Sunday, 19 April 2015

World War I (1914-1918)

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Abbott, Thomas Pte (11129)

 East Lancashire Regiment
 Died on 9th August 1915 
 Aged 23. 

Information to follow shortly

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Adams, Joseph Robert Pte (85077)

 Kings Liverpool Regiment
 Died on 29th October 1918
 Aged 39

On October 29th 1918, at 80th General Hospital, Salonica, of pneumonia following malaria, Pte, Joseph Robert, King's Liverpool's, aged 39, the beloved Husband of Mary Adams, Spring Hill, Helmshore, and eldest son of the late Joseph J. Adams, clerk to the Council, Rishton. "Supreme Sacrifice"

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Pte John Ainsworth

     Ainsworth, John Pte  (28975)

       East Lancashire Regt.
       Died on 31st July 1917 
       Aged 21. 

Shell takes Triple Toll
"Sympathy for a Haslingden Widow bereft of only son"

Official news has been received that Private John Ainsworth, East lancashire Regiment, was killed in action on July 31st, 1917, by a shell which burst in a group of men, killing three.
He was 21 years old, joined up in Ausgust 1916, and was well liked by the boys in his regiment, and also by the offers and NCO's who have sent their deepest sympathy to his mother, a widow, in the loss of her only son.
At the time of enlisting he was a weaver at Grane Mill, and was a regular attender at King Street Wesleyan Church, his name being on that roll of honour. The manner of Private Ainsworth's death is corroborated by a soldier who, in a letter to Mrs. Ainsworth, describes himself as the desceased's "best pal".  The shell, he says, burst among a group of men and killed three of them, after the British had gained their objective in an attack at dawn.  (Newspaper report)

Widow's Only Son  HASLINGDEN SOLDIER KILLED WHILE SITTING ON A BOX OF EXPLODED BOMBS.  Death has come in a singular manner to Private John Ainsworth, East Lancashire Regiment, of 36 Piccadilly Street, Haslingden. 
He had just come out of action when an enemy shell exploded in the trench he had gone to. The explosion fired some bombs in a box on which he was sitting, and he was killed on the spot.
Single, and 21 years of age, the deceased was a weaver at Grane Mill, when he responded on the last day of the Derby scheme.  He was sent back from Preston, but in the following August he was recalled to the colours, and he did his training at Plymouth.
A studious young fellow, he was quick at snapping up knowledge on quite a variety of subjects.  He was connected with King Street Wesleyan Church and he was the only son of a widowed mother. (Newspaper report)

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Pte John G. Ainsworth

Ainsworth, John George Pte (34902)

7th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment
Died on 29th September 1917
Age 35

Private John George Ainsworth of the 7th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment died of wounds in France on 29 September 1917. He was the only son of Mr.and Mrs. John Ainsworth of 22 Warburton Buildings.  He was thirty five and a single man.  Before he enlisted in 1915 he was a weaver at J.H.Birtwistle and Co. Ltd., Grane Road Mill and a member of Grane Church Institute. On 20 September, 1917 the Battalion attacked German positions near the Comines Canal, south of Ypres. The land was so waterlogged there was no trench system so both sides held their positions in isolated strong-points and flooded shell-holes.  The Battalion captured their objectives and until they were relieved several days later, existed in almost unimaginable conditions. They were up to thigh-deep in water, in continuous rain amid heavy enemy shelling. The regimental history states that up to the end of the month casualties were “comparatively few” - twenty one killed and sixty five wounded.  During this time Pte. Ainsworth was wounded in both arms and legs and taken to a casualty clearing station (temporary hospital) behind the lines, where he later died. He is buried in Outtersteene Communal Cemetery Extension. Outtersteene is a hamlet four miles [6.4Kms.]  from the town of Bailleul in northern France. The extension to the cemetery was started about the time Pte. Ainsworth died.  It stands on high ground commanding views of Bailleul and the surrounding countryside.  There are 1,375 graves in the extension. Pte. Ainsworth lies in Plot I, Row C, Grave 20.

