Author Topic: 2nd Battalion Officers.  (Read 28234 times)


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2nd Battalion Officers.
« on: March 26, 2018, 08:22:46 PM »
 List of Officers that served with the 2nd Battalion the Manchester Regiment in this Topic.

 Some of these will have been covered before on the forum, I'm just consolidating them in one place.
 At the top of each new page will be a list of Officer's covered on that page as follows.

 1) Captain Frank Oswald Medworth served with the 13th and 2nd  Battalions of the Manchester Regiment.
 2) Captain and Adjutant Frank Scobell NISBET 2nd Battalion of the Manchester Regiment

 3) Lieutenant Robert Horridge 4th Battalion Manchester Regiment attached 2nd Battalion, Manchester Regiment.

 4) Captain Huntly Warwick Nicholson 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment attached 2nd Battalion, Manchester Regiment.

 5) Second Lieutenant, Herbert Ronald Farrar 3rd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment. attd. 2nd. Bn. Manchester Regiment.

 6) Second Lieutenant, James Kirk VC 2nd. Bn. Manchester Regiment.
 7) Captain Charles Fitzgerald Hamilton TRUEMAN 2nd. Bn. Manchester Regiment.

« Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 10:21:03 PM by timberman »


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Re: 2nd Battalion Officers.
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2018, 08:45:21 PM »
 1) Frank Oswald Medworth

The following is from the Museums web site for the life of the month.

Early Life
Frank was the son of Joseph Medworth of Mortlake, Surrey and the late Caroline Medworth.
Service Life
Captain Frank Oswald Medworth served with the 2nd and 13th Battalions of the Manchester Regiment. Frank was commissioned on the 24 November 1914 and was quickly promoted. Frank landed in France on the 6 September 1915 before sailing to Salonika, landing in November 1915, where he was wounded.
Returning to active service, Frank won the Military Cross, ‘for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He commanded the right company in the assault and led his men through the various barrages with very few casualties.
He consolidated his lines with great skill and resource’ (London Gazette: 26 July 1917). Frank joined the 2nd Battalion for duty in Blairville, France on 12 May 1918. For his service in the army, Frank was also awarded the Allied Victory Medal, British War Medal and 1914-1915 Star. Frank’s medals can be seen in the Museum of the Manchester Regiment.
We Shall Remember Him
Frank was 35 years old when he was killed in action on 13 May 1918, just one day after arriving in France.
He is buried in the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery - Souchez, France (Grave/ Memorial Reference – VIII. OI).
His Next of Kin Memorial Plaque is on display in the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in the Ladysmith Gallery memorial cabinet drawer 2.

The following is from the London Gazette the citation for his M.C

 Temp. Capt. Frank Oswald Medworth, Manch. R. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He commanded the right company in the assault and led his  men through the various barrages with very few casualties. He consolidated his lines with great skill and resource.

 The first is a photo of him.
 The second and third photos are of his obituaries in the SAR Magazine.

Although it says the 6th September in the Life of the month as his entry
into the theater of war it says 7th on his MIC. 

His entry on the CWGC site

Died 13/05/1918

Aged 35

2nd Bn.
Manchester Regiment


Son of Joseph Medworth, of Mortlake, Surrey, and the late Caroline Medworth.
Previously wounded at Salonika, 1917.

From the War Diaries for the 13/05/1918 .
Battalion in the line, casualties 6 O/R wounded.
Usual patrols out on the Battalions front, wiring
carried out.
Captain F O Medworth MC (commanding C company)
killed at 8-30 pm.

« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 05:23:03 PM by timberman »


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Re: 2nd Battalion Officers.
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2018, 09:11:29 PM »
2) Captain and Adjutant Frank Scobell NISBET

2nd Manchester Regiment
KIA 26 August 1914, Le Cateau, France
Medals: South Africa, Queen’s Medal (3 clasps), King’s Medal (2 clasps); 1914 Star, Mentioned in Despatches (October 1914)
War Grave: None. La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial

