THE FALLEN OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR
WILLIAM CECIL CALLIS was serving as a Private with the 23rd Battalion, (County of London) The London Regiment when he was killed in action on 2nd December 1916. He was aged 27 and is buried in Hedge Row Trench Cemetery near Ypres, Belgium.
The son of Robert and Mary Isabella Callis, he had been born in Ashwell, Rutland in July 1889. He was educated at King Edward VI School in Bury St. Edmunds, where he was a member of the Officer Training Corp for three years. His family moved to Upper Bedford Place in Bloomsbury, running a boarding house whilst William worked as a nursery clerk. He enlisted into the City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders) in Putney in November 1915.
He transferred to the 23rd Battalion, The London Regiment,arriving in France on 23rd September 1916. As part of the 47th (2nd London) Division the battalion helped capture Eaucourt l'Abbaye on 3rd October during The Battle of Transloy Ridges, a phase of the Somme Offensive of 1916. At the beginning of December 1916 the Battalion was in trenches in the Ypres canal sub-sector. On 2nd Private Callis was killed by a shell with 3 others wounded.
Hedge Row Trench Cemetery was begun in March 1915 and used until August 1917. The cemetery suffered very severely from shell fire, and after the Armistice the positions of the individual graves could not be found or reconstructed. The headstones are therefore arranged symmetrically round the Cross of Sacrifice.
He was the nephew of Arthur Wright Callis, Rector of Salford Parish Church and is commemorated on a plaque inside the church.
ARTHUR WILLIE CANDY was serving as a Gunner with 152nd Siege Battery, The Royal Garrison Artillery when he died of gas poisoning on 18th July 1917. He was aged 31 and is buried in Canada Farm Cemetery in Belgium.
He was the son of Frederick and May Candy having been born in Wimborne Minster, Dorset in March 1886. By the turn of the century they were living in Brewery Cottage, Albion Street in Chipping Norton where he worked with his father as a maltster in Hitchman's Brewery. In 1912 he joined the 4th Territorial Battalion of The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry as a part time soldier. On 30th August 1913 he married Ada Thornton at Salford Parish Church and they had a daughter, Ada born in August 1915, they lived at Lime Tree Hill in Burford.
He enlisted into the Royal Garrison Artillery in November 1915 and called up for service on 9th June 1916. He was posted to France on 16th November the same year and joined 152nd Siege Battery in the field on 26th November 1916. They were based on the Ypres salient and armed with 9.2 inch Howitzers.
On 17th July 1917 he was wounded in action by a gas shell and died the next day in a Casualty Clearing Station, one of 5 of his unit to die from exposure to gas that day.
After he died Ada Candy married Hubert Robinson in 1918 and moved to Pear Tree cottage in Salford and received a 18s/9d a week Army pension.
He is also remembered on the Burford War Memorial.
WALTER FRANK JACQUES was serving as a Private in the 4th Squadron, Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry) when he died of wounds received on 15th April 1918, defending against the German Spring Offensive. He was aged 21 and is buried in St Sever Cemetery Extension in Rouen.
He was born in March 1897, the son of James and Mary Jacques innkeepers of The Black Horse, Salford and had worked as a farm labourer before enlisting in the Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars in 1915, joining the machine gun section. The machine gun sections were taken from 6th Dragoon Guards, 3rd Hussars and Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars to form the 4th Squadron of the Machine Gun Corps of the 4th Cavalry Brigade in 2nd Cavalry Division, on 28th February 1916. Private Jacques was sent to France with them at that time. They saw action in The First Battle of the Scarpe between 9th and 11th April 1917 a phase of the Arras Offensive. They then supported the Tank Attack 20th and 21 November, the capture of Bourlon Wood 24th and 28th November and faced the German counterattacks between 30th November and 3rd December, all phase of the Cambrai Operations of winter 1917.
In March 1918 the expected German offensive was unleashed on the Somme area. This was an attempt to win the war before American troops arrived in numbers, using men released from the Eastern Front by the surrender of Russia. They pushed back the Allied lines back some 40 miles before the advance was halted outside Amiens. Private Jacques was wounded during the Battle of St Quentin, a phase of the of the First Battles of the Somme in which the Division was engaged between 21st March and 1st April 1918. He died in No 6 General Hospital in Rouen.
ERNEST SPENCER was serving as a Private with the 2nd (Queen's Bays) Dragoon Guards when he died at home in Salford from influenza on 17th January 1919. He was aged 24 and is buried in Salford St Mary Churchyard.
He was the son of Henry and Mary Spencer of 47, Rock Hill in Chipping Norton, having been born in January 1895, and had worked as a factory labourer. He had enlisted into the 3rd (Prince of Wales) Dragoons in 1915 and then served with the 2nd Dragoons in France from 1916. Acting as both mounted cavalry and dismounted infantry they were in action in the latter stages of the Somme Offensive in Autumn 1916 and the Arras Offensive and the Battle of Arras in 1917. In August 1918 they fulfilled the cavalry role in the Battle of Amiens and after in the 100 Days Offensive that led to victory. Private Spencer contracted influenza after the Armistice.
JOSEPH YATES was serving as a Private in "C" Company of the 2nd Battalion, The Duke of Edinburgh's Wiltshire Regiment when he was killed in action on 9th August 1918. He was aged 26 and is buried Le Vertannoy British Cemetery in the Pas de Calais.
