Bygone news: 18 May 1917 – The Macclesfield Times

Roll of Honour; News from the Front; Local News; Announcements




Mrs McKay, of 214 Bond St, Macclesfield, and formerly of 41 Hollins Rd, a lady who has sacrificed much for the cause of King and country, has this week suffered another bereavement, her son, Company Quartermaster Sergt Charles McKay, Cheshire Regt, having died of wounds received in action in France. Two of his brothers had previously been killed in the war – Sergt Herbert McKay, 2nd Batt Ches Regt, in May 1915, and Second-Lieut Ernest McKay, 1/7th Batt Ches Regt in September 1915… The painful intelligence was conveyed by the Rev J B Simpson (chaplain) int he following letter, written from France on May 11th… I am… writing as chaplain of the 21st casualty clearing station… we laid him to rest as decently and reverently as we could. He was wounded last night – a gunshot wound in the left leg. He was brought down here very early this morning and died soon after getting here… Twenty-nine years of age, the deceased soldier was the son of the late Lieutenant and Quartermaster Robert McKay and of Mrs McKay. He was born at Chester, where his father was then stationed, his parents removing to Macclesfield about 23 years ago. CQMS McKay received his education at the Modern School and as a lad was connected with the choir of the Parish Church, being the leading boy soprano. Later he developed a good tenor voice… He enlisted in the Cheshire Regt when in his teens as a drummer and rose to the rank of Drum-Major. At the outbreak of war he was in India with a couple of his brothers, who were also in the Cheshires, and two of them sailed for France almost immediately, arriving at Plymouth on December 24th 1914. Fred, the elder brother, was left behind for a time in India, and Charles and Herbert, upon coming to England, were drafted out to France… Mrs McKay’s is the only instance [thus far, in Macclesfield] of three sons having fallen in action, but there are several families who have suffered double bereavements. Mr and Mrs P Lafferty, of Dale Brow Cottage, Prestbury, have lost three sons during the present struggle.



Private Charles W R Baker, of the Lancs Regt, whose wife and six children live at Ardwick, Manchester, was killed in France on May 2nd… Private Baker met his death… by a shell whilst discharging his duty. A native of Macclesfield, Private Baker formerly resided in Old Mill Lane. He was educated at Sutton St James’ Day School… and was a member of the Church choir. On leaving school he was employed by Mr J Earlam, Queen Victoria St, and for the last fourteen years had worked at Burgon’s Ltd, Manchester, being a manager at the time of enlistment about two years ago. He was drafted out to Egypt in January 1916, and after taking part in the fighting there, was transferred overland to France. Private Baker was married about seventeen years ago, and his wife is the daughter of the late Mr Joseph Turner, Chestergate, Macclesfield. He was 38 years of age.



Information has been received… notifying the death in action in France on April 23rd of Lance-Corporal Norman Taylor, Seaforth Highlanders, son of the late Mr Richard Taylor and of Mrs Taylor, Hurdsfield Road, Macclesfield. Lance-Corporal Taylor was 23 years of age, and received his education at Daybrook Street Day School. He attended the Hurdsfield Church and Sunday School, and was a member of the Young Men’s Bible Class. In civil life he was employed in the pattern department of the Royal Silk Warehouse, Waters Green. The Lance-Corporal enlisted at Manchester in November, 1915, and after training… in Scotland, was drafted out to France twelve months later. Before going to the front he came home on a week’s draft leave. While in France he went into hospital suffering from frostbitten feet, and on recovery returned to the trenches. Mrs Taylor received a letter dated April 15th… [stating] that he was out of the trenches, and he also wrote a field postcard to his mother a few days prior to his death. His brother, Sergt Ernest Taylor, who was formerly a teacher at Daybrook Street Day School, is in training in Toronto with a signalling section of the Canadians. He is married and left Macclesfield about four years ago.



Private Frank Moran, of the Manchester Regt, son of Mr James Moran, 43 Thomas St, off Roe St, Macclesfield, died at a base hospital on May 6th from a gunshot wound in the left side, received in action in France. In addition to the official notification, a letter came from a comrade, who stated that he was the only one of the platoon left. Private Moran was 19 years and 6 months old, and five feet eleven and a half inches in height. He was born in Macclesfield and received his education at St Alban’s Day School. He attended the Catholic Church and was a member of the Young Men’s Society there. He was formerly employed at Mrs Leech’s dyeworks, Pearl St, where he had been about two years when he was called up under the Derby scheme on May 10th of last year. Pte Moran trained at Colchester and was drafted out to France on March 3rd this year. He knew the late Pte Henshaw and met him at the front. Prior to being drafted out, the deceased soldier came home on four days leave and was also sent to Macclesfield to escort an absentee. His father is employed on the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, being in the carriage and wagon department at Irlam o’-th’-Heights…



The death has occurred in action of Private Charles Jordan, of the Canadian Contingent, who has many relatives in Macclesfield. His aunt, Miss Dexter, of Hurdsfield Road, received the intimation. Private Jordan resided in Toronto before the war.