The following is from a PDF on

Frank Nisbet was born on 22 November 1878 at St Luke’s Vicarage in Gloucester, the elder son of Reverend (later Canon) Matthew Alexander Nisbet and his wife Louisa Janey, née Scobell. He was educated at The Grange Preparatory School in Folkestone and, between 1891 and 1894, at Winchester College. In his final year at the school his younger brother died at the age of fourteen. Nisbet determined on a military career and entered RMC Sandhurst, where he captained the Association Football XI and played cricket and golf. He retained a keen interest in these sports during his military career, being a member of the MCC and playing cricket for the Free Foresters and other clubs when quartered in different parts of the country. In 1896 he won the Singles Tournament of the Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club in Deal.
He was gazetted to the 2nd Battalion Manchester Regiment in 1898 and was promoted to Lieutenant in July 1899 and to Captain in July 1901. By the time of his second promotion he was serving with the British forces in the Boer War. At first he was given charge of the 17th Brigade’s Ammunition Column, taking part in operations that led to the surrender of Boer forces in the Caledon Valley in August 1900. He subsequently rejoined his battalion during operations in the Orange River Colony. He returned to England in 1902.
In 1912 Nisbet was appointed Adjutant of the 2nd Battalion and thus was responsible for ‘the hundred and one things that is  necessary when a Regiment has orders to mobilise’. The battalion was stationed at the Curragh in Ireland at the outbreak of war. Under the plans for creating a British Expeditionary Force (BEF), the battalion became part of 14th Brigade, 5th Division in II Corps. It arrived at Le Havre on 16 August 1914 and on the 17th entrained, arriving at Le Cateau at noon on the following day. From there the battalion made an eight-hour march to Landrecies, around which the 5th Division was concentrating. After a few days resting, the battalion advanced towards Mons, taking up its assigned position between Jemappes and Bois de Boussu on the Mons-Condé canal during the afternoon of the 22nd.
The 2nd Battalion did not play a major part in the Battle of Mons on 23 August, as 14th Brigade was in reserve. Indeed, the BEF’s first significant clash of arms appears not to have been noticed. The War Diary of another 14th Brigade battalion, compiled after the event, states that ‘The news reached us later that a great battle had been fought from our position on the left to Mons on the right and that certain units had suffered terrible losses’. The 2nd Manchester’s War Diary does not have an entry for 23 August, possibly owing to the notes of events being in Nisbet’s possession when he was killed. That evening, however, despite II Corps holding its own, the great withdrawal began when it was realised that the French Fifth and Fourth Armies, the former after heavy fighting at Charleroi and the latter in the Ardennes, were retreating and had left the BEF’s right flank exposed. There was a real possibility that the BEF could be enveloped and pushed back into Mons.
II Corps withdrew from the trap without too much harm, but the movements in the next forty-eight hours led to both the battalions becoming increasingly separated and a worrying gap of about five miles emerging between the BEF’s two corps. General Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien’s orders from GOC Sir John French were to retreat to St Quentin, but in light of the Corps’ inability to throw off the pursuing Germans, he decided that he had to stop and fight. By giving the enemy a bloody nose he might gain time to break contact and allow his exhausted and hungry troops a breathing space. On his own initiative he decided to fight at Le Cateau.
The 2nd Battalion Manchester Regiment played a much more prominent role at Le Cateau on 26 August than at Mons. The 5th Division was placed on the right of the line, with 2nd Suffolk’s at the extreme right and 2nd Manchester’s in support. The latter’s War Diary recorded the events: ‘About 10 am Germans advanced, attacking the Suffolk’s and [the RFA] batteries vigorously with shell fire and machine guns. The battalion was ordered to support them and A Company under Captain Trueman went to right and B Company under Captain Knox to left with Captain and Adjutant Nisbet’. The rest of the account concentrates on the right side of the line and there is no account of what happened to B Company. Nisbet’s death was, however, recorded: ‘The casualties in the centre were very heavy, Captain Nisbet being shot through the head and 13 other officers wounded’. Among the wounded was Knox. This may explain why The Bond of Sacrifice account related that Nisbet ‘was killed … while leading a company whose Captain had been put out of action’.
Smith-Dorrien’s decision to fight at Le Cateau was vindicated as II Corps was given some breathing space to continue its retreat to St Quentin the next day as a more cohesive unit. The retreat ensured, however, that Nisbet’s body was never recovered. No doubt it was buried by the Germans or by local inhabitants, but no record of the site exists. Nisbet is thus memorialised on the La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial to the Missing.



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Re: 2nd Battalion Officers.
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2018, 09:20:30 PM »
When it came to deciding on an appropriate memorial to Frank,
the parents chose to erect a stained glass window in memory
of all their dead children.

This was in the form of a beautiful two-light window. The parish
church chosen was St Nicholas in Ringwould, a Cinque Port village
between Deal and Dover, where his father had been Rector.