He was born in January 1892, the son of Joseph and Minnie Yates, of Hill Farm, Salford and had worked as a farm labourer.
In 1915 he enlisted into the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars, later transferring to the 6th Battalion The Wiltshire Regiment before being posted to the 1st Battalion in France in 1916. They took part in the Battle of the Ancre Heights in October 1916, a phase of the Somme Offensive. In June 1917 they took part in the Battle of Messines after two huge mines were blown under German positions. They returned to the Ypres sector in early July and took part in the Battle of Pilkem Ridge, part of the Third Battle of Ypres. In November 1917 Private Yates was wounded in action and after treatment was posted to the 2nd Battalion, The Duke of Edinburgh's Wiltshire Regiment. In August 1918 his Battalion was camped in the French village of Hinges in the Pas de Calais. On 8th August intelligence was received that the Germans in front of them were withdrawing. After reconnaissance patrols had been sent out and enemy machine gun posts had been eliminated, the Battalion moved forward on 9th August. Private Yates was killed when the advance was hit by gas shells and machine gun fire.
The following men with a connection to Salford served in the First World War. They are among those remembered on a plaque in St Mary's Church along with the fallen of the village.
SERGEANT JAMES WILLIAM ABEL MM
He was born in Oxford to parents George and Esther Abel in December 1892. The family moved to Moreton in the Marsh where James worked as an iron worker. He also joined the 5th (Territorial) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment in the summer of 1912 as a part-time soldier. He was a Lance Corporal when the Battalion was sent to France on 29th March 1915, as part of the 48th South Midland Division. The Battalion moved up to Ploegsteert in Belgium, south of the city of Ypres. Home on leave he married Laura Wallington in St Mary's Church, Salford on 28th August 1915. The Battalion then moved to Hebuterne on the Somme. On 9th May 1915 James, now a Corporal, was in charge of a post when at 0140 he became aware of a German raiding party entering their trench. Ordering his men out of the trench into a nearby pit, he then led a successful counter attack with bombs and rapid fire to clear out the Germans. He was awarded a Military Medal for his bravery in the field and promoted to Sergeant.
On the first day of the Somme Offensive on 1st July 1916, the Battalion were ordered to march to Mailly-Maillet to take part in an attack on 3 German trench lines from 0330 0n 3rd July. However the operation was cancelled at midnight on the day and the Battalion returned to camp. On 17th July 1916 the Battalion took part in another phase of the Somme, The Battle Of Bazentin Ridge, and took over captured German trenches near the village of Ovillers. On 23rd July they were ordered to attack towards Pozieres as part of 145th Brigade in the Battle of Pozieres Ridge. However German opposition was very strong and the attack was beaten off with the Battalion suffering 145 casualties. The Battalion were in and out of front line trenches the sector for the rest of July and August. On 27th August with artillery support they successfully captured a German trench inflicting 200 casualties on the Germans and taking 50 prisoners. The Battalion remained on the Somme for the rest of 1916 and into 1917, in and out of front line trenches. Although they did not take part in any major actions, they endured constant shelling and the harsh winter conditions.
From mid March 1917 the Germans withdrew from the Somme area to pre-prepared defences on the Hindenburg Line near the city of Arras. They destroyed everything in their path, leaving booby traps, poisoning water supplies and felling trees, causing hardship to the local population. The Battalion was one of those that cautiously pursued the Germans, eventually occupying the town of Peronne. On. 23rd July the Battalion moved from the Somme to Houtkerque on the Belgium border for service in the Third Battle of Ypres. They moved into trenches in Ypres on 5th August 1917 and took part in the part in the Battle of Langemarcke between 16th and 18th August. In October 1917 Sergeant Abel was wounded in action from the effects of a gas shell and hospitalised. On 10th November 1917 the Battalion along with the rest of the 48th Division received orders to prepare for a move to Italy to assist in their fight against the Austrians, arriving there by the beginning of December.
The Battalion took part in fighting on the Asiago Plateau on 15th-16th June 1918. On 1st August 1918 Sergeant Abel was reported to be missing in action. He was later found to be a Prisoner of War after suffering gun shot wounds to his forearms. He was held in a POW camp in Austria until being released on 21st December 1918. He returned home and was awarded a disability pension for his wounds and effects of gas poisoning. He died aged just 36 in 1928 and is buried in Moreton in the Marsh.
STOKER 1st class ALBERT BARTLETT
He was born in February 1888 to parents to parents Charles and Elizabeth Bartlett of The Cross Hands, Salford, his father being an innkeeper and a farmer. He worked on the farm as a cowman until enlisting into the Royal Navy Reserve on 19th October 1916. He trained as a stoker in Portsmouth and on 30th December 1916 married Ellen Brown at Chastleton Parish Church. He was assigned to the armoured cruiser HMS Berwick, below, on 15th September 1917.
She was used in convoy protection and commerce raider patrols and Albert was promoted to Stoker 1st class in December 1917, leaving the ship on 19th December that year. After a spell ashore he was posted to HMS Blake, a destroyer depot ship in Scapa Flow, on 20th April 1918. He joined the crew of HMS Tormentor, below, a R class destroyer attached to Blake.
