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1917 PAGE 1




The Headlines of the Ashton Reporter on 3rd February 1917.


Published in the Reporter 3rd February 1917.

Mr. Joseph Bromley, one of the Audenshaw special constables, who resides in Pitt Street, Hooley Hill, has received an interesting letter from his brother-in-law, Pte. HAROLD COOKE of the Ashton Territorials, in which he describes his experience on a liner that was torpedoed. Pte. COOKE'S home is in West St. Hooley Hill, and he belongs to a family of brothers who are serving. He was one of the smartest junior footballers in the district, and played in the Independent's forward line in 1914 in their titanic struggle for the Colonel John Wood Cup. He, along with his relatives, is attached to the Bridge St. Congregational Sunday School, his name being on the Roll of Honour. Prior to enlistment he was a mill operative in Ashton. The account of the Ashton Territorials experiences are described as follows:-

They left Oswestry and arrived in France the following day. Then they were at various rest camps until the 28th December, when they embarked on the Ivernia at Marseilles for Egypt. Whilst the boys of the 9th were sitting together on deck, talking of Ashton and those they had left behind, wondering how they were spending New Years Day, a terrible crash was heard. Some said a boiler had burst, but the actual cause was soon known when all the lifeboats were lowered. Destroyers came to the rescue at once. They were also assisted by trawlers. Some took to the rafts, amongst them was Pte. HAROLD COOKE, who was rescued about 2 o'clock in the afternoon by H.M.S. ? 

Published in the Ashton Reporter 3rd February 1917.


We have received from Cpl. G.McGREGOR of the 1st/9th Manchesters, Ashton Territorials, a photo of the men who were on the transport Ivernia when the vessel was torpedoed in the Mediterranean on New Years Day. The names of the men are: Cpl. G.McGREGOR, Pte. J.SLATER, Pte. H.COOKE, Pte. A.BROADHURST, L/Cpl. A.BOSTOCK, Pte G.MONKS, Pte A.PRESTWICH, Pte. C.DAVIS. The men are now safe in Egypt.

They had a thrilling experience, one man, L/Cpl. J.BOSTOCK, being in the sea for over three hours, and owing his life to the fact that he is a strong swimmer.

A graphic story is told in a letter sent to his mother this week by Pte. C.DAVIS, whose home is at 150, Charles Street, Ashton. Pte. DAVIS writes: - "Dear Mother, I am very pleased to inform you that I am back with the old boys in the battalion. After my experiencing ????(illegible) on the Ivernia I consider myself very fortunate in being spared to write you once again. It was 11 o'clock on New Years Day when I was sat on the deck and I heard a crash and I did not know what was the matter until I looked around at the funnel of the ship and there was coal and wood being sent upwards. So I fastened my lifebelt, as I knew it was going to be a dip. Then I got in my lifeboat and we were hoisted down from the davit and we were being knocked about in the little boat with the sea being so rough, and the lifeboat I was in began to fill with water, so we commenced to bale out the water. We were in a bad state for two hours, and the big boat was sinking all the time, and there were men in the water shouting for help, but our boat was full, and we could not take anymore on board".

Published in the Reporter 10th March 1917.


Ashton Territorials Honour.

Mentioned in Dispatches.

Sgt. WHITHAM (Rifle Brigade) of Gerrard Street, Ashton, has been mentioned in dispatches.

He has been in France 25 months and has seen some heavy fighting at Ypres and the Somme. He worked at the Bradford Colliery, Manchester before the war.  

Published in the Reporter 17th February 1917.


