Author Topic: The Great War : The British Community in Argentina & the Manchester Regiment.  (Read 9324 times)

Offline PhilipG

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Upon the outbreak of war there was a huge response by the British Community in Argentina to provide men, financial help and material to help the "Motherland".  In this connection, the total number of volunteers from the Community who came forward to serve in the three services was 4852, of whom 528 appear on the Roll of Honour as dying in the conflict.   The Manchester Regiment features in the list of volunteers:-

                                            No. 7237 Private James Sullivan  :  2nd Bn. Manchester Regiment.   

Very little is known about this soldier.  He left Argentina in 1914 and joined the Manchester Regiment.  He was killed in action in France on the 2nd July 1916, presumably during the German counter attack on the Leipzig Salient.   He has no known grave and thus his name is engraved on the Manchesters' panels of the Thiepval Memorial.

                No. 31 Sgt. (later CSM) A.H.Hughes DCM, MM and Cross of St.George (Russia), 4th Class.  : 1st battalion Manchester Regiment.

This courageous soldier won two bravery awards whilst serving with the battalion in Mesopotamia, the DCM being awarded for his action at Tekrit on the 5th November 1917 and the MM in respect of the Manchesters' operations of 26th March 1917.  Tekrit is located some 110 miles north west of Baghdad.     His Regimental number I find intriguing.   PhilipG.



                     

Offline themonsstar

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He was also awarded an MID at some point.

Offline sphinx

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Alfred was born in around May 1886 in the Wellington area of Shropshire. We don't know anything about his early life or family, except that he was a member of the Church of England.

By 1904 Alfred lived at 29 Bridgewater Street in Patricroft in Salford, Lancashire. He worked as a horse drawn cart driver at Bridgewater Collieries. Soon after his 18th birthday he joined the 6th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. This was a unit of the Militia, so Alfred would have trained with them for a short period every year but kept his civilian home and job for the rest of the time.

He enlisted on the 10th May 1904 in Manchester and began his basic training. When Alfred enlisted he was 5 feet 4 1/4 inches tall and weighed 107 pounds. He had a 'fresh' complexion, grey eyes and black hair. He was given the service number 9988 by the 6th Battalion.

Alfred must have taken to Army life, because after just 6 weeks he transferred to the Regular Army on the 25th June. He joined the Manchester Regiment and was given the service number 31. We don't know much about his early service, but we believe he was first assigned to the 4th Battalion, based in Cork, Ireland. This unit moved to Aldershot in Hampshire in late October 1905, and was disbanded in late 1906.

Members of the 4th Battalion were sent to the 1st and 2nd Battalions, which were not being disbanded. We believe Alfred was sent to the 1st Battalion in India. He was certainly with them in Jullundur when the First World War broke out in August 1914. By this time he had been promoted to Corporal.

When the war began the 1st Battalion was quickly mobilised. It set sail for France on the 27th August and arrived on the 26th September. Alfred served in France and Belgium with the 1st Battalion until December 1915. He saw combat at Givenchy in December 1914, Neuve Chapelle in March 1915 and the 2nd Battle of Ypres in April. In December he sailed to Mesopotamia, now Iraq, to fight the Turks.

The 1st Battalion arrived in Basra on the 8th January 1916. They took part in attempts to relieve the British forces trapped in Kut al Amara. They were not successful and Kut was captured by the Turks on the 29th April. The rest of the year was fairly quiet and the British did not resume their advance until early 1917. Alfred was Mentioned in Despatches in the London Gazette of the 19th October 1916. We don't know what he did to earn this honour.

During fighting in February 1917 Alfred carried out an act of great bravery. He was awarded the Military Medal in the London Gazette of the 26th March 1917. There was no citation with this award, so we don't know what he did. During May he was awarded the Russian Cross of St George, 4th Class (number 807665). We don't know whether this was awarded for a particular act; often foreign governments would present a number of their medals to the British Army and allow the British to decide who would receive them.

By September 1917 Alfred was serving as Company Sergeant Major (CSM) in Number 1 Company. His job was to maintain standards and discipline amongst the soldiers in the Company. The Company Quartermaster Sergeant (CQMS), who Alfred would have worked closely with, was Alfred Burley. His medals are also in the Museum of the Manchester Regiment collection.

Alfred and the 1st Battalion spent the summer of 1917 in reserve near Baghdad, which had been captured that March. They returned to the front in early November to take part in the attack on Tikrit. During the capture of this city Alfred carried out another act of bravery. For this he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in the London Gazette of the 16th January 1919. This is his citation:

For marked gallantry and devotion to duty at Tekrit, on the 5th November 1917. He consolidated and reorganised a captured position under heavy fire with resolution and skill. Later he took a party out to collect much needed ammunition from casualties. His conduct throughout was magnificent.

