Bygone news: 26 Jan 1917 – The Macclesfield Times


Roll of Honour; Local Men at the Front; Local News




Mr and Mrs William Etchells, Church View Terrace, Sutton Lane Ends, Macclesfield, have received official intimation of the death of their son, Private Peter Etchells, Welsh Regt, who was killed on December 30th through a bomb explosion. An officer… has written to the grief-stricken parents: …I have to inform you of the death of your son, No. 27696 Pte P Etchells… Pte Etchells was one of my scouts and I and all his comrades mourn his loss… Private P. Morton, a Lane Ends man, in a letter to Mr and Mrs Etchells, says …it has upset me… he was the best pal I ever had. He was killed… by a bomb explosion, about twenty of them were killed together. Peter passed away within a few seconds… I was there and saw him… Private Etchells, who was 22 years of age, was a native of Macclesfield, and was educated at St James’s School… he was formerly in the choir at St James’s Church, and was connected with the Boy Scouts. After leaving school the deceased served his apprenticeship as a joiner with Messrs Mosely, Shaw Street, Macclesfield and at the time of enlistment was engaged at Bristol in the construction of huts for the soldiers. The deceased had been in the Army nearly two years and was drafted out to France nine months ago. His elder brother, Private Arthur Etchells, who resided at Todmorden, is serving with the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.



Corporal Frank Crowder, of the RFA, son of Mrs Crowder, 16 Waters Green, Macclesfield, died in hospital at Colchester on January 20th from injuries received while in a dug-out in France. It appears that on the 10th January the deceased soldier was placed in a dug-out for the night. A creaking noise was heard, and the men rushed out for safety, but a beam struck the Corporal, crushing his hip and back severely. He was sent to the base for a week, and was two days at Rouen. Later he was transferred to Southampton, and from thence to Colchester. On January 18th his wife paid him a visit and was with her husband when he died. Corporal Crowder was 36 years of age, and leaves a widow and two children. He was a native of Macclesfield and received his education at the Fence and Mill Street day schools. The late Corporal served his apprenticeship as a farrier with Mr B Goulden, Hurdsfield, and was afterwards int he employ of Mr F J Woodcock. He enlisted on August 11th, 1914, and was drafted out to France on November 5th of the same year. The deceased soldier was last home on furlough twelve months ago. The body was conveyed from Colchester by rail, and the interment took place at Macclesfield Cemetery yesterday afternoon with semi-military honours. The coffin was covered with the Union Jack, and on it was the deceased soldier’s cap… the bearers [were] Corporals H W Bullock and Luck, Lance-Corporal Leary and Private Roone. The last rites were performed by the Rev A M Pocock, and at the conclusion of the burial service the “Last Post” was sounded by Scout Albert Parker, of the Christ Church troop. The local branch of the Master Farriers’ Association was represented…



The official casualty lists issued last week-end contained the annoucnement that Second-Lieutenant J B Green is reported missing. Lieut Green is a son of Mr John Green of Macclesfield, and was serving with a battalion of the Manchester Regiment.



In an appreciative notice of the death of Captain Arthur Brooks Close-Brooks, M.C., Manchester Regt, who died on January 20th from wounds received in action… The Field states that he belonged to one of the most famous Cambridge rowing families, and adds: The brothers Close provided the only example of three brothers rowing for the same University, John B Close representing Cambridge in 1871 and 1872; James B in 1872, 1873 and 1874; and William B in 1875, 1876 and 1877. During this period Cambridge lost only one race. Captain A B Close-Brooks did not do much rowing until he went up to Trinity. In 1904 he stroked First Trinity second eight in the May races and the Thames Cup at Henley. He had vastly improved his oarsmanship by 1906, when he rowed bow in the First Trinity boat in the May races…




Mr F W Holloway, corn and seed merchant, Stanley Street, Macclesfield, has received an interesting letter from his son, Corporal Harold Holloway, Royal Engineers, who is serving with the Salonika forces: …A heavy mist has been hanging around… it does not affect me in the least as I am in a new bell tent with a nice fire blazing in a spanking stove made out of an old ten gallon oil-drum, lined inside with clay. Trust the R.E.s to make themselves as comfortable as conditions allow… I had the chance of witnessing a fight in the air this week, and it was a fine sight. Our airman forced his opponent down from a great height with his machine-gun, and he landed about a mile from us… At my new post there is no wiring to be done in the dead of night, with the Bulgars about 100 yards away… There is a fine bath-house close by, with plenty of hot water and cement floors. We… have even got a divisional theatre. The pantomime “Aladin” is running with huge success. The fellows in the RAMC have got the show up, and it holds about 500… I expect to get my leave some time in March.



Sergeant E Heathcote and Private J Whiteley, Cheshire Regt, have been awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field.




A successful sale of work in aid of the Star and Garter Fund for providing homes for disabled soldiers was held at the Macclesfield Girls’ High School on Wednesday afternoon. The Headmistress (Miss Adams) presided over a large attendance… Miss Adams remarked that… the girls had given up a good deal of time in making the various articles… the articles would be sold at a minimum price for the amount of work put in, and anything which remained unsold would be sent to the local hospitals… A prize was awarded [to] Nellie Scanlon for the best made article…


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