Bygone news: 29 Sep 1916 – The Macclesfield Times

News from the Macclesfield Times and East Cheshire Observer of Friday 29th September 1916.

Roll of Honour; Tribunal News; Other News



With the continuance of heavy fighting in France, the casualty list grows rapidly. The deaths of local men reported this week are more numerous than for some time, and several Macclesfield families mourn the loss of brave sons. Portraits and biographical details of Macclesfield soldiers who have been killed appear below. A sad feature of the list is that it contains the names of two men – Driver Edgar Woodcock, New Zealand Contingent, and Bugler-Sergeant J. C. Daniels, Australian Forces – who left the old town to seek their fortunes abroad and volunteered for service immediately the call for help came from the Motherland. Private Percy Gordon Westwood, who has succumbed to wounds, was the son of a Macclesfield man who emigrated to South Africa over thirty years ago.



A promising career has been cut short by the death in action of Driver Edgar Woodcock, New Zealand contingent (Army Service Corps), youngest son of Mr F J Woodcock, blacksmith, 33 Park Green, Macclesfield… Driver Woodcock was in his 22nd year. He was born in Macclesfield and received his education at the Lord Street School. Upon leaving he entered the employ of the Hovis Co., and later took up farming with Mr Arthur Wardle at Gawsworth, his intention being to emigrate and pursue an agricultural career in the Colonies. At the age of 17 he went out to Parmiston, New Zealand, where he was engaged in farming when the war broke out. The deceased immediately enlisted, and was sent to Egypt, where he remained for twelve months… Last May he was drafted to France without having the opportunity of paying his parents a visit… He was killed on the 20th inst. Before emigrating the deceased attended the Park Street Chapel and Sunday School, and he played football with the Lord Street School team. His father is a member of the Macclesfield detachment of the Cheshire Volunteer Regiment… Mr Woodcock has received the following letter from Lieut.-Colonel J Atkinson, commanding the New Zealand Army Service Corps – “I much regret to have to announce to you the death of your son, Driver E Woodcock, N.Z. Divisional Train, on the 20th inst… he was killed instantaneously by a shell and… did not suffer any pain…”



A local soldier who has fallen in the fighting at Combles is Private George Bradshaw, Cheshire Regt, whose home was at 36 Garden Street, Hurdsfield. The sad news was contained in a letter from Private Peter Wright, a member of the comradeship known as the Hurdsfield ‘Knuts’, who stated that Private Bradshaw was killed on Thursday Sept 22nd, and that several Macclesfield lads were wounded in the same battle. Private Bradshaw was 27 years of age. He was born in Macclesfield and received his education at the Daybrook Street School under Mr Armstrong. The deceased attended the Hurdsfield Church. He enlisted on the 10th September 1914 and was drafted out to France the following February. Prior to joining the colours he was employed by Mr Goddard, Market Place. Private Bradshaw was a well-known footballer, having played for the Macclesfield Wednesdays and St Peter’s Clubs.



After enduring much suffering, Private Percy Gordon Westwood, of the South African Contingent, nephew of Mrs Westwood, 35 Shaw Street, Macclesfield, who was reported… wounded, has… died of his injuries. He was struck in the back and legs with shrapnel, and was removed to a clearing hospital in France. Gas gangrene supervened, necessitating the amputation of one of his legs, and the poor fellow succumbed to his wounds on the 2nd inst…

Private Westwood, who was only twenty years of age and of fine physique, was a nephew of Mr J Westwood, plumber… His father, Mr William Westwood, left Macclesfield over 30 years ago for South Africa, where he has remained ever since. He is now settled in Pietermaritzburg, and his family consisted of six sons and one daughter. Some years ago he lost his wife, whereupon his sister from Macclesfield joined him and has since been acting as his housekeeper. The deceased joined the South Africans less than twelve months ago, and came over to England, on his first visit to this country, last March. He spent a brief furlough during his training with his aunt in Shaw Street, and visited her again on his final leave preparatory to leaving for the Front, where he had been serving only three weeks when he sustained his terrible injuries… Two of Private Westwood’s brothers served in German West Africa. Mrs Westwood has several relatives with the forces.


