Le Touret A-E

Officers, N.C.O.s & Men of the 1st Battalion, Commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial

Surnames: A to E:

Le Touret Cemetery and Memorial

The Le Touret Memorial commemorates 13,479 British soldiers who fell in the fighting from October 1914 until 24th September 1915 and who have no known grave. 

This Memorial commemorates 85 Officers and men from the Cheshire Regiment, all of whom were killed in October 1914, principally during the Battalion’s action around Festubert and La Bassée.

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Cheshires on Le Touret Memorial

On October 13th and 14th 1914 the remnants of the original 1st Battalion attempted to take Festubert and the names of 11 of those killed appear on the Memorial. In addition, 55 Officers, N.C.O.s and men were reported missing, presumed captured. Some died in captivity of their wounds or illness.

Between the 17th and 20th the Battalion attacked La Bassée, (14 names) and tried again on 21st/22nd. 53 of the Memorial names represent those killed at Violaines on the 22nd alone.

The little village of Voilaines occupies an important place in the history of the 1st Battalion”          (‘Ever Glorious’ – Bernard Rigby)

Of the 85 men commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, 24 were of the original 1st Battalion who sailed for France on 14th August 1914, the others had arrived later as reinforcements.

Read more about .. about those with surnames A to E by CLICKING the names below.

 

  ….. the men of the original 1st Battalion – Surnames: F to N

  ….. the men of the original 1st Battalion – Surnames: O to Z

 

L/Cpl. 9057 Thomas Frederick ARCHER (A.R.) – D’ Company [Fmly: Pte. 7465 Bedfords. Regt.]

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  22 October 1914      Age: 31?

Personal: According to the SDGW database Thomas was born in Battersea, London. However, no record has been found for him in either the 1891 or 1901 Censuses and, as a result it has not been possible to identify his parents. In 1911 (see below) he was living with his uncle’s family, so his mother’s name could have been “Masters“.

A possible birth was recorded in the September quarter 1883 in Battersea, which would match Thomas’ age on his CWGC record. But when he enlisted in February 1903 Thomas stated his age as 22 years 6 months, which ties in with another birth of the same name in the September quarter 1881 in St Saviour, Southwark, Registration District. The latter date matches the date recorded on the 1911 Census – see below.

At that time (1903) he was 5 ft. 4 ins. [1.62 m.] tall, weighed 8 st. 10 lbs. [55.3 kgs.], had a ‘fresh‘ complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He stated that his Religion was ” C of E” and was working as a “Carman“.

At the time of the 1911 Census (RG 14/14070) Thomas, aged 30, had just returned from his Army Service in India. He was living with his uncle, Stephen Alfred Masters (Laundryman), and family at Carvillion, 5 Lescudjack Road, Penzance, Cornwall. Thomas also had a job as a “Laundryman“.

On 26th April 1913 Thomas married Mary Anne Reynolds, in Brentford, Middlesex. No record has been found of any children of the marriage. After Thomas’ death Mary remarried, becoming “Mrs Dobson” of 31 Waldeck Road, Strand on the Green, Chiswick, London. No record of that marriage has been found.

With effect from 21st June 1915 Mary was awarded a Pension of 10 shillings per week, although, officially, Thomas was still only “Reported Missing“. [i.e. 50p per week – equivalent to about £40 today (2020)]

The ‘Register of Soldiers’ Effects‘ shows that in April 1916 Mary Ann received £4 6s 1d [£2.75 – equivalent to about £295 today – 2020]. In September 1919 she also received a War Gratuity of £5 (about £225 today).

L/Cpl Archer’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: When Thomas attested into the Bedfordshire Regiment at Woolwich, London, on 20th February 1903, (Private 7465).

His Service Records show that he enlisted on a 3 + 9 period of service (i.e. 3 years Active Service followed by 9 years in the Reserve.). His stated age was 22 years 6 months. His first posting was to the 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment,  on 9th April 1903.

Thomas was posted to India with the 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, on 27th February 1904 and, after his transfer to the Cheshire Regiment, remained there until the end of his Active Service on 16th March 1911.

His Service Papers show that Thomas extended his ‘Active’ Service to 8 years on 8th January 1906. During this time Thomas earned two Good Conduct badges (February 1905 and February 1908). He transferred to the 2nd Battalion Cheshire Regiment on 1st July 1908 (authorised by “O.C. Aden Bgd.“).