Offline Keith Brannen

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Re: 2nd Battalion Officers.
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2018, 02:49:04 PM »

Medworth: "Frank was 35 years old when he was killed in action on 13 May 1918, just one day after arriving in France."

The 2nd Battalion WD has Medworth joining the battalion on 16 April 1918, so it should be "one month after arriving in France".
Also states that he was commanding "C" company when killed.



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Re: 2nd Battalion Officers.
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2018, 03:04:01 PM »
Thanks Keith.

I have files on 50+ Officers that were serving with the 2nd Bn
that I'm adding to this topic. I was originally going to add them
to the snippets by thought this would be better.
So any additional information that can be added will be appreciated.



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Re: 2nd Battalion Officers.
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2018, 08:33:16 AM »
 3) Lieutenant Robert Horridge

Son of Alice M. Horridge, of 19, Glade Street, Park Road, Bolton, Lancashire, and the late Albert Horridge. B.A. 4th battalion Manchester Regiment attached 2nd Battalion, Manchester Regiment. Of Garthside, Ducie Avenue, Bolton, Lancashire. Killed instantaneously on the evening of 17 November 1914, whilst looking up at an aeroplane, a bullet passing through his forehead at Wulverghem, Belgium.

Bank: Parr’s Bank
Place of work: General Manager's Department, London
Died: 17 November 1914
Robert Horridge was born in Bolton in 1888, the son of Albert Horridge, a tailor, and his wife Alice. He won a scholarship to Manchester Grammar School, and was later awarded an exhibition to study at Wadham College, Oxford. He was successively secretary, treasurer and president of the Old Mancunians' Association in Oxford, and became a member of the University Officers Training Corps. He gained his degree in 1911, and in 1912 went to work for Parr's Bank in its head office general manager's department.
Horridge was a territorial soldier, an officer in the Special Reserve Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. Lieutenant Horridge was mobilised for active service at the outbreak of war in 1914, and was killed in action at Ypres, Belgium on 17 November 1914. He was 26 years old, and was the first man from Parr's Bank to be killed in the war.
His obituary in the bank's staff magazine noted, 'quiet, competent and precise, he combined with a fine modesty undoubted abilities and a certain personal dignity, which was but the token of his unselfish and unassuming character. Only those who knew him well - for he was not the man to talk of himself - were acquainted with his activities as a member of the Cavendish Club and his earnest and painstaking work at various forms of social service'. It went on to conclude, 'we can but feel that the manner of his end was such as he would have wished, for he was a soldier first and a man of business second'.

Additional information.

He was a Philip Wright Exhibitioner of Wadham in 1907 and took his B.A. in classics four years later. He joined the Oxford University O.T.C and was one of the founders of the O.M.A section there. He was in the Parr's Bank London and passed into the special Reserve, Manchester Regiment as second lieutenant. He got his double star in July 1914. He must have been one of the first O.M's to be killed in the war.

His listing on the CWGC.

Died 17/11/1914

Aged 26

4th Bn. attd. 2nd Bn.
Manchester Regiment

Son of Alice M. Horridge, of 19, Glade St., Park Rd., Bolton, and the late Albert Horridge. B.A.


Location: West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Number of casualties: 79

Cemetery/memorial reference: III. B. 1.

From the War Diaries for 17/11/1914 .
Our trenches were heavily shelled during the day.
Killed Lieut H Nicholson 1/Cheshire Regiment,
Lieut Horridge 4th Battalion Manchester Regiment,
Cpl Faulkner.
Wounded 12 men.
Lieut A J Scully and 2/Lt G Leach admitted to hospital.

As well as Horridge and Faulkner that the War Diaries say
were killed there were two other soldiers that died on the same day.
The following are from my list.

DRANOUTER CHURCHYARD, Heuvelland, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

FAULKNER, Corporal, P, 512, 2nd Bn., Manchester Regiment. 17 November 1914.
Grave Ref. III. B. 2.

HORRIDGE, Lieutenant, ROBERT, 4th Bn. attd. 2nd Bn., Manchester Regiment. 17
November 1914. Age 26. Son of Alice M. Horridge, of 19, Glade St., Park Rd., Bolton,
and the late Albert Horridge. B.A. Grave Ref. III. B. 1.

YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

BURKE, Private, PATRICK, 8999, 2nd Bn., Manchester Regiment. 17 November 1914.
Panel 53 and 55.