He left her on 16th March 1919 and was demobbed the following month. He returned to Chastleton where he took over the running of Grove Farm. He died in 1948 aged 61 and is buried in Chastleton Churchyard.
PETTY OFFICER HORACE STEPHEN BEASLEY
He was born in Newbury in October 1885 and was working as a carpenter when he enlisted into the Royal Navy in Portsmouth in September 1910, signing on for 10 years. He trained as a stoker aboard the stoker's training ship HMS Renown and then joined the crew of the armoured cruiser HMS Good Hope, below, on 30th August 1911.
In September 1911 he changed trades to join the ship's carpenters crew and while on leave in December that year married Ulina Hill in Salford Parish Church. HMS Good Hope served as flagship of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet. He remained with the ship until May 1912. He then joined the crew of the pre-dreadnought battleship HMS Exmouth, serving with the Home Fleet, leaving her in December 1912. He then served on the shore base HMS Fisgard until 17th July 1913 when he joined the crew of HMS Hermoine, a protected cruiser launched in 1893. She served with the Home Fleet and Horace was aboard her until 31st July 1914 when he was posted to HMS Victory shore base, where he was made up to Leading Carpenter. His next ship was HMS Barham, a newly commissioned Queen Elizabeth class battleship, below, on 31st October 1915.
HMS Barham was based at Scapa Flow as part of the Grand Fleet and carried out operations in the North Sea. On 31st May 1916 she participated in the Battle of Jutland. Barham fired 337 fifteen-inch shells and 25 six-inch shells during the battle. The number of hits cannot be confirmed, but it is believed that she and HMS Valiant made 23 or 24 hits between them, making them two of the most accurate warships in the British fleet. She was hit six times during the battle, five times by 30.5 cm shells and once by a 28.3 cm shell, suffering casualties of 26 killed and 46 wounded. After the Battle, Barham was sent for repairs and spent the rest of the war based at Scapa Flow, making routine patrols in the North Sea. Horace Beasley was made up to a Joiner in May and a Joiner 1st Class in October 1918. He witnessed the surrender of the German Fleet at Scapa Flow on 21st November 1918. After war he remained with HMS Barham which became the Flagship of the 1st Battle Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet. He left her in October 1920 and served ashore before retiring from the Navy in March 1922 with the rank of Petty Officer.
He returned to Salford with his wife and three children working as a carpenter before moving to 1, The Bungalows in Milton. He died there in 1978 aged 73.
PRIVATE ALLEN GROVE BETTS
He was born in April 1892 in Great Rollright, one of 7 children to Alfred and Alice Betts. His father died when he was 2 and his mother re-married David Hill in Salford Parish Church in 1897 and they went to live there. In around 1910 he moved to Monmouthshire in Wales where he worked in the mines. On April 24th 1915 he married Ellen Williams in St Michael's Church in Abertillery where they set up home. On 10th December that year he enlisted into the Welsh Guards in Cardiff. He remained in the Reserves until being mobilized on 3rd September 1917.
He was posted to the 1st Battalion, The Welsh Guards, joining them in the field on 20th April 1918 as replacements for losses sustained in the German Spring Offensive of that year. The Battalion spent much of their time holding the line in Douchy near the town of St Quentin. They went on the offensive from 21st August 1918 in the Battle of Albert and then the Second Battle of Bapaume, pushing the Germans back over 30 miles back across the Somme River. They then fought in the Battles of of Havrincourt, Canal du Nord and Cambrai between 12th September and 9th October 1918, in which the German defences on thge Hindenburg line were overrun. They pursued the retreating Germans to the River Selle where they set up ne positions east of the river. Private Betts was wounded in action by the effects of a gas shell as they attacked these positions on 20th October 1918. He was evacuated to No 3 Field Ambulance and then treated in No 14 General Hospital in Wimereaux before being sent back to England on 10th November 1918. He recovered in No 10 Convalescent Depot before being demobbed.
He returned to Abertillery and his job in the coal mines and died in Weston-super-Mare in 1969 aged 76. His two older brothers both served in the war, Samuel in the Army Veterinary Corps and Abel served in the Royal Field Artillery in France.
GUNNER ARTHUR EDWARD CALLIS
He was born in Wymondham, Norfolk in April 1890 to parents Arthur Wright and Caroline Callis, his father was later to become Rector of St Mary's Church, Salford. In 1909 he emigrated to Canada, where he became a farm labourer in Red Deer, Alberta. He returned to the United Kingdom after the outbreak of the war and enlisted into the 6th Territorial Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment being embodied on 17th October 1915, his occupation now a schoolmaster. He was then transferred to the Inns Of Court Officer Training Corps on 14th February 1916. He was then discharged to a commission in the 7th March 1917 with the 4th (Reserve) Battalion, the King's Shropshire Light Infantry, as a 2nd Lieutenant, serving on the Home Front. Possibly in an effort to see action on the Western Front, he resigned his commission and enlisted into the Royal Marines Artillery 11th March 1918 as a Gunner 2nd class. He was posted to the RMA Howitzer Brigade in France on 25th August 1918 serving with 3 Battery equipped with 15 inch Breech Loading Siege Howitzer, which had a maximum range of 10,795 yards, firing a 1,400 pound shell, below.
