Author Topic: would you mind checking this for me please  (Read 3188 times)


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would you mind checking this for me please
« on: November 08, 2017, 08:37:01 PM »

Thanks to many members assisting with my research I have pulled together a composite brief of my GGFs service.  I want to give it to my son this weekend as he has recently joined army cadets and will be on parade.  If any of you have some spare time would you mind double checking it for me please

Ill also post in the WW1 section




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Re: would you mind checking this for me please
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2017, 09:17:21 PM »
This might make it easier for people to help Matt.

John James Sellers was born in Manchester in 1878, he is my great grandfather on my mums side.

He joined the 5th Volunteer Battalion, 2nd Service Company the Manchester Regiment at Ardwick barracks on the 10th March 1900. He was called to the Colours on the 14th February 1901 with the rank of Private 7145.  He was 22 years and 8 months of age.

He was one of the volunteers from the Ardwick Battalion who served in the 2nd Volunteer Service Company in the Anglo / Boer War. The 2nd Volunteer Service Company consisted of Captain W G Heys, Lieut I M Stevens of the Ardwick Volunteers, and Lieutenant G W Hardman of the Oldham Volunteers.  107 men from their two battalions sailed from Canada Dock, Liverpool aboard the Aurania on 24 March 1901.   

They arrived at Pretoria during the latter half of April staying there for two and a half days before moving by rail to Machadodorp in open cattle trucks. No sooner had they arrived, pitched their tents and got ready for sleep than their introduction to the war began with Boers sniping at an outpost, then around the whole camp. The Volunteer Company stood to arms for some time but did not have to do anything. Unfortunately fever quickly affected the new arrivals and both Captain Heys and Lieutenant Stevens were sent to hospital in Pretoria, where they still were on 7 June.

After several days the 2nd Volunteer Service Company, under the temporary command of Lieutenant Hardman, marched with a convoy to join the 1st Battalion in Lydenburg on 7 May 1901 and were designated as ‘K’ Company. ‘K’s first real introduction to the war was on 13 May when Boers were reported as sniping ‘beyond Mission Camp’ at 1.30 pm. Forty men of ‘K’ and half of ‘G’ Company, with thirty men of the Leicester Regiment Mounted Infantry and a field gun were sent to investigate.  They found that the Boers had withdrawn, having taken two native Africans, whom they released after taking £1.7s 6d from them.

Following a fairly quiet time ‘K’ Company undertook its first major activity and, with half ‘G’ Company, escorted a convoy to Machadodorp. The telegraph wire between Witklip and Badfontein had been cut in twelve places on the night of 2 June. Men sent out to repair the damage were attacked by about 50 Boers whose rifle fire was so heavy that it was impossible to repair the line. One native was killed; a Lance Corporal wounded and two men reported missing.

Posted to South Africa 12th April 1901. Posted back to the UK 19th May 1902 and discharged himself from service on the 12th June 1902 at A-U-L Barracks.

He was awarded the Queens South Africa Medal with bars for Transvaal, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902.

His name is contained on a marble wall memorial at the entrance to Ardwick barracks.

He was awarded the Territorial Force Efficiency Medal on the 1st January 1909 for his services to 5th Volunteer Battalion

By the time of WW1 the 5th VB had been amalgamated into the 1/8th Battalion Manchester Regiment.  JJ Sellars was Corporal 2335.  On the 5th August 1914 they were embodied at the Territorial Force HQ, Ardwck where they remained for about 3 weeks.  Afterwards parading every morning at 6am at school each man billeting at his own home.  They were later moved to Littleborough near Rochdale with the Manchester Brigade where they camped until the 9th September.  They left Littleborough at midnight by train arriving in Southampton on the 10th September 1914 about 4.30p.  They set sail for Alexandria, Egypt from Southampton arriving on the Friday 25th September 1914. 

They disembarked on Sunday 27th about 6am and marched to Mastapha fresh air camp where they were split into two detachments, one was sent to Limassol and the other to Nicosia in Cyprus.  They left Alexandria on the 19th October 1914, arriving in Cyprus the next day, October 20th 1914.  They remained there until November 2014 and took part in the annexation of Cyprus.  On the 20th January 2015 they embarked the transport ship Malda and set sail for Alexandria Egypt arriving there the day 21st January 2015 and then made their way to Cairo.  Whilst there they were put through their paces on the sands of the desert for just over three months and were then ordered to go to the Dardanelles, Turkey.  They were inspected on the march by Sir Ian Hamilton and on Sunday 2nd May 1915 they left Cairo train station for Alexandria where they embarked the transport ship Ionian.  They arrived in the Dardanelle’s, Gallipoli, Turkey on the 6th May 1915 and transferred to the 127th Brigade of the 42nd division.  The division was involved in attempts to break out of the Cape of Helles bridgehead and the battle of Krithia Vineyard; an unsuccessful attempt to divert the Turks attention from a large British landing.  By the 8th August 1915 the 42nd division were down to 1/3rd strength.

On the 28th December 1915 the Manchester’s began to evacuate from Gallipoli.  The 1/8th   battalion along with all other units in the Helles bridgehead withdrew from Gallipoli on the 8th January 2015 to Mudros, on the island of Lemnos, Greece. From there they proceeded to Egypt.  It was likely that during this time JJ Sellars had been injured and promoted to Warrant Officer second class 621561 as he was transferred to the Labour Corps. 

It is unknown if he remained with the Manchester’s as part of the labour corps but throughout August it was feared that the Turks would assault the Suez Canal so the 8th Battalion were held in reserve during the battle of Romani, Egypt.

On the 3rd March 1916 the 8th Manchester’s arrived in France, they landed at Marseilles having sailed from Egypt and boarded a train for the Western Front. 

Throughout this time they were involved in patrols, reliefs, construction, preparation and trench work.

On the 27th February 1917 the 42nd division moved up and later entered the line at Epehy, moving on to Havrincourt.

During July and August 1917 they rested and trained and in September they moved north to join the offensive at Ypres, Passchendaele. 

The 1/8th Battalion’s war ended in Hautmont in November 1918.  They were demobilised between the 14th and 19th December 1918. 

On the 15th July 1919 JJ Sellars, having been promoted Sergeant was discharged.

He was awarded the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and the 1914/15 Star


I'll do the same in the other one .


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Re: would you mind checking this for me please
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2017, 10:36:50 PM »
Many thanks