Bygone news: 13 Apr 1917 – The Macclesfield Times

Roll of Honour; News from the Front; Local News; In Memoriam




Many families in Macclesfield, Bollington and the neighbourhood have been plunged into mourning as the result of the recent heavy battle in Palestine, in which it is evident, from the official notification of casualties, that the local Territorials played a conspicuous part. The engagement took place on March 26th and 27th, and the operation, according to the report of the Commander-in-Chief in Egypt, was most successful, and owing to the fog and waterless nature of the country round Gaza just fell short of a complete disaster to the enemy… Unfortunately success was not achieved without some sacrifice of precious lives, and although the casualties, having regard to the severity of the operations, were comparatively small, this locality, we regret to say, mourns the loss of several brave sons. In our last issue we published a list of local officers killed and wounded, and their names appeared int he official casualty list on Monday; and the first notifications concerning the rank and file reached Macclesfield on Tuesday and still continue to arrive daily… It will be noticed that a large proportion of those mentioned served throughout the campaign in the Dardanelles and another noteworthy feature is the number of instances in which brothers fought side by side in the battle. So far no details are available… Some confusion in identification has arisen in consequence of the recent re-numbering of all ranks, and in two or three cases the friends are reluctant, pending the receipt of further information, to accept the intimation as reliable.



By the death of Lance-Corporal James Henry Collins, Ches Regt (T.), killed in action in the field at Gaza on March 26th, four young children, whose ages range from 13 to two, are left fatherless. His home was at 31 Union Street, Macclesfield, where his wife and family still reside… Son of Mr and Mrs Edwin Collins, Silk Street, the deceased was 38 years of age and a native of Macclesfield… the Lance-Corporal was, in consequence of the illness of his mother, on the point of coming home for his first leave since going on foreign service two years ago… Lance-Corporal Collins was educated at St John’s School, and for eight years prior to the outbreak of the war had been in the employ of Messrs G Roylance & Co Ltd, Macclesfield, as a slater. For ten years he had been an enthusiastic member of the Volunteer Fire Brigade, in which he held the rank of Corporal… He enlisted in the local Territorials on August 26th, 1914, took part in the Suvla Bay landing and came through the Dardanelles campaign unharmed… At one time Lance-Corporal Collins held office as Secretary of the Labourers’ Union, and he was a prominent member of the Trades’ Hall. He had been married 17 years. Shortly before the action at Gaza the deceased had been acting as Sergeant and was expecting early advancement to that rank… writing to his wife… [on] February 28th, the Lance-Corporal said: You no doubt have read… of the grand advance of the troops in Egypt. We are the lads, have marched about 200 miles since we started… Referring to his prospective leave he said: Don’t tell the kiddies. I should like to meet the lads and see what they would do…



Private Fred Mathers, Cheshire Regt, one of three brothers in the fight at Gaza, has unfortunately fallen. He was the youngest son of Mr and Mrs Charles Mathers, 57 St George’s Street, Macclesfield… the death of Private Mathers occurred in action… on March 26th. Along with his elder brothers, the deceased, who was 23 years of age, served in the Macclesfield Territorials for some years… He was mobilised with the Cheshires and trained with the first line of the battalion in England. In July, 1915, he went out to the Dardanelles and was present at the landing at Suvla Bay…. He had not been home since going on foreign service. In civil life he was a carter for Mr Nixon, coal merchant, Macclesfield. He was educated at St George’s School under Mr A Salt, and attended the St George’s Street Baptist Church and Sunday School. His brother Thomas, whose wife and family reside in Pitt Street, accompanied the deceased to the Dardanelles, and another brother, Charles, later was drafted to Egypt, where all three met… [Charles] was employed at Messrs Backhouse and Coppock’s, Sutton, and Tom worked at Messrs White’s dye-works, High Street. Private C Mather’s wife lives in Albion St. Mr and Mrs Mathers have also two sons-in-law serving, and the death of their son Fred has come as a great shock to them.