The war in the Middle East ended in October 1918. By then Alfred and the 1st Battalion had advanced into what was then called Palestine and is now part of Israel.

The 1st Battalion returned to the UK during 1919. On the 18th October Alfred married Minnie Rowland Wainwright in the Parish Church, Patricroft. At this time both battalions of the Manchester Regiment were in Aldershot, Hampshire. Sadly, Minnie died on the 2nd June 1921, aged just 31.

Three months later Alfred left the Manchester Regiment. He had been transferred to the West India Regiment as a Company Sergeant Major. He sailed from Avonmouth aboard the SS Patuca on the 4th October. He was bound for Kingston, Jamaica.

Alfred served with the West India Regiment until mid 1923. He had the service number 7427. We don't know anything about where he was based during his time with them. The unit existed to garrison and protect British islands in the West Indies. These included the modern nations of Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as many other smaller islands. During his service in the West Indies Alfred was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal to recognise 18 years in the Army.

Alfred rejoined the 1st Battalion of the Manchester Regiment on the 5th June. At this time they were based on the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Alderney. On the 11th July 1924 Alfred was discharged from the Army 'at his own request'. His conduct had been 'Exemplary'. We don't know anything about Alfred's life between his discharge and the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939.

Alfred was living in Guernsey when the war broke out. He had married a woman named Mary, although we don't know when. The island was occupied by the Germans on the 30th June 1940, after they had captured France. Alfred was one of a number of former members of the Manchester Regiment who had moved to Guernsey after they left the Army. Under German rules all ex-servicemen who had not grown up on the island were supposed to be taken to Germany and interned until the end of the war. This did not happen to Alfred. We don't know why, but it was probably because he worked at the White Rock port in the capital, St Peter Port, so he was needed to keep the port running smoothly.

The occupation of the Channel Islands lasted until the 9th May 1945, when the Germans surrendered. During the last year of the war in particular, food supplies on the islands had been running short, and the Germans and islanders alike had come close to starvation.

After the war Alfred and Mary continued to live in Guernsey. He was a member of the thriving Guernsey branch of the Manchester Regiment Old Comrade's Association (OCA). By the early 1950s they lived at La Porte in the Jerbourg area of the island. Alfred was known as 'Dibber' to his friends.

During mid 1952 Alfred caught tuberculosis. He was treated at the Sanatorium in Castel, Guernsey. On Tuesday the 3rd June he was visited by Bill Currie and Albert 'Tibby' Pearce. Both men had served with Alfred, and Bill now lived in Guernsey. Their medals are also in the Museum of the Manchester Regiment collection.

Alfred died on the 7th December 1952. He was 66 years old. He was buried 3 days later at the New Cemetery in St Martin's. His medals were donated to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in April 1953.

From the Museum of the Manchester Regiment "Men behind the Medals".

His medals can be seen in the Museum.

regards

Offline PhilipG

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Themonsstar & Sphinx,

Thank you to both of you. Philip.


Offline PhilipG

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                                    No. 36571 Private Thomas Timperley : 3rd & 2nd Bns. Manchester Regiment.

This man was, like his father, a Pattern Maker living in Seymour Road South in the Manchester district of Clayton and working in a nearby engineering works.

On  the 17th September 1914 at the age of 26 and for reasons unknown, he sailed from Liverpool aboard the Pacific Steam Navigation Company's ship the SS Orita - destination Buenos Aires.  It could be that the prospect of a good job in this South American country and the existence of a thriving British community within the Republic, tempted him to emigrate and to set up a permanent residence there.

However, as was the case with many of this community, he decided to return to Britain to join the British Army.    He left La Plata aboard the SS El Uruguayo, a vessel belonging to the British & Argentine Steam Navigation Co. which arrived in Plymouth on the 23rd May 1916.

It would seem that from there and being a Mancunian, he proceeded to join the the 3rd Manchesters, eventually being posted to the 2nd battalion.
(Interestingly, it would appear that both vessels did not succumb to the German U-Boat menace).  PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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                                              Lieutenant Frederick Leach : 8th Bn. Manchester Regiment.

This officer (mentioned elsewhere on this Forum) was part of the British Community in Rosario, Argentina and one of the "Volunteers from Argentina".   After arrival in England towards the end of 1914, he joined the Honourable Artillery Company, I surmise, becoming "one of the over four thousand members of the corps who received commissions in other units", as mentioned in the HAC's Regimental History.   In Leach's case, he was subsequently commissioned into the 8th Manchesters and later transferred into the RAF, becoming an "Equipment Officer".

He died of heatstroke on the 16th June 1918 being buried in Bombay, sadly and with the passage of time, his grave cannot now be traced. PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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No. 3904 Pte. Joseph Nimni : 12th Bn. Manchester Regt., attached 4th Army School and subsequently No. J/5676 40th Bn. Royal Fusiliers.

