Bygone news: 1 June 1917 – The Macclesfield Times

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




Mrs Holt, 2 Barnett St, off Oxford Rd, Macclesfield, has received official intimation that her husband, Private Arthur Holt, King’s Liverpool Regt, was killed in action in France on May 2nd. Private Holt was 21 years of age and the son of Mr Frederick Holt, Grange Rd, off Park Lane. A native of Macclesfield, he received his education at Mill Street Wesleyan Day School, and attended St Michael’s Church, being a member of the Men’s Bible Class. Prior to enlistment he was employed by Messrs J Dunkerley and Sons Ltd, Oxford Road, as a designer. Private Holt answered the call of King and Country about eighteen months ago, and after training at Blackpool was drafted out to France nearly a year ago. While at the front he was in hospital twice suffering from tonsillitis and jaundice. He leaves a widow and one child. His brother, Corporal Ernest Holt, has fought in France with the Royal Engineers. He was recently home on furlough, and is now in England, having just recovered from an attack of trench fever.



Mr S P Dodds, 62 High St, Macclesfield, has been informed that his grandson, Private Jack Dodds, Canadian Contingent (second son of Mr Samuel P Dodds, Ontario) died on May 14th from wounds received in action in France. A native of Derbyshire, Private Dodds was only nineteen years of age and emigrated to Canada with his parents several years ago. He enlisted shortly after the outbreak of war, and was drafted to France last December. A month before going to the front Private Dodds came to Macclesfield on leave and stayed two or three days with Mr and Mrs Dodds in High Street. He has two brothers serving with the Canadians who joined together… Private Brian Dodds is stationed at Bramshot, Southampton, and joined the colours at the age of sixteen. The other, Private S P Dodds, aged 20, is in Canada. Both formerly assisted their parents on a fruit farm. Mr and Mrs Dodds, the grandparents of the deceased, have three sons in the Army. Private Lewis Dodds is a gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery, being now in France. He is 33 years of age, and his wife and five children reside at Rochdale. He went through the Boxer Rising in China and holds two medals. Before the present was he had served seven years with the regulars and five on the reserve. He was born at Norfolk and came to live at Macclesfield with his parents when a boy. Private Charles Dodds, Manchester Regt, is at present in hospital in France suffering from trench feet; he has been at the front about two months and joined up last Christmas. He is 31 years of age, married, and has three children. Private Noel Dodds is stationed at Oswestry with the South Lancs. He is 29 years of age. A fourth son, Private Percy Dodds, Manchester Regt, was killed in action at Vimy Ridge on April 24th 1916. He enlisted at the beginning of the war and saw some heavy fighting. The late Private John Gee, of Hayfield, who died on service on November 14th, 1916, was a grandson of Mr and Mrs Dodds.



Lance-Corporal Norman Jackson, a native of Macclesfield, has died of wounds sustained while fighting in France with the Canadians. His parents, Mr and Mrs J W Jackson, reside in Paterson, to which city the deceased emigrated when seven years of age. He had spent an adventurous life, and enlisted in Vancouver, leaving Canada for the front last July.






Mrs Bennett, Park Brook, Chester Rd, has been notified that her son, Second Lieutenant John Bennett, Manchester Regt, is in a base hospital at Rouen, having been wounded in both legs and hands by a bomb. Lieut Bennett joined the Army in April 1916 as a private, and after training with an officers cadet corps at Bristol gained his commission at the beginning of this year, taking first place in the examinations. Shortly afterwards he went out with a draft to France. The lieutenant was educated at Clifton College, Oxford, and before enlisting was practising as a barrister in the Chancery Court at Manchester. He was called to the Bar in 1900. Second-Lieut Bennett received his injuries on May 15th.



Official notification has reached Mrs Sherratt, 16 Davies St, Buxton Rd, Macclesfield that her son, Corporal Arthur Sherratt, Cheshire Regt, is lying dangerously ill at the No 2 Canadian General Hospital, Boulogne, France, having been gassed and wounded. He is 23 years of age and his wife and only child live in Daybrook St. Born in the house where his parents now reside, the Corporal attended St Paul’s Day School, and also the Church. Formerly he was employed as a carter by Mr Ledgard, coal merchant, Hibel Rd. Before the war he had served three years in the special reserve, and was called up on the commencement of hostilities. He was stationed at Birkenhead for some time, and was drafted out to France… Two brothers are serving, namely Private Francis (with the Cheshires at Aberystwyth) and Private Albert Edward (stationed at Aldershot).



