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1915 PAGE 6



Published in the Reporter 3rd July 1915.



"I would not like anyone to think I was a coward. We shall have to take our place in the fighting line and I hope it will be soon." So wrote Private 1546 JOHN FRANCIS FINNIGAN, of 42, Charles Street, Ashton, in reply to an enquiry by an officer as to whether he was desirous of returning home from Egypt, where the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, Territorials, of which he was a member, was stationed prior to the departure for the Dardanelles. This spirited reply showed his eagerness and willingness to take his place by the side of his comrades in the fighting line. Unfortunately during the operation at the Dardanelles he was killed in action. He was 17 years of age. He was formerly a member of St. Mary's Boy's Brigade, Ashton, and he attended St. Anne's School. He worked as a winch-winder at Ashton New Moss Colliery. In a letter recently received from him by his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. James Finnigan, he makes reference to the Easter Monday celebrations by the Battalion whilst in Egypt. He writes: -"We had a Black Knight pageant over here on Easter Monday. Private WILLIAM GARSIDE, of Wellington Street, Ashton, was the Black Knight. He put on two pairs of pants, and dressed himself up in a manner indescribable. Mounted on horseback, with spurs, he caused any amount of laughter, and the officers were greatly amused. A collection was taken, and a substantial amount was realised." (John F. Finnigan died on the 11th June and is buried in the Redoubt Cemetery, Helles).

Published in the Reporter 3rd July 1915.


Officer's Fine Tribute to a Brave Territorial.


"There is no distance that our love can sever, Fairest hopes like ours can span the longest way; But my life is lonely, my heart is weary, When I cannot see my mother day by day." These lines written by Private 1354 WILLIAM SHUTTLEWORTH, who would have celebrated his 21st birthday next month, in a recent letter to his mother, display a natural yearning to leave the din of the battle and seek sanctuary with his "best friend." Whilst fighting with the Ashton Territorials at the Dardanelles he fell in action, and on Wednesday his mother, who resides at 28, Ardwick Street, Ashton, received the following letter from Major T.E. HOWARTH: - "I am very sorry to have to tell you of the death of your son. He was not with me at the time, for he was with the machine gun. The last time I saw him was when I passed him a day or two ago. He died doing his duty, and was spared any pain and suffering. I shall miss him when I pass his section, for his was a smiling face, which I looked for."

A letter from Sergeant S. ELLOR, with the machine gun section states: - " I am sorry to convey this message to you of your brave son's death. He passed away early this morning. I cannot praise your son's services enough as a machine gunner. He was a thorough master of his work, and as fearless as anyone in the section. We are very sorry we have had to part with him, but it is God's will, and we cannot alter His works. Your boy died at his post. Only on Monday night last he kept awake for seven hours attending to two wounded comrades. He said to me that if he had to die he hoped the Lord would not let him suffer in the way those two men had suffered. He died immediately he was shot. He was a credit to his battalion and his country. May he rest in peace." Private SHUTTLEWORTH formerly worked at Ashton New Moss Colliery, and he was a single young man. He was a member of the Boy Scouts, and he formerly attended St. Mark's School, Dukinfield. (William Shuttleworth was killed in action on the 9th June. He is buried in the Redoubt Cemetery, Helles).

 Published in the Reporter 3rd July 1915.


Ashton Territorial's Experiences at Gallipoli.

Private JOHN BARLOW, of the 1/9th Manchester Regiment (Territorials), who resides at Charles Street, Ashton, has been wounded whilst in action at the Dardanelles.

Private BARLOW presented himself for enlistment at the Ashton Armoury after the outbreak of the war. (illegible) Prior to enlisting he worked at the (?) Wagon Works.

In a letter written to his mother from hospital in Malta, dated June 14th he writes - " You will be sorry to hear that I have been wounded, and brought from the Dardanelles to this hospital. On June 4th we attacked the enemy, and drove them from their trenches. It was then that I was hit in the wrist by a bullet, and I went down to the base to have it dressed. After having it dressed I was lying down when a shrapnel shell burst, and a small piece of the shell hit me in the back and wounded me slightly. They took me down to the hospital ship, and brought us all on here, where we landed a week ago. Our Brigade has been split up, and about (illegible) have been attached to the Royal Fusiliers with whom we were with when we charged. From what the fellows say who have been in France, the fighting there is nothing to what it is here. I am getting better quickly, and I expect to be able to go out of the hospital in about a weeks time, so there is no need to trouble about me". 

 Published in the Reporter 3rd July 1915.

Ashton Territorial Wounded in the Hip with a "Pick".

Private HARRY OGDEN, "D" Company, Ashton Territorials, writing from Alexandria to his parents, Mr and Mrs James Ogden, 18, Queen Street, Dukinfield, on June 20th says - " We have had rather a rough time out here. I am sorry to tell you that I got slightly damaged. I got struck in the hip with a "pick", and it left a nasty gash, and now I am laid up for repairs. I am in hospital in Alexandria, and it is a treat after being up to the neck in mud and water in the trenches. We are all looked after here, and by the time you get this I expect to be back again in the "circus". I can't tell you how the lads are going on, but the last time I saw them they were all right. "C" Company had a rough time of it one night, but VIC CAWLEY, CRANE and HADDY came through all right"

 Published in the Reporter 3rd July 1915.


Three Brothers With the Ashton Territorials.

Mrs. Smith, of Lords-field, Turner lane, Ashton, is proud of the fact that three of her sons are serving in the Ashton Territorials, and that two of them have already been under fire. One of her sons, Private THOMAS SMITH, was wounded on June 2nd. In a letter he says that his brother, Private FRANK SMITH, had not then been in the trenches, but was engaged on cook house duty. He writes - "We have been busy in the trenches with the Turks. I was wounded in the leg, and have been sent to hospital, but I expect to be out in a day or two. We are having it a bit hard now, but it will soon be over, and we are doing well here. The Ashton lads will have earned a bit of glory when they return. They will not be called Saturday night terriers then. I am glad that Turner Lane lads have done their share". Private ROBERT SMITH, of the 2/9th Battalion (Ashton Territorials) is now at Brighton. He has written some verses in memory of his comrade, Private 1652 RICHARD STOTT, 1/9th Battalion (of 104, Turner Lane, killed 13.6.1915, aged 15 years), but space does not permit our printing the same. (RICHARD STOTT is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing).