 Mr. and Mrs. William White, of 121 Welbeck Street, Ashton, has been killed by a hand grenade, which burst prematurely in the trench. Private WHITE (1825) was with the Ashton Territorials at the Dardanelles, being invalided home with dysentery. He volunteered for the firing line, and was attached to the 18th Battalion Manchester Regiment in France. He was only 19 years of age. Private WHITE, who was connected to the Mill Lane Wesleyan School, worked at Beely's(?) Works, Hyde, as an apprentice boilermaker. Lieutenant W. MARSDEN BARRATT, of the 9th Manchester Regiment, attached to the 18th Manchester wrote the following : - "Dear Mrs. White, I feel that I must write to express to you my deepest sympathy in your great loss. I remember him in Gallipoli with the good old 9th, and when I became attached to the 18th battalion Manchester Regiment, I was very glad to see at least one face that I knew. He had always a smile, and was one of the bravest boys that I have ever known. I hope you will find comfort in your sorrow knowing that your boy died like a man serving his King and country". (Hugh C White died on the 29th January. He is buried in Beauval Communal Cemetery). CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE GRAVE OF HUGH C. WHITE.

 The 9th Battalion were the last troops of the 42nd Division to arrive in France. They disembarked at Marseilles on the 11th March 1917, and were transported by train to Pont Remy, arriving there on the 14th March.

 Published in the Reporter April 21st 1917.


Ashton Man's Death in Egypt.


Mr & Mrs Kerr, of Park Street, Ashton, have received unwelcome intelligence that their son, Pte. 1984 JAMES EDWARD KERR, of the 1/9th Manchester Regiment has died of pneumonia at the 25th Stationary Hospital, Ismailia (Suez Canal). He was 30 years of age and was connected with the old Volunteers for several years before the war broke out. He was previously employed as a stripper and grinder for Messrs. Rayners Ltd, and was well known due to his connections with the Ashton-Under-Lyne Botanical Society. Captain F.W. KERSHAW, of the 1/9th Manchester Regiment, has written the following letter to Mr KERR.

B.E.F. France 9.4.17. "Dear Mr Kerr - Probably by the time this letter reaches you, you will have received the sad news of your son's death in hospital in Egypt. He had been in my Company (B Company) a long time, and I knew him very well, and I may say that he was a great favourite with both officers and men. Although not very strong physically, he went through the whole of the eight months on Gallipoli, and also the trying march from the Suez Canal to El Arish without going sick once - in itself a record, and speaks volumes for his grit. I well remember when we were about to start on the trying desert march last July, I thought your son would probably be better left behind at the base, but he was very anxious to come with the Company. "I should be much happier coming with the Company and cooking for the lads Sir," he said, and so he came along with us. You have every reason to be extremely proud of him. He was a noble lad and showed a splendid example to others in the Company under very trying conditions on several occasions. I never remember hearing him grumble, whatever the difficult or trying nature of the job on hand, and I knew that I could always rely upon him to do his share to the upmost of his ability. We were very sorry to have to leave him behind in Egypt when we came to France, and are all more grieved than we can say at his untimely death, and on behalf of B Company's Officer, NCO's and men, I extend you our deepest sympathy in your sad trouble. You have lost a good son, and we a good, true and trusted comrade, but we can all remember him as a splendid example of an Englishman, full of grit and spirit, and cheerfulness, and I repeat, you have every cause to be very proud of him indeed. I hand you a copy of the burial certificate, and a letter, and should you desire any further information regarding your son, I shall only be too glad to be of service to you".

Garrison Chaplain A.S. HUCHENS, of the St. John's Garrison Church, Ismailia, has also written a letter, in which he says - "Private 1954 J. KERR, 1/9th Manchesters, was ill some days in the 25th Stationary Hospital, Ismailia. He was well looked after, and at first seemed to be doing well. But on March 3rd he became much worse. I had seen him every day, and on March 4th I went at 7.30am to see him and pray with him. He was very ill, but was able to speak to me quite clearly. After prayer I went to see a few men in the same ward, and ten minutes after went back to him. At that moment he became unconscious, and died in the most quiet way possible. It was difficult to realise that his soul had gone so quickly and peacefully. He was buried in a nice cemetery near by in the afternoon by me. I am sorry for your loss." (James Edward Kerr is buried in the Ismailia War Memorial Cemetery).

Published in the Reporter April 28th 1917.



