Author Topic: 33447 Pte Harold Ashworth A Company 16th Manchesters  (Read 1742 times)

Offline Zipster

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33447 Pte Harold Ashworth A Company 16th Manchesters
« on: June 07, 2016, 03:46:03 PM »
I have long been a reader of the forum, but this is my first post hoping to fill in some of the gaps in my maternal grandfather's war experience.

With my sister and cousin I hope to visit Trones Wood on 10 July this year to commemorate the day a century ago that Harold was captured in the battle of the Somme. By piecing together what I learnt from my grandmother and what I have found online, I have discovered the following.

He was caring for his mother until she died in August 1915 and so did not join up until after that date. We have a New Testament presented to him by his church in April 1916; we assume to mark his leaving for France. He must have been one of the ten A Company soldiers missing after the action of 10 July in Trones Wood, as recorded in the regiment's diary. He then spent most of the rest of the war attached to Sprottau PoW camp but working on a farm near Bunglau. This is confirmed in Albert Kendrick's collection of photographs where he appears as a farm labourer. He always blamed his inexperienced officer for his capture but claimed the farmer's wife saved him from starvation by dropping bread meant for her chickens. In 1919 he was welcomed back to Oldham in a civic ceremony. Unfortunately my grandmother cut up the group photograph so we don't have a copy of the complete one.

So questions remain!
What is to be learnt from his number 33447?
What were the arrangements for training troops who had signed up after the 1914 rush?
His number at Sprottau was 94.18. What does that mean?
Where is there likely to be a copy of the photograph of the homecoming ceremony?
Was his experience similar to that of relatives of anyone else on this forum?

I hope members of the forum might be able to answer some, if not all, of my questions. If that happens our visit will be further enriched.
Many thanks.


Offline mack

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Re: 33447 Pte Harold Ashworth A Company 16th Manchesters
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2016, 09:47:45 PM »
there was something in the Oldham chronicle about him on 28-10-16,page 7,column 4

you will need to contact Oldham local studies to find out what it was


Offline Zipster

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Re: 33447 Pte Harold Ashworth A Company 16th Manchesters
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2016, 10:27:24 PM »
Thanks Mack.
That's really great news.
I'll arrange to make a trip to Oldham.