Official intimation has been received of the death in action at the battle of Gaza on March 26th of Private Harry Cleaver, Cheshire Regt, son of Mr James Edwin Cleaver, 2 Coronation St, Macclesfield. The late Private Cleaver was 32 years of age and a native of Macclesfield. He was educated at the Centenary Day School and attended the Brunswick Wesleyan Chapel. Private Cleaver was formerly employed as a baker by Messrs Gee, Chestergate, and eleven years ago emigrated to Canada to take up farming. He returned to Macclesfield nearly two years ago, and joined the Territorials. After training at Oswestry he was drafted out to the Dardanelles and was present at the Suvla Bay landing. He was slightly wounded in Egypt about six months ago… [he] has two brothers serving… Private James Cleaver, Cheshire Regt (who, it is surmised, was also in the Gaza battle) and Private John Thomas Cleaver, Manchester Regt (serving in France).



Official news has come to hand of the death in action at the battle of Gaza on March 26th of Private Ralph Broadhurst, Cheshire Regt, son of Mr R Broadhurst, 6 Baker St, off Crompton Road, Macclesfield. Private Broadhurst was 30 years of age and a native of Macclesfield. He was educated at Crompton Road Day School and attended the Church there. Enlisting in the local Territorials nearly two years ago, he was drafted out to Egypt twelve months later. Prior to enlistment the deceased soldier was employed by the Cheshire County Council as a roadmaker. His nephew, Private W Biddulph, is serving in the Army.



Private Samuel Houghton, Cheshire Regt, of 26 Allen St, off Brook St, Macclesfield, was killed in action at Gaza on March 26th. He leaves a wife and one child. Born in Macclesfield, the deceased received his education at St Paul’s School and as a lad was connected with the Parish Church and Sunday School. He was formerly a silk dresser at the Hurdsfield mill of Messrs J and T Brocklehurst (1911) Ltd. For a period of twelve months he lived in Oldham, which is now his father’s home, returning to Macclesfield about three years ago when he secured employment with Messrs Smale at the Bollin Mills. In his younger days he was a well-known local footballer, having been associated with the Volunteer and the St Michael’s Parish Church clubs. Private Houghton served int eh Territorials before the war and, being time-expired, re-enlisted in October, 1914. He participated in the campaign in Gallipoli, where he contracted frost-bite and rheumatic fever, and was sent to hospital at Malta. Subsequently he was invalided home and upon recovering from the effects of his illness rejoined at Oswestry and was drafted out to his old battalion in Egypt a little under twelve months ago. Private Houghton’s three brothers are int he Army, one being a Sergeant in the Manchesters, another a Lance-Corporal in the King’s Own Royal Lancasters, and the third a private in the Royal Scots. All three have fought in France, two being still at the front, while the other is at present in a convalescent home in Ireland recovering from the effects of wounds. Deceased, who has numerous relatives in the borough, had been attached to the machine-gun corps for nearly the whole period of his service, having passed the course with distinction. In a letter to his wife, written four days before the Gaza engagement, he said: We are now in the Holy Land, but I would rather be in our own land…



Mrs Mary Bailey, 3 Gunco Lane, Macclesfield, has been officially notified that her son, Private James Bailey, of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, was posted as missing since the battle of Gaza on March 26th. Private Bailey is 21 years of age, and received his education at the London Road (Branch) Day School. He was formerly employed at Messrs Hammonds’ brickworks, Pott Shrigley, and enlisted two years ago…



Mrs Burgess, 114 High Street, Macclesfield, has been informed that her husband, Private Arley Burgess, Northumberland Fusiliers, was killed in action in France on March 28th. The news was contained in the following letter, written by the chaplain: …with the greatest regret I write you the sad news of the death of your husband, 47275 Private A Burgess, N.F., which occurred on March 28th. He was in the trenches when a shell fell directly upon the dug-out in which he was sitting and he was killed at once… Private Burgess was 35 years of age and leaves two children. He was born in Macclesfield and was educated at Crompton Road Day School. He attended St George’s Church, and was a member of the St Peter’s Working Men’s Institute. Prior to joining up, seven months ago, he was employed by Mr John Clayton, builder and contractor, Sunderland Street. Private Burgess was drafted out to France last December. He has two brothers int he Army, one of whom has been twice wounded. Both are serving in France.



