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1915 PAGE 8



The Headlines in the Reporter 24th July 1915.


Published in the Reporter 24th July 1915.


An Ashton Corporal's Letter.

A most interesting letter has been received by Mrs. Joyce, of 53, Fleet Street. Ashton, from her husband, Corporal J. JOYCE, of the Ashton Territorials. He has been wounded slightly on two occasions. He writes : - " We have been here since May 9th, and we all know something now about war. I have been wounded twice, but not seriously. The work here has been pretty hot, and we have had a lot of casualties, though the 9th have not suffered as badly as the others. I think the Manchester Brigade are the worst off - but the work they have done is great, and they have shown what stuff the Terriers are made of. If you will read the papers closely you will see what troops have been engaged. I will not say much about our list, as I suppose you will know all, but give my sympathy to Grandma Preston (grandmother of Private G. MASSEY). GERALD MASSEY had grown into a big, fine lad. He was section commander on the day before he was killed, and he said there was only him and another left in it. He met his death through anxiety to do his part properly, for he had to show a good example to the men. TOMMY DORAN was on transport, and a jolly lad he was. He died smiling. Whilst he was singing about his mother a part of a shell struck him. JACK CUMMINGS (Bob Cummings brother) was wounded not far from me a couple of weeks ago, but I believe he is doing nicely. There was a big "do" yesterday (June 28th). Our lines captured a lot of Turkish trenches, guns, and prisoners. They had a lot of Germans with them, but I think when the latter see the tide going against them they will "hop it" and leave the Turks to themselves. The Turks we captured seemed glad to be in, as we treat them better than they were led to believe, and we hear they treat our wounded fairly well. It all seems a sad thing, for this part of the country was a splendid piece of cultivated land. Springs bubble up out of the ground almost anywhere you dig, and the water in the wells is very good. The fields are mostly covered with grape vines, and in a few weeks they will be ripe, though they have been largely trodden down by the troops. A great deal seems to depend on our taking a big hill named Achi Baba. It is very strongly guarded, like Gibraltar, so you can understand the task the troops have. Anyway, I think the Territorials have had a good baptism of fire, and have proved their worth. About 20 of the 2/9th have joined us. WILL MARSH is safe at present with the maxim. JOE FERNS is acting as Company Sergeant Major, for nearly all the non-commissioned officers in his Company were wiped out in a bayonet charge." Corporal JOYCE had previously seen active service. He was one of the defenders of Ladysmith, and he says that Sir Ian Hamilton hardly seems to have changed in appearance from what he was like in South Africa. Corporal JOYCE was a collier at the New Moss, Audenshaw, before the war.

Published in the Reporter 24th July 1915.


Ashton Territorial Officer.

