Bygone news: 8 June 1917 – The Macclesfield Times

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





Mrs Moss, 15 George Street, off Sunderland Street, Macclesfield, has been notified that her husband, Lce-Corporal James Sherratt Moss, Cheshire Regt, died in the 29th General Hospital, Salonika, on May 28th from a wound in the right thigh sustained in action on April 27th… Lance-Corporal Moss was 31 years of age, and the son of Mr Elias Moss, Poynton St, off Chester Rd. He was educated at Lord Street Day School and attended Christ Church. Prior to enlisting he was employed as a porter at Hibel Road (L&NW) Railway Station, where he had been engaged for many years. The Lance-Corporal joined up on March 2nd 1916 and after training at Prees Heath was drafted out to Salonika about nine months ago. Shortly after arrival he was struck in the face by a piece of shrapnel, and after being in hospital a few days returned to the firing line. Mrs Moss, who has been married twice, has two sons serving with the colours… Private James Hindley, Cheshire Regt, (serving in Palestine); and Private T Hindley, Shropshire Light Infantry (now in hospital at Bristol)… recently wounded in the right arm in France. He enlisted on the outbreak of war, and after spending fifteen months at the front, came home on four days’ leave. On returning, he was wounded in the knee, and after a month at home, again went to the firing line. Two of Mrs. Moss’ brothers have also been out to France. The first, Private John White, Lancs. Fusiliers, has been wounded twice and is now at the front; and the other, Private James White, now stationed at Grantham with the Cheshire Regt, has been gassed. A nephew, Private Samuel White, Lancs Fusiliers, was killed in action in Egypt about twelve months ago; and a brother-in-law, Private William Hindley, of the Australians, also met his death in action while fighting in France ten months ago. Three sons-in-law of Mrs Moss have also played their part in the present struggle. One, Private Frisk, Cheshire Regt, has lost the use of his right arm and hand through a wound and has now been discharged. He resides in Townley Street. The second, Private J Barr, Manchester Regt, has also been discharged on account of shell-shock; and the third, Private Philip Ratcliffe, is serving in France with the Cheshires. He was one of the local Territorials who voluntarily transferred to another battalion for active service.



Mr David Lomas, “Thornton”, Park Lane, Macclesfield, has received news that his son, Private Hector Lomas, of the Canadians, died of wounds on May 6th, sustained while fighting in France. Twenty-six years of age, Private Lomas was a native of North Rode, and was educated at the North Rode and Henbury Day Schools. Some time ago he emigrated to Canada along with his brother, and enlisted on the outbreak of war, being at the time engaged in farming. His brother joined at the same time and has been wounded at the front. Mr Lomas has another son serving with the colours.



Private Fred Vickerstaff, Cheshire Yeomanry Cycling Corps, youngest brother of Mrs P Rathbone, 68 Bridge St, Macclesfield, died in Morpeth Hospital, Northumberland, on May 28th, from pneumonia. Private Vickerstaff was 29 years of age, being a son of the late Mr A Vickerstaff, who formerly carried on business as a grocer in Buxton Road, and grandson of Mr William Vickerstaffe, late of the firm of Vickerstaffe and Burgess, at one time trading as tailors at the top of Mill Street. The deceased soldier was born in Macclesfield and received his education at Christ Church Day School. He was connected with St George’s Church. On leaving school he served his apprenticeship to the boot trade at the “K” Boot Shop, Mill Street. From there he took up a position with Messrs. Jackson’s, gentleman’s outfitters, Stockport. Later he was transferred to Bolton, and subsequently to Warrington.

Private Vickerstaff responded to the call in October, 1916, and was in training in Morpeth, Northumberland. He leaves a widow and one child. Two brothers are serving in the Army, namely: Private Harry Vickerstaff, Cheshire Regt (now expected to return to the front after being in hospital [for] five months suffering from shrapnel wounds); and Private Percy Vickerstaff (serving with the Liverpool Regt in France). The latter was a well-known local runner, and carried off a large number of prizes.