This soldier who was born in 1897 was the son of a Jewish Minister and his wife who, although they were at one time residents in Turkey, both had British nationality by reason of their parentage.  For whatever reason, they left Turkey and went to live in Malta where four of their children, including Joseph, were born.  Later the family left Malta and moved to Liverpool.

By 1911 the family had left Liverpool and were then living in the Fallowfield district of Manchester.   At the age of 16, Nimni sailed from Southampton in the SS Arlanza arriving in Buenos Aires some time in March 1913.

It is not clear at what stage Nimni returned to the UK, but upon his return to England he enlisted in the 12th Manchesters and it appears had some service "attached to the 4th Army School" before returning to his battalion.

His Jewish faith qualified him for service with the 40th Royal Fusiliers, a battalion like its sister battalions No's 38 and 39, specially recruiting Jewish soldiers and he went out to Egypt with the 40th Bn. in August 1918.

At the end of hostilities the battalion was quickly disbanded, personnel returning to various countries, although some preferred to settle in Palestine where they had been in action.   In the case of former Private J.Nimni, now age 23, he boarded SS Almanzora in Southampton waters and took passage to Buenos Aires arriving there in August 1920, where  it would appear he took a job with the Anglo American Petroleum Company.

NOTES:

I have been unable to find the location or other details of the "4th Army School".

Together with the 38th and 39th R.Fus., the 40th battalion was sometimes referred to (unofficially) as the Jewish Legion.
PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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                             No. 39724 Pte. Oswald Woolley Mitchell : 16th Bn. Manchester Regiment -  later Captain Special Reserve.

This soldier is listed in the "Volunteers from Argentina Roll" produced by the British Community listing the names of those who volunteered for service in HM Forces.  I note that Mitchell was commissioned under date 26.6.17 into the Special Reserve.  He was born in 1893.

Mitchell's father was in the "Meat Trade" and in 1911 Oswald was recorded as being apprenticed to his father in that trade.

It is assumed, that prior to 1914 part of the apprenticeship involved residence in Argentina, although it has not been possible to discover when he returned to England.

With his military service completed, Mitchell returned to Buenos Aires taking passage in SS Fiandria of the Royal Holland Lloyd Line.   PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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                                     Second Lieutenant (later Captain) A.W.F.Connery 9th Bn. Manchester Regiment.

This officer was born in Ashton-u-Lyne and subsequently worked as a Railway Clerk with the Great Central Railway Company.  In due course, he emigrated to Argentina where he was employed with the Argentinian railway system.  Like so many of the British Community in Argentina, in 1914 he returned to the UK to join the army and was commissioned in the 9th Manchesters.   His father was Major M.H.Connery of that battalion and he was able to join his father in Egypt in April 1915.  (The military careers of Major Connery and his sons, who also held commissions in the regiment, are worthy of study).

During the fighting on the Peninsula,Connery was wounded (5.7.15) and shortly afterwards his father - Major Connery - also became a casualty.

No doubt influenced by Connery's railway expertise, the Army attached him for railway duty with the Railway Operating Training Centre of the Royal Engineers.   His military service continued after the end of hostilities, for there is a record that he was serving with the British Military Mission in South Russia in March 1920.    PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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                          Lieutenant (later Major) Henry Wm. Walker MC : 21st Bn. Manchester Regiment

After arriving in England from Argentina, this officer joined the 21st Manchesters leaving for France in November 1915.  Information regarding his military career is sparse, but there is evidence that in addition to the award of the MC he was also Mentioned in Despatches, suggesting that he was involved in some fighting.

At the end of hostilities he returned to Argentina, writing to the Authorities in 1921 regarding his medal entitlement.  PhilipG.


Offline PhilipG

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                                      Captain Noel Plummer : 21st Bn. Manchester Regiment.

At the beginning of the Great War, this officer left Argentina for the UK and joined the British Army.  Have we any information, please, in respect of his service with the battalion?   PhilipG.

Offline mack

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capt noel plummer
stock broker
born 1882
died 27th January 1951.resided at danes hill cottage,hockering,woking
had previously resided at garden court,chobham rd,surrey till at least 1949
went to france on 8-11-1915
attained the rank of major
wife Florence,edith plummer
arrived in England on SS la negra from Columbia on 23-11-14.

mack ;D

Offline mack

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there were men leaving England to go and work at the fray bentos meat plant in Columbia,via argentina

mack ;D

Offline PhilipG

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Mack,
  Thank you. Philip.

Offline PhilipG

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                                                Captain Herbert Brookhouse : 13th Bn. Manchester Regiment.

This officer is another member of the British Community in Argentina who came over at the beginning of the Great War to join the British army.  I have no other info. about him, but suspect he may have served in Salonika.  PhilipG.