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Pte Joseph Altham
Altham, Joseph Pte  (41801)

10th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment
Died on 11th April 1917
Age 38 

Joseph Altham was born in Haslingden in 1879. He was the son of John and Ellen Altham of 13, Stonefold, Haslingden. In 1901 Joseph was living at 11, Stonefold with his widowed mother, brother Wilfred and sisters Martha, May and Ellen. He was 21 years old and was employed as a cotton weaver. On 4 March 1905 he married Sarah Hannah Grime at St. Stephen’s Church, Grane. They had one son, Vernon, born in 1905. Joseph was a member of Stonefold Church and at the time of his death, his son, Vernon, was a member of the choir there. Prior to joining the army he worked as a cotton weaver at Nicholas Worsley’s Mill, Rising Bridge. He joined up on September 2nd 1916, and went to the front on December 28th of that year. In May 1917 his wife was officially informed that he had been killed, by a bursting shell, whilst leaving the trenches on April 11th 1917. He was 38 years old and his name was listed on the Stonefold Church Roll of Honour.
 A memorial service was held for him at Stonefold Parish Church. At the time of his death his wife and son lived at 232, Avenue Parade, Accrington.  As Joseph Altham’s body was never recovered, his name is recorded on the Arras Memorial.

"Private Altham was killed in action at Boiry Becquerelle, France on 11 April 1917.
On the evening of 9 April 1917 the Battalion moved up from billets in Adinfer to Boiry Becquevelle where they relieved the 9th King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in the front line before the German fortifications of the Hindenburg Line. At 6 am on the 11th, the Battalion, together with the 1st Lincolnshire Regiment, mounted an attack on the German positions. Pte. Altham was killed by a shell burst whilst leaving the trenches, but those of his comrades who continued came across German wire of unusual thickness and undamaged by British artillery fire. They were consequently unable to get through the wire and suffered heavy losses. Two officers were killed and three wounded whilst some 120 N.C.O.'s and men were killed or wounded. The following day the Battalion was moved back into reserve".From Bill Turner’s book.

Anderson, William Pte  31297, 1st Battalion, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment  

William Anderson was born in Baxenden in 1887 and was baptised at Baxenden Methodist Church. He was the son of William and Margaret Anderson. In 1901 William was living at 682, Industrial Terrace, Rising Bridge, with his parents, brothers John and Thomas and sisters Rhoda, Margaret, Sarah, Mary Alice, and Florence. William was aged 13 at that time and was employed as a cotton weaver. On 4 January 1913 he married Annie Parkinson at St. John’s Church, Baxenden. His address at that time was 3, Hazel Street, Rising Bridge and his occupation was that of a spinner. On 11 September 1914 William and Annie had a son, Alan, who was baptised on 7 January 1915 at Baxenden Methodist Chapel. At that time they lived at 500, Manchester Road, Baxenden. Before the war William was a member of the St. John Ambulance Brigade in Accrington. He originally enlisted in the East Lancashire Regiment (40998) but was later transferred to the Loyal North Lancashires. He was killed in action on Thursday 17 October 1918. He was 31 years old.
The following letter from Major-General E. P. Strickland, commanding the 1st Division shows the appreciation shown to the 1st Battalion, the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment just before William’s death.
“It gives me particular pleasure to forward the attached, and to express my admiration of the fine spirit shown by the 1st Loyal North Lancashire and the 1st Cameron Highlanders on this occasion. Nor is this the only occasion on which they have very materially assisted other divisions, in addition to carrying out their own task; their action at Sequehart showed a fine soldierly spirit and unselfish and wholehearted devotion to duty. Any troops may well be glad to be associated with them in action.” 
During the operations commencing in September and enduring until the end of October, the losses suffered by the Battalion appear to have been heavier than any other period of the war; when fighting was practically continuous, and the periods of rest, during which no man was safe from the German long-range guns, were but short, it does not always seem to have been possible for the casualties to be fully recorded in the Battalion War Diary as they occurred, and some may inadvertently have been omitted, while others again may possibly have been recorded more than once. The following may, however, perhaps be accepted as a tolerably accurate statement of the losses suffered by the Battalion during the “Hundred Days”
Officers killed – 9; wounded – 25; missing – 2.
Other ranks killed – 113; wounded 511; missing – 50.
From  - The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, vol. 2, 1914-1918,  by H.C. Wylly.

William Anderson was one of the casualties and is buried at Busigny Communal Cemetery Extension, France.