Published in the Reporter 3rd July 1915.



Official intimation has been received that Private 1760 JAMES HENRY COOPER, whose wife, Mrs. Alice Cooper lives at 184, Church Street, Ashton, and his mother and father in Peel Street, Dukinfield, has died from wounds received on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Private COOPER was aged 23 years of age and was a member of the Ashton Territorials. He has two other brothers in the Army, one in the R.A.M.C. Division of the Ashton Territorials, and the other in Kitchener's Army. He leaves a wife and two children. On Sunday morning the family and relatives attended St. Mark's Church, Dukinfield, and also a number of men from the Armoury, as a mark of respect. The Rev. W. King, curate, delivered an appropriate sermon. In the evening a service was held at the Hill Street Mission, Dukinfield, when Mr. Kendrick, who had known Private COOPER from boyhood, delivered an address. Prior to the outbreak of the war Private COOPER was a collier at the Ashton Moss Colliery, and had already been in the 9th Battalion 12 months. The last Mrs. Cooper heard from him was a week last Tuesday, when he wrote saying that he was quite well, and hoped she and the kiddies were the same. He added that he had seen some horrible sights since they had landed in the Dardanelles, and the bursting of shells all around and over them was terrible. The official intimation states that he died on the 20th June. (James Henry Cooper is buried in the East Mudros Military Cemetery. The CWGC record his date of death as 9th June).

Published in the Reporter 3rd July 1915.


Ashton Territorial's Appeal to Young Men.

"I hope that the recruiting will be stronger in the future than it has been of late, and then we can get the war over as quickly as possible and get back to our homes". So wrote Private ANDREW WINTERBOTTOM, of the Ashton Territorials at the Dardanelles, in a letter to his mother, who resides at 5, Fitzroy Street, Ashton. He was formerly in St. Peter's Boys Brigade, and he attended St. Peter's School, Victoria Street. He worked in the spinning room at the Park Road Spinning Co. Dukinfield. Continuing, he writes - " We are doing very well, considering that we have seen a great deal of fighting. We have now been here five weeks, and in that time we have seen a lot of fun. I hope, however, I shall not see much more like it. I am still keeping well and happy. If I had some cigs, and chocolate and writing materials I should be as happy as a lark. I hope you won't worry because we are in the firing line. We are all right, and doing our best, as every young man should do in a time like this".

The Reporter Headlines on Saturday 10th July 1915


Reporter: - "These are very sad days for many homes in Ashton. A heavy list of casualties among the men of the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment has come through this week. Most of them relate to men who have been killed or died of wounds. The names of between twenty to thirty men have been received. It is a terrible toll of young life, which is being exacted from the Town. The list of casualties among the Ashton Territorials since they took part in the fighting in the Dardanelles during the past few weeks has now reached large proportions. The greatest sympathy is extended to their families. But, the men have died the death of heroes. They have given their lives in the noblest cause for which man can die - they have died in order that others might live in greater freedom and happiness - that England shall be free and not enslaved in the hands of a foreign militarist foe."

Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


Youth Who Records a Brave Act by Another.

"Eddy was always unselfish", said Mrs Heinemann, of Old Street, Ashton, in speaking of her son, Private 1859 E. HEINEMANN, who has been killed in action with the Ashton Territorials in the Dardanelles. This characteristic is borne out by his message, in which he tells of a brave deed performed by a comrade. Writing on June 5th, he says - "You will see that we are still in the land of the living, although it is not the Turks fault. It is a grand country out here. The sea almost surrounds us, and there are plenty of 'shells' but no 'fish'. You will remember me telling you about a chap called Sylvester. Well, the other day we advanced in front of the firing line and dug ourselves in. It was risky work. One of our fellows got hit. Sylvester picked him up and carried him back, and then came out again, and went on with the digging. It was a brave act, wasn't it?"

Private HEINEMANN was 20 years of age. He was educated at the Ryecroft British School, under Mr. Mason, who is now at the West End Council School, and attended the Wesleyan Chapel, Stamford Street, and Sunday School in Mill Lane. He was in the Boy Scouts for a time, and was a keen Scout. In 1914 he joined the Territorials, and was one of the first to volunteer for foreign service. He was a motor and coach painter, and sign writer by trade, but in addition, possessed an artistic taste which displayed itself in numerous little sketches. In some of his letters he shows that he possessed a keen appreciation of the beautiful, judging by his poetic descriptions of the sky and the glorious sunsets to be seen in Cleopatra's land. Sympathetic reference to his death was made at the Wesleyan Chapel on Sunday night, where his name appears in the Roll of Honour. The photograph of Private HEINEMANN was snapped as he was painting a machine gun. (EDWARD HEINEMANN is buried in the Redoubt Cemetery, Helles).

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Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


Falls While Fighting With Ashton Territorials.

So anxious was Private 1321 GEORGE WILLIAM HUDSON, of the Ashton Territorials, who is officially reported to have died of wounds received on June 7th, at the Dardanelles, to have a rap at the enemy that, whilst in Cairo, believing there was no possibility of the battalion serving active service, he volunteered to go to France, so that he might have a chance of being in at the fighting. His desire to fight was at length gratified, and now, having done his duty, he lies at rest somewhere in the Dardanelles. He fell in the gallant bayonet charge led by Captain HAMER and Lieutenant STRINGER, when the Ashton Territorials earned glory for themselves. Private HUDSON, who was 20 years of age, lived at 42, Edge Lane, Droylsden. He was an apprentice machinist at the works of Messrs. Electric-motors Ltd, Higher Openshaw, and joined the Ashton Territorials about six months prior to the war. (GEORGE WILLIAM HUDSON is buried in the East Mudros Military Cemetery, Lemnos).

Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


  Mr. and Mrs William Robinson Lee, of Cockbrook, Ashton, have received information from the military authorities at Preston that their son, Private 1917 FREDERICK CHARLES LEE, 1/9th Manchester Regiment died from wounds on the 19th June. The notification of death was accompanied by a message of sympathy from the King and Queen to the family in their great sorrow. Private LEE was only 19 years of age, and was a member of the Territorials prior to the out break of war. He volunteered for active service. Prior to the war, he was employed as a piecer at Whitelands Mills, and was associated with St. Gabriel's Mission, Cockbrook. (FREDERICK C. LEE died of wounds on the 19th June. He is buried in the Lancashire Landing Cemetery).  

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Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


In Bayonet Charge With the Ashton Territorials.

One of the Ashton Territorials who fell on June 7th. in the brilliant bayonet charge led by Captains HAMER and OKELL, and Lieutenants STRINGER and WADE, was Private 2012 JOHN TETLOW, of 170, Edge Lane, Droylsden, who was regarded as a promising heavyweight boxer.

Private TETLOW, who was only 18 years of age, worked as a moulder at Messrs. Crossley's works, and was a member of the Crossley Lads Club. He had been a telegraph boy at the Openshaw Post Office. Whilst out in Egypt he 'managed' SAMMY BONSALL, the Stalybridge boxer, in his fight with the champion of the South Australian contingent, which BONSALL won in four rounds. It had been known that some of the Ashton Territorials fought amongst the Turks at Ismalia, but not the whole battalion. In an interesting letter, Private TETLOW says - " I have two medals to come, one for being one of the Sultans Guard of Honour on the day he was proclaimed Sultan, and one for going to Ismalia. I will have a bar on that medal. There are only 18 in the battalion who will have a bar on. Four out of each Company and two Corporals went to Ismalia with the Indians to fight the Turks". (JOHN TETLOW is buried in the Redoubt Cemetery, Helles).

Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


A Stalybridge Man in Ashton Territorials.

The list of killed in the Dardanelles operations includes the name of Private 1851 WILLIAM MATHER, who is in the Ashton Territorials. He is a Stalybridge youth, aged 19 years, and the notice of his death was received by his grandmother, Mrs. Shuttleworth, of 54, Grasscroft Street, on Thursday morning. The letter states that he was killed in action on June 17th, and with it was an expression of sympathy from the King and Queen. Private MATHER was the son of Mr. Joseph Mather. As a boy he resided with his grandmother, but for several years he had been living with his father at Bardsley, near Ashton. He had been with the Ashton Territorials since they left the town in the early stages of the war. (WILLIAM MATHER is buried in the Redoubt Cemetery, Helles).

 Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


Turned Tail and Fled Before the Territorials.

The way in which the Turks turned tail and fled before a charge by Territorials and other British troops is told in a letter received by Mrs. Handforth, Mossley Road, Ashton, from her son, Lieutenant G.W. HANDFORTH, "B" Company, who is safe and sound after the desperate encounters with the Turks at the Dardanelles. The letter reads - " Since I last wrote you, I have had another period of eight days in the trenches. We went into the trenches on June 4th, the day before the great battle of the 5th (the Kings birthday), when the Division made a great charge on the Turkish position. We were in the reserve trenches, and so did not take part in the actual charge, and our casualties were not so heavy as those of other battalions. It was a wonderful sight to see the charge. How the Turks did scoot! I am very well, and so far have steered clear of bullets etc, but of course, one never knows how long one's luck will last. We have lost some good chaps in our battalion, as you will know ere this". In another letter he writes - "Since my last letter I have had four days in the firing line, then a day's rest, and then another four day's in the firing line, so you see we have had it pretty hot. I have certainly spent the queerest Whitsuntide of my life. Whit-Thursday, Friday and Saturday I spent in the trenches within 150 yards of the Turks, but each day my platoon was relieved to go for an hours bathe in the sea. The place where we bathed is within 800 yards of the Turks, and we had to be careful not to go round the corner of a headland, or else the Turks sniped at us. I am quite well in health, and the food and mode of life, though very rough, suits me very well". 

Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


Both Belonged to the Ashton Territorials.

News was received on Wednesday by Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Ogden, of 84, Hill Street, Ashton, that their son, Private 1711 SIDNEY OGDEN, "A" Company, 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, Territorials, had died of wounds received on June 20th.

The sadness of the news was heightened by the fact that Mr and Mrs Ogden had only just recovered from the shock which they experienced on receiving the official intimation that their son, Private 1872 HARRY OGDEN, in the same battalion, had died on June 19th from wounds sustained on June 6th. Both youths, for SIDNEY was only 16 years of age, and HARRY, a year or two older, worked as piecers at the Guide Bridge Spinning Company. Another brother, Private WILLIAM OGDEN, is serving in the 1/9th Battalion at Haywards Heath. (SIDNEY OGDEN is buried in the Lancashire Landing Cemetery, Helles, his brother; HARRY OGDEN is buried in the Port Said War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt).

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Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


One Killed and Six Wounded Out of 26.


Killed By Bullet on Eve of His 20th Birthday.