News has been received of the death, through wounds received in action, of Stretcher Bearer (Drummer) 350908 EDWARD HODGKINSON, son of the late Mr. James Hodgkinson and Mrs Maria Hodgkinson of 8 and 10, Corporation Street, Stalybridge. He joined the 2/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment early in 1915, and had been with them at Colchester until they left for France a few weeks ago. He attended Albion Sunday School, where he was a teacher for many years. He had been a member of the Boys Life Brigade since it's formation, and was a most energetic worker, and formed one of the squad who won the J.W.Kenworthy Ambulance Shield. Much sympathy is felt for his mother and family in their sorrow. He was held in esteem by all his many friends, and will be greatly missed.

Captain GORDON WHITEHEAD, Medical Officer of the 2/9th has written to Mrs Hodgkinson as follows: - "I feel it my duty to write to you to say how very much I deplore the sad fate of your son Eddie. He was one of my most capable stretcher bearers, which believe me, is saying a great deal. I have, through long contact with the men of this unit, come to look upon them, more especially the bearers, as my brothers. He, with the rest of them, was always willing, always cheerful, and always anxious to render what aid he could towards the wounded or the sick. His work of mercy was always thorough, and he spared himself no physical discomfort to see his work was quickly and efficiently done." (Edward Hodgkinson is buried in the Gorre British and Indian Cemetery). CLICK HERE TO VIEW EDWARD HODGKINSON'S GRAVE. Click BACK in your browser to return to this page.

Published in the Reporter 5th May 1917.



Mrs Lord, of 17, Marland Street, Hurst, has been informed by a message from a chum, and also by one of the Ashton Territorials over on leave from France, that her eldest son, Private 351625 HARRY LORD, was killed by a stray shell in France on April 26th. The Territorial who broke the news added that he was lucky not to have been killed by the same shell.

Pte. LORD joined the 3/9th Manchesters together with his younger brother, Pte. GRANVILLE LORD, who is still in France, about two years ago. He was 22 years of age, and formerly worked as a piecer at the Cavendish Mill, Ashton. (Harry Lord is buried in Epehy Wood Farm Cemetery, Epehy). 

 Published in the Reporter 5th May 1917.



Whilst acting as a stretcher bearer and bandaging a comrade, Private 351494 WILLIAM NALLY, of the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment (Ashton Territorials) was killed by a shell. A chum. Private J. BOSTOCK who has broken the news of her sons death to Mrs NALLY, of Albion Terrace, Ashton, says he and another chum had run to rest near the line(? illegible). Pte. NALLY, who was 30 years of age, worked as a minder at the Malborough Mill, Oldham. A brother of Private NALLY, Driver TOM NALLY, of the 181st Brigade R.F.A returned home from hospital the day the news of the death of his brother arrived. He had been suffering from a slight wound in the leg and trench fever. (William Nally is recorded on the Thiepval Memorial). 

Published in the Reporter 5th May 1917.




Much sympathy has been expressed with Mr TOM LOWE, licensee of the Beaver Inn, Bentinck Street, Ashton, who has received an official intimation of the death of his son, Private 48496 SYDNEY LOWE, of the 3/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, attached to the 19th Battalion Manchester Regiment. It will be remembered that Mr Lowe had previously suffered a double bereavement. A daughter was burned to death early in the New Year, and shortly afterwards his wife died. Pte. SYDNEY LOWE, who was killed on April 2nd, resided at the Beaver Inn. He worked at the Tudor Mill as a piecer before he enlisted in the 3/9th and had been in France since February. He was 22 years of age, and married. Another son, Pte. NORMAN LOWE is serving with the 2/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment. (SYDNEY LOWE is recorded on the Arras Memorial to the missing).

Published in the Reporter 5th May 1917

The parents of Pte. JOHN ASHWORTH, 2/9th Manchesters, who reside at 7. Mill St. Dukinfield, have received intimation from the Record Office at Shrewsbury that he has been injured in France. Since then Pte. ASHWORTH has sent a letter from the 7th General Hospital stating that he was wounded in action, as a result of which his right leg has had to be amputated below the knee. He was also wounded in the head and chest by shrapnel, and two fingers of his left hand injured. Pte. ASHWORTH is 27 years of age and single. Up to the time of enlisting he was a turner at Messrs Jones, Guidebridge, and was connected with Dukinfield Hall Day and Sunday Schools. 