DRANOUTRE MILITARY CEMETERY, Heuvelland, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

COTTERILL, Private, WILLIAM FRANCIS, 2719, 2nd Bn., Manchester Regiment. 17
November 1914. Age 19. Son of Hannah Cotterill, of 73, Catherine St., Winton,
Patricroft, Manchester. Grave Ref. I. C. 17.

« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 05:25:17 PM by timberman »


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Re: 2nd Battalion Officers.
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2018, 09:12:13 AM »
The 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment Officer was,

4) Captain
Died 17/11/1914

Aged 25

1st Bn.
Cheshire Regiment

Son of Robert Howard Nicholson and Beatrice Susanna Nicholson, of "Aulay," Kidbrook Grove, Blackheath, London. Born at Stonehouse, Devonshire.

There is some dispute as to whether he was with the Cheshire Regiment or the 2nd Battalion Manchester Regiment.
Although there is nothing in the war diaries that mention him, from when they were mobilized in Ireland to his death in November.
The following is what I've found. (I do believe he was with the 2nd Bn and that is why I've added him to this topic)

Personal History:
Capt Nicholson was born in Stonehouse, Devon in March quarter 1889, the eldest son of Robert Howard Nicholson (a Royal Naval Officer - Staff Surgeon) and Beatrice Susanna Nicholson, later of "Aulay," Kidbrook Grove, Blackheath, London.

In 1891 he was living his mother and younger brother, Douglas, at the home of his grandfather, John Wenman Warwick Green, a retired Royal Naval Officer (Fleet Paymaster), at 49 Kingston Crescent, Portsea, Portsmouth. (1891 Census RG 12/855). Huntley's paternal grandfather was in the army, Captain Huntley Nicholson.

In 1900 a third brother, Arthur L., was born when the family were in Linlithgow, Scotland. In 1901 the family was living at 7 Viewforth Terrace, Aberdour, Fife, Scotland. (CSSCT1901_129) There is no record of Huntly marrying.

Military History:
Currently his Army records are unavailable. His Medal Index Card shows that he entered France as part of the BEF in 1914 and was killed in action on the 17th November.  On that day the Battalion was in trenches at Ypres and the War Diary records:

"Battalion in trenches, started with exceptionally heavy shell fire followed by an infantry attack which however was easily repulsed."

What is unclear is whether or not Lieutenant or Captain Nicholson was serving with the Cheshire Regiment or the 2nd Manchesters at the time. He is not named among the Cheshire's complement of Officers in the draft leaving for the front in August 1914. Neither does his name appear in the Regimental War Diary, either joining as a replacement or named as a casualty.

In the various literatures associated with the battalion at this time he is not named as a casualty and is not named by Crookenden, the front page of his Medal Index Card suggests some movement between the two Regiments and on the back page there is a notation that the Record Office at Preston had forwarded a list of Officers of the 2nd Manchester Regiment eligible for the 1914 Star.

His rank was Captain, he was promoted two days before he was killed and his entry in the London Gazette was in the 9th of December 1914 edition.

The Cheshire Regiment, Lieutenants to be>
Captains: —
K. R. Bently.
H. W. Nicholson.

I've added the MIC as mentioned above he is listed as being with the Manchester regiment.

Click on the photos to make them bigger.

« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 05:33:01 PM by timberman »

Offline charlie

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Re: 2nd Battalion Officers.
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2018, 12:24:18 PM »
All a bit confusing and highlights a problem of researching Officers. They could hold their Commission in one regiment and be serving with another without their Commission being „transferred“ to the new regiment. 

His medals were issued by the Cheshire Regt, there is no mention in the roll of him being attached to the Manchesters, others on the same page record that they were attached elsewhere. Soldiers Effects also records him as Cheshire Regt.

Another oddity is on the 1914 Star roll, 2/Lt has been crossed out and Captain entered, the Star is usually issued with the persons rank when they first entered theatre.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: 2nd Battalion Officers.
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2018, 04:18:36 PM »
                              Huntly Warwick Nicholson

The CWGC record this officer as holding the rank of Captain and being buried at Kandahar Farm Cemetery.

The Roll of Honour section of the History of the Cheshire Regiment in the Great War records his rank as Lieutenant.     His name does not appear in any other place within the History.   PhilipG.§


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Re: 2nd Battalion Officers.
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2018, 07:38:22 PM »

He was promoted on the 15/11/1914 to Captain, two days before he
was killed and this was back dated to August 1914. This would account
for the 1914 star roll being changed.