They took part in the 1oo Days Offensive that led to victory over the Germans and Arthur Callis remained in France with the Battery until 31st December 1918. He was then offered under Army Order 4 of 12th December 1918 2 years further service with the colours. He accepted and was discharged from the Royal Marines to re-enlist in the 1st Battalion, The Norfolk Regiment, which was cleared on 14th March 1919. He was then posted to D Company, 2nd Battalion, The Norfolk Regiment in June 1919, based at Thetford. Here things began to go wrong, on 6th June he was charged with quitting fatigues without permission and being improperly dressed on a morning parade and sentenced to 5 days detention. On 26th June he was admonished for being absent at reveille and on 28th June charged with breaking out off the barracks until brought back under escort some 16 days later for which he was given 17 days detention. He had married Florence Sanders in Reading during his absence. On 10th October 1919 he disappeared completely and was declared a deserter by a board of enquiry a month later. He emigrated to New Zealand with his wife and was a farmer in Tawa, Wellington. He died there in August 1980 aged 90.
His cousin William Callis was killed in action in 1916, see above. His younger brothers both served Horace as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Royal Engineers on the Home Front and Montague as a Captain with the Royal Engineers in Gallipoli and Palestine.
PRIVATE NORMAN HENRY GILES
He was born in Salford in May 1893 to parents Thomas and Florence Giles. He worked as a carpenter for his father and joined the 4th (Territorial) Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry as a Privatein September 1914. He was embodied into the 1/4th Battalion. The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and arrived with them in France on 30th March 1915. They moved to Steenvoorde on the Belgium border, east of Ypres. On 24th May 1915 he was evacuated from the field on No 8 Ambulance Train, believed to be suffering from Phthisis or Tuberculosis. However this was found to be the effects of gas poisoning, first used by the Germans on 22nd April. He was sent back to the United Kingdom for treatment and recovery. He returned to the Western Front in September 1916, joining the 6th (Service) Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in the field. With the Battalion he took part in the Battle of Transloy Ridges between 1st October and 11th November 1916. From mid March 1917 the Germans withdrew from the Somme area to pre-prepared defences on the Hindenburg Line near the city of Arras. They destroyed everything in their path, leaving booby traps, poisoning water supplies and felling trees, causing hardship to the local population. The Battalion was one of those that cautiously pursued the Germans as they retreated. Between 16th and 18th August 1917 the Battalion was involved in the Battle of Langemarcke, a phase of the Third Battle of Ypres and went on to take part in the Battles of the Menin Roang Offensive d Ridge and Polygon Wood ending 1917 on operations around the town of Cambrai.
On 5th February he was taken to a field hospital suffering from inflammation of connective tissue of his left toe, being returned to duty on 19th February. In March 1918 the expected German offensive was unleashed on the Somme area. This was an attempt to win the war before American troops arrived in numbers, using men released from the Eastern Front by the surrender of Russia. They pushed back the Allied lines back some 40 miles before the advance was halted outside Amiens. The Battalion were in action in the Battle of St. Quentin from 21st March, taking part in a fighting retreat on the Somme Crossings and then at the Battle of Rosieres. Private Giles was wounded in action during this time and evacuated from the front line. After recovery he was posted to 2/4th Battalion, The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and took part in The Battle of the Selle and The Battle of Valencienne during the final advance into Picardy during October 1918.
After the war he became a travelling building contractor, he married Jean Giles in Chippenham in 1946 and died in 1990 aged 73.
WILLIAM THOMAS GILES
He was born in Salford in January 1898, the younger brother of Norman, above. He had been working as a carpenter when he signed on with the Royal Navy in Chatham as an Ordinary Seaman in July 1916. He served aboard the armoured cruiser HMS Antrim, carrying out convoy protection duties on the North America and West Indies station and visiting Archangel. He left the ship in December 1917. He then joined crew of the recently commissioned S class destroyer, HMS Shark, below, on 10th July 1918.
She served with the 5th Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean returning to the Home Fleet after the Armistice. He was made an Able Seaman aboard her at that time. On 10th August 1919 he was given 28 days detention for breaking out of barracks whilst ashore at Portsmouth, He left HMS Shark on 30th June 1922 and then re-mustered as a Stoker. He joined the crew of the sloop HMS Bryony in March 1923 and was promoted to Stoker 1st Class in April 1923 and Leading Stoker in October 1925 leaving the ship at that time. He then served briefly on the Renown class battlecruiser HMS Repulse before joining the Revenge class battleship HMS Royal Oak, below, on 31st August 1926.
He served with her as part of the Mediterranean Fleet based in the Grand Harbour at Malta until 2nd January 1931. He then joined the Revenge class battleship HMS Ramilies in Malta being made a Stoker Petty Officer aboard her and serving with her until June 1932,when she returned to the UK for a refit. He remained in Malta, serving briefly on the destroyer HMS Ardent, until 31st January 1934 when he arrived in the UK to be admitted to the Royal Navy Hospital in Portsmouth. He was followed by his wife Jessie and son Arthur on 4th June 1934 by which time he was serving on the training ship HMS Marshal Soult in Chatham. In August 1935 he joined the crew of the destroyer HMS Dragon, serving on the North American and West Indies Station and in 1936 she attempted several times to tow the large Spanish cruise liner Cristobal Colon which had struck a reef north of Bermuda. She returned home in 1937 to become a tender to HMS Cardiff, part of the Reserve Fleet stationed at The Nore. On 19th October 1938 he was discharged ashore for a pension and he and his family were living in Bedworth, Warwickshire. However with the outbreak of war he re-entered the service and became a Stoker Petty Officer aboard the V class destroyer HMS Versatile, below, on 15th June 1939.