During his time in the 2nd Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, Thomas has passed his Musketry test “1st Class“, had been a “Waiter in Officers’ Mess – 12 months” and been a “Regimental Scout“. On being discharged to the Reserve on 2nd February 1911, he expressed a wish to work for “H.M. Stationery Office“. His conduct and character was assessed as “Exemplary“. Prior to this, whilst with the Bedfords, he passed a chiropody course on 29th June 1906.

When he returned from India on 17th March 1911 Thomas was transferred to the Reserve, and as a Reservist was recalled to join the 1st Battalion in Londonderry. He sailed from Belfast with the Battalion, entering France on 16th August, confirmed by his Medal Index Card. As a member of ‘D’ Company Thomas saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, on the right flank under Captain E.R. Jones.

Thomas was promoted to Lance Corporal “In The Field” on 11th September 1914. His Papers initially declared him “Missing from Bn. 22-10-14“, but on 28th February 1916 the War Office declared Thomas “Died on or since 22/10/14“.

He was on of the 53 NCOs and men killed in action on 22nd October 1914 at Violaines on the last day of the Battalion’s action to take La Bassée.

The War Diary for that day reads:
5.10 a.m. Enemy made heavy attack, and took the trenches at the point of the bayonet. Battalion retired to RUE DU MARAIS under very heavy fire. Manchesters came up in support.
8.0 p.m. Battalion withdrawn and went in bivouac at last E of RUE DE BETHUNE.
Casualties: Captains Shore, Rich, Hartford, 2/Lieuts Atkinson, Leicester, Greenhalgh missing, Captain Forster, 18 N.C.O.s & men wounded, 200 N.C.O.s & men missing including Sergeant Major.
CAPTAIN MAHONY died in hospital. Lieut. T L Frost took over command of the Battalion.

Thomas is one of 85 Officers and men of the 1st Battalion, killed in action in October and November 1914, who have no known grave and are commemorated on Le Touret Memorial. Including the 70 days with the BEF in France, Thomas served a total of 11 years 245 days with the Colours.

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Pte 7064 William George BARTLETT [HATTON] (A.R.) – ‘A’ Company

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  13 October 1914      Age: 32

Personal: According to his enlistment papers William was born about March 1882 in Kennington, London. William was the son of John (Cook) and Sarah (née Godden ?) Bartlett and had an older brother, Albert [see Footnote below], and two sisters, Florence and Annie. (According to details in William’s Service Papers provided by his mother after his death.)

William’ CWGC Record states he was the son of Mrs. Sarah Hatton, of 42 Brook Street, Hazel Grove, Stockport. He names his next of kin on his Service Papers name “Father – James Hatton” at the same address.

When he enlisted in January 1903 William gave his occupation as “Shoemaker“. He stood 5 ft. 4¼ ins. [1.63 m.] tall, weighed 8 st. 3 lbs. [52.2 kgs.], had a ‘fresh‘ complexion, hazel eyes and brown hair. He stated his religion as “C. of E.

The ‘Register of Soldiers’ Effects‘ shows that in May 1916 William’s mother, now  Mrs. Sarah Hatton, of 42 Brook Street, Hazel Grove, Stockport, received £5 11s 7d [£5.58 – equivalent to about £380 today – 2020]. In July 1919 she also received a War Gratuity of £5 (about £225 today).

Pt Bartlett’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: William attested into the Cheshire Regiment at Stockport, Cheshire, on 15th January 1903, (under the surname “Hatton”). He stated his age 20 years 10 mths.

His Service Records show that he enlisted on a 3 + 9 period of service (i.e. 3 years Active Service followed by 9 years in the Reserve.). William’s first posting was to the 2nd Battalion, on 21st May 1904.

On 27th February 1904 William extended his period of service to 8 years of ‘Active’ Service and on 20th September 1904 he was posted to India with the 2nd Battalion where he remained until the end of his 8 years ‘Active’ Service. He was transferred to the Army Reserve on 28th January 1911.      about this period.

It is not clear when William reverted to his birth surname, Bartlett, from his enlistment name of Hatton. By the end of his Service in 1911, ‘Bartlett, was his preferred option and all of his Great War documents are in that name.

