Bygone news: 20 Apr 1917 – The Macclesfield Times

Roll of Honour; News from the Front; Announcements




Mrs Gilfoil, 24 Church St, Bollington, has received official confirmation of the death in France of her husband, Corpl William James Gilfoil, Lancs Fusiliers… He was reported missing just over six months ago. He came to live at Bollington about five years ago, and prior to the war was employed at Messrs Hammond’s brickworks, Pott Shrigley. Corpl Gilfoil was mobilised as a reservist on the outbreak of war, having previously served nineteen years in the Army. He took part in the South African war and held the King’s and Queen’s medals. He went out to France in September 1914 and was twice gassed and four times wounded. He leaves a widow and two children.



It is with regret that we announce the death of Lance-Corporal Arthur Johnson, Cheshire Regt, (T), who was killed in the battle of Gaza on March 26th. He was the son of Mr and Mrs Thomas Johnson, 4 Tunnicliffe St, Macclesfield… Educated at Christ Church School, he afterwards entered the employ of Messrs Horrockses, Crewdson & Co, 107 Piccadilly, Manchester, in whose counting-house he was engaged at the time of his enlistment in the Cheshire Territorials on Sept 4th 1914. He was then only 17 years of age. The lance-corporal, after training… went out to the Dardanelles and took part… in the memorable landing at Suvla Bay… Two days later he was… shot through the muscle of his arm, the bullet penetrating his chest. He was placed on a hospital ship and taken to hospital at Malta, where the bullet was extracted. After about a week there he was transferred to England… eventually being sent to the convalescent camp at Heaton Park. From there he went to Oswestry and last July he was drafted out to rejoin his battalion in Egypt. Lance-Corporal Johnson attended the Beech Lane Sunday School and worshipped at the Old Church [St Michael’s]. He was also a cricketer. During a portion of his service the deceased was engaged on the clerical staff of the orderly room.



Mr Edward Catterall, 4 House 1 Court Windmill St, Macclesfield, has been officially notified of the death in action at the battle of Gaza on March 26th of his son Lce-Corpl Fred Catterall, Cheshire Regt. Lce-Corpl Catterall was 23 years of age and nearly six feet in height. He was born in Manchester and his parents came to live in Derby St, Macclesfield when he was six years of age. The lance-corporal received his education at Christ Church day school and was formerly employed at Messrs Carlisle’s paper mill, Heapy St. On the outbreak of war he was mobilised with the local Territorials, having previously served for over twelve months. The deceased was drafted out to Suvla Bay, where he had a narrow escape, a bullet embedding itself in a bully beef tin in his haversack. He remained in the Dardanelles for six months, and afterwards went into hospital suffering from frostbite. Lance-Corpl Catterall subsequently set sail for England, arriving on Christmas morning of 1915. Upon recovery he came home of a ten days furlough about the end of February. He was then transferred to Oswestry, from whence he was ordered out to Egypt at the end of March 1916. [He] was… a member of the old Macclesfield Athletic Club, in which he gained several prizes…



Mr and Mrs Lawrence Belfield, 41 Brook St, Macclesfield, received a telegram… [informing them] that their eldest son, Private Harold Belfield, a machine gunner attached to the Cheshire Regt, died on 11th inst from wounds received in action in Mesopotamia… on March 6th, an official message came… stating that Private Belfield was lying dangerously ill in the Second British Hospital in Amara… He had sustained a sever gunshot wound int he back, and his death… occurred in the hospital at Basra, to which place he had been removed… Private Belfield’s father… is a turnkey for the Macclesfield Corporation, by whom he has been employed nearly all his life. Deceased was an apprentice fitter at the Corporation Gasworks and was a native of Macclesfield, receiving his education at St Paul’s Day School. He was connected with the Park Green United Methodist Church and Sunday School, and was a member of the “Helping Hand” Tent of Rechabites. Private Belfield enlisted in the local Territorials shortly after the outbreak of hostilities, being then 17 years of age, and after training… was transferred to the machine-gun corps. He passed his examinations first class and was drafted out to India last August, subsequently proceeding to Mesopotamia… At the time of his death he was 19 years of age…



Mrs E Ashby, 3 Jodrell St, Macclesfield, had a notification… presuming the death of Private Samuel Rose, Cheshire Regt, who had been officially posted as missing since October 21st last… Private Rose had no parents or relatives except an aunt, and he lived, before joining the Army, at School Row, Higher Hurdsfield. He was born at Kerridge and was 37 years of age. Prior to the war he was a stonemason at the Stockport Cemetery and he joined the Cheshire Regt on March 27th, 1916, being drafted out to France in the following September. He took part in the fighting on the Somme, where he fell in October, the last field-card received from him being dated September 26th. Deceased was unmarried.