When the United Kingdom entered World War II in September 1939, Versatile deployed with the 11th Destroyer Flotilla for convoy defence duty in the Southwestern Approaches and North Atlantic Ocean, based at Plymouth. In May 1940 she was detached from convoy duty and assigned to operations related to the evacuation of Allied personnel from the Netherlands, Belgium, and France in the face of the successful German offensive there. On 12th May 1940 she ran aground on the Dutch coast but was towed off by the destroyer Walpole. Early on 13th May 1940, Versatile arrived off the Hook of Holland to take part in Operation Ordnance, the evacuation of Allied personnel from that port. That evening, she was underway in the North Sea as an escort for the destroyer Hereward, upon which Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands was embarked for passage to Breskens, when German aircraft attacked at 2045 hours. One bomb struck Versatile's upper deck, causing her engine room to flood, and splinters from that bomb and several near misses killed nine men, fatally injured another, wounded a third of her crew, and damaged her steam pipe, causing her to go dead in the water. The destroyer HMS Janus towed her to Sheerness, England, for repair. Petty Officer Giles left the ship at this point. His next ship was the newly commissioned L class destroyer HMS Legion in December 1940, below.
During sea trials a number of defects were found resulting in the ship returning to Greenock for repairs until January 1941. On completion of repairs, she was assigned to the Western Approaches Command at Greenock as part of the 11th Escort Group. In February she escorted military convoys through the North Western Approaches. She set sail in support of Operation Claymore, a commando raid on the Lofoten Islands, on 1st March. On 13th April she rescued survivors from the armed merchant cruiser Rajputana which had been torpedoed in the North Western Approaches by the German submarine U-108. Legion rescued 177 men, although another 40 went down with Rajputana. The rest of April was spent escorting convoys. In May 1941 she screened capital ships of the Home Fleet, searching for the German battleship Bismarck; but she had to refuel at Iceland, and so was not present at the sinking of the German battleship. Legion then returned to convoy escort duties. On 22nd June Legion and her sister Lance, escorted the aircraft carrier Furious to Gibraltar, on an operation to deliver aircraft to Malta. A few days later she and other destroyers screened the aircraft carrier Ark Royal, the battlecruiser Renown and the cruiser Hermione as they delivered aircraft from Gibraltar to Malta. This operation was repeated later in the month with Furious. In July Legion returned to Greenock to resume escort duties through the Western Approaches. William left the ship on 15th July 1941. He joined the County class heavy cruiser HMS Kent on 4th September 1941. On 8th December she sailed from Scapa Flow carrying the Foreign Secretary Antony Eden and the Soviet Ambassador to Great Britain. She reached Murmansk on 12th December where the diplomats disembarked to meet with Joseph Stalin. The ship brought Eden back home by 29th December 1941 and was assigned to the Home Fleet and escorted convoys to and from North Russia. Petty Officer Giles left the ship on 23rd March 1942. He joined the newly completed King George V class battleship HMS Anson, below, on 14th April 1942.
By the time he left her in August 1943 Anson had escorted 5 Russian convoys in the Arctic. On the 4th September 1943 he joined the frigate HMS Bentley, an American built warship transferred to the Royal Navy under the Lend Lease agreement. He served with her until March 1944 with the 1st Escort Group in the North Atlantic. His next ship was the Crown Colony class cruiser HMS Mauritius. In June 1944 she covered the landings in Normandy as part of Force D off Sword Beach, then carried out offensive patrols of the Brittany coast in August to mop up the remnants of the German shipping in the area. Operating with destroyers, she sank Minesweeper 157 on 14th August and during the battle of Battle of Audierne Bay sank five flak ships on 22nd/23rd August 1944. After this she returned to the Home Fleet, covering the carrier raids along the Norwegian coast and making anti-shipping strikes. He left the ship in November 1944 and then joined the Hunt class destroyer HMS Mendip serving with the 21st Destroyer Flotilla based in Sheerness, carrying out local escort duties in the English Channel and North Sea, until VE Day on 8th May 1945. He came ashore for the last time on 20th July 1945 and retired from the Royal Navy on 17th September 1945 after 29 years service.
PRIVATE WALTER HILL MM
He was born in Salford in May 1887 to parents Henry and Lucy Hill and worked as a groom. When he married Florence Burden in Salford in April 1912, he was working as a butcher. He enlisted into the Army Service Corps in 1915 and joined the motor transport section. He was posted to France in 1916 and joined the 352nd Motor Transport Company in 32nd Divisional Supply Column. Responsible for delivering supplies to front line infantry troops, they supported the Division in the 1916 Somme Offensive, The German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line and in 1918 the German Spring Offensive and the 100 Days Offensive that led to Allied victory on the Western Front. Towards the end of the war Private Hill was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field. After the war he was sub-postmaster and store keeper at Kingham Post Office. He served as a Special Police Constable during the Second World War. He died in 1954 aged 68. His older brother Frank also served in the motorised transport section of the Army Service Corps in France.