I have read the 1st Bn Cheshire Regiment War Diaries from August
to December 1914 with no mention of his name, although there is
mention of unnamed Officers.

In the 2nd Bn War Diaries for the 15th of November 1914 it says that.

Lieut H Nicholson joined, this was two days before he died and the day he was promoted to Captain,
so that may account for any misunderstanding. But it shows he was attached to the 2n Bn and was
fighting with them when he died so I'm glad I've added him to my list.
I do have a few Officers that died while attached to the Bn and will be adding them as well :)

« Last Edit: March 30, 2018, 07:49:02 AM by timberman »

Offline PhilipG

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Re: 2nd Battalion Officers.
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2018, 09:44:48 PM »

Thank you.  PhilipG.


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Re: 2nd Battalion Officers.
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2018, 05:08:35 PM »
 5) Second Lieutenant, HERBERT RONALD FARRAR,

3rd Bn., Leicestershire Regiment.attd. 2nd. Bn. Manchester Regiment
24 December 1914. Age 27. Son of the Rev. Herbert William and Florence
Margaret Farrar, of Barcombe Rectory, Lewes, Sussex. Born at
South Shields. 25th July, 1887. Grave Ref. II. K. 10.
COXYDE MILITARY CEMETERY, Koksijde, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

The following is part of the information from the Trinity School War Memorial website.

Family Background:

Herbert Ronald Farrar was the son of a vicar; the Rev. Herbert W. Farrar, of St. James’, Carlisle. Herbert Farrar Senior (known as Bill) was also the son of a vicar (Wesley Farrar) and had been born in Norfolk but was living in Durham by the time of the 1871 Census and then in Barrow (1881), Durham (1891) and London (1901). Vicars do tend to be moved around a lot! “Ronald was born at South Shields, County Durham, the second child of the Rev. Farrar’s second marriage, to Florence Margaret Town. He had two sisters, May Renny Annandah (born 1886) and Winifred Margaret (born 1888). He also had a younger brother, Sydney Gelder Farrar (born 1892), who also served as a Second Lieutenant during the Great War.” Interestingly, young Ronald was living with his maternal grandmother, Florence Margaret Town, when he was three years old. Annandale Town had been a Master Partner in a Paper Mills Firm. His grandmother was living at 64 Jesmond Road, Jesmond, near Newcastle. She was a widow, “of independent means”, and shared her house with three grown up children, a cook and a housemaid. Ronald’s time with his grandmother was perhaps because his father was chaplain to the Mission to Seamen on the Tyne. “Ronald moved with his family to Carlisle in 1893, when his father was appointed vicar there. In 1898 his father was appointed Superintendent Chaplain to the Missions to Seamen, this meant a move south to Dalmore Road, West Dulwich, South East London, and Ronald was enrolled at Dulwich College, arriving in May, in time for the start of the summer term. By spring 1901, the family had moved to Thurlow Park Road, Lambeth, where every family had a housemaid and cook. His younger brother Sydney joined him at Dulwich College in 1905, the year before Ronald left in April 1906

Academic Record:

Ronald was not a pupil at Carlisle grammar school for very long. After moving to Dulwich School, “he studied the Classics, with a view to going to University. He went up to his father’s college of Queens’ in Cambridge in 1906. While there he served as a Sergeant in the University Officers’ Training Corps (O.T.C.), and graduated with a B.A. in 1910