A Macclesfield soldier, Private Albert W Higginbotham, 13 Statham St, was on board the British Transport Transylvania, which was torpedoed in the Mediterranean on May 4th, over 400 lives being lost. He was, fortunately, among the saved and has written… postcards to his parents in which he refers briefly to his terrible experience. Private Higginbotham was returning to Egypt… and after the ship was sunk he was picked up… and landed with other survivors at an Italian port… From Italy the Private was transferred to France, where he is now in a rest camp… Private Higginbotham is 21 years of age, and prior to joining the Army was employed as a motor bus driver. He enlisted in the Motor Transport, Army Service Corps, in 1915 and was drafted straightaway without any leave to Egypt, where he served for fifteen months. Having contracted malarial fever he was invalided to England and was home on ten days’ leave last Christmas… The vessel was attacked shortly after ten o’clock in the morning… perfect order reigned, the men singing as the boats with the nurses put off… The death toll of 413 included the Captain (Lieut S Brenell, RNR), 29 officer, and 373 other ranks…

Private Vincent Lunt, Cheshire Regt, whose wife resides in High St, Macclesfield, was also on the Transylvania and was rescued by a Japanese destroyer. He only joined up at the beginning of this year and was on his way to Egypt. Private Lunt was formerly manager for a local firm of provision merchants. He is now at a rest camp in France…



Private Sidney Wilson, King’s Liverpool Regt, son of Mr Arthur Wilson, late of 40 Duke St and now residing with Mr F Brookes, watchmaker and jeweller, 12 Roe St, has been awarded a certificate in appreciation of good services on the field. The deed which gained the distinction… is described… as follows: For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in face of the enemy under heavy shell and machine-gun fire during the attack on the Hindenburg Line in front of Henivel on 9th April 1917. Advancing with a Lewis gun team during a halt, the team got into a shell hole and a shell fell amongst them causing casualties to the whole team with the exception of Private Wilson. The latter without any hesitation ran to his company commander and reported, getting up reinforcements to carry on with his Lewis gun… Private Wilson in letters home states: … I am very lucky to be alive… we lost a lot of men… I have been sent to hospital with injuries to my left leg. I have six holes in it as large as a penny, and they are very painful… [before decimalisation in the 1970s, a penny was bigger than today’s 10p] Private Wilson has four brothers serving in the Army. The eldest is Private Fred Wilson, who enlisted in Kitchener’s Army. He is 30 years of age and is now a prisoner of war in Germany, being captured at Hill 60 after having been wounded in the shoulder. Before enlisting he was employed in the goods department at the Great Central Station. He is married, and his wife and three children live at Bread St, off Crompton Rd. He had only been at the front a few months when he was taken prisoner. Private Arthur Wilson, the second brother, is serving in France with the Army Service Corps, and has been out over two years. He enlisted shortly after the outbreak of war, being at the time employed by Alderman P Davenport at Bridge Street Mill. Recently wounded in the arm, he is now in hospital in France. He is 28 years of age and single. The third brother, Private Ernest Wilson, Royal Field Artillery, has been at Salonika for about nine months. He is 26 years of age and his wife and child reside at Bollington. Before enlistment nearly two years ago, he was employed at the Oak Bank Printworks, Bollington. Twenty-four years of age, Private Harry Wilson, the fourth brother, is in France with the Yorkshire Regt. He has recently been in hospital, but has now returned to the danger zone. He joined the colours twelve months ago.