PRIVATE WILLIAM THOMAS HURST
He was born in Salford in June 1893 to parents Edward and Frances Hurst and worked as a farm labourer. He enlisted into the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars on 22nd September 1915 and was embodied into the 6th (Service) Battalion, The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and joined B Company in France on 20th September 1916. The Battalion took part in the Battle of Transloy Ridges, a phase of the 1916 Somme Offensive, between 1st October and 11th November 1916, when bad weather called a halt to major operations. From mid March 1917 the Germans withdrew from the Somme area to pre-prepared defences on the Hindenburg Line near the city of Arras. They destroyed everything in their path, leaving booby traps, poisoning water supplies and felling trees, causing hardship to the local population. The Battalion was one of those that cautiously pursued the Germans as they retreated. On 20th May 1917 the Battalion was based at Bray on the Somme when Private Hurst was evacuated from the field suffering from trench fever. Taken to hospital at Etaples and then returned to the UK for further treatment on 30th May 1917. Whilst recovering he was posted to the 3rd Depot Battalion, The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. He was posted back to France on 9th September 1917, joining the 2/4th Battalion, The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in the field on 19th October 1917.However he was taken ill and evacuated back to England the next day. On 19th August 1918 he was discharged from the Army being "No longer physically fit for war service". He was awarded the King's Silver badge, worn on civilian clothing to stop honourably discharged men being accused of cowardice.
After the war he worked as a dairy man and in October 1926 married Dorothy Hedley in St Mary's Church, Chipping Norton. He died in Chipping Norton in July 1977 aged 84. Two of his brothers served in the war, James with the 1st Battalion, The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in Mesopotamia and Harry with the 1/1st Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars on the Western Front.
PRIVATE LEONARD JAMES NEWMAN
He was born in Little Compton in January 1876 and worked as a farm labourer. He married Gertrude Warr in Salford in February 1899, moving to Salford with his wife and 4 children. He enlisted into the 13th Labour Battalion on 11th December 1915, aged 39. This was a battalion that was trained and capable of fighting as infantry, but that would normally be engaged on labouring work. He was sent to France with them on 21st September 1916. On 14t May 1917 he was transferred to the newly formed Labour Corps, joining 164 Company. On 15th October 1918 he was sent back to the United Kingdom and joined the 646th Agricultural Company based at Oxford until demobilized on 27th May 1919. After the war he moved to Kingham, working as a builder's labourer. He died in 1941 aged 65.
PRIVATE ALFRED ALBERT ROSE
He was born in December 1889 to parents Rueben and Alice Rose of Rectory Farm, Salford where he worked as a cowman on the family farm. He enlisted into the Somerset Light Infantry on 15th March 1916, transferring to 13th (Reserve) Battalion, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment 6 days later. He was posted to France on 18th July 1916 and joining the 11th (Service) Battalion, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment in the field on 24th July, part of a draft of 388 other rank reinforcements. On 12th August 1916 the Battalion were in front line trenches at Bazentin-Le-Petit on the Somme when they received orders to attack German lines at 2230. The attack was held up some 20 yards from the German trenches by heavy machine gun fire and the Battalion was forced to return to its starting point. They suffered 152 casualties including Private Rose who suffered gun shot wounds to his left foot. He was taken to hospital in Rouen and then evacuated back to the United Kingdom for treatment. After recovery he was posted to the 3rd (Depot) Battalion, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment and suffered a sprained ankle whilst jumping into a trench during a bayonet fighting drill in May 1917. He was posted back to France and joined the 16th (Service) Battalion, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment on 10th July 1917. On 2nd August 1917 he was transferred to the 1st Battalion, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment. From 20th September 1917 they took part in the Third Battle of Ypres, in the Battle of Polygon Wood, the Battle of Broodseinde and the Battle of Poelcappelle. On 12th October 1917,The Battalion took part in the First Battle of Passchendaele. In heavy rain they advance at 0525 on German positions bur are forced to halt after 50 yards due to intense German machine gun fire. A German counter attack was beaten off by artillery fire but due to the swampy conditions the Battalion are unable to advance further. By the time they were relieved at 0100 the next morning they had lost 14 dead, 20 missing and 84 wounded, including Private Rose who had received gun shot wounds to his right arm causing a compound fracture. After hospital treatment he was invalided back to the UK and eventually discharged on 15th January 1919 as "No longer physically fit for war service". He was awarded the King's Silver badge, worn on civilian clothing to stop honourably discharged men being accused of cowardice.
