Bygone news: 23 Mar 1917 – The Macclesfield Times

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




Mr and Mrs Stonehewer, 22 Newton St, Gorton, Manchester, the parents of Private Samuel Stonehewer, Gordon Highlanders… have received many letters of sympathy… Private Stonehewer was the grandson of Mr Samuel Stonehewer, formerly hall-keeper at the Macclesfield Town Hall, and was born in the borough twenty years ago. His father was for many years associated with the Lord Street Sunday School. Deceased received his education at the Manchester Grammar School, and at the time of enlistment, shortly after the war broke out, was employed with the National Policy and General Insurance Co. The deceased joined the Gordon Highlanders in January 1915, when only 17 years of age, and after three unsuccessful attempts to enlist in the Royal Scots. He spent three years [sic] in training at Bedford, and was drafted to France on May 2nd, 1916. Since then he had only had two short periods of leave, and had taken part in a great deal of heavy fighting… Touching tribute to the deceased is paid by CQMS Benwick, to whom for some time he acted as assistant. He writes: Sam was killed just after the advance had started, and those who saw him lying dead on that blood-covered ground tell me he lay just as if asleep. Sam was loved by all in the company, and a finer lad I never met… among others from whom Mr and Mrs Stonehewer have received feeling messages are Mr J L Paton, headmaster of the Manchester Grammar School; Mr A J Cort, Gorton Hyde Road School; and Mr J E Whiteley, Hon Secretary of the Gorton Swimming Club, of which the deceased was a prominent member.




The Distinguished Conduct Medal has been awarded to Sergt-Major Arthur Bell, of the Australian Imperial Forces, son of the late Mr Francis Bell, formerly of 66, St George’s Street, Macclesfield, and brother of Mr S Bell, butcher, 34 Mill Lane. Sergt-Major Bell has had the distinction conferred upon him for conspicuous gallantry in action. He rendered most valuable services, in organising and supervising parties for the distribution of ammunition, food and water in the front line. The Sergt-Major is a Macclesfield man and 41 years of age He is married and his wife resides in Manchester. He was educated at St George’s (Branch) Day School, London Road, and formerly attended St George’s Church and Sunday School. Before emigrating to Australia he was employed at a Manchester wireworks. he left England four years ago to take up employment in the silver mines at Tasmania, and on the outbreak of war enlisted in the Australian forces. Drafted out to the Dardanelles on April 25th 1915, he was twice wounded in the fighting there. After being in hospital at Malta, the Sergt-Major returned to Gallipoli, where he remained till the evacuation. He was subsequently sent out to France… Other local winners of the DCM are: Sergeant J G Burns, Royal Engineers; Corporal Walter Saxon, Royal Engineers; Sergt-Major Bown, a Macclesfield man in the Canadian Forces; and Private James Stafford, 4th Batt Kings Liverpool Regt.



Second-Corporal Frank Woodward, Royal Engineers, son of Mr and Mrs Robert Woodward, 165 High St, Macclesfield, has been awarded the Military Medal for distinguished conduct on the field… Corporal Woodward is 29 years of age and married, his wife and three children being resident at 3 Cow Lane, off Byron Street. He was born in Macclesfield and received his education at the London Road Branch School under Miss Priestley. His father is a carter for the Macclesfield Corporation, in whose employ he has been for the greater part of his life, and at the time of his enlistment immediately on the outbreak of the war the son was engaged in a similar capacity. Previously he had been with Mr T Wellings, Chestergate, and before that was a coachman at The Bagstones. Cpl Woodward was also a member of the Corporation Fire Brigade. He went out to France after ten months’ training in England and has taken part in many big engagements. Fortunately he has come through without a scratch. He was home on furlough last May, and his relatives are very proud… The Corporal is the 17th local recipient of the Military Medal and the fourth Corporation employee to be thus decorated. The other three are: Sergt A Albinson, Royal Fusiliers, who was employed as a clerk in the Health Office; Acting Sergt S Battersby, RAMC, and Private J Heap, Grenadier Guards, both of whom were in the Borough Police Force before the war. In addition to Corporal Woodward, two other winners of the distinction belong to the Royal Engineers, while Corporal W Saxon, DCM is also associated with that corps. Thirteen Military Medals were awarded to Macclesfield men in 1916 and the remaining four have been granted this year.



Captain F A Harrison, son of the late Mr Wm Harrison and of Mrs Harrison, Cumberland Street, Macclesfield, is home on leave from the front. He has been serving continuously in France since October 1915. Joining the Public Schools Battalion immediately after war broke out, he received a commission in the Manchester Regiment on Boxing Day 1914, and his advancement from second to first lieutenant was followed very quickly by further promotion to the rank of captain, in command of a trench mortar battery. Captain Harrison participated in the “big push,” and the commanding officer being wounded he took charge of the battery in the early stages of the offensive, twice receiving the congratulations of the Brigadier upon the good work he performed. He was in Macclesfield shortly before Christmas and since returning he has seen a good deal of warfare. Captain Harrison, who is an old boy of the Macclesfield Grammar School, arrived home on Sunday and is due back at the front early next week.