The interment of Private Vickerstaff took place at Morpeth yesterday week. The funeral procession was an imposing one, and many people gathered en route to the churchyard to witness the passing of the cortege, which was headed by the Cheshire Yeomanry firing party. The coffin, covered with the Union Jack, was borne on a transport waggon drawn by four horses. The chief mourners were: Mrs Vickerstaff (widow); Mrs Stanway (sister-in-law); Lance-Corpl W Hall (brother-in-law); Private Peers, Private Combs and Mrs James Brown (Morpeth); and others present included Major Barbour and Captain Cowie (Cheshire Yeomanry), the Commandant of the VAD Hospital, the Matron, Nurses MacDowall, Wilkinson, Young, Hudson, Poynting and Coble, and Corpl. Tarrant.



Private W H Boon, a Macclesfield man serving in the Manchester Regt, is officially notified as having been killed in action.



Mrs McKay, 214 Bond Street, who has lost three sons in the war, has received the following letter of sympathy from Captain Douglas Ryalds, who commanded the company of the Cheshire Regt to which her late son, Company Quartermaster-Sergt Charles McKay was attached at the time of his death: Dear Mrs McKay,… Your son was my company quartermaster-sergeant. He came to me at a time when I was sorely in need of help, and he did wonders… He was absolutely tireless in his work, and always so wonderfully cheery… When he was hit he was bringing the company’s rations up to the dump, when we were in the line… several shells were sent over, one especially near, a fragment of which struck your son’s leg. The leg was badly fractured. Two NCO’s immediately rushed to his assistance and bound him up, and within ten minutes he was on a stretcher being carried down to the field ambulance… though we knew he was badly wounded, we thought he would pull through. But it was not to be. The shock of the wound and… the operations must have been too much for him… 




Second-Lieut Philip Watts, Royal Marine Light Infantry, son of Mr M H Watts, Oxford Rd, Macclesfield, was slightly wounded in the wrist whilst on active service in France, but has now returned to the firing line. He is 20 years of age, and was educated at the Macclesfield Grammar School. Second-Lieut Watts joined the Inns of Court Officers’ Training Corps eighteen months ago. He was gazetted Second-Lieutenant nine months later and took out a draft six weeks ago. His brother, Second-Lieut Percy Watts, Royal Garrison Artillery, is home on final leave and expects to go out to France at the end of this month.



Mrs Holland, Robin Lane, Higher Sutton, has been informed that two of her four soldier sons have been wounded, namely Private Frank Holland, Cheshire Regt, and Signaller Percy Holland, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. The following letter was received from an officer relating to Frank’s injury: Your son was one of the best man of the platoon and the company… I am afraid he is seriously hurt… He was in the gun team of my Lewis gun, and was wounded in the early morning of Tuesday, the 29th May, while we were doing a few days in the trenches. We had just spent a very enjoyable time in a pretty village many miles from the line, where I think everyone had a good time bathing and swimming in a river. The sister-in-charge of the hospital wrote stating that Private Holland was dangerously wounded in the head…

The other wounded son, Signaller Percy Holland, was struck in the chin and right shoulder by a shell, and is now making satisfactory progress in hospital at Winchester. Private Frank is 22 years of age and a native of Sutton. He was educated along with his brother at St James’ Day School and had been a member of the Church Choir for six years. He was formerly employed at the Hollins Laundry as under-engineman and enlisted just over twelve months ago. He was drafted out to France from Oswestry last December. Signaller Percy  is two years his brother’s junior and has seen seventeen months active service in France. He enlisted shortly after the outbreak of war in Kitchener’s Army, being at the time employed as gardener to Mr H W Whiston, J.P. at The Elms. Mrs Holland has had a son killed in the war… Lance-Corporal William, of the King’s Own Royal Lancasters, [who] fell in action on July 1st, 1916. The other two sons serving are Sergt Isaac, King’s Own Royal Lancs (who went through the South African War), and John Charles, of the ASC.



