when he wrote to his sweetheart, Louisa Bradley, saying that he was alright. In civilian life he was a piecer at the Newton Moor Spinning Co.'s mill, Victoria Road, Dukinfield, and he was very popular amongst his comrades. (Isiah Smith is buried in the East Mudros Military Cemetery; date of death recorded on the CWGC is 28th May).

Published in the Reporter 19th June 1915.


Two brothers joined the Ashton Territorials immediately after the war began. Their names are Corporal JAMES HORSFIELD and Private 2758 THOMAS HORSFIELD. Corporal JAMES HORSFIELD has been wounded in action in the Dardanelles, but information has been very scanty respecting him. He was wounded in the shoulder, and has been treated in a hospital in Egypt. His brother THOMAS is in training somewhere in Sussex. Both men are married. They have a married sister living in Ashton Road, Droylsden. Corporal HORSFIELD was employed at Tudor Mill, Ashton, and his brother worked at the Maypole Spinning Mill, Oldham.

Published in the Reporter 19th June 1915.


Second- Lieut. ALLAN H HUDSON has died of wounds on 13th June 1915 at Gallipoli. He was the son of Jervis & Ann Hudson of the Cheshire Cheese Hotel, Newton.

"On Wednesday soon after 6 o'clock information reached Mr & Mrs Hudson of the Cheshire Cheese Hotel, Newton, that their son, Second-Lieutenant Hudson had died of wounds received at the Dardanelles, and in his death Hyde has lost it's first Officer in the conflict.

Lieutenant Hudson, who was attached to the 9th Manchester Regiment, was a few months short of attaining his majority, and only a week was it after the declaration of war that this gallant and fallen hero joined the Officers Training Corps, Manchester. He seemed to posses a natural aptitude for military work, and so early as November 14th of last year was gazetted Second-Lieutenant in the Regiment to which he was attached at his time of death". (Allan Harrison Hudson is buried in the Lancashire Landing Cemetery).

Published in the Herald 19th June 1915.


Dukinfield has a very large number of its young men in the ranks of the Ashton Territorials, who are now fighting at the Dardanelles, and a number of casualties to local men are already reported. Private 2073 EVERETT JONES, of 3, Tipping Place, Dukinfield, has written to his wife to say he was wounded and has been taken back to Egypt. He formerly worked at Summers Forge, and had nearly completed his five years with the Territorials when war broke out. His letter, which was dated June 2nd, said "I got wounded in the shoulder and am now in Egypt and going on fine. You would laugh to see the old Turks run when we shell their trenches. When they hit me they did not knock me out of time. I simply took my coat off and laid on it and had a good sleep." Writing to his mother, who lives next door, he says: "I cannot tell you in a letter what I have gone through, but I will tell you when I come home. I do not think it will be long before the Turks show the white flag. When I sailed from there to Egypt, we had a Turk on board, and he did not want to go back to the firing line. JOHN HART got killed with a shell, so you see I am very lucky. They are very kind to me here, and I have more tobacco than I can smoke." 

Published in the Reporter 19th June 1915.


Three brothers, EDWARD, WALTER and WILLIAM HODGKISS of the 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, Territorials, have served their country gallantly and well, and have earned a place on the scroll of fame. Pte. 1401 EDWARD HODGKISS, who lived in lodgings at the house of Mr Wilkinson at 96, Oxford St. Ashton, has given all that he could give by laying down his life for his country's cause on the battlefield at the Gallipoli Peninsula. He was a warehouseman for Mssrs. Mason & Sons, Oxford Mills, Ashton. The other two brothers, Pte. WILLIAM HODGKISS, who resides in Droylsden, is reported to have been wounded at the Dardanelles, and Pte. WALTER HODGKISS who lives in Duke St. Ashton is reported missing. (EDWARD HODGKISS is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing)

Published in the Reporter 19th June 1915.


Underwent Two Operations to Fit Himself for Service.


