Bygone news: 2 Feb 1917 – The Macclesfield Times


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




Mr and Mrs Joseph Duffield, 8 Waters Green, Macclesfield, have received an official intimation notifying them of the death of their son, Private Thomas Duffield, of the Cheshire Regt, at a place not stated, on January 18th. The late Private Duffield was born at Bollington and was 25 years of age. He received his education at the Water Street Day School and attended the Bollington Primitive Methodist Chapel. His parents came to reside in Macclesfield seven years ago, and at the time of enlisting, on the outbreak of war, the deceased soldier was employed at Hammond’s brickworks, Pott Shrigley. He was a member of the St Peter’s Working Men’s Institute. After a course of training, Private Duffield was drafted out to Salonika nearly two years ago. He was wounded in the arm, and underwent treatment at the Alma Barracks, Ranikhet, India. On his recovery he was drafted to the Indian Expeditionary force, and at the time of his death was supposed to be serving in India. This is the second bereavement Mr and Mrs Duffield have suffered during the present war; their other son, Private George Duffield, of the Cheshires, recently fell in action while fighting in France. Mrs Duffield has three brothers who have responded to the call of King and Country, namely, Private J Press, of Water St, Bollington (who was killed at Hill 60); Private J C Press; and Private Ben (who is serving in Mesopotamia with the Cheshires). Two sons-in-law have also done their duty and several cousins are serving with the colours.




Major Charles Mytton Thornycroft, one of the officers whose name has been brought to the notice of the War Secretary for distinguished services rendered in connection with the war, is the son of Mr C E Thornycroft, J.P., formerly of Thornycroft Hall, near Macclesfield, and served for a time as adjutant of the Manchester Territorial (then Volunteer) Battalion, with headquarters at Ardwick Green…



Lieutenant S Hall, of Macclesfield, whose proud distinction it was to receive his commission on the field whilst fighting with a battalion of the Cheshire Regiment at Suvla Bay, in the Dardanelles Campaign, had an exciting adventure and a fortunate escape on New Year’s Day. He had been over to England on leave and was returning to duty in Egypt by the Cunard liner, Ivernia, when the vessel was torpedoed by a German submarine. In letters which reached his wife and his father (Mr S S Hall, Dicken St) last week-end, Lieut Hall describes his disagreeable experience, which included four hours spent on the open sea on a raft.

Writing from Alexandria to his wife, Lieut Hall says: … I couldn’t get the boat I had intended… at Marseilles, so I got an indulgence passage on HMT Ivernia, a Cunard liner of 15,000 tons, commanded by Captain Turner, late of the Lusitania. We sailed on December 28th… On New Year’s Day a submarine got us… I immediately went to my boat station… the boats hold about forty… a very heavy sea was running… owing either to the carelessness… of those at the davits or to some of the gear breaking, the falls at the stern of our boat were allowed to run out, thus pitching us fifty feet downwards into the sea, and the boat and its contents, oars, masts, etc came on top of us. Luckily nothing struck me. This happened at five minutes past eleven in the morning, my watch stopping at that time…  I managed to get hold of a boat… and hung on there for some time, but could not get in… when I was getting a bit dazed and nearly played out, some kind person dragged me on board a raft, and after bringing up most of the salt water I had swallowed, I began to sit up… We got clear of the sinking ship, and then our job was to keep the raft head on to the seas. There were fourteen of us on the raft. After knocking about for over four hours, continually drenched by heavy seas which gradually got worse, we were picked up by a destroyer… at four o’clock in the afternoon. On the destroyer I got a warm change of clothing, hot cocoa, brandy, etc and felt much better. We were landed at Crete next day and spent a week on that island, and later a transport arrived and brought us all safely to Alexandria. I lost all my kit of course… [and] sustained a few bruises, including a black eye… it was remarkable that so many were saved…

In a letter to his father, Lieut Hall writes: It was a most peculiar sensation to see the fatal line of bubbles approaching the ship and waiting for the explosion… We had well over 2,000 on board… Two destroyers and a couple of trawlers accomplished some good [rescue] work…

When war broke out, Lieut Hall was employed as a clerk in the office of the Macclesfield Borough Accountant (Mr J W Herringshaw) at the Town Hall. He had been connected with the Territorials about seven years, and when mobilised held the rank of Corporal. During the training of the battalion in England he attended a course of instruction at the Bisley School of Musketry and obtained a first-class certificate as musketry instructor. He went out to the Dardanelles as a sergeant with the scouts.

Private A Ward, Byron Street, of the Cheshire Regt, was also a passenger on the torpedoed vessel. He was saved and is now in Alexandria.

1. From Wikipedia: On 1 January 1917 the Ivernia was carrying some 2,400 British troops from Marseille to Alexandria, when at 10:12am she was torpedoed by the German submarine UB-47 58 miles south-east of Cape Matapan in Greece, in the Kythira Strait. The ship went down fairly quickly with a loss of 36 crew members and 84 troops. Captain Turner, who had been criticized for not going down with the Lusitania (even though he had believed he was the last person on board), remained on the bridge until all aboard had departed in lifeboats and rafts “before striking out to swim as the vessel went down under his feet.”

2. This article refers to Samuel Hall, born on 17 August and baptised on 18 September 1887 at Christ Church, the son of Ellen and Samuel Swindells Hall, a silk finisher of 31 Canal Street. He married Marion Cosnett at St Michael’s Church in 1911, served with the 7th Cheshire Regiment with service number 777, and was discharged on 17 August 1915 as a result of being wounded after the landing of the Battalion at Gallipoli. He later rejoined and served as a lieutenant in the 53rd Batt. Machine Gun Corps until the end of the war. In 1939 he lived with his family at 33 Nicholson Avenue, and he died in 1951.
There was another Samuel Hall who was born 13 August 1889, the son of Rose and James Hall, a stationary engine driver; he was a baker who joined the 4th Cheshire Regiment on 14 March 1905 with service number 5832 after serving in the 5th Volunteer Battalion, bought himself out on 12 June 1906 and married Agnes Davies at St Michael’s Church in 1910. This Samuel Hall enlisted with the 7th Cheshire Regiment on 15th December 1914 with service number 3092 but was discharged on 26 March 1915 due to having a heart condition. In 1939 he lived with his family at 43 Oxford Road, and he died in 1961.




A further call is being made by the Army Authorities for medical practitioners, and the East Cheshire Area, which includes Macclesfield and district, has been asked to furnish three – one from Macclesfield and the other two from Stockport.



Miss Adams, B.Sc., Headmistress of the Macclesfield High School for Girls, sends us a detailed statement of the financial results of the sale of work held at the School… a net sum of £113 7s 6d was raised for the Star and Garter Fund… Articles left over will be distributed as follows: Children’s ward at the Infirmary, dolls, etc; Professional Classes War Relief Council, clothes; John Penoyre’s scarf and sweater fund, khaki scarves, etc; Workhouse Military Hospital, books.


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