SGT J H WARREN – Sgt John Henry Warren, Cheshire Regt, whose wife resides at 21 Lowe St, Macclesfield, is lying wounded in hospital at Bombay. He was in action in Mesopotamia on February 15th when a shell burst in front of him, shrapnel striking him in both eyes and on the shoulder. One eye has been taken out, but there is hope that the Sergeant will eventually regain the sight of the other. Mrs Warren has received the following letter… written on his behalf by a comrade: I am in the Victoria Hospital, Bombay, which is staffed by Australian sisters who are kindness itself… I am hoping to be on my way to England soon… Sergt Warren is a Macclesfield man… 34 years of age. He was educated at Lord St Day School, and attended the Parish Church, being a member of the Men’s Bible Class. Prior to enlistment he was employed by Mr Wake, Sunderland St. Sgt Warren joined on the outbreak of war and was drafted to Mesopotamia last June. He has been in hospital three times with malaria.

SERGT W WALTHALL – Sergeant Walter Walthall, Cheshire Regt, son of Mr George Walthall of 224 Black Rd, Macclesfield, was wounded in the Gaza fighting on March 26th. Sgt Walthall was mobilised on the outbreak of war, having previously served twelve months with the local Territorials, and was drafted out to Egypt shortly after the evacuation of Gallipoli. He is 23 years of age and was educated at St Peter’s Day Schools, being a member of the Young Men’s Bible Class. He was formerly employed as a cotton weaver at the Lower Heys Mill. He has three uncles and two cousins with the colours.

SERGT R JONES – Mrs Jones, newsagent, 73 Brown St, Macclesfield, has been officially notified that her husband, Sgt Ross Jones, of the Cheshires, was wounded in Egypt on March 26th. Sgt Jones, who enlisted a few months after the declaration of war, is 44 years of age and before joining the Army carried on the business in Brown St. He is a well-known local bowler and was formerly a member of the Brewers’ Arms and Pack Horse Clubs. He also bowled in county competitions. Sgt Jones trained at Northampton, Bedford and Oswestry and was drafted out to Egypt just over one year ago. Two sons are in the Army: one, Private Robert Jones, is serving in France, and another is in training in England with the Welsh Fusiliers.

LANCE-CORPL H TOMKINSON – Mrs Tomkinson, a widow residing at 41 Cross St, Macclesfield, [has been advised] of the wounding at Gaza on March 26th of her only son, Lce-Cpl Harold Tomkinson, Cheshire Regt (T). Twenty years of age, and born in Macclesfield, he joined the local Territorials in April 1914 and was mobilised with them… in August of that year. After training in England, he accompanied his battalion to Suvla Bay and in November 1915, while serving in the Dardanelles, was shot in the lower part of the body. He was in hospital at Gibraltar and afterwards in Bristol, where the bullet – which is now in the possession of his mother – was extracted… He was drafted out to Egypt last June. Lce-Cpl Tomkinson, who is in the signalling section, was [educated] at St George’s Branch School and attended the St George’s Church and Sunday School. He was formerly a Boy Scout and before enlisting in the Territorials was a member of the St George’s Church Lads’ Brigade. After leaving school he entered the employ of Messrs W Frost & Sons, Park Green Mill, and at the time of mobilisation worked in King Edward St as a fustian cutter.

PRIVATE H F SHENTON – Pte Harold F Shenton, son of the late Mr Richard Robert Shenton, and of Mrs Shenton, 26 St George’s St, Macclesfield, has been wounded a second time. Twenty-five years of age, a native of Macclesfield, Pte Shenton enlisted in the Territorials in November 1914 and proceeded… the following July to Suvla Bay. He was shot through the arm two hours after the landing. After receiving treatment in Alexandria he was sent to a hospital in Liverpool. Subsequently he was at Heaton Park and Oswestry before… joining his battalion in Egypt. He took part in the battle of Gaza and was wounded on March 26th. Pte Shenton attended the Park St United Methodist Chapel and Sunday School, being deeply interested in religious work, and was an active worker for Liberalism and a member of the Liberal Club. Before the war he was… in business with his elder brother, Mr Thomas Shenton, who is a master window cleaner.

PRIVATE J BROUGH – Mrs Brough, 111 Bridge St, Macclesfield, has been… notified that her husband, Pte James Brough, Cheshire Regt (T) was wounded at Gaza on March 26th. He is a Macclesfield man and worked in civil life at the Hurdsfield Mills of Messrs J and T Brocklehurst & Sons (1911) Ltd. Joining up shortly after the war broke out, he went through the Dardanelles campaign and was in hospital at Malta for rheumatism. Subsequently he was drafted to Egypt. Private Brough was home on furlough about six months ago. Prior to the war his home was in Higginbotham Street, and his parents kept a shop in Cross St, Sutton.

PRIVATE J MULLINS – Mrs Mullins, 15 Allen St, Macclesfield, has been informed that her son, Pte John Mullins, of the Cheshire Regt, was wounded at Gaza on March 26th. Pte Mullins is 24 years of age and received his education at St Albans Day School. He joined the Territorials twelve months prior to the outbreak of war… Pte Mullins was one of the hundred local men who volunteered for service in France and was wounded… Upon recovery he was drafted out to Egypt. Pte Mullins was formerly employed at the Manchester gasworks.