As a Reservist William was recalled to the 1st Battalion, stationed in Londonderry, and sailed for France arriving at Le Havre on 16th August 1914, confirmed by his Medal Index Card. As a member of ‘A’ Company he saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, on the left flank under Captain A.J.L. Dyer.

The War Diary for the day William was killed, 13th October, shows it was the date when the Battalion was in the trenches at Festubert, on the first day of the Battalion’s action to take Violaines.
4.45 a.m. ‘A’ Coy made dawn attack on Rue D’Ouvert without success, casualties Major Vandeleur, 2nd Scottish Rifles, Major Young, Captain Harbord, D.S.O., Lieut. Harrington, 2nd Lieut Thomas, 55 N.C.O.s & men missing, 8 N.C.O.s & men wounded.”

Of those reported missing six (including William) were eventually deemed to have been killed in action.

William’s brother, Pt. 12186 Albert BARTLETT, served in the Army Service Corps (Bakery Section)

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Private 9424 Josiah BURGESS – ‘B’ Company

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  22 October 1914      Age: 26

Personal: Josiah was born in the September quarter 1888 in Over, Winsford, Cheshire, and the 1901 Census (RG 13/3343) shows him living with his grandparents. John and Elizabeth (formerly Mrs. Burgess) Hardman, in Over.

At the same address is their daughter, Maria (Dodd) and her husband, John. Maria (née Burgess) was Josiah’s mother. The 1881 Census (RG 11/3527) shows her living at 10 Chapel Street, Over, with her widowed mother, Elizabeth. Sometime before the next Census Elizabeth re-married, John Hardman, and Maria married John Dodds, but presumably not until after Josiah’s birth (registered as ‘Burgess‘).

Similarly, in 1891 (RG 12/2840) 3 years old Josiah is living with his grandparents and Maria (Dodds) their daughter, and another daughter Emily Burgess (aged 19) on High Street, Over. It is possibly, that Emily is Josiah’s mother, but the CWGC records state that Josiah was. “Son of the late Mrs. Mary Ann Burgess.

There is no obvious record of Josiah on the 1911 Census, although his Service Number would suggest he was a serving soldier by then, so may have been in Ireland with the 1st Battalion.

There is no record of Josiah marrying or having any children. The ‘Register of Soldiers’ Effects‘ shows that his Will was in favour of his grandmother, Elizabeth Hardman. In April 1915 she received £2 14s 11d [£2.75 – equivalent to about £225 today – 2020].

In June 1919 she also received a War Gratuity of £3 [£140 today]. However, her request for a Pension was refused on 2nd June 1916. At the time she was living at 6 Clough Road, Winsford, Cheshire. Elizabeth died the following year; her husband, John, had died in 1917.

Pt Burgess’ name on the Memorial

Military Service: Josiah enlisted into the 1st Battalion at Winsford, Cheshire. His Service Records are unavailable and were probably destroyed by Second World War bombing. However, his service number would suggest he enlisted in May/June 1910 on a 7 + 5 period of service (i.e. 7 years Active Service followed by 5 years in the Reserve.)

Battalion records list Josiah as one of the original 1st Battalion who sailed for France at the outbreak of the War. However, his Medal Index Card shows that he did not enter France with the rest of the Battalion on 16th August 1914, but followed on a month later, arriving on 20th September.

It is likely that he was one of the 21 reinforcement who joined the 1st Battalion on 24th September when the War Diary recorded:
The following Officers arrived today:
Captain L A Forster, Res of Off.; Captain S Butterworth, 3rd Ches; 2 Lt H S Stalker, Res of Off.; 2 Lt L B J Pogson, 1/Ches Regt and 21 men

[N.B. Captain Lionel Archibald Forster died as a prisoner of war on 4th November and is buried in Douai Communal Cemetery.]

He was on of the 53 NCOs and men killed in action on 22nd October 1914 at Violaines on the last day of the Battalion’s action to take La Bassée.

The War Diary for that day reads:
5.10 a.m. Enemy made heavy attack, and took the trenches at the point of the bayonet. Battalion retired to RUE DU MARAIS under very heavy fire. Manchesters came up in support.
8.0 p.m. Battalion withdrawn and went in bivouac at last E of RUE DE BETHUNE.
Casualties: Captains Shore, Rich, Hartford, 2/Lieuts Atkinson, Leicester, Greenhalgh missing, Captain Forster, 18 N.C.O.s & men wounded, 200 N.C.O.s & men missing including Sergeant Major.
CAPTAIN MAHONY died in hospital. Lieut. T L Frost took over command of the Battalion.