Of 26 members of the Young Men's Class at the United Methodist Sunday School, Alexandra Road, Ashton, who have nobly gone forth to strike a blow in defence of the honour of their country, one is unofficially reported killed, and six of them have been wounded. The one unfortunately laid low is Lance Corporal 1289 GERALD MASSEY, of the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment (Territorials), who according to a letter received from Bandsman WILLIAM ADAMS, son of Mr. William Adams, Smallshaw Lane, Hurst, has been killed in action at the Dardanelles. The letter, which is dated June 23rd, states that Lance Corporal MASSEY received a bullet in the head, and that he died without regaining consciousness. He would have celebrated his 20th birthday on the 23rd of the month. He is a son of Mr. J.Q. Massey, 33, Canterbury Street, Ashton, who took the seat vacated by Mr. E. Byrne J.P., on the Ashton Borough Education Committee, who also lost a son on the battlefield in Flanders a short time prior to his retirement. Both Mr. Massey and his son took an active interest in the Alexandra Road School, the father as a superintendent and the son as a member of the Young Men's Class and an earnest and devoted worker in various ways. Not only at the school and church, but also by a wide circle of friends he was looked up to and respected. Ever obliging, courteous and chivalrous to a degree, he left behind imperishable memories of a good and useful life, and an honoured name. He was heart and soul in the Territorial movement, and for about three years he was a member of the Ashton Territorials. He was formerly a member of the United Methodist Football Club. Prior to the outbreak of the war he was in the employ of Messrs. Saxon Bros., builders and contractors, Stalybridge.

In a recent letter to his parents Private MASSEY wrote - "I may say that we are in the trenches, and we have been here five days. Yesterday C Company made a charge, and took a trench in grand style. The first day on which we came in the trenches there was a big bombardment for almost an hour, then about half an hour's rifle fire. Our Company then made a charge, and our men took two trenches. When our lot had done, the trenches were piled up with dead, the greater part of them being the enemy. By jove, there was a din, shells flying all over the place, and when they dropped, you could see the earth flying into the air. We have just been sent into the first line of trenches. I am sorry to say that HARRY TRUNKFIELD has been hit in the leg, but it is only a flesh wound. When he was hit, he jumped up and ran from one end of the trench to the other".  

COMRADE CONVEYS THE SAD MESSAGE OF HIS DEATH: - Although no official communication has yet been received of the death of GERALD MASSEY, another unofficial confirmation is contained in a letter received from Private ARTHUR RANSON, son of Mr. George E. Ranson, a member of the commercial staff of Messrs. J. Andrew and Co. at the Reporter Office. Private RANSON, who is at Malta suffering from dysentery, and from a slight wound in the head, says - "I dare say you will have heard about poor GERALD MASSEY. He did not live many minutes after he was hit, but I was with him when he died. You must tell his father that he had a decent grave. I put a cross on it. It was a bit rough and ready, but we did the best we could for him". (GERALD MASSEY is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing).

Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


A splendid example of long service, coupled with a patriotic desire to serve his country in its hour of need, is provided by Private JAMES HOPWOOD, of 16, Cross Hope Street, Ashton.

For a period of 26 years he has been a bandsman in the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, Territorials, and a few years ago he was decorated with the long service medal. His father, Mr. William Hopwood, of Clarke Street, Ashton, was a side drummer for about 30 years in the Volunteer Band. When the war broke out Private HOPWOOD was working as a spinner at the Texas Mill, Ashton. He was the solo trombone player in the Territorial band, and he promptly offered himself for foreign service, the condition being that in the event of being required for service he would put aside music, and take up arms. This he did, and during the fighting at the Dardanelles he was wounded in the head by a splinter from a shrapnel shell. He crawled about 300 yards to a dug-out, and subsequently he was placed under treatment in hospital, and later rejoined the ranks. He was re-admitted to the hospital suffering from dysentery, and he is now recovering at a rest camp. In a letter dated May 28th, he writes: - "I can tell you it is hot work. I was wounded on the fourth day after landing; being hit on the head by a piece of shell. I am glad to say I have got well again. I am writing this in the trenches, and there are bullets flying overhead. We are only about 100 yards from the Turk's trenches. We were thinking of the children in Ashton on Whit-Sunday, when we were in the trenches. When I was wounded I lost all my kit, and I have only left what I stand up in. I have not had a shave for three weeks, and if you saw me you would not know me." In a later letter he writes : -"I was wondering on Whit-Friday what sort of a procession you had in Ashton. I suppose there would be some sad mothers. It seems very sad when one looks up here and sees the trees and flowers, and hears the birds singing, to think that men should be trying to kill each other. But we must hope for the best, and trust to God." In a letter dated 16th June he says: - "I went with the battalion in the firing line, and after about seven or eight days I was taken ill with dysentery, and I had to leave. I am now at our rest camp for a short time, and I feel rather ill. I have not felt the same since I was wounded."

Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.

HURST TERRITORIAL - Wife Receives Notification That He is Killed.

Official news was received on Thursday by Mrs. J. Travis, of 123, Hope Street, Hurst, that her husband, Private 2161 J. TRAVIS, of the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment (Territorials) has died from wounds received on June 20th. Private JAMES TRAVIS was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Travis of Warrington Street, Ashton, and worked at the L and Y Railway Co.'s goods warehouse, Ashton. He was 26 years of age, and leaves a widow and one child. His brother, Corporal JOHN TRAVIS, is also with the Territorials at the Dardanelles, but is believed to be safe. (JAMES TRAVIS is buried in the Lancashire Landing Cemetery).

Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


One of the First to Volunteer for Foreign Service.

Official intimation was received by Mrs. Cusick, of Hertford Street, Ashton, on Wednesday, that her son, Private 1375 BENJAMIN CUSICK, of the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, attached to "B" Company, had died from disease on June 25th whilst with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force.

Private CUSICK, who was only 19 years of age, worked as a carter prior to the mobilisation of the Territorials for Mr. S. Hodgkinson, coal dealer and furniture remover, Ryecroft Street, Ashton. He was one of the first to volunteer for foreign service, and was proud to be in the ranks of the Territorials. Mrs. Cusick had only received several field service cards from him before receiving the official intimation of his death. (BENJAMIN CUSICK is buried in the East Mudros Military Cemetery, Limnos).

Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


"It will be a long time before we get to old Ashton again," wrote Corporal H. MATTHEWS, of "B" Company, 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment (Territorials), in a letter to his wife, dated June 4th. His words only too true, for four days later he met his death. On Saturday Mrs. Matthews received an official intimation from the Territorial Record Office, Preston, stating that her husband had been killed in action on June 8th. Corporal MATTHEWS, whose home was at 65, Oldham Road, Waterloo, was 28 years of age. He leaves a wife and one child. He was well known and respected at the Ashton P.S.A. Brotherhood, of which he had been for some time a member. A memorial service is to be held on Sunday in his honour. He was employed at Messrs. Joshua Heap and Sons Ltd., tool manufacturers, as a machinist. A cheery soul, who always looked on the bright side of things, he was very popular with all who knew him, and particularly amongst the men of the Ashton Territorials, whom he joined twelve months last February. In his last letter he says: - "We are having a lively time of it with the bullets and shrapnel bursting. We have plenty to eat, but it seems to me it will be a long time before we get to old Ashton again, but all we can do is to keep alive and in good spirits. I have just come out of the trenches, after having six days there. You don't get too much sleep whilst you are up there." (Corporal H.W.MATTHEWS was killed in action on the 8th June. He is buried in the Redoubt Cemetery, Helles).

Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


Ashton Territorial Bravely Meets His Fate.

Information was officially received on Wednesday that, Private 1660 HAROLD GARTSIDE, of the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment (Territorials), was killed in action at the Dardanelles on June 16th. He formerly resided with his sister, Mrs. Alice Ingham, and his brother-in-law, Mr. H. Ingham, 10, Frederick Street, Cockbrook, and he was employed in the clerical department at the National Gas Engine Co. Ltd. Ashton. He was 19 years of age. Two days before his death he wrote a letter to Mr. Ingham, extracts from which are as follows: - " We have just come out of the firing line, after being in five days. There is not much danger in being in the firing line. It is the getting in and the getting out that is the trouble. Narrow escapes are an everyday occurrence. Shells are dropping around us as I am now writing, but, like 'Johnny Walker' I am still going strong. You would laugh if you saw us going in and out of the trenches. Immediately a shower of bullets pass, and we all duck down. The bullets are by then a mile away. You can hear the shells coming, but you never know whereabouts they are going to drop. It is just chance whether they drop near you or not. Do not trouble about my getting killed or wounded. Just think as I do of the time, with a little bit of luck, when I shall be back home again, and then we will have a jolly time. If I am going to get killed, I am going to get killed, and that ends it. We are getting good food at present, and each man cooks his own meals. The weather here at present is very fine, a big difference from the other day, when we were over the knees in water". (HAROLD GARTSIDE is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing). 

Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


The Third Generation of Fighters for the Country.

Private JAMES McCARTHY, 22, Dale Street, Ashton, who has been wounded with the Ashton Territorials, has had an adventurous career. Prior to enlisting in the Territorials, he was an able seaman on a merchant ship, and has been on voyages to New York, Australia etc. His father is serving, his grandfather went through the Crimean war and the Indian Mutiny, and he has four uncles and six cousins serving.

Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


Five Sons Serving in with Forces.


"What are you leaving me for?" "Because I'm not a coward, mother." This short dialogue between mother and son is a sufficient indication of the irrepressible spirit in which Signaller 1380 BERNARD ARTHUR RAWLINGS, son of Mrs. Elizabeth Rawlings, 105, Bentinck Street, Ashton, went out with his comrades of the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, to uphold the honour of his country. On Saturday the mother was officially notified of his death in action at the Dardanelles on June 9th. Whilst she mourns his loss with tender feelings, she prides herself on the fact that he has made the sacrifice on behalf of his country, and that he makes the third out of 34 relatives serving with the Kings colours who have thus left imperishable memories behind. Signaller RAWLINGS, who was 17 years of age, was one of five brothers and a brother-in-law serving in the Army, and, although the youngest, he lacked none of the courage of his elders. He was formerly a member of the 1st Ashton Troop of Boy Scouts, and when he joined the Ashton Territorials about three years ago, he made himself proficient in the military routine, standing nearly 6ft high, he had a commanding presence, and he was greatly beloved by all his comrades. He availed himself often of the weekend camps provided by Major T.E. HOWARTH at the Brushes. He formerly worked at the National Gas Engine Co. Ltd., Ashton, and he attended St. Ann's Church and Sunday School. (Bernard A. Rawlings is buried in the Redoubt Cemetery, Helles).

Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


Three Ashton Territorial officers have had a very narrow escape through an enemy shell bursting in the dug-out in which they had gone for a wash. As it was, Major CONNERY, the quartermaster, was wounded.

The three officers were Major NEWELL, who since Lieut-Colonel D.H. WADE was wounded, has taken over the command of the Ashton Battalion at the Dardanelles. The latter is a member of the Ashton Town Council. A letter just received in Ashton states that Major NEWELL and Lieut. J. BROADBENT had gone into Major M.H. CONNERY'S dug out for a wash, when a shell came through the roof of the dug out, and it burst in the centre. By a miracle Major NEWELL escaped injury, but the explosion sent a bucket of water over Lieut. BROADBENT. Major CONNERY had the misfortune to have his left arm and side lacerated with flying fragments. He is now reported to be getting on all right and anxious to get back on duty.

Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


Ashton Territorial Dies of Wounds in Hospital.

Following a telegram which they received last week stating that their son, Lance-Corporal 1769 HERBERT BARRATT, of the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, was dangerously ill, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Barratt, of 39, Wellington Street, Ashton, have received an official notification that their son has died from wounds received at the Dardanelles on June 28th. Corporal BARRATT, who was 22 years of age, worked as a piecer. He was a good footballer and had played for Dukinfield Celtic when they won the Reporter Cup.

His brother, Private ALBERT BARRATT, is also serving in the Gallipoli Peninsula with the Ashton Territorials. Like his brother, he is a keen footballer. In a letter Private BARRATT wrote: - " You get plenty of close shaves here, I can tell you. I was stood in the trenches talking when a bullet went clean through my hat. If I get home later, I will keep it to show you." (Herbert Barratt is buried in the Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery).

Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


Received a Bullet Wound in the Left Forearm.


