The Manchester Regiment Forum

The Great War => 1914 - 1918 => Topic started by: mack on July 13, 2020, 07:13:00 PM

Title: 35735 john,edward dean.stretcher bearer
Post by: mack on July 13, 2020, 07:13:00 PM
pte john,edward dean.22nd manchesters

pte 35417 james magraw[stretcher bearer] wrote to johns wife martha on 14th january 1917 and told her how john was killed

we went into action at 6.40am on 11th january and at 9.oclock john was shot in the head by a sniper while bringing in a wounded man,me and john said we would write to our families if anything happened to one of us.

2/Lt henry peat
also wrote to johns wife and told her how sorry he and all the officers and men were,he told her how he had previously saved six men from drowning in the mud by pulling them out.

pte 35735 john,edward dean.[A.coy]
28 york st east,wigan
worked for r.banks,contractor,wigan
age 22

2/Lt henry peat
212 weston rd,sheffield

pte 35417 james magraw
4 hodges st,wigan
clerk at trencherfield mill,wigan
age 29
awarded military medal 1917.the award was wrongly listed as 2nd manchesters
Title: Re: 35735 john,edward dean.stretcher bearer
Post by: RobCherry on January 26, 2022, 09:57:21 AM
We are researching my wife's grandfather, James Magraw, and are there fore grateful for your post.

His Military Medal was not awarded until November or December 1917( its in the London Gazette on 17th December) and we have not been able to find out why it was awarded as the citation has been lost. He seems to have enlisted in the 14th Manchesters in 1916  but was perhaps transferred to the 22nd later.

Any help would be appreciated
Title: Re: 35735 john,edward dean.stretcher bearer
Post by: Tim Bell on January 26, 2022, 05:17:48 PM
Hi Rob,
Local press report https://archives.wigan.gov.uk/entity/3599993-james-magraw (https://archives.wigan.gov.uk/entity/3599993-james-magraw)
Welcome to the Forum.
Tim
Title: Re: 35735 john,edward dean.stretcher bearer
Post by: RobCherry on January 27, 2022, 09:09:00 AM
Thanks, we we aware of this entry in the local press, but thanks for replying anyway.
Title: Re: 35735 john,edward dean.stretcher bearer
Post by: Tim Bell on January 27, 2022, 10:07:42 AM
The period for the deeds leading to the MM Award would seem to be Sept 1917 to 17/11/1917.  I had a look through the War Diary and saw no mention of his name but you may find one or two events in the period that are likely to have led to the circumstances for the award.  I couldn't find a War Diary for Dec 1917 onwards, where there may be a mention by name - possibly with a note of the context.
Title: Re: 35735 john,edward dean.stretcher bearer
Post by: RobCherry on January 27, 2022, 01:06:05 PM
Its very kind of you to reply. I am not experienced at looking at War dairies or other Military records. I too looked through the 1917 dairies on line and could find  no mention either, so in a way your reply is quite reassuring!. The award was mentioned in the local press on 17th November and in the London Gazette a month later, so I don't think the December diary is going to help, unless entries were made retrospectively, is this possible?. Anyway, I will try and fit in a visit to the PRO and see if the December diary is there. Is it likely to have been recorded anywhere else?
The family rumour was that James received his award as he was the only bearer to have returned from one particularly hazardous mission. This sounds plausible but it would be nice to know the official version if there is one! In reply to my enquiry, the staff at the PRO suggested that an officer would have to have recommended the award , but we don't know he was. Hopefully that recommendation was recorded somewhere.

Again , thanks for your interest in James Magraw. Incidentally, he survived the war and went back to work at Trencherfield Mill in Wigan. The Mill still exists, and it has a magnificent working engine.  He worked his way up from Clerk to Company Secretary and died peacefully at home in 1971.
Title: Re: 35735 john,edward dean.stretcher bearer
Post by: charlie on January 27, 2022, 03:46:43 PM
The battalion war diary for December onwards has not been digitised but can be viewed at the TNA (Formerly the PRO).
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_q=22%20manchester&_cr1=WO%2095&_hb=tna

Charlie
Title: Re: 35735 john,edward dean.stretcher bearer
Post by: RobCherry on February 16, 2022, 04:38:19 PM
After doing a little more research and a better reading of the press notice  it would appear that James received his Military Medal following an action in October 1917 when the 22nd were heavily engaged  at Ypres. The unit's war diary for this period contains no mention of him at all . Perhaps the unit were so hard pressed that it was simply not a priority at the time. If any one has any more insight or can suggest other sources that would be great. We have consulted a book about the 22nd Battalion by Alistair Cowan, but there is no  mention of him in there either, although it was useful in describing what his unit were engaged in at various times. We also have a collection of postcards that James sent to his fiancĂ©e  from various locations in France, Belgium, Italy and Egypt.