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1915 PAGE 7



 Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.



Father and Four Sons in the Army

It is far cry from Argentina, but when the "S.O.S" call was given by the mother country promptly came the reply of personal service from Mr. ARTHUR W. F. CONNERY, son of Major M. H. CONNERY, 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment (Territorials), of Willow Bank, Mellor Road, Ashton. Although he had brilliant prospects in that far away country, and had attained a prominent position at great personal sacrifice, he gave up all, and with the patriotic instinct of a true son of the empire he crossed the greater "herring pond," and applied for a commission with the Ashton Territorials. He proceeded to the Dardanelles at Easter, and there joined the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, and fought along with his father in defence of the honour of his country. Both have been wounded, Major CONNERY being now convalescent, and Second Lieutenant CONNERY is under treatment in hospital. A telegram appraising her of the fact was received by Mrs. Connery at Willow Bank on July 13th. The telegram reads : - "Regret to inform you War Office reports that your son, Second Lieutenant ARTHUR WILLIAM FIELD CONNERY, 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, was wounded 5th July. Degree not stated. Further information we receive will be notified as soon as possible." T.P. Records, Preston.

Second-Lieut. CONNERY, who is 27 years of age, served for about 12 years on the G.C. Railway Co. in Manchester and London. About two years ago he resigned his position in order to take up an appointment on the Argentina Railway. So quickly did he make himself proficient in the Spanish language that he was promoted to the head office at Buenos Ayres at a salary of £200 a year, with prospects of further promotion. "I am going to give it a knock for the old country," was his reply when questioned as to the advisability of relinquishing his position. Instead of joining the battalion in training at Southport he persisted in his efforts to serve at the Dardanelles, and his request was ultimately granted. He is one of four sons of Major CONNERY who are serving in the Army, one of whom, Lieut. and Quartermaster W. L.CONNERY, was invalided from France some time ago, and has been posted at Cleethorpes.

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


Had Been in Firing Line Against the Turks.

Private 2202 JOHN HAGUE, aged 20, of St. Hilda, Mossley Road, Ashton, is officially reported to have died of disease. He was with the Ashton Territorials in the Dardanelles, and in a letter home he mentioned that he had been in the firing line. Afterwards he wrote from hospital, and said that he had been ill. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Hague, an overlooker at the Stamford Commercial Mill. Private HAGUE was also employed at the same mill as a gaiter. The family are very well known and highly esteemed, and the greatest sympathy has been expressed with them in their loss. Private HAGUE joined the Ashton Territorials directly after the war broke out. He was one of the last fifty volunteers to complete the first battalion before they went to Bury. His letters from Egypt were always cheerful, and he described himself as 'in the pink', and said they were getting good food. He was a very popular young man, a member of the Hurst United Football Club, and attended the Wesleyan Methodist Church, Queen Street. A brother, Private ARNOLD HAGUE, joined the 3/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment (Territorials) on April 27. There are also three uncles and five cousins with the forces, two of the latter being in the Territorials. (John Hague died on 3.7.1915. He is buried in the Alexandra (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery).

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


Private W.H. CORLETT, writing from Alexandria General Hospital to his mother, at 155, Crickets Lane, Ashton, says : - "I must let you know that we have been on the Gallipoli Peninsula, and the Navy have blown all the places down. I have been wounded. My leg is broken, and I am in the hospital. I was wounded on April 20th, and I have only just got an opportunity to write. I do not think it will be long before I am coming home for a short time. It was a shrapnel bullet that hit me and knocked me clean off my feet. It is a funny sensation when it hits you. The lads are going on all right. Before I got wounded we dug a mile and a half of trenches, so I think I have done my share of the war."

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


An Ashton Carter Who Joined Last September.

Private 2183 EPHRAIM MARGRAVE, aged 31, of 6, Boodle Street, Ashton, who was with the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, is reported to have been killed in action on the 24th June, in the Dardanelles.

He was a carter in the employ of Messrs. James Howe Ltd, waste dealers, and joined the Ashton Territorials last September. He leaves a widow and one child.

(EPHRAIM MARGRAVE is buried in the Lancashire Landing Cemetery, Helles). Click on the Icon to view Ephraim Margrave's grave. Click BACK in your browser to return to this website.