An account of a brave deed performed by Lieut. ROBERT GARSIDE WOOD, son of Alderman Robert Wood, of Ridge Hill Lane, Stalybridge, is contained in a letter from Drummer WILLIAM H. TAYLOR, of "C" Company, 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Taylor, 5, Spring Bank. After being in the firing line for about five days, Drummer TAYLOR received a slight bullet wound in the left forearm, and is now at the base, he writes: -

"I am glad to say my wound is getting on fine now, but the bullet is still in my arm. I hope it will be all right soon. I am sorry to say that Lieut. WOOD has been wounded badly. It was done whilst trying to bring in a wounded man out of the Oldham Battalion. They say that his leg was shattered, but I expect Mrs Wood will have had word by now. BILLY BARFIELD has been wounded in the bayonet charge. He fell with a bullet through his left leg, and whilst crawling away he got another through his right foot. TEDDY GREEN bandaged the wounds with his field dressing. TEDDY GREEN was all right when I got winged, and I think he will be all right, although they stayed in the trench overnight".

Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


Cheerful Letter From Wounded Ashton Territorial.

Private WILLIAM BARFIELD, of the Ashton Territorials writes from hospital to his mother, Mrs. Barfield, 132, Turner Lane, Ashton, telling her that he has been wounded. But he is very cheerful, says he will soon be all right again, and tells her not to worry.

He writes - " I am very sorry to tell you that I have been wounded in the left leg and right foot, but I am expecting to be all right again in a few weeks, so don't worry, for I am all right. It is a fortnight today since it was done, and they are going on fine. We are getting plenty of food, as much as we can eat. I am in a Greek Hospital, and the nurses are very kind to us".

Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


Touching Letters From Mortally Wounded.

Although lying mortally wounded in Valetta Hospital, Malta, Private 1278 ALBERT EDWARD SUMMERSGILL, of the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, Territorials, displayed remarkable fortitude, and hopes of being able to pull through the trying ordeal were entertained by him to the very last. As he lay on his death bed, he requested the chaplain, the Rev. W. GUY PEARCE, to write on his behalf to his wife, Emma, who resides at 11, St. Mary's Street, Hurst Brook. He complied with the request and wrote the words as dictated to him as follows - " Dear Wife, I send these few lines, hoping you are in the best of health, and also the baby. I am sorry to tell you I am wounded, but not as seriously as I might have, so don't upset yourself about me. I am expecting to be well again, and to come home for a short time. From your ever loving husband, ALBERT EDWARD SUMMERSGILL." In despatching the letter the Rev. W.G. PEARCE wrote to Mrs. Summersgill as follows - " I write the enclosed letter from your husband, putting it down as he dictated it to me. He is very seriously wounded, and I feel you ought to know this, but we are hopeful of pulling him through. He is keeping up his strength well. You must pray to God earnestly for his recovery. He is in God's hands, and I believe God will restore him. The lad is very patient and brave, and you must keep up a brave heart yourself".

A few days after the letter had been despatched, Private SUMMERSGILL breathed his last. He was 21 years of age, and he formerly worked as a filler at Ashton New Moss Colliery, and had married his sweetheart, Emma Bradley at St. James in 1914. During the operations at the Dardanelles he was wounded in the head and body, and the wounds were of such a character as to leave very little hope of his recovery. His name is included in the roll of honour of Christ Church Gatefield School, Ashton. Two brothers are serving in the Army, viz, Private J. SUMMERSGILL, 1/9th Battalion Territorials, and Private E. SUMMERSGILL, Machine Gun section, Cheshire Regiment. (ALBERT EDWARD SUMMERSGILL is buried in the Pieta Military Cemetery, Malta).

Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


An official intimation has been received that Private A.C. HIRST, of the 2/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, formerly of 22, Blandford Street, Ashton, has been wounded in action at the Dardanelles, and that he is under treatment at the Egyptian Government Hospital, Port Said, Egypt, where he is reported to be progressing satisfactorily. So far as can be ascertained he had a very narrow escape from death. During the height of the fighting in the Gallipoli Peninsula a Turkish shell burst near him. A bullet from the shell struck him in the left shoulder, and passed through to the right shoulder blade, where it lodged, and was subsequently extracted. In a letter, dated June 12th to his mother, he writes - "Don't be upset, but I have been wounded by a shrapnel bullet, which struck me on the left shoulder, went across my back, and has just been taken out of my right just against the shoulder blade. I don't know if it has caught my spine at the top or not, but I have a slight idea that it has, as I have a lot of pain there. It occurred a week ago yesterday during a big charge, in which we gained 500 yards or more of the Turkish trenches". In another letter, dated June 20th, to his aunt, Miss Wallwork, at Pollard's, Stamford Street, Ashton, he writes - " I am doing all right, but cannot walk about at all, in fact, I have received strict orders to lie in bed all day. This is a nice hospital, situated in a nice part of Port Said. We have a beautiful garden, and have fresh flowers brought in every day. Everybody is exceedingly nice to us, and we are given almost everything we wish for. I shall be able to tell you something when I get back. You can have no idea what war really is like".   

Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


The father killed in the pursuit of peaceful industry, and a son sacrificed in the war, such are the losses of the MASON family, of Church Street, Ashton. The father, Mr. William Henry Mason, was killed in the spinning room at the King Mill, Royton, a few years ago, and last Saturday his son, Lance Corporal 1415 WILLIAM MASON, of the 1/9th Ashton Territorials, was officially reported killed in action at the Dardanelles on June 9th. Lance Corporal MASON had served for ten years in the Ashton Territorials. He resided with his wife and child at 103, Church Street, Ashton, and he formerly worked in the spinning department at Messrs. Reyner Ltd, Ashton Mills. Having completed his term of service in the Territorials, he re-enlisted and volunteered for foreign service on the outbreak of the war. In a letter to his wife, dated May 29th, he writes -"We have had our first experience in the trenches, and we are now taking a rest. The last two days that we were in the trenches it rained the heavens dry, and we were almost up to the waist in clay and water. We have to pump the water out as best we could. I hope Robert (his child) is doing well. I should like to have seen him on Whit-Friday". A letter written earlier in the month states - " We are in dugouts in the ground. Shells are roaring and bursting over our heads all day long. We are having a good experience of what war is like. We have been here just a week, and one of our men has been killed and several wounded. We have been very lucky not to have had more casualties, but it is not finished yet. We are receiving plenty of cigarettes and tobacco, and I am keeping my pluck up. If all's well, I shall be home again some day". (WILLIAM MASON is buried in the Redoubt Cemetery, Helles).

Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


Joined Territorials When War Broke Out and Gives His Life.

Within the short space of a few days in September last, Private 2238 JOHN LOVE, of 12, Spring Grove Terrace, Ashton, joined the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, Territorials, received the uniform and kit and left with the battalion for service in Egypt. Now comes the painful news that he was killed in action at the Dardanelles on June 11th. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred T. Love, formerly a manager at an Ashton works. When the war broke out and the Territorials were mobilised he was working as a shunter at Guide Bridge Station. A day or two before the Ashton Battalion left Bury for Egypt the patriotic impulse was too strong for him to continue his peaceful occupation on the railway, and he was one of a few who enlisted at the last moment, and left on foreign service with the battalion. He leaves a wife and two children, both boys, one of whom was born after his departure for Egypt. He has two brothers serving in the Territorials, Private BEN LOVE, 1/9th Battalion, and Private HARRY LOVE, 3/9th Battalion. (JOHN LOVE is buried in the Redoubt Cemetery, Helles).

Published in the Reporter 10th July 1915.


National Gas Engine Apprentice at the Dardanelles.

Private SAMUEL NEWTON, of 119, Birch Street, Ashton, who is in the Ashton Territorials, has been wounded in the fighting in the Dardanelles. He has been hit with shrapnel in the ankle and the right foot, but the wound is not very serious. He has been taken for treatment on a hospital ship. His letter informing his father of the occurrence was written on May 25th. Private NEWTON had joined the Ashton Territorials some time before the outbreak of war, and was thoroughly proficient. He is 19 years of age, and was a millwright apprentice at the National Gas Engine Works, thus following the occupation of his father, Mr. Samuel Newton, who is a millwright at Messrs. Scott and Hodgson's, engineers, Guidebridge. He is a very popular young fellow, both in Ashton and among his Territorial comrades, and his qualities of fearlessness have no doubt been exhibited to the full in the fighting against the Turks. He was a member of the Ryecroft Sunday School Band, in which he played the euphonium with great skill and ability. His father, we believe, was a euphonium player in the Kingston Mills Band. An older brother, Private BEN NEWTON, is a member of the Ashton Territorial Band, but is at present engaged in stretcher work at the front. 

The Headlines in the Reporter on 17th July 1915


Reporter : - SAD TOLL OF YOUNG LIFE. MANY KILLED, WOUNDED, AND MISSING. There has been a further heavy toll of Ashton Territorials. The list of casualties received this week includes about 40 killed, wounded, and missing. Many families have been sadly stricken, and many others, especially the mothers, are experiencing painful anxiety and suspence, but they are bearing their trials with calm and patient resignation, in the sure and certain hope that the lives of their beloved sons are not given in vain, but that behind it all there is a purposeful Providence.

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


Officially Reported Missing.

In the official casualty list published on Thursday, Second Lieutenant J.M. WADE, son of Lieut-Colonel D.H. WADE, the commanding officer of the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, now in the Dardanelles, is reported to be missing. The official notification reads - "Previously reported wounded, now reported missing".

Lieut. WADE has been missing since June 18th, when he took part with the Ashton Territorials in a night attack on a strong Turkish position. According to letters received, he was seen to spring over the parapet of a Turkish trench, but was not afterwards seen. He was a fine young English gentleman, with a brilliant career before him, combining, as he did, all the fine intellectual qualities that a good education can give. His father is lying in hospital at Alexandria, as the result of wounds received in the operations at the Dardanelles.

The hope is entertained that Lieut. WADE has been taken prisoner by the Turks, and that, cut off as he would be under such circumstances, some time would necessarily elapse before his whereabouts could be communicated. Although wounded twice, the first time accidentally and the second by a Turkish bayonet thrust in the wrist, which latter was still bandaged, he pluckily volunteered to take part in a night attack on a Turkish position. "C" Company, with which he was connected, charged the enemy's position, and succeeded in reaching the first line of trenches. Lieut. WADE displayed great bravery and personal heroism. He was seen alone on the edge of the trench, which was stated to be packed with Turks. Without a moments hesitation he leaped down amongst them, and, fighting with great courage, he accounted for several of the foe. What happened after that it was difficult to say, as the accounts given are conflicting. A letter, which was received by Mrs. WADE from Major R.B.NOWELL, who is at present in command of the battalion, may be taken as authentic. He writes -

126th Infantry Brigade, 42nd Division, June 24th 1915. "Dear Mrs. Wade, I am extremely sorry to have to tell you that JACK has been missing since the 15th inst. Better news than I can send you may reach you before this does. I sincerely hope it has. JACK was engaged in attack operations on the 18th, and was seen to jump into a Turkish trench. It was subsequently rumoured that he had been hit, and was seen walking down to the hospital. I have made exhaustive enquiries, but have been unable to get any information tending to confirm this. He may have been taken prisoner, and I keep hoping against hope that this was the case. Some facts I know - The trench was literally crammed. I know JACK to be a very gallant boy, one of the coolest and gayest in danger, and I much fear that the idea of putting up his hands would not occur to him until it was too late. I wish that I could put this less bluntly to you, but one's own mental outlook here is scarcely normal. I trust that you may hear from him, but, in any event, his services as a trained officer and a most valued leader on account of his coolness and personal magnetism are lost to the battalion and country during the war. I can only add the almost unnecessary assurance of the sympathy of all of us in this state of anxiety and doubt for his mother. I have the honour to remain, sincerely yours, R.B. NOWELL, Major".