Of the losses sustained by the 9th (Ashton) Battalion Manchester Regiment Territorials none is more regrettable than that of Private 2216 ABRAHAM HARE, of 24, Brook Street, off Cavendish Street, Ashton, who heroically met his fate in the fighting at the Dardanelles. Private HARE'S example is one which should serve as an inspiration to many. He had finished his term of service in the 1st Yorkshire Regiment Cycle Corps, but when the call to duty came he could not resist, and he re-enlisted in the Territorials, and left his wife and child, and went out to Egypt. "It is my duty to fight," was the only reply his wife could get out of him on questioning him in regard to the step he was about to take. Whilst in Egypt sooner than be invalided home he underwent two operations in order to fit himself for active service. Accustomed to risk his life as a miner, at Ashton New Moss Colliery, he never flinched from the stern task which confronted the Allied troops, and of him it may be said that he died a hero's death. In his last letter to his wife he writes: - "Of course you will know that the troops have now begun rough work here, and all our division is somewhere at the Dardanelles. The wounded who come in tell us some rough varns about the doings up there. They have certainly had it rough. Those Turks are proper devils. The things they do to the wounded are not fit to write about in any letter. But they will get their desserts, as the lads are pressing them slowly, but keenly, and they are trying different methods on us, but they won't work. Things have been a bit busy, what with getting ready for wounded and burying those who die of wounds. Of course a lot of the wounded come in with slight wounds, and they tell us some tales of their experiences. It may be some time before we are attached to our own Company, as we shall have to work our way up with other lots, but all the same we are all anxious to get a rap in, if only to pay off old scores for their devilish treatment of our wounded. I have heard of no casualties from our brigade yet, but they are out among it somewhere, and good luck to them is all we wish, as there wasn't one among them who was not anxious to get among it. The troops who went first had a bad time of it, as they had to make headway for the others to follow, and you can bet the Turks were waiting. The Australians fought well, and lost a few good men. Take them on the average they are a fine, rough and ready set of chaps, and they have proved their worth here." (Abraham Hare died on the 5th June. He is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing).

Published in the Reporter 19th June 1915.


Ashton Territorial Hopes Soon to Be Right Again.

Private J. ROBERT NIELD, of the Ashton Territorials, in a message to his aunt, Mrs. David Senthouse, who resides at 70, Brunswick Street, Dukinfield, received on Wednesday, says, " I have been wounded by shrapnel in the right arm, but it will soon be right again. I have been sent to hospital with some more of the 9th."

It may be remembered that Private NIELD, who formerly lived in Hillgate Street, Hurst, won the Boys Humane Society's medal for saving life whilst a Scout in the 3rd Ashton Troop (St. James' about three years ago). His father was Mr. Robert Nield, and his grandfather was Mr. Robert Senthouse, whose death took place with tragic suddenness in a tramcar last year.

Published in the Reporter 19th June 1915.


Pte. (Scout) 555 WILLIAM BARKER of the 1st/9th Battalion, Son of Mr & Mrs George Barker of 94, Grosvenor St. Stalybridge, was wounded at Gallipoli and was transferred to a hospital in Alexandria. He wrote home to his parents saying that he was getting along as well as could be expected, and asked them not to worry. He also mentioned that he had been with his best pal, Pte.1332 WILLIAM MALONEY of Spring Street, Stalybridge, who was a Drummer and Stretcher Bearer with the Battalion.

 Published in the Reporter on 19th June 1915.


Ashton Territorial Who Expects to Arrive Home Shortly.

In a letter to his sister, Miss Philips of 20, Blandford Street, Ashton, Lance Corporal 288 JOHN PHILLIPS of the Ashton Territorials says, " I have been wounded in the leg and in the arm, and expect to come home by the next boat". The letter was written for him by a Red Cross helper. Lance Corporal J. PHILLIPS, whose home is at North End, Stalybridge, was employed prior to the mobilisation of the Territorials at Messrs. Rettenau's works in Bentinck St. He had been in the Territorials for about nine years. 

Published in the Reporter 19th June 1915.


Ashton Territorial Killed in the Dardanelles.

On Friday, Mrs. Townley, of 19, Camp Street, Ashton, received an official notification from the Territorial Record Office, Preston, stating that her son, Private 1606 WILLIAM TOWNLEY, of the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment (Ashton Territorials) had been killed in action on June 5th in the Dardanelles.