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


"Looking on the Bright Side of Things".

A communication has been received that Private JOHN HYSLOP, of 131, Old Road, Ashton, formerly a drummer in the Salvation Army, has been wounded in action with the 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, Territorials, at the Dardanelles. In a letter to his parents he writes - " We have had a very rough time of it since leaving Egypt, but we are all still looking on the bright side of things. I am sorry to inform you that I have been wounded, but it is not serious. Pray God will give us health and strength to do our duty, so that when we get back home again we shall be able to say that we did our share in trying to bring the war to an end, which I trust will not be long".

  Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.



Mr. and Mrs. George Wilkinson, of 40, Charles Street, Ashton, have received an official intimation that their two sons, Lance Corporal E. WILKINSON, and Private ALBERT WILKINSON, who have been serving with the Ashton Territorials at the Dardanelles, are suffering from an illness which has instigated their removal to a hospital. Lance Corporal WILKINSON was reported to be dangerously ill, but a few days ago a telegram was received by the parents from the military authorities, stating that he is now out of danger.   

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


Two Killed in the Fighting Against the Turks.

Lieut. H.C.SHAW Pays a Fine Tribute to the Fallen.

A fine tribute is paid by Lieut. H.C.SHAW to the good qualities of Private 2193 SYDNEY STELFOX, of the Ashton Territorials, who is officially reported to have been killed in action. Private STELFOX was 27 years of age, and had been employed at the Wood Park Colliery for about seven years. He resided at 3, Hill Street, Waterloo, and joined the Territorials last September. He was married only a short time before, his bride being Miss Mary Ann Whillock, of Wharf Street, Dukinfield. In a letter to Mrs. Stelfox, Lieut. SHAW says - " Dear Mrs. Stelfox - It is with the deepest regret I have to inform you of the death of your dear husband, Private SYDNEY STELFOX, 13 Platoon, "D" Company. As we were proceeding from the firing line to the reserve trenches yesterday after being relieved, the enemy shelled us, and a portion of a shell struck him on the head and killed him instantaneously. The NCOs, men and myself sadly lament his death, as he was a steady man, and a good and willing soldier, and an excellent trench and sap digger. Assuring you are of the sympathy of everyone in the Platoon in your sad bereavement, yours faithfully, H.C.SHAW, Lieut". 

A tribute paid to Private STELFOX by one of his comrades reads - "He saved old England's honour, He nobly did his best, He fought for King and country, And now he lies at rest". (SYDNEY STELFOX is buried in the Redoubt Cemetery, Helles).

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


Shells and Bullets Flying Overhead Day and Night.


Killed in Action Four Days After His 20th Birthday.

Private 1426 JOHN WALKER, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Walker, of Cooper Street, Dukinfield, is officially reported to have been killed in action on the 19th of June. He had been in the Territorials for about two years. In civil life Private WALKER was a coal miner at Wood Park Colliery, Bardsley, where his father is at present employed. He was 20 years of age on the 15th of June, and four days afterwards he met his death. He was a young man, very highly respected by those who knew him. Prior to leaving England he was associated with St. Mark's Mission, Wharf Street, as a teacher, and the last time he was over he taught his class in khaki.

Mr. and Mrs. Walker have two other sons on His Majesty's service, Private SAMUEL WALKER, aged 29, is in the Queen's Shropshire Light Infantry, and he is at the front, In October last he was wounded in an engagement at Ypres, and after recovering he returned to the trenches. He was a miner at Wood Park Colliery. Another son, Private GEORGE HARRY WALKER is in the Ashton Territorials, and is with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. He is 22 years of age, and previous to August last year, was a piecer at Reyner's Mill, Ashton. Private JOHN WALKERS last letter to his father and mother was under date June 1st last. He says - " We have been in the trenches nine days without a rest, and we only came out this dinner time. We shall be going in again tomorrow. I don't think it will last much longer. I can tell you that I have had a rough time, and also a rough bed, along with the rest of the boys, since I left home. It is a hot shop where we are. There are shells and bullets flying over our heads night and day long, but we don't take any notice of them until we get hit. We might get back sooner than we expect, and then we shall have a rare time. There is going to be a big affair here, so if we come out of it safe, I think we shall be home shortly. I was surprised to see two chaps out here whom I knew. One was Mr. ARTHUR SELLARS, who used to keep the pawn-shop at the corner of Wharf Street, and Mr. HARTLEY'S brother". (JOHN WALKER is buried in the Redoubt Cemetery, Helles).