Second Lieutenant E Samuels, York and Lancaster Regt, eldest son of Mr and Mrs S O Samuels, Longsight, and Brookside House, Hurdsfield, has been wounded in the head and face. He was formerly a student at the Macclesfield Grammar School and had been on active service for over fifteen months.



Mr and Mrs Malburn, Clematis Cottage, Higher Fence Rd, Hurdsfield, have been officially notified that their son, Private Wm Malburn, of the Cheshire Regt, was slightly wounded in Mesopotamia on May 5th and is now in hospital at Amura. He is 27 years of age and commenced his education at St Paul’s Day School, finishing at the Macclesfield Grammar School. Later he was employed as clerk by Messrs S and W Beresford, Mill St. Pte Malburn was one of the first local men called up under the Derby Scheme, and at the time of joining in February 1916 was employed at Messrs Lonsdale and Adshead’s brewery, Park Green. He was drafted out to Mesopotamia in June last year. His eldest brother, Gummer Harold Wain Malburn, is in training with the RFA at Ripon.



Mr George Malburn, 144 Black Rd, has received notification that his brother, Private Joseph Malburn, Cheshire Regt, has been wounded and now lies in hospital at Kantara, suffering from a gunshot wound in the back. He was mobilised on the 5th August 1914, having previously served 7 or 8 years in the local Territorials. Before war broke out he was employed at Messrs Ashton and Holmes, Lunt Hill siding. He was educated at St Paul’s School and was a regular attendant at Mount Tabor Chapel and Sunday School for the last eleven years. He is 29 years of age and went out to Egypt about eleven months ago, after training at Northampton and Norwich. Writing home to his sister, he said, …we have been in the firing line. We went in on Monday and were in the thick of it… Bullets rained over us like hail, and the roughest of men said their prayers. One shell just passed my head and hit a Welshman.



Mr and Mrs Pickering, 8 Smyth St, Hurdsfield, have received official intimation that their son, Pte George William Pickering, who had previously been reported wounded at the battle of Gaza on March 26th, is now posted as wounded and missing. It is possible that he became detached from his unit and is now a prisoner… Pte Pickering, 21 years of age and a native of Hurdsfield, received his education at the Daybrook St School, and before joining the Territorials, prior to the outbreak of war, was connected with the Hurdsfield Boy Scouts and Boys’ Brigade. He attended the Church and Sunday School and was also associated with the Mill Street Mission. In civil life he was a fireman on the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and was in lodgings at Newton heath, coming home to his parents at the weekends. Private Pickering was mobilised with the local Territorials in August 1914, and subsequently transferred to another battalion of the Cheshire Regt for service in France. After being at the front two months he was shot above the left eye and recovered from the injury in a French hospital. Sent back to the trenches, he was again unfortunate, scalding his foot while in the cook-house. He came over the England for hospital treatment at Bristol, and upon recovering had ten days’ leave of absence. He reported at Oswestry, where he remained until October 1916, when he rejoined his old battalion in Egypt.



Corporal Harry Mason, Cheshire Regt, whose wife and three children reside at 17 Lansdowne St, Hurdsfield, has written home stating that he has been slightly wounded over the left eye and is now in a base hospital in France. He is 39 years of age and the son of the late Mr Josiah Mason of Hurdsfield, formerly a silk weaver, who died over twelve months ago. The corporal was educated at Daybrook St Day School, and afterwards was employed at the Lower Heyes Mill as a cotton weaver. He attended Hurdsfield Church. He went through the South African campaign and holds the King’s and Queen’s medals. Prior to the outbreak of the present war he had served for ten years in the Macclesfield Militia. On the expiration of his time, Corporal Mason enlisted in the local Territorials two months before the commencement of the war and was mobilised on the outbreak of hostilities. He was one of the hundred local men who transferred to another battalion for active service in France.



