Edwin Slack, Private 621783, Labour Corps, formerly 1452 Cheshire Regt
Died of disease 11th December 1919 in Macclesfield Infirmary, aged 29
Edwin Slack was baptised on 7 May 1890 at St Michael’s Church, Macclesfield, the son of Mary (nee Woods) and Albert Slack, a weaver. In 1891, eleven-month-old Edwin was living at 4 Court, House 2, King Edward Street, Macclesfield with his parents and six-year-old brother Albert. Ten years later the family was at the same address and also included Annie (8), James (4), Eliza (3) and John (5 months).
On 3 December 1910 Edwin, then employed as a cotton piecer, married Mary Jane Cooper, a ring spinner, at Holy Trinity Church, Hurdsfield. Both said they were living at 54 Commercial Road at the time of marriage, but by the time of the 1911 census they were living at 8 Court, House 3, Cross Street, Macclesfield. Edwin was also listed at his father’s house (as Edward) on this census. The couple later lived at 3 Lowe Street, Macclesfield.
The couple appear to have had a son, Edwin, who was born in late 1911 and sadly lived only a few months. Edwin’s wife died on 23 January 1915, after which Edwin returned to live with his parents at 4 Court, House 2, King Edward Street, Macclesfield.
Edwin was probably already serving as a territorial with the local 7th Cheshire regiment, or else was a member of the Army reserve when war broke out, and would have been immediately mobilised for training and active service. His service number was originally 1452, and his name is included in the list of men who left Bedford for overseas service in July 1915 (Macclesfield Courier, 24 July 1915). However, according to his medal index card, he did not land at Gallipoli like most of the 7th Cheshires but is recorded as having first served overseas in Egypt on 1 August 1915.
Private Slack was allocated service number 290116 within the Cheshire Regiment after the Army renumbering in early 1917. He was later transferred to the Labour Corps with service number 621783. According to the Commonwealth War Graves Committee Private Slack also served with the Essex regiment with service number 277634 but no other evidence has been found for this.
Private Slack was admitted to Macclesfield Infirmary on 1 December 1919 where he died on 11 December. His death was announced in the Macclesfield Courier on 20 December 1919:
SLACK – On Dec 13th at General Infirmary, Edwin Slack, aged 29 years.
A similar announcement was published in the Macclesfield Advertiser the previous day, but stating that the date of death was 14 December 1919.
Private Edwin Slack is buried in grave ref. Z. (C of E) 19135 in Macclesfield Cemetery. His mother asked for the inscription “THOUGH SLEEPING IN A SILENT GRAVE HE WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN” to be added to his headstone.
Brother of James Slack, who served with the 7th Cheshire Regt as Private 290666 and is believed to have survived the war (unlike another Macclesfield man named James Slack who was killed in action on 25 August 1917).
Another Macclesfield man named Edwin Slack lived at 7 Glegg Street and served as Private 84622 with the RAMC; he is believed to have survived the war.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers (Find My Past): St Michael’s Church, Macclesfield
Cheshire Parish Marriage Registers (Find My Past): Holy Trinity Church, Hurdsfield
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
Macclesfield Infirmary Admission Register (Cheshire Archives, ref. LGM 4/2)
British Army Medal Index Cards (Ancestry)
WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls (Ancestry)
WWI Absent Voters Lists (FindMyPast)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Advertiser: 19 December 1919
Macclesfield Courier: 30 January 1915, 24 July 1915, 20 December 1919