Mr John Young, 122 Brook St, Macclesfield, has received a letter from his son, Sapper John Young, Royal Engineers, stating that he is in a large hospital in France suffering from wounds in the right hand, the left arm, and the right leg and hip (slight). Sapper Young is 24 years of age and a native of Macclesfield. He received his education at Christ Church Day School… and had been a member of St Michael’s Church Choir for four or five years. He served his time as a joiner with Messrs Roylance & Co Ltd and prior to joining the Army was engaged upon Government work at Winchester, Stafford, Queensferry and other places. Sapper Young joined the Army in February 1916 and after being stationed at Chatham was drafted out to France last August… Mr Young, his father, was in the employ of Messrs Roylance for 38 years.



Private Fred Lewis, RAMC, attached Worcester Regt, only son of Mr W Lewis, 67 St George’s St, Macclesfield, has written home from Salonika, stating that he has been wounded in the left hand: … I am now out of the firing line… a terrible lot are now in hospital through wounds, besides what were left on the field for dead. Nearly all the hospitals and field ambulances are full up now, but… we gained our objectives… I am in hospital in Salonika but… it is nothing to worry about. I am about to undergo an operation with the third finger of my right hand… Private Lewis is 23 years of age and received his education at the London Road (Branch) Day School. He was formerly connected with the Christ Church troop of Boy Scouts, and attended the Church. Prior to enlisting on November 1st, 1915, he was employed at Wood Street Mill. Private Lewis was drafted out to Salonika at the beginning of last August. He was a well-known local footballer and at one time played for Christ Church football team.



News has been received by Mrs George Walker, 83 Oxford Rd, Macclesfield, that her brother-in-law, Private William Walker, of the Rifle Brigade, has been awarded the Military Medal for bravery during the recent fighting on the Ancre. The news is contained in a letter written by the lieutenant of his company: I am writing to congratulate you and your brother-in-law on his award of the Military Medal… I am sorry to say he was wounded on May 3rd… He was a very brave man… it was splendid the way he tended wounded under fire… Private Walker is 34 years of age, and was formerly employed at Johnson’s, reed and harness makers. He joined the RAMC in January 1916, and was transferred to the Rifle Brigade, being sent to France in May of the same year. He was wounded on July 1st at the battle of the Somme, and came to England. He was in hospital at Brighton and Eastbourne, and upon recovery returned to France last November. He was again slightly wounded in January of this year, but recovered from his injury in France. This is the third time Private Walker has been wounded and he is now in St Mary’s General Hospital, Whalley, where the news has been sent to him of his award. Private Walker had two brother sin the Army. One, Private Arley Walker, Royal Engineers, was killed in action in France in February 1917; and the other, Private George Walker, is serving in France with the Cheshire Regt.



Among the many Macclesfield men serving in France is Company-Sergt-Major J C Worthington, Lancashire Fusiliers, who is attached to the 31st Prisoners of War Company. He is a native of the town, his parents residing at 37 Chapel Street, and one of his sisters is engaged as a nurse at the Prestbury Road Auxiliary Military Hospital. In a letter from France to the Editor CSM Worthington says: I have recently been receiving your paper from my parents and wish to thank you… for… putting me in communication with some of my old friends, whom I have not seen for ten years, as I have been that time away from my birthplace… I mobilised with the Expeditionary Force in August 1914 and have been two years on active service on the Western Front, and am still doing my bit… I can safely say… I am the heaviest Macclesfield man in the fighting line. I am over 17 stone weight and still in the pink. I am an old Lancashire Fusilier and served my twelve years with the colours before this war broke out. I served all through the South Africa War, receiving… two medals and six clasps. I was educated at St George’s School, High Street… CSM Worthington enclosed in his communication a photograph showing him with an officer of the King’s Royal Rifles, from whom he is receiving orders.