Another brave young Ashton Territorial officer had given his life for his country. On Sunday Mr. George Robson, B.A. of Blandford House, Blandford Street, Ashton, headmaster of Christ Church (Gatefield) School, received a cablegram stating that his son, 2nd Lieutenant JOHN MATLEY ROBSON, of the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, had died of enteric in the 15th General Hospital, Alexandria, on July 17th, after being admitted to the hospital on July 10th, after being in the trenches for 21 days. The news has called forth the deepest sympathy from a very large circle of friends in the town and district, and from the teachers throughout the Ashton district, among whom Mr. G. Robson is held in high regard and esteem. Lieut. ROBSON joined the 2/9th Ashton Battalion on its formation after the 2/9th had left the town for Bury soon after the war broke out. He proceeded with the 2/9th to Southport for training, and later he volunteered with 2nd Lieut. A.W.F. CONNERY and 2nd Lieut. ALLAN H. HUDSON, for active service with the 1/9th Battalion. The three officers were sent on April 1st to Egypt, where they joined the Ashton Battalion, and almost immediately they were called upon to take an active part in the war, as the battalion were moved with the East Lancashire Brigade to the Dardanelles. Lieut. ROBSON played his part in the fierce fighting with great bravery, and passed through unscathed. As an officer he was exceedingly popular with the men, and esteemed by his superiors. After special service at Port Said, El Kantara, and Alexandria, he joined the battalion at the Dardanelles on June 2nd. The heavy fighting which took place just afterwards so depleted the staff of officers that his Company was left with Lieut. JACK WADE in command, and Lieut. ROBSON second in command. After 21 days in the trenches the battalion was relieved, unfortunately too late, for Lieut. ROBSON had contracted enteric fever. Lieut. ROBSON, who was 23 years of age, before joining the Territorials was engaged with Messrs. Bryce and Sons, chemical importers and shippers, of Manchester, with whom he had been for some years. He was fond of athletics, and was a good long distance cycle rider, and a keen golfer. He was a member of the Ashton Golf Club, and last year won the Lady Aitken Cup. He was educated at Gatefield School and the manchester Grammar School, and trained for a business career. He was well known and highly esteemed throughout East Lancashire and Cheshire. He has sent several letters home to his parents. Writing on June 14th he said : - "I haven't the heart to write a long reply. I am frightfully upset. Poor ALLAN HUDSON was killed in action yesterday. My Company made a big bayonet charge, and we lost Captain FRANK HAMER and 2nd Lieut. STRINGER. Lieut. WADE is now in command, and I am second in command. We are still in the trenches, but I hope we shall soon be going down to the base for a rest, and I will write you a long letter then." In another letter, written on June 22nd, he said: "The Turks give us only about an hour's rest every day, just before sunset, and all our letter writing has to be done then. Of course, I can't tell you anything about the position here. But one thing I am certain about - war is not the glorious thing we read of in books. When you see your friends and men falling down on both sides of you dead or wounded it makes you wonder why God allows it to go on. I am at present second in command of my Company, C. B and D Companies made another advance last Friday. I am sorry to say Lieut. WADE, who was in command of the Company, was wounded or killed, and is now missing, along with another officer of the 10th Manchesters, who were on our left. B Company had one officer left after the charge. I was not in the charge itself. Just before, I received a note to report at the headquarters, and whilst I was away it took place. I am now down at the base behind the firing line, taking a course of instruction in the Maxim gun. It was for these instructions I had to go to headquarters, and this kept me out of the advance. It's much worse here than in the firing line. Shells are continually dropping round our dugouts. You can imagine how difficult it is to concentrate your attention on what the instructor is saying when shrapnel and Jack Johnsons are flying round. The battalion has done exceedingly well, and has been praised by the generals, but the cost has been frightful." Writing on June 26th Lieut. ROBSON said : "I have no further news. We are still down at the base, and there is some talk of our leaving here for a short rest. I hope this is so, and somehow I don't think it will be very long before we leave the place for good. The fellows are played out, and are badly in need of a rest, to refit. On this game it is surprising what you do lose. I have seen fellows come out of the firing line with nothing but shirt and trousers on, rifle and everything else having been lost; but this is only usual after an advance." (John M. Robson is buried in the Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery).

Published in the Reporter 24th July 1915.


Not Had His Clothes Off for Two Months.

Private FRED ARMITAGE, formerly of Guide Lane, Hooley Hill, is with the 9th Battalion Ashton Territorials in the Dardanelles. He is well known in football circles, having played for Hurst F.C., Mossley, and other Ashton and District League clubs. Previously employed in the leather dressing industry at Messrs. W. Ruttenau's at Bentinck Street, Ashton, he is well known in the district. Like all footballers, he is showing the fighting spirit, and putting as much energy into the struggle as he did in the Aitkin Cup-ties. Writing on June 27th he says : - "We are continually in the firing line, and I have just come out after 21 days, and finished up with a bayonet charge. Of late we have had some heavy fighting, and we have lost a number of good men, but we have mowed down the Turks, and took hundreds of prisoners. I have had some very near shaves. You would know Private BALLARD, of Hooley Hill. Well, he is buried out here. We have a graveyard of our own. Our numbers have dwindled down, for I am in charge of a platoon. I hope you are all right at Hooley Hill. I am just thinking of what Sunday is like in our villages, for every day is alike here. Fighting goes on every day just the same. It is two months since we came here, and I am wondering how many more months it will be before I can take off my clothes for a sleep, as I have never had my clothes off since I came here."

Published in the Reporter 24th July 1915.

Death of Private JOHN BRADY in the Dardanelles.


In two years Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Brady, of 7, Groby Road, Hooley Hill, have lost two sons. WILLIAM died as the result of an accident, and the news came through last weekend that their fourth son, JOHN, of the Ashton Territorials, had given his life in the Dardanelles. Whether he was killed outright or died of disease is not yet known. A letter was received from the War Office announcing his death, and at the same time expressing the sympathy of the King and Queen. On Tuesday morning Mrs. Brady received a letter that one of her nephews who is serving in the Army had been seriously burned about the neck and shoulders as the result of a camp fire. On Sunday morning, at St. Mary's Church, Denton, where the family attend, special Mass was offered for the late Private BRADY, and in the course of his sermon the Rev. Father Moran paid tribute to the memory of the brave youth. On Thursday Mass was again offered.