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


After Two Narrow Escapes Territorial is Killed.


"Englands Last Hope" is Now "England's First Aid".

"He was a good lad, and he was my only boy", said Mrs. Elizabeth Ryder in lamenting the loss of her son, Private 1803 JAMES RYDER, of 169, Wellington Road, Ashton, who is officially reported to have been killed in action at the Dardanelles, on June 19th. "Egypt for me, mother!" he exclaimed with glee as he returned home after volunteering for active service with the Ashton Territorials ("B" Company) in August last. He was working at the time as a piecer at the Cedar Mills, Hurst, and he attended the Primitive Methodist Sunday School, Katherine Street, Ashton. Had he lived a few days longer he would have celebrated his 20th birthday. He had previously had two narrow escapes, a bullet carrying away his hat, whilst another lodged in his overcoat, which was rolled up on his back. He formerly played in the Holy Trinity Boy's Brigade Football Club. In a letter written by him to his parents on June 1st, he states - " We are still living, but it is not because the Turks have not been busy. We have been in the first line of trenches, and have had several killed and many more wounded, including the Colonel and our platoon commander, Lieut WOOD, two of the best liked men in the battalion. I have heard about the Lusitania being sunk, and I think it is time that the murderer who was responsible ought to be tied to the ship's propeller, as shooting is too good for them. I had some shrapnel through my hat, and a bullet in the back of my pack, so have had a few near escapes". Private TOM LITTLEFORD, in a letter to his mother, who resides at 171, Wellington Road, Ashton, writes - "Private JAMES RYDER has had one or two narrow escapes. One day, when they were taking us in the trenches, a bullet took his hat straight off his head, and another bullet lodged in the overcoat, which was strapped on his back. Both night and day shrapnel shells are bursting around us. Talk about Belle Vue, it isn't in it. When we were at home they called the Territorials England's last hope, but we are England's first aid at present". (JAMES RYDER is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing).

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


One of the Most Popular Men in the Battalion.

One of the most popular men in the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, and most highly esteemed by the officers, was Sergeant 1128 HARRY EARLE, who is officially reported to have been killed in action in the Dardanelles, on June 17th. He resided at 9, Eaton Terrace, Henrietta Street, Ashton, and was the son of Mr. George Earle, a painter. Sergeant EARLE was a builder, and had been in the Ashton Territorials about four years. He was promoted sergeant about two years ago. He was 24 years of age, and was a particularly nice young fellow, sociable and agreeable, and those who became acquainted with him soon learned to admire his fine qualities, and to entertain for him the warmest feelings of affection. Everyone who knew him liked HARRY EARLE. He was a member of the Blue Bird Entertainment Society, and was possessed of elocutionary powers of a remarkably high standard. His loss has been a great blow to the family, for he was a most affectionate son and brother, and the genuine sympathy has been expressed for them among a large circle of friends and acquaintances, who also regard his death as a personal loss to themselves. Sergeant EARLE was originally in B Company, and was transferred to D Company. He was a friend of Lieut. FRED JONES, who was the first to fall in action. His letters home were always of a cheery character, but he said little about the war. In his last letter he mentioned that he had just heard of Private RICHARD TORKINGTON having been killed in action, and said it was a great shock to himself. (Harry Earle is buried in Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery).

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


An Ashton Territorial Killed in Action. 

Mrs. Kellett, widow of the late Mr. J. Kellett, stonemason, of 30, Wharf Street, Dukinfield, has lost one of her three soldier sons. Private 1427 SAMUEL KELLETT, aged 19, of B Company, 9th Battalion, Ashton Territorials, who was killed in action in the Dardanelles on June 19th. He had been in the Territorials about two years when the war broke out and he volunteered for active service. Prior to going abroad, Private KELLETT followed the occupation of a piecer at Reyner's Mill, and was well known in the district. For 14 years he spent his spare time at night with the London and North Western Railway Company's parcel van in charge of Robert Newton. From childhood he had been connected with St. Mark's Mission, Wharf Street, which he attended regularly.