PRIVATE THOMAS FREDERICK ROSE
He was born in November 1895, the younger brother of Alfred above and worked on the family farm. He enlisted into the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars in early 1915, joining the 1/1st QOOH in France on 14th December 1915. As cavalry they spent frustrating periods waiting in readiness to push on through the gap in the enemy's line, which never came. They toiled in working parties bringing up supplies, digging defensive positions, suffering the discomforts of appalling conditions, and frequently dismounting to fight fierce engagements on foot and in the trenches themselves. In 1917 they saw action in the Arras Offensive and operation in and around Cambrai and in 1918 faced the German Spring Offensive from 21st March. This was an attempt to win the war before American troops arrived in numbers, using men released from the Eastern Front by the surrender of Russia. They pushed back the Allied lines back some 40 miles before the advance was halted outside Amiens. On 8th August they fulfilled their Cavalry role in The Battle of Amiens, the beginning of the 100 Days Offensive which would lead to the defeat of Germany. They fought in the Battles of the Hindenburg Line between 27th September and 9th October and then pursued the Germans to their last defensive positions on Selle River between 9th and 12th October. They then took part in the final advance into Picardy and helped capture Mons on 11th November 1918. After the Armistice they were part of the Cavalry Division selected to advance into Germany as an advance screen for Fourth Army and form part of the Occupation Force. The move began on 17th November and they crossed the German border south of St Vith on 1st December. Private Rose was demobilized in March 1919 and returned home to Salford.
He married Gertrude Jones in Chipping Norton on 24th June 1922 and ran a dairy farm at Fowlers Barn, London Road Chipping Norton. He died in July 1961 aged 65.
PRIVATE JOHN HENRY SOUCH
He was born in Salford in July 1893, the son of George and Agnes Souch and worked as a farm labourer. He enlisted into the 3/1st Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars in 1915. He was then embodied into the 6th (Service) Battalion, The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and joined them in France in early 1916. The Battalion were involved in the 1916 Somme Offensive starting with The Battle of Delville Wood between 14th July and 15th September, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette and The Battle of Morval between 15th and 25th September and The Battle of Le Transloy between 1st October and 11th November, when bad weather put an end to operations. They were still in the Somme area when in mid March 1917 the Germans withdrew from the Somme area to pre-prepared defences on the Hindenburg Line near the city of Arras. They destroyed everything in their path, leaving booby traps, poisoning water supplies and felling trees, causing hardship to the local population. The Battalion was one of those that cautiously pursued the Germans as they retreated. The Battalion was involved in the Third Battle of Ypres taking part in the Battle of Langemarcke between 20th and 25th August, The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge between 20th and 25th September and The Battle of Polygon Wood until 3rd October, during which Private Souch was wounded in action. He was evacuated back to the United Kingdom for treatment.
He returned to France in early 1918, joining the 2/4th Battalion, The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in the field. On 21st March 1918 the Battalion faced the German Spring Offensive in the Battle of St Quentin. This was an attempt to win the war before American troops arrived in numbers, using men released from the Eastern Front by the surrender of Russia. The Battalion as part of the 61st (2nd South Midland) Division was holding the forward zone of defences in the area northwest of Saint Quentin in the area of Ham and lost many men as it fought a chaotic but ultimately successful withdrawal back over the Somme crossings over the next ten days. The remnants were moved north to what had been a quieter part of the line on the La Bassee Canal near Bethune. Unfortunately it was near where the Germans launched the second phase of their offensive on 9th April 1918. The Division became involved and many casualties were incurred during the Battle of Lys and Private Souch was again wounded in action at this time, which ended his second spell on the Western Front.
He married Annie Thornton in the summer of 1921 in Salford and took over the running of Hill Farm in the village. After retiring he moved to the Leys, Chipping Norton where he died in July 1980 aged 87.
PRIVATE WILLIAM FELIX TAYLOR
He was born in August 1892 to parents James and Louisa Taylor of The Cottage, Salford. The family later moved to York Terrace, Worcester Road, Chipping Norton where he worked as a farm labourer. He enlisted into the Royal Berkshire Regiment on 14th March 1916, he was at that point working as a threshing machine engine driver. He was graded medically as B2, fit to serve in France on lines of communication only. He was transferred to the Labour Battalion of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry and then sent to France on 7th May 1916 and joined the 12th (Labour Battalion) Royal Highlanders, The Black Watch. On 19th May 1917 this became the 15th Company of the Labour Corps. On 11th October 1917 he was transferred back to the United Kingdom, where his threshing machine skills were needed and was posted to 646th Agricultural Company based in Oxford. On 22nd December 1917 he married Emily Wellborough in Salford. On 8th July 1919 he was posted to the Labour Force on the Rhine before returning home for demobilization in Sepember 1919/
He lived at Chapel Lane in Salford and died their in June 1968 aged 75. His elder brother George had served on the Home Front with the Royal Defence Corps.
LIEUTENANT LIONEL GUY TOULMIN
He was born in Henley on Thames in November 1896 and was educated at Christ Hospital School, West Horsham, Sussex. At the outbreak of the First World War he enlisted as a Private into the 1/1st Battalion, The Honourable Artillery Company which was an infantry battalion. They were sent to France on 29th December 1914, landing at at St. Nazaire and placed onto Lines of Communication. On 10th November 1914 they were transferred to the 3rd Division. They moved into Belgium, near the city of Ypres. He left the Battalion on 29th May 1915, to return home to be commissioned as an officer. He joined the 5th (Territorial) Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment and landed at Suvla Bay on 10th August 1915 to take part in the Gallipoli Campaign. On 19th December 1915 they were evacuated from Gallipoli and arrived at Alexandria. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1916 and served in Egypt and Palestine thereafter taking part in the Battles for Gaza in 1917. After the war he lived in Erdington, Birmingham and during the Second World War served a Staff Officer with the South Staffordshire Regiment finishing the war with the rank of Captain. He died in Birmingham in 1981 aged 85, his connection with Salford is not known.