Rifleman Frank Shepherd, of the Rifle Brigade, was killed in action while fighting in France on August 23rd. The deceased soldier was a promising young man of 23 years of age. He was a native of Macclesfield and was educated at the Crompton Road Day School and attended the Sunday School there. He had served four years in the local Territorials prior to the outbreak of war and re-enlisted on September 1st, 1914. Private Shepherd was drafted out to France the following May and was over on furlough last Easter. Prior to enlistment, he was employed as a fireman on the Great Central Railway at Manchester. The deceased soldier’s brother offered his services to his country but was rejected.



Mr Henry Daniels, 2 Court 2 house, Lord Street, has been informed that his son, Bugler-Sergt John Charles Daniels, of the Australian Contingent, has been killed in action in France… Sergt Daniels was born in Macclesfield 31 years ago, and was educated at Daybrook Street School. He was for a time employed in the goods department of the L and N-W Railway. The deceased emigrated to Australia about eight years ago, and enlisted on the outbreak of war. He leaves a widow, who resides in Sydney, New South Wales. A brother of Sergeant Daniels has been discharged from the Army on account of an injury to the leg. When in Macclesfield, the deceased was a regular attendant at the Men’s Bible Class of the St George’s Street Baptist Sunday School… His wife is a native of Macclesfield.



Mrs Parry, 13 Derby Street, Macclesfield, has… received a letter with reference to her brother, Private Wm Blundell, Manchester Regt, who was officially reported missing on 8th March while accompanying a force to the relief of General Townshend at Kut… from [her] son, Lance-Corporal C A Parry, Manchester Regt, stationed in India. [He] states “It was on the 8th March that Willie was reported missing. We were attacking a redoubt and got repulsed. A chap of our regiment who was with Willie told me he saw him shot through the head by a Turkish officer. I… was informed that Willie was in the redoubt when he was attacked by four Turks, He shot one, kileld one with his bayonet and another with the butt of his rifle; then he was shot… it is hard to say whether Willie is alive or not. I myself have very little hopes of seeing him again, for all our wounded men were sent back to us. I myself was lucky to get away. I was wounded on the 25th April in the left shoulder. It made my arm useless for a week…
Private Blundell was a native of Liverpool, and at eight years of age was left an orphan. He was educated at a home in Myrtle St, Liverpool, along with his elder brother. Private Blundell lived in Macclesfield with his sister, Mrs Parry, for two years, and was formerly employed by Mr Thompstone, farmer, Broken Cross. He was 26 years of age and was called up on the outbreak of war as a reservist. Drafted out to France in August, 1914, he went through some heavy fighting. Subsequently he was transferred to the relief force which went to Kut…  Private Blundell’s brother, Harry, served twelve years in the King’s Liverpool Regt and went through the South African War, being present at the siege of Ladysmith. Mrs Parry has a son serving in the Navy.


Mrs A. Walsh, 1 Victoria Yard, Macclesfield, has received a War Office intimation stating that “as no news has been received of your brother, Private Alan Parr, Royal Irish Fusiliers, who has been missing since 15th August 1915, the Army Council have been regretfully constrained to conclude that he is dead and that his death took place on or since August 15th 1915.”

Private Parr was a native of Congleton, being the son of the late Mr John Parr, Lion Street. He was 28 years of age, and received his education at the Wagg Street Day School, and also attended the Sunday School there. Private Parr enlisted on the outbreak of war, and was formerly employed in a cotton factory at Rochdale. He was drafted out to the Dardanelles fourteen months ago. Private Parr took part int he Suvla Bay landing and was reported missing a month later.