Mr and Mrs Featherstone, Mill Street, Macclesfield, have received an intimation that Captain W H Lea, a Macclesfield man, who was the master of the British liner Port Adelaide, which was sunk by a German submarine in February, is safe in Germany, where he is a prisoner of war. He has written to his wife, who lives at Wimbledon, to this effect. Captain Lea was born at Bluebell Farm, Tytherington, 44 years ago, and educated at the Modern School, Macclesfield. He has been in the mercantile marine since the age of 14, and was captain in charge of liners for about 15 years. Serving his apprenticeship on the Australian line, he afterwards for a long period sailed between New York and Yokohama, subsequently voyaging between London and Australia. When the Port Adelaide was torpedoed on February 3rd, Captain Lea was taken prisoner on the submarine, and the crew and passengers were picked up and landed at Vigo.




The amateur performances of The Private Secretary, given last week at the Macclesfield Theatre (kindly lent by Mr Gatley) in aid of the Macclesfield Volunteer Funds, came to a very successful conclusion on Saturday night. Public satisfaction with the production was evidenced in crowded houses, and on Saturday night a packed audience was kept in roars of hilarious enthusiasm… On Saturday afternoon a special matinee was given for the entertainment of the wounded soldiers in the town and district. The Theatre was full, the attendance including soldiers from the Infirmary, the Hurdsfield House and Prestbury Road Auxiliary Military Hospitals, from Lady Sheffield’s hospital at Alderley park, and from Bollington. A number of the VAD nurses and children and others from the Workhouse also accepted invitations to be present… Mrs Acton, to whom the production owed so much of its success, was the recipient of a handsome knitted silk scarf, and to the other ladies of the play, Miss Josephine Ennis, Miss Dora Hulme and Miss Capper, boxes of chocolates were presented. To the Rev Robert Spalding (Mr Grimshaw) was handed a bath bun and a bottle of milk, and to Cattermole (Mr Swan) a phial of liver pills – these gifts evoking much merriment. On Saturday evening, the members of the cast were entertained at supper at the Theatre by Mr T Kelsall, who is a most energetic member and generous supporter of the Volunteers. Mr Kelsall was heartily thanked for his kindness… On Monday evening, Lieut Gerald Higginbotham (Adjutant of the 7th Battalion), who has taken the warmest interest in the amateur dramatic performances, very kindly entertained the members of the cast, the Volunteer officers and other friends at supper at the Macclesfield Arms Hotel. There were present, in addition to Lieut Higginbotham, Major and Mrs Walter Bromley-Davenport, Captain H W Arnold, Lieut A E and Mrs Brees, Lieut W T and Mrs Brough, Lieut W and Mrs Holland, Lieut E R and Mrs Clark, Lieut J and Mrs Thorpe, Lieut L H Lomas, Mrs Acton, Mr and Mrs D Grimshaw, Mr and Mrs G Proctor, Mr and Mrs A W Smith, Mr and Mrs S Swan, Miss Josephine Ennis, Miss Dora Hulme, Miss E Capper, Mr R J Campbell, Mr H Harrison, and Mr F Arighi… Major Bromley-Davenport spoke in terms of high appreciation of the services of Mrs Acton and Mr R J Campbell, of Lieut Brough and Hon Secretary and of Mr Arighi as property master…



The Home Office having recently permitted a relaxation of the Lighting Order under the defence of the realm regulations, the Chief Constable ( Mr Hy. Sheasby)… has… sanctioned the lighting of a certain number of lamps in the main thoroughfares – the Market Place, Chestergate, Mill Street, Park Green, Waters Green, Hibel Road and Jordangate. The lamps are shaded three parts of the way down to prevent a reflection upwards, and the lights are extinguished each night at ten pm.



Alderman C A Bradley, J.P., presided over a meeting of the health Committee on the 15th inst., when the Medical Officer reported the following notifications of infectious disease since the last meeting: Four cases of scarlet fever, 54 of measles, and three of German measles. There were eleven cases in the isolation hospitals.



The Town Clerk stated that he had been visited by an inspector of the Board of Agriculture, who pointed out the seriousness of the food question, and requested him to ask the Council to relax their bye-laws and restrictions with reference to the keeping of pigs, so as to encourage the breeding of pigs and the keeping of fowls and rabbits. It was resolved that with a view to increasing the supply of food the bye-laws be relaxed until further notice. The question of utilising the farm buildings at the sewage works for the keeping of pigs was referred to the Sewage Works Sub-Committee… It was resolved that the question of organising a system of collection of waste food from the houses in the borough be referred to the Cleansing Sub-Committee…

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