LIEUTENANT VAUGHAN ERNEST TOULMIN
He was born in June 1891 in Acton, London to parents Ernest and Constance Toulmin ahd worked in the motor trade. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Northamptonshire Regiment in April 1915 and joined the 1/4th (Service) Battalion in Gallipoli in October 1915. On 19th December 1915 they were evacuated from Gallipoli and arrived at Alexandria. After this he transferred to the Motor Transport section of the Army Service Corps as a Lieutenant.
PRIVATE FRANCIS CHARLES WATTS
He was born in March 1890 to parents Alfred and Eliza Watts of Salford and worked as a farm labourer, later become a threshing machine engine driver. He married Louisa Richards in March 1917 at St Mary's Church, Chipping Norton. He was called up for service on 21st June 1918 as the Army sought to replace casualties after the German Spring Offensive of that year. He joined the 3rd (Depot) Battalion, The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry for training. He was then posted to the 2nd Battalion, The Worcestershire Regiment in the field. They took part in the 100 Days Offensive that saw Allied victory on the Western Front, fighting in the Battles of the Hindenburg Line and then pursued the Germans to their final defence position on the River Selle. Fighting in the Battle of the Selle between 14th and 24th October 1918, Private Watts was wounded in action and evacuated back to the United Kingdom. He was discharged on 23rd January 1919 as "No longer physically fit for war service". He was awarded the King's Silver badge, worn on civilian clothing to stop honourably discharged men being accused of cowardice.
After the war he lived in Lower End, Salford, working as a wool merchant and died in 1978 aged 88.
PRIVATE ALFRED JAMES YATES
He was born April 1899 to parents Joseph and Minnie Yates of Hill Farm, Salford and had worked as a mill labourer. He was called up into the Army in May 1917 but graded B2 medically, fit for garrison or labour service only. He was posted to the 383rd Company of the Labour Corps on Home Service in Weymouth and in January 1918 moved to the 632nd Company. On 13th April 1918 he was transferred to the Tank Corps based at the Tank Corps Gunnery Camp at West Lulworth in Dorset. He was sentenced to 7 days confined to camp for coming back a day late from leave there in September 1918. He was demobilised to the reserves in December 1919. He returned to Salford and married Millicent Moss in 1932, living at the Close he worked as a general labourer. He died in 1968 aged 69. His elder brother Joseph was killed in action in 1918.
THE FALLEN OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR
JAMES HUBERT FRANKLIN was serving as a Private with "C" Company, the 1st Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry when he was killed in action on 27th November 1944. He was aged 23 and is buried in Forli War Cemetery in Italy.
He was born in July 1921, the son of Archibald Hubert and Elizabeth May Franklin, of Salford.
He had previously served with the Royal Norfolk Regiment before joining 1st Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry. This battalion had almost been wiped out on the island of Cos in the eastern Mediterranean in 1943. On 21st November the battalion strength was down to 16 officers and just over 100 other ranks and were now stationed at Mena near Cairo. Four officers and one hundred and fifty nine other ranks joined from 17th DLI in England the base camps were scoured and DLI men were diverted to 1st DLI. March 1944 saw the battalion up to strength once more. In May 1944 they came under the orders of 10th Indian Division. The division fought the rest of the Italian Campaign, facing hard fighting northwards through central Italy with the Eighth Army. Numerous mountain battles and river crossings followed with Operation Olive on the Gothic Line and then Operation Grapeshot. The division earned many battle honours and decorations and suffered many casualties before final victory in Italy in May 1945.
The Battalion were involved in heavy fighting around Rimini and Ravenna which took place in appalling weather in October-December 1944. On the 27th November 1944 a German self propelled gun shelled a farmhouse being held by a section of `C` Company, a direct hit on the farmhouse caused the forward facing wall to collapse inwards on the section, who were sheltering from the heavy rain, Private Franklin was killed when he was buried beneath the rubble.
BURNETT THOMAS RAMSAY ROURKE was serving as a Gunner with the 88th Field Regiment, the Royal Artillery when he died on 23rd July 1943. He was aged 41 and is buried in Kanchanaburi War Cemetery in Thailand.
He was the son of Thomas and Charlotte Rourke, having been born in Christchurch, Hampshire. He married Mabel Wallington in Salford in 1931. At the outbreak of war he was working as a groom in Wenlock, Shropshire and also served in the Observer Corps, whilst his wife who was incapacitated lived at 14, Bleak House in Chipping Norton.
The 88th Field Regiment of the Royal Artillery arrived in Singapore in November 1941 equipped with 24 x 25 pounder guns. They were sent up country to Mantin in Malayia as part of the 9th Indian Division. They supported the 3/17th Dogra Regiment in action against the Japanese at the Battle of Kota Bharu on 8th December 1941. The 9th Indian Division fought a relatively successful defensive retreat down Malaya's east coast. Gunner Rourke was wounded in action on 31st December 1941 and reported missing but later found to be a Prisoner of War . He died of colitis and dysentery in Malai 2 camp in Singapore, whilst a forced labourer of the Japanese during the building of the Burma to Siam Railway, known as the Death Railway.