Uriah Mottershead, Private 202511, “A” Coy. 1st/4th Bn, South Lancashire Regt
Killed in action 10th June 1917 in Belgium, aged 28
Son of James and Martha Mottershead; husband of Bertha Hammond Mottershead, of 8 Charles St., Macclesfield, Cheshire. Native of Macclesfield.
The death of Private Mottershead was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 22 June 1917:
LOCAL ATHLETE FALLS – KILLED AT HIS BILLET – “BRAVE AND CHEERFUL SOLDIER” – Mrs Mottershead, 18 (sic) Charles St, Macclesfield, has been notified that her husband, Private Uriah Mottershead, South Lancashire Regt, was killed in action while fighting in France on June 10th. The information was contained in letters from the deceased soldier’s officers, the chaplain and a comrade. Lieut. L F Walmsley writes: “Your husband was killed by a piece of shell while helping to improve the cover of his billet. His end was instantaneous and he suffered no pain at all. His loss is felt very much by all in the company, for he was always so cheerful and everybody liked him… Private Arthur Dean, a friend of the deceased, said he did his duty well and was always bright and cheerful….
Private Mottershead was 28 years of age and a native of Macclesfield. He was educated at Christ Church School and was connected with Trinity Wesleyan Chapel and Sunday School. Before enlistment he was employed as a labourer at the North Cheshire Brewery, Charles Street. Private Mottershead was a well-known local sportsman. He was formerly a member of the Macclesfield Athletic Club and held the gold medal for the junior championship of the East Lancashire Association for running, together with the novice’s medal of the club for the season 1911-12. He also gained a silver cup and several other prizes. The deceased soldier was also proficient on the football field and figured in the Broken Cross team when they won the championship of the Macclesfield and District League. Private Mottershead joined up in April 1916, and was drafted out to France about ten months ago. He leaves a widow and two children, aged two and five years. His brother-in-law, Sergt. A. Brindley, Cheshire Regt. has been discharged from the Army on account of wounds received at Vimy Ridge, as a result of which he has lost the use of the left hand.
Private Uriah Mottershead is buried in Grave Ref. I. A. 14. in the Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery, near Ypres, Belgium. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Uriah Mottershead, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Locally, Private Uriah Mottershead is commemorated on the Macclesfield Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael’s Church, Trinity Wesleyan Church and Christ Church School war memorials, and on the Ancient Order of Foresters roll of honour.
British Armed Forces, First World War Widows’ Pension Forms (FindMyPast)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Times: 22 June 1917, 23 September 1921 (photo supplement)