Josiah is one of 85 Officers and men of the 1st Battalion, killed in action in October and November 1914, who have no known grave and are commemorated on Le Touret Memorial.

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L/Corporal 9393 James CHADWICK – ‘B’ Company

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  19 October 1914      Age: 25?

Personal: James was born in the September quarter 1889 (baptised at St Peter’s Church, Chester, on 11th December), probably at 21 White Lion Yard, Chester (1891 Census RG 12/2864).

He was the son of Joseph Briggs (Cloth Weaver) and Jane (née Woodworth) Chadwick and had 6 older siblings, Thomas, Joseph, Richard, Edward, Louisa and Enock [see Footnote below], and two younger, Jane [see Footnote below] and Arthur. In 1901 (Census RG 13/) the family were living at 21 Brewery Yard, off Crook Street, Chester (which might have been the same as above – renamed).

By 1911 James’ parents and some of his siblings had moved to 6 Cathcarth Place, Chester (Census RG 14/21871), but as a serving soldier James was enumerated with the 1st Battalion in Ireland.

The ‘Register of Soldiers’ Effects‘ shows that James left a Will in favour of his youngest brother, Arthur, his sole legatee, and in August 1915 he received his total assets of £11 3s 4d [£11.17 – equivalent to about £900 today – 2020]. In June 1919 he also received a War Gratuity of £5 [£225 today].

L/Cpl. Chadwick’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: James enlisted into the Cheshire Regiment at Chester, Cheshire, probably on a 7 + 5 period of service (i.e. 7 years Active Service followed by 5 years in the Reserve.)

His Service Papers are unavailable, but James’ Service Number (9393) would suggest an enlistment date of about 1910. He was posted to the 1st Battalion, serving in Ireland.

James sailed from Belfast with the Battalion, entering France on 16th August, confirmed by his Medal Index Card. As a member of ‘B’ Company he saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, in the centre of the action under Captain J.L. Shore. He was one of only 199 Officers and men to answer roll call at the end of that day.

James was one of the 9 men killed in action at Violaines on 19th October 1914, the second day of the Battalion’s action to take La Bassée.

The War Diary for that day states:
10.0 a.m. Attempted to occupy LA BASSÉE, and came under heavy fire of each arm. Finally entrenched 450 yds in front of former positions.
Casualties: 2/Lieut. Andrews, 2/Lieut. Sidebotham, 2/Lieut Napier wounded, 9 men killed, 20 wounded. Battalion on outposts.

James is one of 85 Officers and men of the 1st Battalion, killed in action in October and November 1914, who have no known grave and are commemorated on Le Touret Memorial.

James’ brother, Enock, served as L/Cpl 10108 Edward CHATFIELD, in the 2nd Bn. The Royal Welsh (Welch) Fusiliers. He was k.i.a. on 20th September 1915 at Loos. He is buried in Grave A.8., Cambrin Churchyard

James’ brother, Pte. 7606 Edward CHADWICK, also served with the 2nd Bn. The Royal Welsh (Welch) Fusiliers. As a Reservist he was posted to France on 22nd September 1914.

James’ sister, Jane, married Pte. 10886 William Jim ROWSON, who served in 11th Bn. Cheshire Regiment. He was k.i.a. at Ypres on 3rd July 1916. William is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

William and Jane had one son, James, born in the September quarter 1914. In the March quarter 1918 she re-married to James Carden, who served with the 20th Bn. Welsh Regiment. They had three children.

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Private 7388 Richard CHANTLER (A.R.) – ‘D’ Coy.

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  22 October 1914      Age: 28

Personal: Richard was born in the December quarter 1883 at Witton, Northwich, Cheshire, and the 1901 Census (RG 13/3343) the son of Mary Chantler. He had an older sister, Mary E., and a younger sister, Fanny.

The 1891 Census (RG 12/2839) shows Richard living with his mother, sisters and stepfather, Thomas Greenway (Labourer) plus his step-brother, 6 months old Joseph, at Bebbington Court, Northwich. Mary married Thomas in the September quarter 1892. After the war the family was living in 7 Oak St, Northwich.

At the time of his enlistment Richard’s stated occupation was ‘Labourer‘. He was 5’ 11½” tall (1.82 m.), weighed 149 lbs. (10 stone 9 lbs) had a ‘fresh‘ complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. His stated religion was Church of England.