Miss Price, 33 Station Street, Macclesfield, has received a message from the Army Council stating that they… believe that her brother, Pte Richard Price, of the Canadians, who was posted as missing on September 26th, 1916, is dead and that his death took place on or after that date. A native of Macclesfield, Private Price was 41 years of age. He was educated at Christ Church Day School under Dr Beach, and before emigrating to Canada about eleven years ago was engaged in local journalism. Private Price took up farming in Canada and enlisted while out there in the Canadians. He was drafted out to France and three months later was wounded. He returned to the firing line and was reported missing after the Somme battle…



We regret to announce the death of Corporal L Harrop (6221), late of 79 High Street, Macclesfield, who was killed in action on March 4th, 1917 “somewhere in France.” The deceased was educated at the St George’s Day School, and attended St John’s Sunday School when a boy. He enlisted when 18 years old in the 2nd Northampton Regiment (“C” Company) and was drafted out to South Africa soon after the Boer War commenced. At the conclusion of hostilities his regiment was sent out India, where he stayed for eight years. The last two years of his time were spent in the Barracks at Northampton Depot as a drummer and bugler. When the European war broke out he was called up as a Reservist, and went out to France… He took part in the hottest engagements… and was wounded twice and gassed once. He was mentioned in dispatched for bravery and raised to the rank of Corporal. The deceased was 36 years of age, and had been in France two years and seven months. He was always proud of being one of Sir John French’s “contemptible little army,” and… he was the possessor of the Queen Victoria and King Edward medals.



News has been received by Mr and Mrs William Jones, 3 Lucas St, Stockport, formerly of Arbourhay Street, Macclesfield, that their son, Private William Henry Jones, of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, was killed in action in Mesopotamia on January 25th. Private Jones was the grandson of the late Sergt Jones, Oxford Road, Macclesfield, who went through the Indian Mutiny. Born in Macclesfield 25 years ago, the late Private Jones was educated at Daybrook Street School and attended Hurdsfield Church. He was formerly employed at the Lower Heyes Mill as a cotton weaver, and when his parents went to live at Stockport five years ago he took up a situation at the India Mill, Stockport. He enlisted shortly after the outbreak of war. The deceased soldier’s father, Gunner William Jones, served through the Boer War and is now in Egypt with the Cheshire Regt. Two brothers of Private Jones have responded to the call – Private Fred, Welsh regiment (in France) and Private E Jones, who has been discharged… as a result of wounds received at Hill 60.



Sapper James Snape, husband of Mrs Snape, Kerridge End Cottages, Rainow, has passed away in hospital at Chatham from pneumonia. Deceased, who was 35 years of age, had only been in the Army six weeks. He was in the Royal Engineers. Sapper Snape was born in Kerridge and was formerly a stone-worker at Sheldon’s Quarry, Bollington. Previous to enlistment he was working at Entwistle, Bollington [sic – should read Entwistle, Bolton]. He leaves a wife and two children.




LIEUT G F SEEL – Cablegrams received by Mrs Seel, Thornleigh, Park Lane, Macclesfield, the mother of Lieut G F Seel, state that he was seriously wounded… on March 26th, and was conveyed to a hospital in Cairo, which he reached on 7th inst… the patient is now believed to be out of danger.

LIEUT F WHITE – Mr Frank White, of Messrs Stoneley and White, Mill St, Macclesfield, received a cablegram on Tuesday, dispatched from Port Said, informing him that his only son, Lieut Frank White, who was reported last week as having been wounded, had sustained an injury to his back. It is believed that the wound is not serious…



PRIVATE J W W STEVENSON – Private J W W Stevenson, whose wife and seven yougn children reside at 22 princess St, has been wounded at Gaza… A Macclesfield man, 36 years of age, he attended St Paul’s Day School as a boy and was a weaver at the Lower Heyes Mill before enlisting in the Territorials at the beginning of the war. Private Stevenson, a week after landing at Suvla Bay, was shot through the shoulder, which necessitated hospital treatment. He returned to the trenches and contracted fever, being invalided home from Malta in January, 1916. Upon his recovery he reported at Oswestry, where last August he was one of the victims of a bomb-throwing accident. While engaged on digging operations a piece of shrapnel from an exploding bomb penetrated his chest, and he was in hospital about a fortnight. Last October he was drafted out to Egypt, where he rejoined his old battalion, and has now had the misfortune to be wounded for the third time. Prior to joining up [he] was a member of the St Peter’s Working Men’s Institute.