Private 1457 JOHN BRADY was 20 years of age last November, and worked for Mr. Albert Spafford, leather dresser, of Denton. His brother, FRANK, who worked on the Oldham and Ashton Tramway Co., joined the local Territorial forces, and is at present training in Sussex, while Mrs. Brady's son-in-law, THOMAS KELLY, is serving under the colours. In his last letter from the Dardanelles Private BRADY wrote : " We have only had one day out of the trenches since we landed here. When you write again put plenty of papers and envelopes in your parcel. You will probably see where we are by the 'Reporter,' but we have not to tell you in letters. We have had a fair share of shot and shell, and I can tell you it was a bit exciting hearing a few thousand guns and artillery being fired. We have been in some small scraps, but sorry to say we have had some casualties. Wishing you all the best of luck and God's blessing." (John Brady died in hospital on the 9th July. He is buried in the Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery).

Published in the Reporter 24th July 1915.



Private J.W. CHEETHAM, of the 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment (Ashton Territorials), writing to his mother at 69, Haughton Road, Hooley Hill, from St. Julian's Hospital, Malta, says : "I am very sorry to tell you I have been wounded in the left loin by the top of a shell. We had just come out of the trenches after 20 days, and I was going to see my mate in the Company when I was hit. I am lucky to be alive. There are three lads from the Lane (Kilshaw Lane) who have 'gone West'. R. BURGESS, R. NICHOLLS and N. RICHARDSON. I am not certain about the last name, but BURGESS was killed straight out. (A letter from RICHARDSON shows that he is wounded slightly). Don't worry over me, I am comfortable and the wound is doing grandly. We have not many in our Battalion now." Private CHEETHAM, who is only 20 years of age, worked at the New Moss Colliery Co., prior to going out in August.

 Published in the Reporter 24th July 1915.


Private NORMAN RICHARDSON Wounded in Action.

"The report had got abroad that my son, NORMAN, has been killed in the Dardanelles, while serving with the 9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment (Ashton Territorials). I wish you would let the public know that he has not been killed, but is wounded." So remarked Mrs. Richardson, of 73, Haughton Road, Hooley Hill, on Yuesday evening, to a representative of the 'Reporter.' Private RICHARDSON, who is the 17 years old son of Mr. Tom Richardson, the late Hooley Hill Wesleyans and Denton C.C. wicket-keeper, worked at the New Moss Colliery prior to the mobilisation last August. He was highly respected by his comrades. two who lived within a few doors of his own home having also been wounded. Writing to his mother from the Floricina Barracks, Malta, he said : "I have been in the Dardanelles for five weeks, and have been wounded in the leg. Do not upset yourself as I am being attended to all right. They look after you very well here, and give you every attention. Apart from this wound, I am in the best of health."

Published in the Reporter 24th July 1915.


Bullet From a Shell Which Burst in the Trench.

Mrs. Nolan, of 78, Burlington Street, Ashton, who has two son's serving with the Ashton Territorials in the Dardanelles, has received several letters from her son, Private PETER NOLAN, stating that he had been wounded in the leg and groin. Her other son, Sergeant JAMES NOLAN, the master cook of the Battalion, was all right up to July 4th.

In a letter dated June 26th. Private PETER NOLAN wrote -"There are a lot of young men who will never see England again, and there are a few Ashton lads among them. You will be very sorry to hear I have been slightly wounded and am in hospital, confined to bed, but the nurse says there is no danger, and I shall soon be all right again. They have sent me back to Egypt. Our JIM was in the best of health when I left him. I have been wounded in the leg and groin". In a later letter he says, " The doctor tells me I had a very narrow escape. I was very ill when the accident happened. It was a shell that landed near our trench, and a bullet from it caught me. It was a shrapnel bullet, and I can tell you it made me shout".

Published in the Reporter 24th July 1915.


Ashton Territorial Loses His Companions.

It is hard to see one's dear companions shot down, but in the exigencies of modern warfare such experiences are not uncommon. Private E. WILSON of 6, Springfield Terrace, Hawk Street, Ashton, is the only survivor of several companions who have "gone west." Together they went with the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment (Territorials) to Egypt and the Dardanelles, and all are stated to have been killed or wounded. Private WILSON is now reported to have been wounded, and he is at present under treatment at the 21st General Hospital, Alexandria. His name is included in the roll of honour of the Parish Church Central School, Ashton, and he formerly worked in the spinning department at the Wellington Mills, Ashton. In a letter to his mother, he writes : - "I have been wounded in the back. I am doing well, and the wound is healing spendidly. It has been very hard fighting out here, and I cannot describe it to you in a letter. All my pals have been killed." Private WILSON'S uncle, Private RICHARD WILSON, is serving with the R.A.M.C. at the Dardanelles.