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


Turkish Prisoners Say They are Glad to be Captured.


The family of Private FRED WARD , "D" Company, 9th Manchester Battalion Territorials, of 40, Old Road, Dukinfield, received a telegram on Monday informing them that he was dangerously ill in hospital. Private WARD is on the Roll of Honour of the Dukinfield Old Chapel Sunday School, and went out with the Ashton Territorials to Egypt, and afterwards joined the Expeditionary Force to the Mediterranean, which has fought so gallantly in the Gallipoli Peninsula. On June 26th Private WARD wrote to his parents - "We landed on the Dardanelles on May 9th, and as it happened there was a big bombardment on at the time, so we had a glimpse of the real thing before we got off the boat. It is a lovely place here, quite full of vineyards, and if it were not for the bursting of shells and the whizzing of bullets I should be much happier. We have just been relieved out of the firing line, after being in the trenches twenty days. True, we have lost a few but nothing compared with the enemy. The smell in the first line is horrible through the Turks burying their dead in the trenches. It was only last week some men in our Company had to bury a whole Turkish gun section, and it was a rotten job, I can tell you. When a Turk thinks he is nailed, he throws up his arms and shouts 'Allah', which I suppose is their God. We had a wounded prisoner talking to us, and he kept saying 'Turkey finished', and he seemed to be like the rest of them, glad to be in the hands of the good old English. I don't think we have lost any of our Dukinfield lads yet, but ALBERT FLETCHER and WALTER PEABRICK have both been shot through the arm and eye respectively, but I might tell you that the latter is a very lucky case, as I believe it hasn't damaged his eyesight. J.A. BOSTOCK has also been wounded in the head, but I haven't heard how he is going on yet. I cannot do without telling you that two of our men have had their heads shattered to nothing through bursting shells. It is awful to see the wounded, and I hope I shall see it through all right. It is a good job we can tell when a shell is coming, but sometimes we haven't time to clear. We are now supposed to be resting, but we are making roads etc. I should think we are about four miles up the Gallipoli Peninsula, but there is a large hill in front of us, which we have to take sooner or later, and the best of it is we can see it nearly all the time. I saw a shell burst the other day, and it blew five or six men about 20 feet in the air".

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


The Sad Losses of a Stalybridge Family.


Three times since the war broke out eleven months ago has news come to Mr. T.W. Burgess, of Castle Hall, Stalybridge, the caretaker of Castle Hall School, of death of soldiers closely connected with his family. Two of his daughters have lost their husbands, and Mr. Burgess has lost his brother-in-law. The first news concerned the death of Private JOHN RICHARD TONGE, of 142, Greencroft Street, Stalybridge, a son-in-law of Mr. Burgess, the second was of Private ALLEN BROOKS, of 106, Wakefield Road, Stalybridge, a brother-in-law, and new information has been received of another son-in-law, Private 2043 JOHN BROADBENT, of 60, Mount Street, Ashton. He was in the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment (Ashton Territorials), and Mrs Broadbent, his wife, received an official letter on Thursday, stating that he had died on June 20th of wounds received in the Dardanelles campaign. Private BROADBENT was 30 years of age, and leaves a widow and two children, a boy and girl aged 7 and 5 with whom much sympathy is felt by his many friends, both in Ashton and in Stalybridge. By trade he was a stripper and grinder, and worked at the Guide Bridge Spinning Company, and he had previously worked at Messrs. Lees and Knotts, Ashton. When war broke out he joined the Ashton Territorials. On June 16th Mrs Broadbent received a letter from him, and it was dated May 31st. In it Private BROADBENT said - "I am as well as can be expected under the circumstances, and I hope that you and the children are in the best of health. I received a letter from you the other day whilst in the trenches. You must excuse me not writing oftener, as we cannot get paper, and we cannot get letters away for weeks. I am sorry to tell you that we have had a few casualties. Our battalion has been broken up, and two Companies of us are now with a Regular Irish Regiment, which has lost heavily here. We are to make them up to strength. I am writing this while shot and shell are flying over us, not knowing when it may come our turn to fall. All we can do is to trust to God. I can tell you we have had a pretty warm time since we came out here. I have just seen in a paper that JACK POTTS, of Ashton has been wounded". (JOHN BROADBENT is buried in the Lancashire Landing Cemetery, Helles).

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Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


Former Member of St. Mary's Boys Brigade.

Private 1768 MAURICE BARKER, of Springfield Terrace, Ashton, is officially reported to have been killed in action at the Dardanelles on June 26th. He is a son of Mr. James William Barker, postman, Ashton, and prior to leaving with the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, Territorials in August last, he worked at Messrs. Horrocks and Co., printers, Ashton. He was a member of St. Mary's Church, Ashton, and was formerly a member of the Boy's Brigade. In his last letter to his parents he wrote - " We have lost a few men, but this is only what we can expect. It has been a very exciting time, and I am pleased to tell you that I have come out without a scratch". (MAURICE BARKER is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing).

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


Ashton Youth of 19 Killed in the Dardanelles.

Private 1785 ERNEST WILLIAMSON, of 2, Duke Street, Ashton, is officially reported to have been killed in action on June 25th. He was a piecer at the Minerva Mill, and joined the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regt. (Ashton Territorials), during the recruiting boom in the town last year. He is the son of Mr. J.W. Williamson, a printer. He celebrated his 19th birthday in the trenches on June 6th. A very smart and intelligent lad he was a member of St. Peter's Boy's Brigade, and also attended St. Peter's Sunday School. In a letter to his parents written on June 15th, he said - "I am in the best of health. I might tell you that my pal, (Pte. 1866) JOE BELL, has been killed. I shall be glad when the war is over. We have had 15 days in the trenches, and five days in the firing line, but, never mind. I shall be at home some time. This week we are having a rest at a rest camp". (ERNEST WILLIAMSON is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing).

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