Official intimation has reached Mrs Gardiner, Buxton Rd, Macclesfield, of the death in action, on the 10th inst, of her son, Private Harold Gardiner, Grenadier Guards. The deceased, who was 23 years of age, was the second son of the late Mr Joseph Gardiner, who was formerly the tenant of High Ash Farm, Wildboarclough. His maternal grandfather, Mr James Stewart, was for some time the agent of Lord Derby’s Crag estate.
Private Gardiner was educated at the Macclesfield Forest School, and before enlisting in August 1914 had charge of an estate at Handforth. He went out to France in January 1915, and during the battle of Neuve Chapelle was shot in the head. Later he was wounded a second time, and after a period of service on the headquarters staff he rejoined his battalion last May. He was killed in the fighting in the Somme district. His younger brother, Corporal Sydney Gardiner, is serving with the Canadians, and a brother-in-law is with the Royal Engineers.



From a statement made by his brother-in-law, Corporal J Pratt, of the Australians, Signaller William Hindley, of the Australian Contingent, son of Mr J T Hindley, Exchange St, Macclesfield, has been killed in France. Corporal Pratt is now home on furlough, having been wounded in the back of the head and on the body. Corporal Pratt states that Signaller Hindley was on fatigue work carrying ammunition to the firing line. The shell fire at the time was particularly heavy, and the signaller put down his box of ammunition. He had gone back about five yards when a shell came across, and it is supposed to have killed Signaller Hindley. The mutilated body of the Signaller’s companion was afterwards found, but no trace of Signaller Hindley has been discovered.
Signaller Hindley was born in Macclesfield, being 34 years of age. He received his education at the Lord Street Day School. Five years ago he went out to Australia to take up employment as a cabinet-maker. Signaller Hindley enlisted sixteen months ago, and was subsequently drafted out to France. His wife and two children are in Australia.



Lieutenant Vernon Taylor, Royal Munster Fusiliers, who has been killed in action, was a member of the Southport staff of the Manchester and Liverpool District Bank. In September, 1914, he, along with several colleagues, joined the King’s (Liverpool) Regiment, and was subsequently granted a commission with the Munsters. Lieut. Taylor was for several years on the staff of the District Bank at Macclesfield…



The list of Bollington men who have given their lives in fighting for the cause of freedom and justice increases as the deadly struggle goes on, and this week two more names have to be added to the roll of honoured dead.

News has been received that Lance-Corporal Charlie Green, of the Grenadier Guards, son of Sergt.-Major and Mrs Green, 49 Lower House, Bollington, has been killed in action in France… the following letter [was] written by Corporal Clarke, a comrade of Private Green… “During the early hours of the morning of the 14th September, while attacking a wood, Charlie was shot through the head by a bullet which caused his instant death…. he was one of the nicest fellows it has been my pleasure to meet…” Lance-Corporal Green was only 20 years of age, and was of fine physique, standing six feet four inches in height. He came from a military family. His father, Sergt.-Major John Green, went through the Chinese war and served 21 years in India. Sergt-Major Green was formerly caretaker at the Conservative Club, and is now on the staff corps, Alexandra Palace. The deceased, who was born abroad, came over to England when he was about ten years of age, and attended the Christ Church Day School. For a time he live din Congleton and was a patrol leader in the Congleton Boy Scouts. His parents came to reside in Bollington about eighteen months ago. The deceased enlisted prior to the war, and on several occasions had been included in the guard of honour to royalty. This is the second bereavement Sergt-Major and Mrs Green have suffered during the war. Another son, Private Sydney, 33 was killed in France about fifteen months ago. A third son is serving with the RFA and was wounded in the thigh some time back. He stands six feet two inches…



Official intimation has been received presuming the death of Private Samuel Hunt, Cheshire Regt., son of Mr Samson Hunt, 6 Higher Lane, Kerridge. He had been missing since August 10th, 1915, shortly after the landing at SUvla Bay. Private Hunt was 26 years of age and received his educatioin at the Bollington Church School. He attended the Kerridge Wesleyan Chapel. Private Hunt was in the Territorials prior to the outbreak of war, and was formerly employed at the Adelphi Mill. He was a widower, his wife having died three years ago, and two little boys, aged four and five, are now orphans… He was one of a family of fourteen, eight of whom are alive. A brother… is serving in France.