Published in the Reporter 24th July 1915.



After taking part in two bayonet charges, and escaping without a scratch, Bandsman 1947 HAROLD RHODES, 1/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, Territorials, is reported to have been severely wounded whilst on his way to a rest camp. Bandsman RHODES, who resided at 50, Bennett Street, Ryecroft, formerly worked as a turner at the works of Messrs. Jones Sewing Machine Co., and prior to joining the Territorials he was a member of St. Stephen's Church Lad's Brigade. In a letter written from St. Ignatius' College Hospital, Malta, to his mother, who resides in Bennett Street, he states : - "I am sorry to tell you that I have been badly wounded in the back and leg. There are four wounds, and I got them on June 22nd. I have been through three operations, and I am doing fine now. The food supplied is of the best, chicken every day for dinner, so I think I am doing all right. I am in a very nice hospital and I have a very nice and devoted nursing sister in attendance. I have only been here four days, having spent over a week on the hospital ship." A tribute to his spartan cheerfulness is paid in a letter written by one of the Army chaplains to his mother on the 23rd, as follows : - " Yesterday evening your boy passed through this dressing station on his way to the hospital ship. The Turks had at last put a bit of lead into him, he said. He had been through two charges without a scratch, but they succeeded in getting him on the way back to the rest camp. He looked not a little bit like one wounded, and he was in the very best of spirits. The only thing that troubled him was the fear that you would see the casualty list, and think he was dangerously wounded. He will soon be fit again. He will at least get a really good rest, which he has most abundantly earned. Possibly he might get home to you."

Published in the Reporter 24th July 1915.


Ashton Territorial Who Bandaged Wounded Comrade.

Mrs. Sumner, of 53, Burlington Street, Ashton, has received a letter from her son, Private ALFRED SUMNER, of the Ashton Territorials, in which he says : - "I am still able to tell you I am in the land of the living. At the present time I am feeling done up after six weeks without a rest, and seldom out of the firing line. On June 18th we stormed an enemy's trench, and RYDER got shot through the eye (particulars of Private RYDER'S death appeared in the 'Reporter' last week), and I believe he died in about two minutes. He was with a party of 25, including myself and LITTLEFORD, and it was just as we reached the enemy's trench that he got shot. LITTLEFORD and I, with some of the party, managed to get back to our trench, and then it was like hell let loose. We were only 20 yards from the enemy, and every man had to fight for all he was worth. Somehow I got hit in the forehead. I can't tell what it was, because it blinded me for the minute, and then I went out of the firing line, and they have put me on a hospital ship. It is not much of a wound that I have, but my right eye is still sore. Our division has done good work out here, but they have paid for it." According to a letter from a comrade, Private SUMNER tied his field bandage round poor RYDER'S head after he was hit, and it was just after this incident that he himself was wounded.

Published in the Reporter 24th July 1915.


Ashton Territorial Wrote Tender Verses to His Wife.

These lines, headed "Thoughts," were written to his wife,Mrs. Crompton, of 3, Brammah Street, Hurst, by Private 2066 JAMES CROMPTON, of the Ashton Territorials, who is officially reported to have died of wounds received in action on June 30th. Private CROMPTON was 26 years of age, and worked at the New Moss Colliery. His letters to his wife are couched in terms of sentiment that are poetic. In a letter written before the departure from Egypt his said : -

 " It was six months last Monday since I saw you dear, and that night will live in my memory as long as life lasts. I think being away from each other has been a test. My love grows stronger. It does not ebb any." In his last letter, dated June 23rd, he writes : - " We have just been relieved from the trenches after 20 days. We have had a few exciting times, and I got slightly wounded in the knee about a week ago. It is almost better now. We have been repairing a road and had just finished it when they dropped a shrapnel shell in the middle of us. It killed two and wounded about five. I think I was very lucky to get off so lightly. Some men have just joined us from the 2/9th. They thought they were going to Egypt. I saw in the Reporter that Grandmother was dead. She has lived to a good age, but it comes everyone's turn." Private CROMPTON'S turn has come, and his wife has lost a devoted husband, and the Ashton Territorials have lost a good gallant soldier. (James Crompton is buried in the Lancashire Landing Cemetery, Helles).

Published in the Reporter 24th July 1915.


His Jaw Fractured by Turkish Bullet.