War Service:
On the day that war was declared, August 4 1914, aged twenty six, Ronald volunteered for service in the Public Schools Battalion. Although he was said not to be physically strong, his experience in the O.T.C. at Cambridge led to a probationary commission as a 2nd lieutenant in the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment He left for France on October 27. He was attached to the 2nd Battalion Manchester regiment, and was put in charge of two platoons and shot two Germans. By December 1 1914 the battalion had reached Dranoutre, near Ypres, Belgium and were resting in their billets. During the next week they received an ‘appreciative address’ from their commanding officer, took in reinforcements and, according to the battalion’s war diary records, they played football. As the month progressed, they moved from trench to trench under regular shellfire. ‘The division was now holding a line from La Petite Douve in a northwest direction up the slope to the Wulverghem-Mesines road and to the east to Hill 75,covering a front of about 3,500 yards. The weather was wet and cold, and the trenches were knee-deep in mud and water’.*
They received a break from the action during the week before Christmas when they “rested in billets” and attended a church parade at the Convent of St.Antoine, Locre on December 20. Hot baths could be taken at the convent for one franc (soap & towels not included), and with the opportunity to have meals there, providing a welcome break from the regular fare.
Returning to the front, the battalion moved to trenches east of Lindenhoek on December 23 and on Christmas Eve took over old trenches at Wulvergham from the Bedford regiment. The weather changed to a hard frost, making trench conditions a little more bearable than the sticky mud they were used to under foot. The sound of carols and hymns could be heard from the trenches on both sides, and the heavy guns stopped firing during the unofficial ‘Christmas Truce’. German troops coming into the lines brought Christmas trees to place on their parapets. But vigilance was still necessary. Records show that even on this day of low fatalities, 98 British soldiers died, many the victims of sniper fire. The battalion war diary records that amongst the unlucky few to die that day were 2nd Lt.H.R.Farrar and Sergt. Williams. Ronald was buried on Christmas Day 1914, in Dranoutre churchyard “close to (the) wall and near a crucifix attached to south wall, in the presence of “the general and officers of his regiment.” A brief notice of his death appeared amongst the list of “Fallen Officers” in The Times of December 30. In 1923 nineteen graves from the churchyard were moved to enable the rebuilding of the church. The bodies were re-interred in row K at Dranoutre Military Cemetery.”  His family had “A man greatly beloved” inscribed on his gravestone

From the War Diary for the 24th December 1914.

Took over the old trenches at Wulvergham from the Bedfoed Regiment.
Killed 2/Lt H R Farrar (3rd Leics Reg attd 2nd Bn Manchester Regiment)
and 4170 Sergt Williams.
Wounded 1 man who sadly died of his wounds on the 25th December of wounds.

DRANOUTRE MILITARY CEMETERY, Heuvelland, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

WILLIAMS, Serjeant, W, 4170, 2nd Bn., Manchester Regiment. 24 December 1914.
Grave Ref. II. K. 9.

ROBINSON, Private, G, 6470, 2nd Bn., Manchester Regiment. 25 December 1914.
Grave Ref. II. K. 8.

FARRAR, Second Lieutenant, HERBERT RONALD, 3rd Bn., Leicestershire Regiment.
attd. 2nd. Bn. Manchester Regiment 24 December 1914. Age 27. Son of the Rev. Herbert
William and Florence Margaret Farrar, of Barcombe Rectory, Lewes, Sussex. Born at
South Shields. 25th July, 1887. Grave Ref. II. K. 10.

« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 05:35:17 PM by timberman »


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Re: 2nd Battalion Officers.
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2018, 05:04:41 PM »
 6) James Kirk VC

1897 - 1918

The supreme contempt of danger and magnificent self-sacrifice displayed by this gallant officer prevented many casualties'
James Kirk died tragically young and is the only one of the Tameside VC's to have been awarded the medal posthumously. His death came shortly before the end of the First World War.
 Kirk was born in Cheadle Hulme and educated in the town, and later in Stockport. On moving to Edge Lane, Droylsden he continued his education at the North Road United Methodist School at Clayton. He is remembered as being a keen and successful sportsman.
His first employment was as a clerk for Ogden and Madeley's Warehouse in Manchester but following the onset of war he enlisted in the 2/6th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment and joined the 1/6th Battalion in the Dardanelles in 1915.
Whilst in Gallipoli he suffered severe frostbite resulting in hospitalisation in Cairo throughout November and December 1915. Whilst there he joined the newly formed Camel Transport Corp as an acting Quartermaster-Sergeant and served with them for a year until rejoining the 1/6th Battalion on their move to France in January 1917.
In June 1918 he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant and returned to France on 8th October to join 2nd Battalion Manchester Regiment. For his bravery four weeks later he was awarded the Victoria Cross. The citation reads:
 'For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty North of Ors, France, on 4 November 1918, whilst attempting to bridge the Oise Canal with wooden floats linked together. To cover the bridging of the canal Lieutenant Kirk took a Lewis Gun, and under intense machine-gun fire, paddled across the canal on a raft, and at a range of ten yards expended all his ammunition. Further ammunition was paddled across to him and he continuously maintained covering fire for the bridging party from a most exposed position until he was instantaneously wounded in the face and arm, then killed at his gun by a machine-gun bullet to the head.
The supreme contempt of danger and magnificent self-sacrifice displayed by this gallant officer prevented many casualties and enabled two platoons to cross the bridge before it was destroyed.'
The war poet Wilfred Owen whose work features in the Museum of the Manchesters in Ashton died alongside Kirk. They were buried at the English Communal Cemetery at Ors.
Seven days after Kirk's death was Armistice Day - the end of the war. It should have been a day of rejoicing in Droylsden but people were saddened as news of the death of their local soldier reached them. A letter from Kirk's Commanding Officer to James Kirk Senior sent consolation and a tribute :
'His action was that of a true British soldier and will remain long in the memory of all who saw it.'

« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 05:37:12 PM by timberman »


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Re: 2nd Battalion Officers.
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2018, 09:14:11 PM »
 Captain Charles Fitzgerald Hamilton TRUEMAN 2nd. Bn. Manchester Regiment.

Life of the Month from the Museum of the Manchester Regiment web site.

Charles was the son of the late Lieutenant Colonel Hamilton and Mrs C. Hamilton Trueman of Oakwell-in-the-Blean, Canterbury, Kent.
Charles was 37 years old when he was killed in action during the Battle of Le Cateau on 26 August 1914. He is buried in Le Cateau Military Cemetery, France (Grave/Memorial Reference – III.A.3). Other material relating to Charles can be seen in Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre - MR/16). His Next of Kin Memorial Plaque is on display in the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in the Forshaw Gallery.
Charles was born on the 22nd March 1877 in Devonport near Plymouth in Devon. His father was called Charles Hamilton and his mother was Dorothea Magdalena. He had an older sister called Mary Penelope Florence and 3 younger siblings: Henry John Hamilton, Arthur Philip Hamilton and James Fitzgerald Hamilton. The family had lost one other child by 1911. We don't know their name.
Charles Hamilton had served as an officer in the 32nd (Cornwall Light Infantry) Regiment of Foot and reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. By 1881 he had retired to Oakwell in the Blean House in Tyler Hill near Canterbury, Kent. He was now a 'farmer of 111 acres employing 1 bailiff, 4 men and 1 boy'. The house and land had been a wedding present when Charles Hamilton's father (Charles Joseph) had married.
Charles was educated at King's School in Canterbury. He then decided to follow in his father's footsteps and train to become an Army officer. He entered the Royal Military College at Sandhurst in January 1896. He did well in his training and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Manchester Regiment on the 9th September 1897.
We don't know why Charles chose the Manchester Regiment. He had a loose family link to the area, as his great-grandfather Thomas Wesley Trueman had been a merchant in Manchester. Although officers and soldiers could apply to join any regiment Charles' descendants believe this connection helped make up his mind.
Charles left the UK soon after he was commissioned. He sailed to Aden, now in Yemen, at the end of October and joined the 2nd Battalion of the Manchester Regiment there. The battalion had just left India after many years and was to spend around a year in Aden. Charles was promoted to Lieutenant on the 17th August, and travelled back to the UK with the 2nd Battalion during November 1898.
The 2nd Battalion was stationed in Manchester, Lichfield in Staffordshire and Dublin, Ireland over the next 18 months. During 1899 Charles travelled to the Army School of Physical Training at Aldershot in Hampshire and qualified as a gymnastics instructor with a 1st Class pass.
Over the course of 1899 tensions between British and Boer settlers in South Africa were rising. War broke out in October 1899. The first few months of the war saw a number of significant defeats for the British, and they began sending as many soldiers as possible to the country.
The vast distances in South Africa meant that the Army needed more mounted soldiers. Each battalion being sent to South Africa was ordered to convert a Company into Mounted Infantry. Mounted Infantry were not cavalry; they would still fight on foot with rifles. Their horses allowed them to cover ground more quickly and comfortably. H Company of the 2nd Battalion was chosen, of which Charles was a member.
The battalion set sail on the 16th March 1900. They arrived in the country during April 1900 and fought there for the rest of the war. Charles and the Mounted Infantry Company were present at the fighting around Wittebergen in July, and then spent most of the rest of the war taking part in long patrols intended to find and pin down the Boers, who fought in small groups as guerrillas. This was difficult, tiring work, but there were few large battles. They also served as guards in the blockhouses and fence lines that restricted the Boer's movements.
Charles was promoted to Captain on the 9th January 1901. He continued to serve in South Africa until the 8th November, when he was sent back to the UK.
The Boer War had led to the Government increasing the size of the Army. Two battalions of the Manchester Regiment were among the new units formed. Charles had been sent home to join the 4th Battalion at Kinsale in Ireland.
In June 1902 Charles qualified as an Instructor of Musketry. This allowed him to supervise soldiers undergoing training in rifle shooting. Over the next 3 years he also began to take examinations so that he would eventually become eligible to be promoted to Major. As well as his professional interests, Charles was a keen singer and piano player. He had his piano installed in the Officer's Mess Ante-room early in 1904, so 'we have great music every night'.