PRIVATE W BUSHELL – Private Wm. Bushell, wounded on March 26th, is the son of Mr and Mrs John William Bushell, 39 Waterloo St, Macclesfield. He was, in civil life, a weaver at the Lower Heyes Mill, where his father was also employed for a great number of years. Mobilised with the Territorials, Private Bushell, who is 25 years of age, came unscathed through the horrors of the Dardanelles, but for a short time was under treatment at Malta Hospital for frostbitten feet. He was educated at Daybrook Street School and… was connected with the Hurdsfield Church Young Men’s Society.

PRIVATE C MCDERMOTT – Mr Joseph McDermott, silk weaver, 18 Silk St, Macclesfield, was notified that his son, Private Charles McDermott, Cheshire Regt, was wounded at Gaza on March 26th. Twenty-two years of age, he was employed before the war as a finisher at Mr Harry Turner’s Brookside Mills, and joined up at the outbreak of hostilities…. A Macclesfield lad, he was a scholar at the Duke Street National School, and attended the Parish Church and Sunday School. His mother died four years ago, and a younger brother, John William, is in England with the Cheshires.

PRIVATE J ROYSTON – Mrs Royston, 27 Thomas St, Macclesfield, is anxious about her son and only support, Private John Royston, reported wounded at Gaza on March 26th. He is 21 years of age and enlisted in the Territorials early in January 1915… he was among the party left behind at Alexandria and did not therefore participate in the landing at Suvla Bay… he rejoined the battalion in Gallipoli soon after… During his service on the Peninsula he was seized with dysentry and was in hospital for some time at Malta, proceeding then to Egypt. He had worked at the Lower Heyes and also for Neckwear, Ltd, and received his education at the Duke Street National School.

PRIVATE P BRACEGIRDLE – Pte Percy Bracegirdle, also wounded on March 26th, is a Macclesfield man and lived in Derby Street, where he was born. He is 26 years of age and a general labourer. Early in the war he joined the Royal Engineers, from which he was discharged, and later he re-enlisted in the Territorials. Prior to going our to Egypt about twelve months ago he was married, his wife at that time being a servant at the King’s Arms Hotel, Derby St, and she is now living at Tunstall…

PRIVATE J A SAVAGE – Mr John Savage, a railway worker, of 14 Waterloo St West, Macclesfield, received the sad news on Wednesday of the wounding of his son Pte John Arnold Savage, while fighting with the Territorials at Gaza. He has already lost a son in the war, Pte Arthur Edgar Savage, Cheshire Regt, having fallen in France last July. Pte J A Savage is 25 years of age, and was also in the railway service. He started as an engine-cleaner on the North Stafford Railway at Macclesfield, and at the time of enlistment was a locomotive fireman at Stoke, to which place he had been transferred. Previous to joining the Company, he worked for Messrs Gee, bakers, Chestergate, entering their employ after finishing his education at Christ Church School. He was a choir boy at the Old Church [St Michael’s] and subsequently worshipped at Christ Church. Joining the Territorials in October 1914, he went out to Suvla Bay in the summer of 1915, and three or four days following the landing was shot through the arm and shoulder. A period of hospital treatment at Lemnos Island followed, at the expiration of which he was drafted back to the fighting line. While in the trenches he contracted frost-bite int he feet, and was invalided home, spending some time as a patient in a hospital in Scotland. From there he went to Oswestry and before going out to Egypt a year ago was married.

PRIVATE A SMITH – News that her son, Pte Alfred Smith, had been wounded was conveyed… to Mrs Smith, widow, 22 Stanley St, on Wednesday. He enlisted at the age of 17 and was sent to Egypt from Oswestry over twelve months ago. Born in Sutton, where his family formerly resided, and educated at St Alban’s School, he worked at Messrs Hammonds’ brickyard, Bollington, prior to joining up. Private Smith received his injuries on March 26th at Gaza. A younger brother, Private Arthur Smith, is in training in England. Their father, who was a chairmaker for Mr J Bagnall, Sunderland St, died five years ago.