Sergeant S. WOOD, of the Ashton Territorials, in a letter to his brother, Mr. Joseph A. Wood, of 45, Argyll Street, Cockbrook, Ashton, says he has been wounded. Writing from the Government School Hospital, Port Said, on June 30th, he says : "I suppose you will have heard about me being wounded. I was caught by a Turkish bullet in the right cheek below the eye, and it came out on the left side of my nose, fracturing my jaw on the right side. I am doing very nicely though, and I expect I shall have to be going back again before long. That is the worst of being in the Dardanelles. If I had been in France I should have had a bit of furlough, but here you get nothing, only patched up again and sent back." Sergeant WOOD was employed as a piecer at Messrs. G.H. Kenworthy and Sons, Ltd., Mill, Cavendish Street, Ashton, prior to the mobilisation.

Published in the Reporter 24th July 1915.


Hurst Territorial's Death.

"We'll give the Turks some humpy" were the cheery sentiments expressed in broad Lancashire by Corporal 1484 JOHN WILLIAM HUGHES, of 12, St. Mary's Street, Hurst Brook, as he left with the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment (Territorials) for the Dardanelles. With commendable heroism he took part in the hazardous landing operations, and in subsequent engagements with the Turks, and, true to his word, he fought with remarkable bravery, and gave the Turks their desserts. Then he was prostrated with enteric fever, and on June 16th he died in hospital at Alexandria. Altogether he had served 20 years in the Ashton Territorials and the old volunteers, and during that time his conduct has been exemplary. He was decorated some years ago with the long service medal. Prior to the mobilisation in August last he worked as a conductor and spare motorman on the Ashton Corporation tramways. He went out with one of the Ashton volunteer contingents which took part in the Boer war. He was 33 years of age, and leaves a widow and eight children. Two brothers, eight brothers-in-law and a nephew are serving in the Army. He was formerly a member of St. Peter's Sunday School, Wellbeck Street, Ashton. (John W. Hughes is recorded on the Helles Memorial to the missing).

Published in the Reporter 24th July 1915.


Thirteen Relatives Serving With the Forces.

Mrs. Jones, of 42, Queen Street, Dukinfield, we should imagine, holds the local record for the number of her own family and relatives who are at present in his Majesty's services, there being no fewer that 13, as follows :- Private HARRY JONES, son, aged 37, 2nd Cheshires. He has been to the front, but was invalided home, and is at present at Birkenhead. Private JAMES EDWARD JONES, son, aged 27, 2/9th Manchesters, now at Pease Pottage, Sussex. Private WILLIAM JONES, son, aged 24, 2nd Cheshires, now at the front somewhere in France. Private OLIVER JONES, son, aged 20, 1/9th Manchesters. He was with his regiment in the Dardanelles, and has been missing since the 21st June. Private WALTER WILD, grandson, aged 20, 12th Manchesters, somewhere in France. Private CHARLES K. ASHTON, aged 27, son-in-law, R.A.M.C. at the front. Private JOSEPH RUSHTON, aged 21, nephew, 1/9th Manchesters, Dardanelles. Private RICHARD ASPEN, aged 21, 1/9th Manchesters. He went out to Egypt, but was invalided home, after which he joined the 3/9th, now stationed at Southport. Private W. BRAY, nephew, aged 36, Shropshire Light Infantry, now in hospital in the South of England. He went through the Boer war. Private GEORGE PRIESTLEY, nephew, aged 22, 2nd Manchester Regiment. He was at the battle of Mons, and has not been heard of since. Private WILLIAM HOLLAND, nephew, aged 26, 1/9th Manchesters, in the Dardanelles, where he has been wounded, and in hospital. 

Published in the Reporter 24th July 1915.


A remarkable example of family patriotism is that of four brothers named JACKSON, who formerly resided in Marland Street, Hurst. None of them was married, and having no parents they all lived together, one of them keeping house while the other three went out to work. They were a very happy family, all pulling together, and being most agreeable. They were very well known, though they were of quiet disposition, and were held in great esteem. They were the sons of Mr. Abraham (Nab) Jackson, who was well known in the district. All of them have been serving their country since the war broke out. JAMES, the eldest, aged 26, who was a collier, was in the Welsh Fusiliers; JOHN, 24, was in the Ashton Territorials; HAROLD, 22, was in the Welsh Fusiliers; and FRANK, 21, was in the Ashton Territorials. All four men have been casualties. JAMES has been wounded, but is now better; JOHN is reported unofficially to be missing; HAROLD was last week officially reported killed in action; and now FRANK is also killed. They have a married sister residing in Bolton. (Pte. 1862 Frank Jackson, 1/9th Bn, died on 19th June. He is recorded on the Helles Memorial. Pte. 5028 Harold Jackson, 1st Bn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers died on 16th June. He is recorded on the Le Touret Memorial).


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