PRIVATE A BARBER – Mrs Barber, Stubbs Terrace, off Waterside, has received notice that her son, Pte Arthur Barber, of the Cheshire Regt, was wounded at Gaza on March 26th. Pte Barber is 23 years of age and educated at St Paul’s Day School. Before enlistment he was employed at the Langley Printworks, having been in Messrs Whiston’s employ for about eight years. Pte Barber… was drafted out to Egypt last June. Two brothers are serving with the colours, and another, Pte Sam Barber, was at the landing at Suvla Bay.

PRIVATE F SUTTON – Pte Fred Sutton, Ches Regt (T) of 3 Cotton St, Macclesfield, was wounded at Gaza on March 27th… Twenty years of age, and son of Mr James Sutton, he received his education at the Duke St National School and in civil life was employed by Alderman P Davenport, J.P. He enlisted… in September 1914 and went out with the battalion to Suvla Bay, remaining in Gallipoli till November 1915, when he had to go to hospital at Malta as the result of frostbite. Subsequently he was sent to England and received further hospital treatment at Whitchurch… He was sent out to Egypt last July. Private Sutton played football with the St Alban’s team and was a member of the Catholic Young Men’s Club. He was attached to the machine gun section.

PRIVATE G WOOD – Mrs Wood, 4 Barton St, Macclesfield, was notified… that her husband, Pte George Wood, was wounded at Gaza on March 26th. He is the son of Mr and Mrs George Wood, 5 Shrigley St, and was educated at the Daybrook St School. Pte Wood attended the Large Sunday School and was a member of the YMCA, to whom for some time he acted as organist. He was also a well-known Forester. At the time of enlisting in the local Territorials in September 1914 he was employed by Messrs H & L Slater, Bollington, where he then resided, having been married the previous January to Miss Brough, of Macclesfield… Pte Wood went through the Dardanelles campaign, and after being transferred to Egypt was in hospital at Cairo for some time, suffering from dysentery. When in Macclesfield he took a leading part in the annual carnivals. He is 26 years of age.

PRIVATE J FRAY – Mrs Fray, 10 Ryle St, Macclesfield, has received news that her only son, Pte Joseph Fray, of the Cheshire Regt, was wounded in the Gaza fighting on 26th March. Pte Fray is 21 years of age and received his education at St Paul’s Day School. He also attended St Paul’s Church and was formerly in the employ of Messrs Simpson, joiners and builders, Sutton. Pte Fray was mobilised on the outbreak of war, having previously served twelve months in the local Territorials. He was drafted out to the Dardanelles and was wounded at the landing of Suvla Bay. Pte Fray underwent treatment in hospital at Plymouth and after a brief furlough was transferred to Egypt. He was a well-known local billiard player and a member of the Bank St Mission Club.

PRIVATE J P FARRALL – Another local soldier wounded in the battle of Gaza on March 26th is Pte J P Farrall, Cheshire Regt, son of Mr and Mrs J Farrall, 11 Church St West. Twenty-four years of age, Pte Farrall was educated at St Alban’s Day School and was a regular attendant at the Church. He was formerly employed as a peat digger on Dane’s Moss and enlisted about twelve months ago…

PTE W OLDHAM – Mrs Greenwood, Ryles Park, Macclesfield, has been informed that her brother, Pte WIlliam Oldham, Cheshire Regt, was wounded at Gaza on March 26th. Pte Oldham enlisted twelve months ago, prior to which he was employed in a local printing establishment.

PTE G BALL MISSING – Pte George Ball, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, son of Mrs Ball, licensee of the Sir Robert Peel Hotel, Higginbotham St, has been… reported missing since the engagement at Gaza on March 26th. Twenty years of age, Pte Ball was educated at St John’s Day School and attended St George’s St Baptist Chapel. Before enlistment he was employed at Mrs Leech’s dyeworks, Pearl St. Pte Ball joined the local Territorials on the outbreak of war, and on being drafted out to Egypt twelve months ago was transferred to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. His father, Pte Joseph Ball, is serving with the Cheshires in France, as also is his brother, William Henry. Another brother, Arthur, joined up last week.




JOHNSON – Killed in action on the 26th March, 1917, Lance-Corporal Arthur Johnson, of the Cheshire Regiment, at Gaza, Palestine, aged 20. Dearly beloved son of Mr and Mrs T Johnson, 4 Tunnicliffe Street.

SCOTT – Killed in action on March 26th, Second Lieutenant Arthur Blake Scott, Cheshire Regt, fourth son of Joseph and Sara Scott, Sarala, Wilmslow.


NADEN – In loving memory of my dear son, Harry Naden, who died 20th April 1916. Sadly missed by his sorrowing mother, brother and sisters.
A light is from our household gone,
A voice we loved is still,

A place is vacant on our hearth,
Which never can be filled.
“At Rest.”
61 Brown St, Macclesfield.


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