PRIVATES J AND F HALL – Two brothers fought in the battle and were wounded the same day – Pte James Hall, 38, Water St, Macclesfield and Pte Fred Hall, 92 Park Lane, Macclesfield. Mrs James Hall received the official intimation… on Wednesday morning, and her sister-in-law… in the afternoon. Pte James Hall, the elder, is 26 years of age, was educated at the London Road branch school and attended the Brunswick Wesleyan Sunday School and Church. He was employed by Messrs Ashton and Holmes as a quarryman when he joined the Territorials in December 1914, and following the landing of the battalion at Suvla Bay was officially reported as missing. Later he returned to his unit, from which he had been temporarily cut off, and fortunately had not met any harm… His brother, Pte Fred Hall, was formerly a well-known YMCA worker at the Macclesfield branch. He is 22 years of age and took an active interest in the Young Men’s Class at the Brunswick Wesleyan Sunday School, upon whose Roll of Honour his name appears. Shortly after joining the service 16 months ago he was married… The brothers have been constant companions, having worked and slept together in the desert. Private Fred Hall was also a scholar at London Road, and was employed before enlistment as a paper finisher at Messrs Carlisles’, Heapy St. He was a football player.

PRIVATE HARRY BARTON – Mrs Barton, 46 Copper St, has been informed that her only son, Pte Harry Barton, of the Cheshire Regt, is now in hospital at Amara, Persian Gulf, suffering from a gunshot wound int he left thigh. Private Barton was born in Macclesfield 21 years ago, and received his education at St Peter’s Day School. He was also a member of St Peter’s Men’s Bible Class. Before enlisting, seven months after the commencement of hostilities, Private Barton was employed as a lamplighter at the Central Station. He was drafted out to Egypt shortly after the evacuation of Suvla Bay. He has two cousins in the Army.

PRIVATE A BAILEY – Private Albert Bailey, Cheshire Regt, son of Mr and Mrs Fred Bailey, 31 Saville St, was wounded at the battle of Gaza on March 26th. Twenty-five years of age, Pte Bailey was educated at St Peter’s Day School, and was also a member of the St Peter’s Young Men’s Bible Class. He was formerly employed at the Lower Heys Mill as a cotton spinner, and afterwards at a Yorkshire munition works. Pte Bailey enlisted on december 1st 1915, and was drafted out to Egypt on June 2nd of last year. He has been in hospital three times suffering from dysentry. Two brother are with the colours – Pte Charles Bailey (serving in Egypt with the Cheshires) and Pte James Bailey (now in training at Suffolk).

PRIVATE B SWINDELLS – Pte Ben Swindells, of the Cheshire Regt, son of Mr B Swindells, 4 Holland’s Place, off Black Road, was wounded at the battle of Gaza on March 26th. Pte Swindells, who is 22 years of age, was educated at St Paul’s Day School and before enlistment was employed by Messrs Brocklehurst as a silk dresser. He joined the colours two months after the start of the war, and was present at the Suvla Bay landing. Some time back he was in hospital at Malta through frostbite. His brother, Pte Moses Swindells, is in training with the Royal Field Artillery.

PRIVATE E BULLOCK – Mr Charles Bullock, 20 Holland’s Place, has been notified that his son, Pte Edmund Bullock, South Wales Borderers, was accidentally wounded in France and is now in hospital. Pte Bullock is 31 years old and attended St Peter’s Day School. Before joining the colours he was employed as a fireman at the Corporation Baths. He enlisted a short period after the commencement of the war and was drafted out to France last October. Pte Mark Bullock, his brother, recently sailed for India with the Royal Field Artillery.

LANCE-CPL J E POMFRET – Mrs Pomfret, Princess St, off Buxton Rd, has received a communication… stating that her husband, Lance-Corpl Joseph Ellis Pomfret, of the Cheshire Regt, was wounded in the Gaza fight on March 26th. Pte Pomfret has six children, two of whom are with the colours – Pte Ellis, of the Manchester Regt (in France) and Pte John William, of the Cheshires (in Egypt). He is 46 years of age and was formerly employed at the Lower Heyes Mill. He also worked for Mr Berry, Prestbury Road, as a labourer. Pte Pomfret enlisted at the beginning of the war, and went out just after the evacuation of the Dardanelles. His brother, Pte Wm Pomfret, Cheshire Regt, was killed in action at the Dardanelles about twelve months ago.