Mrs. Kellett has two other sons in the service. Private JOHN KELLETT, aged 21, of the Army Service Corps, Indian Contingent, is at the front, and the last heard of him was that he was quite well. In civil life he was a carter in the employ of Mr. James Pollitt, railway carrying agent, Ashton. Private EDWARD KELLETT, aged 27, is in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was trained in ambulance work under the Ashton St, John's Ambulance Association, at which period he was a minder at Park Mill Co., Dukinfield. He is at present engaged in hospital work at Whalley, Lancashire. (Samuel Kellett is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing). 

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


Hurst Man Wounded With the 9th Manchesters.

Private JOHN MUTTER, aged 22, of 65, Stanhope Street, Hurst, who was the postman for Hartshead, has been wounded while in action with the 9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment in the Dardanelles. He had been in the Ashton Territorials for about four years, and was a bugler. He is the son of Mr. John Mutter, who is employed at Whittaker's Mill. A brother, JAMES, is in the 2/9th Manchester Regiment. Writing to his father and sisters, Private MUTTER says - " Sorry to have to inform you that I am in hospital. I was just coming out of a charge, when I received a bullet in my chest. It came out about three inches further up. I am lucky to be living. Of course I shall have a tale to tell when I get back in good old England. I hope that won't be long. I have lost everything I had, but I shall get some more things when I am ready to be discharged. I suppose that you have heard about JOHN BURGESS being killed, and RALPH and TOM LAMBERT, HARRY TRUNKFIELD, and myself being wounded. There is only PERCY STONES and JOE TRUNKFIELD all right out of my mates. But cheer up, we shan't be long before we are back in good old England again now." 

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915. 



News has been received that Private 1853 HENRY LEWIS, aged 18, of 103, Oldham Road, Waterloo, has been killed in action. He was the son of Mr. Henry and Annie LEWIS, a carter, and had been employed as a piecer at the Rock Mill. He was killed on June 18th. He joined the Ashton Territorials during the recruiting boom last year. The family have suffered two heavy blows within a few weeks. In April, the mother died, and this has been followed by the death of the son. The circumstances of his death are given in the following letter from Lieut. HANDFORTH, dated 28th June 1915: - "Dear Mr. Lewis, I much regret to have to inform you of the death of your son, who was killed by a rifle bullet on the 18th inst. We were in a trench only about 40 yards from the enemy, and unfortunately your son was shot through the head. He never regained consciousness, and I believe he died quite painlessly. The enclosed letter is one which he had written, and handed to me to censor. I would have sent it on to you earlier, but we only came out of the front line trenches yesterday, and I had no opportunity of inquiring until this morning how your son went on after he was carried out of the trench. Will you accept my sympathy with you in your bereavement? Your only consolation must be that your son was faithfully doing his duty to his country. He was actually firing at the Turks at the moment when he was struck by the bullet which killed him. Yours sincerely, G.W. HANDFORTH, Lieut". (Henry Lewis is buried in the Lancashire Landing Cemetery).

Bandsman LEONARD BROOKE, of 4, Bishops Street, Waterloo, who is engaged in ambulance work with the Ashton Territorials, in a letter to his wife says that he carried Private LEWIS out of the trenches after he had been hit, and said - " It is curious that it should be my lot to carry away my own neighbours, but as we cannot alter things we must make the best of anything that comes our way." Drummer BROOKE also mentions the death of Private H. MATTHEWS, which was given in the Reporter last week, and says - " Poor WILF, he knew he was done for, so he asked his mates to shake hands with him and he bid them good-bye." He asked that his sympathy should be given to the families of MATTHEWS and LEWIS.

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


Officer's Tribute to an Ashton Territorial.