Privates A Chappell and G Kirkham have recently joined up in the Cheshires, and F Archer in the Welsh Regt. Private H Street, who enlisted in the Cheshires, has been transferred to the machine-gun section. Trooper D Macdonal (sic), Lowthian and Border Light Horse, has been over on draft leave, and both he and Private Street visited their old school at Gawsworth. Gunner G Millington, RFA, is now on active service in France. Private S Hague, Australian Expeditionary Force, was wounded a short time ago, and is now progressing favourably in a London Hospital. Private Fred Gosling, South Lancashire Regt, one of the three soldier sons of Mrs Gosling, Lime Tree House, Gawsworth, has recovered from his wound and returned to the front. Private W Allibone, Grenadier Guards, was in the heavy fighting on the Somme…




Considerable interest was manifested in the proceedings of the Macclesfield Borough Tribunal on Wednesday night, when an important principle affecting the position of married men over 31 engaged in the dyeing industry, and their liability for military service… was discussed at some length… Alderman Hayhurst, of Bradford, argued the case on behalf of the Dyers’ Association… Close on four hours were occupied in investigating 46 cases… the Mayor (Alderman E Crew, J.P.) presided, and there were also present: Alderman W Frost, J.P., C.C., and Councillor W Pimblott, with the Town Clerk (Mr F R Oldfield), the Military Representative (Lieut. H J Collins) and the Agricultural Representative (Mr G P Daintry, J.P.)
Conditional exemption was claimed by a local firm of dyers for a departmental manager and a dyer, both of whom were over 31 years of age and married. It was stated that the firm were engaged on work in connection with Government clothing, and the staff had been greatly depleted… Alderman Hayhurst said… the Tribunal could not declare that the two men… were not working… in the national interest… Mr Mellor, the applicant in question, had had his only son killed in the war… Both men were married, one being 40 years of age and the other 37, the last having four children… it was in the national interest that men over 31 years of age… should remain in their present employment in the industry… in Macclesfield there were only 190 dyers of military age… if they stopped dyeing or diminished it, they… diminished the whole of the textile trade… it might be stated that 100 other employees were affected by each man… in the dyeing industry.




The following notice… has been issued by the Home Office:- “At 3 am (summer time) in the morning of Sunday, October 1st, Greenwich time will be restored by putting back the clock to 2 am. The hour 2-3 am summer time will be followed by the hour 2-3 am Greenwich time. All railway clocks and clocks in post-offices and Government establishments will be put back one hour, and the Government requests the public to put back the time of all clocks and watches by one hour Employers are particularly recommended to warn all their employees in advance of the change of time. From October 1 onwards Greenwich time will be used for all purposes…” 

[The concept of Summer Time was first introduced by the Summer Time Act of 1916, so altering the time back to Greenwich Mean Time took place for the first time that year. In those days, many households did not possess a timepiece and relied on church and municipal clocks.]



At a meeting of the Macclesfield Corporation Finance Committee on Monday – Alderman C A Bradley, J.P., presiding – the application of the Borough Accountant (Mr J W Herringshaw) for an increase of salary… was considered… Mr Herringshaw is in receipt of a salary of £300 per annum, and the committee resolved to recommend the Town Council to grant him an immediate advance of £25, with an addition of another £25 in twelve months’ time…



Last night an enjoyable whist drive was held at the Prestbury Road Auxiliary Military Hospital, 17 tables being in play. Mr Walton Bushby was the M.C., and the prizes, which had been provided by the Wounded Soldiers’ Entertainment Committee, were distributed by Mrs Walton Bushby to the following winners: 1, Private Doidge; 2, Private Brown; 3, Private J Hall; booby, Private Hemmings. Mr A Salt, one of the Hon Secretaries of the Wounded Soldiers’ Entertainment Committee, was present and spoke a few cheery words to the soldiers.


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