LCE-CORPL E GOSLING – Mrs Heeley, 46, Pitt St, Macclesfield, has… [heard] that her brother, Lce-Corpl Ernest Gosling, of the Cheshire, was wounded in Egypt on March 26th. The Lance-Corporal is 22 years of age, being the son of the late Mr Frederick Gosling, Jackson St. He was educated at St Paul’s Day School and was a member of the Bethel Baptist Band. He enlisted soon after the outbreak of the war and was at the landing at Suvla Bay. Lce-Corpl Gosling was formerly employed at the Macclesfield Shoe and Slipper Works, Sunderland St. He has several relatives in the Army.

LCE-CORPL F WAITE – Lce-Corpl Fred Waite, son of Mr and Mrs J H Waite, 46 Prestbury Rd, is wounded. His father is a pensioner of the Cheshire Constabulary. He was stationed for nine years at Tytherington and retired from the force, after 26 years service, three years ago, when the family came to reside in Macclesfield. Corporal Waite was born at Wilmslow and completed his education at the Duke Street National School. He attended the Beech Lane Sunday School and was a member of the Parish Church Men’s Bible Class. Twenty-three years of age, he enlisted in the Territorials in November, 1914, and went out to Suvla Bay. He was for some time in hospital at Malta suffering from enteric fever and frostbite. Upon recovery he was drafted out to Egypt. At the time of joining up he was employed by F Hall and Co in the warehouse at Victoria Mills. Lance-Corporal Waite is well-known in Macclesfield as a cricketer and billiard player. His younger brother, Gunner Harry Waite, has been with the RFA in France since last July.

PRIVATE F DAVENPORT – Mr and Mrs Samuel Davenport, 38 High St, have four sons on active service and they received news… that one of them, Pte Fred Davenport, Cheshire Regt (T.) was wounded at the battle of Gaza… He joined up in May 1915 and was married shortly afterwards, his wife’s home being at 199 Hurdsfield Road. Private Davenport, who was born in Byron St, was educated at the Centenary School… and at the time of enlistment was employed in Manchester. He was connected with the Brunswick Wesleyan Church and Sunday School and formerly played football with the Boy Scouts… Drafted out to the Dardanelles in October 1915, he was subsequently transferred with the battalion to Egypt. Towards the end of last year, on account of the serious illness of his sister, he was given leave of absence and had an exciting experience on the voyage home. His ship either struck a mine or was torpedoed… and the troops on board lost nearly all their belongings. Fortunately the vessel kept afloat, and Pte Davenport was landed with the others at a port, where he had to wait six days before he could resume his voyage… on a cattle boat… [arriving] in Macclesfield just before Christmas. In the meantime, however, his sister had passed away. Private Davenport returned to Egypt last January… Mr and Mrs Davenports other soldier sons are: Drummer Samuel and Corporal Leo, North Staffords, both in France; and Pte William, Cheshire Regt, who went out to Salonika and is now in a convalescent home in Malta recovering from malaria.



Gunner Frank Ball has written home to his mother, who lives in Coare St, stating that he received a slight scratch on the leg in action. Gunner Ball is only 17 years of age and was educated at Daybrook Street School. Twelve months ago he joined a training ship and has since been serving somewhere in the North Sea. He was formerly a telegraph messenger at the Macclesfield Post Office, Park Green.



Gunner J Genders, late of 54 Mill Lane, Macclesfield, who is now serving with the Artillery in France… [wrote] of a recent happy meeting with other Macclesfield men in France: …I had the pleasure of meeting three of my pals… two of them were Mr N Rathbone’s sons from Sutton, and the other was Corporal Frank Woodward, also of Sutton… All three are drivers in the R. E. Field Co. I met James Rathbone first… and… went up to his billet… and there I saw Jack Rathbone and Corporal Woodward. The latter, I see, has won the Military Medal, which I guess you will have heard of, as he told me he was on leave in Macclesfield last August…




In addition to the list published last week, the Roll of Honour of the Macclesfield Cricket Club also contains the names of Messrs G Heywood and C Twemlow…



WETTON – In ever-loving memory of James Allan Wetton (Royal Engineers), who died on the 17th of April, 1916. “Gone but not forgotten” – Father, Mother, Sisters and Brothers.
Olive Bank, Grimshaw Lane, Bollington.



Bygone news: 13 Apr 1917 – The Macclesfield Times — 2 Comments


    In the last line of the above paragraph, it should say Entwistle, Bolton.

    (although I appreciate that the paper might have got it wrong!)