Sergt-Major Ernest Stanway, of the Canadians, returned to the front this week after spending a few days’ leave with his sister, Mrs Riseley, Park Grove, Macclesfield. He is a native of the borough, but his father now resides at Stockport. The Sergt-Major served for many years in the Regular Army, and then emigrated to Canada, where he enlisted at the outbreak of the present war. His brother, Willie, was killed in action in France some time ago, and another brother, Jim, is now in the trenches. Sergeant-Major Stanway is a nephew of Mr Ernest Hackney, the keeper of the Town Hall. It will be recalled that the enemy were driven from Vimy Ridge by the Canadians, and after the evacuation Sergt-Major Stanway found in the territory recently occupied by the Germans a copy of the Macclesfield Times.. the issue… containing an account of a social gathering in connection with the Macclesfield detachment of the Cheshire Volunteer Regt, in which the name of the Sergeant-Major’s uncle, Mr J T Hackney, a sergeant in the detachment was mentioned.



Reference is made in the current issue of the Park Street United Methodist Church Magazine to several soldiers who were connected with the circuit. Private H F Shenton, who was wounded at Gaza, is doing well, and the same applies to Privates Joshua Clowes and Joseph Malburn, who were wounded near Gaza on April 19th. Private Alfred Robinson has had his foot amputated as a result of an accident at Rouen. Private W Hulme, Mount Tabor [Church], is in hospital with trench feet; Private M Bailey, also of Mount Tabor, is in a rest camp in France after being torpedoed in the Mediterranean; and Private John Lewis, Bollington, is recovering from a bullet wound received in France. CQMS Sam Parr, writing of the Gaza battle, says: We had a hot time, but our lads were glorious…




Local interest attached to the King’s Investiture in Hyde Park on Saturday, the recipients of decorations, including Mrs Lilian Mottershead, widow of Sergt Thomas Mottershead, Royal Flying Corps, who was presented with the Victoria Cross posthumously conferred upon her gallant husband for most conspicuous bravery, endurance and skill in France. When attacked at an altitude of 9,000ft the petrol tank was pierced, and the machine set on fire. Enveloped in flames, which his observer, Lieut Gower, was unable to subdue, this very gallant soldier succeeded in bringing his aeroplane back to our lines and, although he made a successful landing, the machine collapsed on touching the ground, pinning him underneath the wreckage, from which he was subsequently rescued. Though suffering extreme torture from burns, Sergt Mottershead showed the most conspicuous presence of mind in the careful selection of a landing-place, and his wonderful endurance and fortitude undoubtedly saved the life of his observer. He has since succumbed to his injuries. Sergt Mottershead was the son of Mr Thomas Mottershead, a Macclesfield man, who now resides at 12 Market St, Widnes. He lived in the borough up to being about thirty years of age and was familiarly known among his intimates as “General” Mottershead. Mr Thomas Mottershead’s father, and the grandfather of the airman, worked nearly a life-time at Evans’s brewery, Bond Street, Macclesfield. Relatives of the VC in Macclesfield include Quartermaster Sergt Philip Mottershead, of the Macclesfield detachment 7th Batt Ches Volunteer Regt, who is his cousin.



Colonel W B Brocklehurst, M.P., presided at Wednesday’s sitting of the Macclesfield Borough Tribunal, others present being the Mayor (Alderman E Crew, J.P.), Alderman W Frost, J.P., C.C., Alderman C A Bradley, J.P., and Councillor W Pimlott, with the Town Clerk (Mr F R Oldfield) and the Military Representative (Lieut H J Collins). Reference was made at the outset to the important ruling of the Central Appeal Tribunal affecting the case of single-men businesses, and at the request of the Mayor, the Town Clerk read the report of the decision as published in the Press. The appeal sent forward by the Law Society Tribunal was in respect of a retail grocer, aged 32 years, married, with one child, and passed for general service. The Central Appeal Tribunal found that the business on which the man and his family depended would be destroyed if he went for service as it could not be disposed of, while there was no reasonable prospect of reviving it. They therefore confirmed the action of the Law Society Tribunal in granting appellant conditional exemption. This decision… would have great effect on Tribunals throughout the country in regard to the one-man businesses.