A tribute to the late Private 2161 JAMES TRAVIS, son of Mrs. A. Travis, of Warrington Street, Ashton, to whose death at the Dardanelles reference was made in the Reporter last Saturday, is paid in a letter to his widow, who resides at 123, Hope Street, Hurst, written by Lieutenant G.W. HANDFORTH, 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, Territorials. The letter, which is dated June 23rd reads: -

"It is with the greatest regret that I am writing this letter. Probably before you receive it you will have learned of the death of your husband, who was hit by a bullet on the 20th inst. He was in my platoon, and I have always found him to be a good soldier, careless of danger, and always ready for any dangerous duty. I am sending you a letter which he had written and handed me to be censored, and also a few papers, which you will no doubt value, which were handed to me by one of his comrades after he had been carried out of the trench wounded. Will you accept my deep sympathy with you in your loss. Your husband is one of many who have died here in the service of their country. He is buried side by side with many of his comrades in a very beautiful place a few hundred yards from where I am writing this letter". The letter found upon Private TRAVIS, which is dated June 16th, reads - " We are still in the trenches. They talk about France, but it cannot be worse than this. I shall be glad if I manage to get home safely. Our JOHN is ill, and he has been sent to the hospital, also J. LOWNDS. We have had nearly six weeks of it now. We might get a rest any day now, and we can do with it, for all the lads are getting worked up". (James Travis died on the 20.6.1915. He is buried in the Lancashire Landing Cemetery). Pictured in the article are brothers, John & James Travis.

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


Wounded After Having Caught a Chill.

Mrs. Connolly, of Crescent Road, Dukinfield, whose son, JOHN CONNOLLY, is a Private (1535) in the 1/9th Manchester Regiment, Ashton Territorials, has received a letter from the Rev. FELIX-CONTUSIOR, chaplain to the forces at the Deaconesses Hospital, Alexandria, as follows: - " Your son JOHN, who has been wounded, is in the Government Hospital here, doing well. Have no anxiety about him; he'll soon be well again. He was very ill when he arrived. He caught a chill, and with his wound this brought on complications, and he was in danger. I gave him the last sacrament, and the next morning he was already much better. He is making good progress, and has every care. I visit him every day, and I shall let you know how he gets on. Yesterday (June 30th) when I saw him he was sitting up in bed reading a paper, and at once began to chat cheerfully. I promised to write to you. JOHN sends you his love, and sends the same to all at home. They are all so brave and so patient in spite of being so far from home, and all those who love them, but God can do more than all the doctors and surgeons in the world if we ask him fervently to help our sick and wounded boys". Private CONNOLLY has a brother, OWEN CONNOLLY, in the 2/9th Battalion, Manchester Regt. (Territorials). He left Sussex in June, and is now in the trenches on the Gallipoli Peninsula. (Private 1535 John Connolly sadly died of wounds on 18th August 1915 and was buried at sea). 

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.



News has been received that Private W. HIGINBOTTOM, whose home is at Amelia Street, Denton, and who is in the Ashton Detachment of the Manchesters, has had a finger shot off at the Dardanelles. In a letter home Private HIGINBOTTOM pays fine tribute to the charge of the Ashton lads, and says that 120 charged about ten times as many Turks, and cleared them out of the trenches. The Ashton lads had already suffered the loss of about sixty killed and wounded. Private HIGINBOTTOM is now in Alexandria.  

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


A P.S.A. Member of Hurst Killed in Action.  

Private 932 WILLIAM HORTON HAMER, of 14, Carr Street, Hurst, has officially been reported killed in action on the 19th June. He had been in the Ashton Territorials and the old Volunteers for eleven years. He was a piecer at the Minerva Mill, and lived with his sister, Mrs. Platt. He was a member of the Ashton P.S.A. Society, and was held in high esteem by the members, and by the men of the Territorials. Private HAMER was 29 years of age, and the son of Mrs. Agnes Hamer of Hurst. His cousin, Private ORLANDO WALKER, of the West Ridings, has been killed in action, and he also has an uncle in the Army. (William H Hamer is buried in the Redoubt Cemetery, Helles).

Official news has been received of the death of Private 1758 PERCY WATSON of the 9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, and of 1, James Court, Denton. He was in the Ashton Detachment of the Territorials, of which he had been a member for some years. He was 27 years of age. At the outbreak of war he went with the Regiment to Egypt, and took part in the fighting there and at the Dardanelles. Recently he had been in hospital in Alexandria suffering from a disease he contracted while on active service. The disease caused his death. His mother received the sad news on Wednesday, together with a letter of sympathy from Lord Kitchener. She also received a telegram a month ago, stating that he was dangerously ill. This was followed by a field postcard to the effect that he was doing all right. He was at one time employed at Messrs. J. Wilson and Sons, hat manufacturers, and subsequently at a cotton mill at Droylsden. He was well known in Denton, and was a companion of Private EARNSHAW, of Denton, who was killed in action some time ago. A friend of his, Private G. MOORES, is at present with the troops on the Gallipoli Peninsula. (Percy Watson is buried in the East Mudros Military Cemetery).