Private TOWNLEY, who was but 20 years of age, only joined the Ashton Territorials after the recruiting campaign held at the Town Hall, Ashton, last year, and volunteered for foreign service after the mobilisation. He was in "B" Company. He worked as an iron cutter at Messrs. Summers forge, Stalybridge, and was very popular amongst his mates. (William Townley is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing).

After dark on 7th June the 9th battalion's objective was to straighten the line. From an area known as the Vineyard, 100 men of the 9th battalion, along with two Companies of the Chatham Battalion of the Royal Naval Division attacked the Turkish front line trenches. Although the 9th battalion succeeded in taking the Turkish trench, the Royal Naval Division failed to achieve their objective.

Sad news reached Ashton that on the 7th June, during a bayonet attack in the Dardanelles, Pte. 1339 JAMES WILLIAM DALEY, whose parents live at 48, Park Street, Ashton, was reported missing. His pals, Pte. 1859 EDDIE HEINMANN, Pte. 1821 GEORGE WILLIAM HUDSON, Pte. 2126 JAMES MARTIN, Pte. 1382 ERNEST ROBINSON, Pte. 76 JAMES LAWSON, Pte. 1542 FRED McDONNELL, Pte. 2009 FRANK MYCOCK, Pte. 2061 HUGH DEVONPORT RYDING, Pte. 2050 PETER TAYLOR, Pte. 2012 JOHN TETLOW, Pte. 1215 JOSEPH WILDE, Pte. 1384 THOMAS LEWIS EVANS, Pte. 2121 ROBERT HANDLEY, Pte. 2141 JOSEPH BERTENSHAW, Pte. 1125 NOEL DUNCAN BRAITHWAITE, Pte. 1860 GEORGE FREDERICK CAIN, and Pte. 1896 THOMAS HARDMAN all lost their lives during this assault.

 The Headlines Published in the Reporter 26th June 1915.


"With a mighty cheer our boys advanced", writes Captain OKELL, in a message which describes the brilliant manner a section of the Ashton Territorials took two Turkish trenches right in front of the Allies firing line in the Dardanelles, at the point of the bayonet. The reckoning of the victory was heavy, for the enemy were enabled to enfilade the captured trenches, with the result that it was deemed necessary to evacuate the trenches before dawn. The price of the brief victory that showed the mettle of the Ashton Territorials is sad, for it included some of the most popular officers and men in the battalion. Captain FRANK HAMER, Captain H. SUGDEN and Lieutenant A.E. STRINGER have been killed, and Major CONNERY and Lieutenant P.S. MARSDEN wounded, whilst rumour has concerned itself with names of other officers. No official confirmation has been received up to Friday morning.

Ashton will mourn her dead, but she is proud that her sons have given their all so nobly. The avenging of their loss should be a stimulus to the recruiting for the 3/9th Battalion, and already numbers are joining to make up the 300 yet required. 

Published in the Reporter 26th June 1915.



"He charged with fearless heart, and died for his country". No finer epitaph could be desired by an Englishman than this phrase from a letter written by Captain G. OKELL, to Mrs FRANK HAMER, of Brookfield, Stockport Road, Audenshaw, in which he broke the sad news that Captain FRANK HAMER had been killed whilst leading a bayonet charge against the Turkish in the Dardanelles on June 7th.

No official intimation has yet been received of the death of Captain HAMER, but a number of letters received in Ashton all convey the sad news, which created widespread grief amongst all his many acquaintances.

"C" Company had been ordered to clear the enemy out of two trenches which were in front of the British firing line. Captain OKELL and Lieutenant STRINGER led the charge against one trench, and Captain HAMER and Lieutenant JACK M. WADE against the other trench. Immediately on the action the enemy opened fire with a terrific rifle and maxim fire. The Ashton men kept on, but Captain HAMER failed to gain the trench".

There could be no question of Captain HAMER'S popularity, both in the Territorials and in Ashton. He was a good soldier, a staunch advocate and defender of his principles, and a true friend. He was a strong asset to the Ashton Liberal party, and when he spoke in the Council Chamber he was always listened to with eagerness, and, his opinions ever carried weight. His tall, spare figure, his cheery smile, and his never failing courtesy were his chief characteristics. His death was typical - fearless to the end. This sums up FRANK HAMER admirably. His loss to Ashton is irreparable, but his memory will ever be revered. (Capt. FRANK HAMER is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing).

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