Fred Haynes Kershaw, Private 21265, 22nd Battalion, Manchester Regiment
Died of wounds 15th July 1916 in the Somme, France
Frederick Haynes Kershaw was born in Stone, Staffordshire in 1888, the son of Elizabeth and Edwin Kershaw, a stationary engine driver. By 1891 the family had moved to Macclesfield and three-year-old Fred was living at Court 7 House 1, King Edward Street, Macclesfield with his parents and siblings Rowland (14), Florence (13), Joseph (11), Edwin (9), John (8), Mary (6) and Lizzey (4). In 1901 Fred, then aged twelve, was living at 12 Crompton Road with his widowed mother and siblings Rowland (24), Edwin (19), John (18), Mary (15), Lizzie (14), Laura (9) and May (7).
Fred was educated at Duke Street School and attended St Michael’s Church. After leaving school, Fred moved to Manchester where he served his apprenticeship with an electrical company, but later joined the railways as an engine cleaner.
On 28th May 1910 Fred married Elizabeth Taylor at St Mary’s Church, Moston; Fred was then employed as a fireman, living at 19 Faversham Street, Moston, and Elizabeth lived down the road at number 7. The census of the following year shows the couple had moved to 34 Tetlow Street, Newton Heath, where their daughter Laura was later born. A second daughter, May, followed in 1912 and a son, also named Fred Haynes, was born in June 1914. The couple’s last child, Mary, was born in early summer 1916; it is doubtful whether Fred ever saw his baby daughter.
In late 1918, two years after Fred’s death, Elizabeth married James Cleworth.
Fred joined the Manchester Regiment soon after the start of the war and was drafted to France on 12th November 1915. He was attached to the machine-gun section and was badly injured, later dying of his wounds on 15th July 1916.
His death was reported in the Macclesfield Times of 8th September 1916:
Official intimation of the death from wounds of Private Fred Haynes Kershaw, of the Manchester Regt., was received by his relatives in Macclesfield during the weekend. Some anxiety had been felt concerning his safety for several weeks, as no letter had come from him, and… the War Office stated that he had died on July 15th.
The deceased was the son of the late Mr Edwin Kershaw… He was educated at the Duke Street School and attended the Old Church. His mother, who lived in Cottage Street, died last Christmas, and one married and two unmarried sisters now reside in Crompton Road. Private Kershaw leaves a wife and four young children at Manchester, where he was employed on the railway prior to enlistment. He served his apprenticeship with an electrical firm in Manchester, but had been in the railway service for some time. The deceased soldier joined the Army at the beginning of the war and went to France last November. He was in the machine-gun section of the Manchesters, and a comrade, who is now in the Whitworth Street Hospital, Manchester, has written stating that Private Kershaw was riddled with bullets. He was removed to the base, where he succumbed to his wounds.
Although Private Fred Kershaw would have been buried in a small local cemetery at the time of his death, it seems that the burial place was lost as a result of later fighting in the area, and he now has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel Ref. Pier and Face 13 A and 14 C of the Thiepval Memorial in France. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Fred Kershaw.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Marriages
Manchester, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1915
Manchester, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1930
Census (England & Wales): 1891, 1901, 1911
WWI British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects
WWI British Army Medal Rolls Index Cards
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Macclesfield Times: 8th September 1916