After several months of anxious suspense, Mr John Edward Scowcroft, 74 Hurdsfield Rd, has received a card from his son, Corporal Jack Scowcroft, of the Cheshire Regt, stating that he is a prisoner of war in Germany and has been wounded in the leg. He was reported wounded and missing on February 17th, and his relatives had practically given up all hope of seeing him again. Twenty-one years of age, the corporal is a native of Bolton and came to reside at Macclesfield about eight years ago. He was formerly employed as a fireman on the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway at Newton Heath, and enlisted in the Cheshires when 17 years of age. He was called up on the outbreak of war and was shortly afterwards drafted to France. He was wounded and gassed at Ypres nearly two years ago and after receiving treatment in hospital at Birmingham, came home on leave. He was again transferred to France last June, and has been in hospital suffering from shell shock. Corporal Scowcroft was connected with Hurdsfield Church, and was a well-known local footballer.



Hurdsfield Road was the scene a few days ago of a dramatic reunion between husband and wife. It appears that the former, who is a soldier, had not been heard of for a long time and his wife and relatives practically mourned him as dead. Recently he returned home on leave from the front, and upon proceeding to his house in Hurdsfield Road his little child, who was playing outside, recognised him. Running indoors the child excitedly exclaimed, “Oh, mammy, here’s daddy coming,” thus preparing the way for a pleasant surprise…



A Testament presented to the late Sergeant Harold Coups, who was killed in Gallipoli while serving with the local Territorials, has been returned to his parents after passing through many hands. It is one of the Testaments which Mr J T Lomas gave to the members of the Male Voice Choir and was picked up on the battlefield at Suvla Bay by a soldier who sent it to some friends in Essex, as he could not find the owner. Later, the Testament was handed to an Essex farmer, who recently came to reside in Prestbury, and he returned the volume to Mr Lomas, whose name was inscribed inside along with that of the late Sergt Coups…



The sequel to a police ‘raid’ at the Castle Inn, Church St, was heard at the Macclesfield Police Court on Monday, when Peter Worthington, the licensee, was summoned for permitting, at 10.5 pm on May 3rd, the consumption on his premises of intoxicating liquor – whisky and ale – contrary to the Order of the Central Control Board (Liquor Traffic) for Lancashire and Cheshire Area, dated February 5th, 1916. The following were summoned for consuming the liquor at the hour stated:- John Millward, accountant, Beech Lane (ale); Ernest Armstrong Sanford, clerk, Park St (ale); Arthur Stoneley, grocer, Mill St (ale); Frederick William Crew, silk finisher, Backwallgate (ale); Frederick Fowler, architect, Buxton Old Road (whisky). Mr J G Barclay prosecuted and Mr T A Daniel appeared for the defence. Worthington was the only defendant who attended, Mr Daniel stating that he had a letter from Mr Fowler saying that it was impossible for him to attend the court. Mr Daniel, on behalf of the defendants, pleaded guilty to the offences. Mr Barclay said the defendants were charged with a breach of the Order of the Central Control Board for controlling the liquor traffic, inasmuch as… Worthington permitted the consumption of intoxicating liquors on his licensed premises and the other five defendants consumed the liquor. Licensed premises should be open for the sale and consumption of drink only between 6.30 and 9.30pm… Mr Barclay intimated that the maximum penalty was a fine of £100 or six months’ imprisonment. Mr Daniel… went on to explain… [that] on the occasion in question, Mrs Worthington served the last drink… a little before 9.30… the husband being out, Mrs Worthington, in the midst of her other duties, forgot to call time and defendants sat talking until ten o’clock… they did not think they were doing any harm in sitting there and talking. But they had no drink supplied to them after 9.30… Mr Daniel said the 9.30 restriction was a great hardship to men who were employed until nine o’clock in the evening… Defendants could be on the premises until 11 o’clock in any evening without any law being transgressed… but they would be more careful in future to see that any drink with which they were supplied was non-intoxicating, or that they consumed intoxicating drink before 9.30 in the evening. Defendants were all good citizens on Macclesfield… The Bench retired, and upon returning in a few minutes the Chairman announced that… the landlord, Worthington, would be fined 40s and £1.1s 0d advocates’ fee; and the other defendants would be fined 10s each, with £1. 1s 0d advocate’s fee divided between them.




MORAN – On May 6th (from wounds received in France), Private Frank Moran, son of Mr and Mrs J Moran, of 43 Thomas St, aged 19 years. Bravely he fought and fell.


DUCKITT – Killed in action on May 3rd, Captain C Stanley Duckitt, aged 40, West Yorkshire Regiment, dearly beloved husband of Elaine Duckitt, of Congleton, and second son of the late Mrs C A Duckitt, Bradford.

ASTLE – Killed in action, April 19th, in the Sinai Peninsula, Charles Edward Astle, Private, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, only son of Mrs S S Astle, 20 Langley, aged 37 years.


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