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


Youth Who Joined Day After War Reported Missing.

Amongst the list of killed, wounded and missing published on Thursday there appears the name of Private 2009 FRANK MYCOCK, 9th Battalion, Manchester Territorials as missing. He is the son of Mr. Samuel James Mycock, of 7. Clarendon Street, Dukinfield, and he joined the Territorials on the 4th August last, the day after the declaration of war. He was a member of "C" Company. The last they heard of him at home was a month ago last Monday, when he wrote that all was well. He was in his 20th year, and was a fitter by trade.

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


With the Ashton Territorials in the Dardanelles.

News was officially received on Tuesday that Private 1742 HARRY SIDEBOTTOM, of 492, Oldham Road, Bardsley, had been killed in action on June 19th. He was a piecer at Copster Mill, Oldham, and he joined the Ashton Territorials during the recruiting boom last year. He was 20 years of age. He was the son of Mr. George Harry Sidebottom, a forgeman at Park Bridge. No letter had been received from him for about nine weeks, and he then seemed very cheerful and said he was 'in the pink', and he also wrote some letters to his mates in the village. He said he was keeping up his pluck. He was a lad who was very well liked, and was a member of the Bardsley Sunday School, and a member of the Bardsley Institute, being one of the players in the billiard team. His loss has been keenly felt in the village, and much sympathy has been expressed with the family. ( Harry Sidebottom is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing).

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


Private 1195 TOM DORAN, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Doran, of Burlington Street, Ashton, was killed in the Dardanelles on the 21st June, while serving in the Transport Section of the 1/9th Manchester Territorials. In civilian life Private DORAN was a piecer at Guide Bridge Spinning Co., No 2 Mill, where his father was a spinner. He had about four years service in with his battalion. His parents received the first news of his death in the following kindly letter from Lieut. JOHN BROADBENT, dated 21st June 1915 - " Dear Mr and Mrs Doran, I very much regret the death of your son. He was sitting talking to some of his companions near his dugout when he was hit by a bullet in the stomach. Ready hands at once attended to him, but he died immediately. The Rev. Father Furlong, of Gorton, officiated at the funeral. I am extremely sorry for you in your trouble. I was very fond of him myself, he was always so willing, and his comrades are much grieved, Yours sympathetically, JOHN BROADBENT, Officer in command, Transport Section.

TOM DORAN was buried next to his pal, Pte. JAMES TRAVIS who had died of wounds the previous day. Pte. 2138 JAMES GARSIDE BROADHURST of the Transport Section had the sad duty of burying both men in the Lancashire Landing Cemetery.

Private DORAN had been a most regular correspondent with his parents since leaving Egypt, but his later letters indicate an acute scarcity of writing materials, as have the letters of many others. The paper on which his last letter was written was bought in 'exchange for cigarettes'. Every letter breathed devotion and solicitude for his mother, more especially when he knew that his elder and younger brothers had enlisted. A devout Catholic, his letters are punctuated with references to the future life. In a letter dated June 6th he says he asked for a chaplain, and Major CONNERY told him there was one coming, and the Ashton lads would have him as soon as possible. On June 13th, he wrote - " We are still in the thick of it, but our section (the Transport) catches it the worst from the shells, but I thank God he has spared me, and pray that he will spare me till the end of the war. I am very glad to be able to tell you I have been to Holy Communion this morning. There is a priest with one of the ambulance sections here, I went to confession on Saturday, and received this morning. Mass was said at six o'clock. It was a sight that brought tears to my eyes. Boxes served for an altar, but the priest had all his vestments with him, and there, out in the field of battle, bare to the world, and awful shells bursting less than 200 yards away, I heard the first Mass since we left Heliopolis in March, and I thought of you all hearing your Mass in comfort at St. Ann's. There were only seven of us hearing Mass, and two of us received Communion. Major CONNERY was one of them". The Dorans of Ashton have done and are doing their share, TOM DORAN'S elder brother, JOHN is in the 2/9th Battalion Manchesters, and his younger brother, EDDIE, aged 17, has joined the Welsh Fusiliers. Three of his cousins are with the Canadian contingency, and one from Ashton.