A fine example of patriotism is furnished in the case of Mr and Mrs Ashley, St George’s Place, Macclesfield, who have no fewer than five sons serving… Corporal Park Ashley, Motor Transport, ASC; Private Reginald Ashley, Cheshire Regt; Private P H Ashley, Motor Transport, ASC; Driver John Ashley, of the Royal Field Artillery; and Private Robert Ashley, Motor Transport, ASC. Mr Ashley, the father, is employed as chauffeur to Dr H F Marshall. Nearly all the sons were educated at St James’ School, Sutton… and attended St George’s Church. At the Theatre Royal… Mrs Ashley was presented with a guinea by the Parsons Company as the proud mother of five soldier sons. The eldest son is Corporal Park, and he is 28 years of age. He joined up about twelve months ago and is now serving in France. His wife and child live in Scotland. Private Reginald has been at Salonika for the last eighteen months, having enlisted a fortnight after the outbreak of war. He is 26, and was formerly employed as gardener at Henbury Hall. Private P H Ashley is 23 years of age and married. He joined the Army two years ago and will have been in France for the same period next August. Before responding to the call he was engaged as chauffeur to Dr J H Marsh. The fourth son, Driver John Ashley, has reached his 21st birthday. He enlisted two and a half years ago and was home on furlough last weekend. He was employed at Mr Harry Turner’s, Brookside Mill, and is stationed at Ipswich. The youngest soldier is Private Robert, who is stationed at Edinburgh, Scotland. He is only eighteen years of age and joined up last February. In civil life he was employed as a lorry driver by Messrs Stancliffe Bros, Sutton brewery.

It is interesting to recall that Mr Ashley’s father and also Mrs Ashley’s were old soldiers. The former, the late Mr Robert Ashley, served in the 22nd Cheshires for 21 years and 44 days. He took part in the Indian Mutiny and possessed the medal for that campaign, together with a long service medal. He died twenty-six years ago at the age of 75. Sergt John Clough, of the Gurnet, Sutton (Mrs Ashley’s father) joined the Light Infantry at the time of the Indian Mutiny, but was not drafted on active service. He was in the Army nearly 22 years and was awarded the annuity and good conduct medal.



Lieut Wilfred Smith, West Yorkshire Regt, son of the Bishop of Knaresborough (formerly the Vicar of St Michael’s, Macclesfield) has been decorated with the Military Cross for gallantry in the field. He was wounded in the arms and leg… and is now a patient in the Whitworth Street Hospital, Manchester…




A pretty wedding was solemnised at St George’s Church, Macclesfield, the contracting parties being Miss Lily Gertrude Garner, elder daughter of the late Mr George Garner and of Mrs Rowley, 94 Lord St, Macclesfield, and Corporal Arthur John Dawson, Canterbury Yeomanry, of Hornby, Christchurch, New Zealand. The bride was attired in a khaki-coloured costume with big leghorn hat, and was attended by her sister, Miss Dorothy Garner, as bridesmaid. She wore a dress of cornflower blue cashmere with hand embroideries and white hat. Private Ernest Roberts, of the Canadian Black Watch, acted as best man, and the bride was given away by her brother, Mr Bert Garner… A detachment of St John Ambulance nurses was present in uniform, together with a number of wounded soldiers from Prestbury Road Military Hospital, who formed a guard of honour along the aisle as the bridal party left the church. The happy couple left by the 12.40 train to London en route for Torquay, where the honeymoon will be spent. Their future home is at Hornby, Christchurch, New Zealand. Mr and Mrs Dawson will set sail from Plymouth on Wednesday June 6th. The bride… served her apprenticeship as a school teacher at London Road Day School… ad then took up a post at St Paul’s. From there she went to Byron Street Council School, where she has been since its opening five years ago. A member of the St John Ambulance Brigade, she has rendered voluntary services at the Prestbury Road Military Hospital since last July… The bridegroom, Corporal Dawson, is the youngest son of Mr T Dawson, formerly of Higher Sutton, who emigrated to New Zealand about 50 years ago. The corporal was born in new Zealand and went through the South African War, for which he holds the King’s and Queen’s medals with bars. On the outbreak of the present struggle he patriotically enlisted in the New Zealand Cavalry. He served in Egypt and Gallipoli and was wounded in both knees. Corporal Dawson returned to England and met Miss Garner whilst on a visit to his aunt at Tytherington; and at the time of his marriage was staying with his cousin, Mrs George Bennett, 26 Mill Lane, Macclesfield. He runs a sheep farm in New Zealand…




HEBBLETHWAITE-KING – On the 24th May at St George’s Church, Leeds (by special licence), Arthur Stuart Hebblethwaite, M.C., Captain RAMC, elder son of Major Hebblethwaite, of Burley in Wharfedale, to Elizabeth Langtry King, third daughter of Mr and Mrs W H King, of Sunnybank, Bollington.




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