The Town Clerk said in cases like this the Local Government Board sent him the decisions of the Central APpeal Tribunal. No doubt he would receive a copy of the decision in the case under notice, with an instruction to tribunals that they should act on similar lines… The Mayor: It really ought to have come at once. Lieut Collins said he had received no instructions. Subsequently… the Town Clerk was directed to inquire… if there were any cases… of one-man businesses which had been dealt with by the Tribunal, but whose calling-up notices were pending, and report them to the next sitting. The Chairman thought the decision might apply retrospectively, and the Town Clerk pointed out that several of the men were already in the Army. He suggested… if there were any cases pending, that… the men could apply for a re-hearing of their applications.

A youth of 18, Class A, presented a domestic claim, stating that his father was killed in action recently and that he had two brothers serving. He had no mother. Applicant kept the home going with his two sisters, both of whom were working, one full and the other part time. His only relative in Macclesfield was an aunt. It was stated that the youth had served in the Army six months, being discharged on account of his age. The Tribunal agreed that the case was a hard one and allowed him a month before joining up. A time-expired soldier, who stated that he left the Army solely on the ground of his wife’s ill-health, said he was now in business as a credit clothier, and he was exempted for two months.

Six months exemption was granted to a shirt-cutter with eleven children, who pleaded domestic hardship; and a solicitor’s clerk with six children, the eldest of whom has been at the front some time, was allowed three months. A coal dealer, appealing for a bagman, pointed out the difficulties under which the trade is carried on. He stated… it was utterly impossible to get a transport man, and the coal merchants in Macclesfield had been scraped to the bone as regards their staff… A month was allowed to find a substitute.  My place, I consider, is at home pleaded a B1 master slater, who has eleven children, nine being under sixteen years of age, and the Tribunal confirmed the conditional exemption previously given.

In the case of a taxi-driver, the employer, who is keeping the business together for his sons, stated that he engaged the man because he was a discharged soldier, thinking he would be quite safe. After serving two years in the Army,… the man was discharged through medical unfitness, and he had since been examined and classified B1 – Three months exemption. A similar length of time was allowed to a traveller for a firm of leather merchants, who was originally rejected, then classed B2. He had been in the firm’s employ 28 years.

Mr Pimlott, as Chairman of the Macclesfield Silk Manufacturing Society, London Road Mills, appealed for the head designer, remarking that out of the whole of the staff the Society had only applied for two head men. It was decided to renew the man’s certificate for a further three months. Conditional exemption was given to four dyers, three being review cases brought up by the military; and similar treatment was meted out to two bakers, a cotton spinner, blacksmith, clogger, druggist, a fitter at the Asylum, and to the foreman in a slipper works. The Tribunal sat for close on three hours and disposed of 34 cases, the results being as follows: disallowed, two; adjourned, four; conditional exemption, 13; exempted for six months, one; three months, ten; two months, two; and one month, two.




PARSONS-BOYD – June 5th, at St George’s Church (special License), by the Vicar, Rev A C Evans, M.A., B.D., Second Lieutenant Wilfred A Parsons, RGA, son of the late Rev R A Parsons and nephew of Major Hyde Marriott, M.D., Stockport, and of Judge Parsons, K.C., to Gertrude A, youngest daughter of Mr and Mrs J T Boyd, Lime Cottage, Macclesfield.



MURPHY – June 3rd, at Hurdsfield House Auxiliary Military Hospital, Joseph Murphy, aged 30 years.


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