Published in the Reporter 17th July 1915.


"Shall I sing that hymn for daddy, 'Heavenly Father, Guard the Sailors and the Soldiers?' inquired the little son of Corporal and Mrs. MITCHESON, of No. 7, Friendship Yard, off Huddersfield Road, Stalybridge, on Sunday morning. It was a hymn that the little fellow had learned at St. Paul's Sunday School, and receiving the consent of his mother, he sang three verses of it. He had just completed the third verse when the postman brought the tragic news that little MITCHESON'S ' daddy' was dead. He had stated the official document, died on the 20th of June of wounds received in the Dardanelles campaign, and a message of sympathy from the King and Queen was enclosed in the letter.

That was the only intimation his wife had. She did not know he was wounded, neither is she aware whether he died in hospital or on the field of battle, and would be glad to hear from any of his comrades any news concerning his death.

Corporal 1920 WILLIAM MITCHESON was in the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment (Ashton Territorials), of which he had been a member for five or six years. He was the son of the late Mr. John Mitcheson, and Mrs Mitcheson, of 2, Lockside, off Mottram Road, Stalybridge. Born in Denton, he went with his parents when quite a boy to live in Bollington, where he resided until about twelve years ago, when they came to Stalybridge. Corporal MITCHESON worked at the Clarence Mill, Bollington, until he left the village. At the early age of 14 years he enlisted in the Macclesfield Territorials, and the military spirit gained such possession over him that when he came to Stalybridge he joined the local detachment of the 6th Battalion Cheshire Regiment, Territorials. He was in the cyclists section for some time, and when he had completed his period of service he associated himself with the Royal Field Artillery, Manchester, from which he transferred to the Ashton Territorials. He was an excellent shot, and both with Stalybridge and Ashton Territorials he had won a number of prizes, including an enlarged framed photograph while with the Stalybridge detachment. He was 31 years of age, and leaves a widow and two young children. Corporal MITCHESON had worked at Carrbrook, Messrs. Summers, and other places, lastly at Astley Mill, Dukinfield, where he was employed just before he went away on active service. It was, however, as a pianist that he was best known. For some time he played at the picture house held at the Forester's Hall, Stalybridge, and when it closed he obtained a similar engagement at the Imperial Picture Palace, Bollington, and afterwards he played at the Electric Picture Palace, Stockbridge. He had also had numerous engagements in Stalybridge and district, and he was very widely known and held in the highest esteem. He was connected with St. Peter's Catholic Church, Stalybridge, and on Sunday morning it was announced to the congregation that he had been killed in action.

The last letter Corporal MITCHESON wrote was on June 17th, and it was received by his wife on July 8th, and he said in it - " I am in excellent health. There has been some terrible fighting here, but we are steadily driving them back. You will no doubt have read in the papers all about it, and about the way the Manchesters charged. I am sorry to say I have lost my best chums here. Four of those on the photograph I sent you have gone under, and another, a corporal whom I have been pals with ever since I left England has been killed too. I go to his grave every time I get a chance, and put some flowers on. He leaves a wife and two children. He was always saying he would bring them to our house when he got home. To look round the country here you cannot realise there is a war on. The flowers are in full bloom, and the country is beautiful, and grapes and peaches and every fruit you can mention nearly, grow here; but as I write the shells are bursting overhead, and the bullets are pinging over my dugout. The guns are roaring day and night. No! People at home cannot realise what war is. They say it is terrible in France, but I think it is far more terrible here. There is no going to a rest camp here, you have got to fight and keep on fighting. If you get slightly wounded you are not sent home to get right as they are there. If I get through this all right I will be able to tell you myself. I hear there are plenty of men on strike in England. They ought to send them here, and put them in the firing line in place of the lads who are in day after day... I pray the war will soon be over so that I can return to you all again. So, goodbye love, and God bless you all". (William Mitcheson died on the 26th June. He is buried in the Lancashire Landing Cemetery).

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