In October 1905 the 4th Battalion left Ireland for Aldershot. The Boer War had ended in a British victory in May 1902, so the extra battalions were no longer needed. They were disbanded in 1906, and Charles rejoined the 2nd Battalion, who were split between the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Alderney. We don't know where Charles was based.
The battalion returned to England in late 1907 and was stationed at Portsmouth in Hampshire. Charles left them in April 1908 and travelled to Aldershot. He had been appointed Superintendent of Gymnasia for Aldershot Command. A large number of soldiers were based in and around Aldershot, and keeping them fit through gymnastics and sport was of vital importance. Charles was Superintendent until the 31st August 1909, and then became Assistant Inspector of Gymnasia in the same location until the 22nd April 1912.
When the 1911 Census was taken in April Charles was visiting Mary Haynes at her home in Cricket Hill, Yateley, Hampshire. This is very close to the Royal Military College where Charles had trained, although we don't know how they knew each other.
After he left Aldershot Charles returned to the 2nd Battalion, who were now at The Curragh Camp in County Kildare, Ireland. By 1913 Charles was a member of the Battalion Sports Committee, as well as a keen golfer and cricketer. He was also able to demonstrate his singing talents during a series of popular concerts held in the battalion's Recreation Room. At one concert 'he gave us the song 'A Pair of Sparkling Eyes' from 'The Gondoliers'' by Gilbert and Sullivan. He 'assisted in making these concerts a success'.
Charles was on the team that won the Inter-Regimental Golf Cup for the 2nd Battalion in 1913. The next year he was a member of the cricket team. Professionally, by the middle of 1914 Charles was the Officer Commanding A Company.
The First World War broke out on the 4th August and the 2nd Battalion was ordered to mobilise and proceed overseas. The battalion arrived in Le Havre, France on the 16th August and disembarked and unloaded their equipment overnight. They were then taken by train to Le Cateau and began marching towards the Mons-Conde Canal at Warmes and the invading German Army.
The 2nd Battalion first saw action on the 23rd August as the British encountered the Germans and began to fall back. They retreated over the next 3 days until they were back at Le Cateau. The British decided to make a stand here on the 26th.
The Battle of Le Cateau was fought against heavy odds against a much larger German force. The 2nd Battalion was held in reserve at first, but heavy German attacks forced them to support their comrades in the front line. Charles led his company to the right of the British positions. The German attack was concentrated on this area though, and as more and more men were killed and wounded it became clear that the British could not hold on. More German units were beginning to outflank the battalion's position, so it was decided to retreat.
Charles was not with the battalion when they left the battlefield. He had been seen to be wounded, and was reported missing, but it soon became clear that he had been killed. He was 37 years old. He had never married and had no children.
The 2nd Battalion lost around 350 men killed, wounded or missing at Le Cateau, out of a total strength of just over 1000. The battle had slowed the German advance, and bought time for the British and French to regroup and stop the German advance at the Battle of the Marne in early September.
Charles' body was later found and he was buried in Le Cateau Military Cemetery. The area was occupied by the Germans throughout the war, and they originally laid out the cemetery. His modern grave reference is III. A. 3. Charles is one of 511 British and Commonwealth soldiers buried there.
Dorothea died on the 19th November 1914 aged 67. It is believed that the shock of Charles' death was responsible. Charles Hamilton was 77 when he died on the 14th February 1917.
Like their older brother Henry and Arthur also became Army officers. Henry was commissioned in the 43rd Erinpura Regiment of the Indian Army. During the First World War he fought in Mesopotamia, now called Iraq.
Arthur reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in The Buffs (East Kent Regiment). He also saw service during the First World War. He survived the war, but both he and his wife Violet Victoria died on the 26th November 1918 in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. They were victims of the Spanish Flu pandemic that swept the globe in 1918 and 1919.
If he had lived Charles would have inherited Oakwell in the Blean from his father, but now it went to his younger brother Henry. Henry's only child Jean Hamilton Trueman inherited the house after he died in 1922. Although the Trueman name ended when she married Rodolf Cecil Drummond Haig in 1935, the house is still owned by the family as of 2013.
Charles' medals were donated to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in January 1989.