Published in the Reporter 5th May 1917.



Deep and sincere sympathy has been expressed with Mr & Mrs T. PENNINGTON, of the Hollies, Newmarket Rd. Ashton, in the loss through war of the second of four sons who had joined the Army. For several days they had been held in anxious suspense owing to a letter they had sent to their son, Pte. 350112 JOHN PENNINGTON in France, having been returned. Enquiries were made at both the Home Office and at Preston, but nothing definite could be learned. On Tuesday a letter was received from France from Major E.H. SCOTT as follows: - "Dear Mr Pennington, I am writing to tell you how much we all regret the death of your son. He was Company Clerk, and was of the greatest assistance to the Company Sergt. Major and myself. He was very popular with all ranks, and was always willing to help, and nothing was ever too much trouble for him. His death was instantaneous, as he was hit by a shell when leaving Company headquarters". 

Pte. 352110 JOHN PENNINGTON joined the 2/9th Manchester Regiment on January 22nd 1916, and went to France on March 3rd of the present year. Prior to enlisting, he was a clerk in the office of Messrs. Pennington and Son, accountants, Manchester, and was a former scholar of Albion school. He would have attained his majority on 29th August next. He was beloved by all for his kindly and straightforward manner.

Pte. 1602 FRED PENNINGTON, an elder brother, who was in the 1/9th Manchesters, and was mobilised at the outbreak of war, died in a military hospital at Liverpool in October 1914, following an attack of appendicitis. Pte. TOM PENNINGTON, another brother, has been in France several months, whilst yet another brother, GEORGE PENNINGTON, who came over from Australia, and is a Private in the 8th Reinforcement A.I.F. expects going across any day now. (John Pennington is buried in the Gorre British and Indian Cemetery). CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE GRAVE OF JOHN PENNINGTON.

Published in the Reporter 12th May 1917.

ONE OF THE 2/9th.

Ashton Territorial Killed in France.

An official intimation has been received by Mr & Mrs Parry, of 93, Cambridge St. Ashton, that their son L/Cpl 351169 JAMES PARRY had been killed in Action in France on April 21st. L/Cpl PARRY enlisted in the 2/9th Territorials in Ashton in October 1914, but he had only been in the fighting line a few weeks before he was killed. Before he enlisted he was employed at Mr E Catlow's Leather Stretching Works, Denton, as foreman. He had been employed there for 14 years. He was 32 years of age, and received his early education at Ryecroft Independent Schools.

(James Parry is buried in the Bethune Town Cemetery).

Published in the Reporter 12th May 1917.


Sad circumstances attached to the news of the death of Pte. 352452 JOHN WILLIAM HULME, 2/9th Manchester Regiment, of 13, Anglesey St. Waterloo. The information was received on Saturday by his parents, Mr & Mrs William Hulme, and it was more regrettable inasmuch as Mrs Matilda Hulme had only been home a week from hospital, where she had undergone an operation. Pte. HULME was their only child, and it was with deep sympathy for Mr & Mrs Hulme that the people of the village heard of the sad occurrence.

Pte. HULME was 19 years of age, and was formerly employed at the Rock Mill, Waterloo as a piecer. He enlisted twelve months ago and had only been in France nine weeks, and his spirit gained him the affection of his comrades. The letter announcing his death was from his Lieutenant who spoke of him as a sturdy and fearless soldier. Pte. HULME was in the Lewis Gun Section, and a letter from his sergeant reflects the popularity which the young soldier had achieved. It was dated May 3rd, and stated that Pte. HULME was enjoying a little sunshine when a shell came along and killed him and another boy. We had learned to look on him as a brother more than a mate, a good man at his work, and he gained the admiration of everyone he came in contact with, always a bright little fellow, who did all required of him with a smile. Pte. HULME was brought up in connection with the Waterloo Wesleyan Church and School, and along with his parents, was very much respected in the district. (William Hulme is recorded on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the missing).

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