The ‘Register of Soldiers’ Effects‘ shows that his mother, Mary, was his sole legatee and in November 1916 she received his total assets of £23 5s 6d [£23.27 – equivalent to about £1600 today – 2020]. In June 1919 she also received a War Gratuity of £5 [£225 today].

Pt Chantler’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: Richard enlisted into the 1st Battalion at Northwich, Cheshire, aged 18 years 6 months, on 6th February 1904 on a 3 + 9 period of service (i.e. 3 years Active Service followed by 9 years in the Reserve.) This was later extended to 8 years, so he would have been transferred to the Reserve List in February 1912.

As a Reservist Richard was recalled to the 1st Battalion at the outbreak of War and entered France on 16th August, confirmed by his Medal Index Card.

As a member of ‘D’ Company Richard saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, on the right flank under Captain E.R. Jones.

He was reported missing and later deemed to have died “on or about” 22nd October 1914, one of the 53 NCOs and men killed in action at Violaines on the last day of the Battalion’s action to take La Bassée.

The War Diary for that day reads:
5.10 a.m. Enemy made heavy attack, and took the trenches at the point of the bayonet. Battalion retired to RUE DU MARAIS under very heavy fire. Manchesters came up in support.
8.0 p.m. Battalion withdrawn and went in bivouac at last E of RUE DE BETHUNE.
Casualties: Captains Shore, Rich, Hartford, 2/Lieuts Atkinson, Leicester, Greenhalgh missing, Captain Forster, 18 N.C.O.s & men wounded, 200 N.C.O.s & men missing including Sergeant Major.
CAPTAIN MAHONY died in hospital. Lieut. T L Frost took over command of the Battalion.

[N.B. Captain Frederick Arthur Mahony died of his wounds and is buried in Bethune Town Cemetery.]

Richard is one of 85 Officers and men of the 1st Battalion, killed in action in October and November 1914, who have no known grave and are commemorated on Le Touret Memorial.

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Private 8539 James DUNN (A.R.) – ‘C’ Company

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  14 October 1914      Age: 23

Personal: James was born in the March quarter 1891 at Oswestry, Shropshire, the son of Elizabeth Dunn. James’ father died and Elizabeth remarried, Robert Dixon, although one letter in James’ Records names her as Thornton. James had three younger step-brothers, Joseph, Arthur and William.

At the time of his enlistment James’s stated occupation was ‘Labourer’ and he had worked for the Manchester Ship Canal Company for about 6 months at that time. He was 5′ 5″ tall (1.65 m.), weighed 112 lbs. (8 stone 0 lbs) had blue eyes and dark brown hair. His stated religion was Church of England.

On 6th December 1913 James married Catherine Buckley at St James Roman Catholic Church, Pendleton, Manchester. They had no children. With effect from 5th July 1915 Catherine was awarded a pension of 10/- (50p – about £40 today – 2020) per week. After the War she lived with her parents at 3 Chaney street, Pendleton, Manchester until she died on 22nd May 1919.

Catherine did have James’ total effects returned to her in July 1916, amounting to £3 18s 5d (£3.92, equivalent to about £270 today). The War Gratuity of £3 (about £140 today) was paid in February 1920, after Catherine’s death. It was instead paid to “Mrs Jane Buckley“.

Pt Dunn’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: James enlisted into the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion at Stockport, Cheshire, on the 18th November 1909 on a 6 year period of service.

His stated age was 17 years 11 months, although he was probably a few months older (see above).

James was at the time serving with the 7th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers (Territorial) – Private 922, ‘B’ Company. He had been with them for 6 months.

Having attested into a Reserve Battalion he attended 4 weeks of training each year, usually in May – June or June – July, from 1910 until 1914.

James tried to enlist into the Regular Army but was rejected on medical grounds on 12th June 1913 due to a ‘deformed toe‘. Nevertheless, Battalion records list James as one of the original 1st Battalion who sailed for France at the outbreak of the War. However, this is not quite the case as his Medal Index Card shows.

On the 8th August he was mobilized and transferred to the 1st Battalion, entering France on 27th. He would not, therefore, have seen action at Audregnies and was probably one of the 90 ‘other ranks‘ under Lieutenant Hartford who joined the decimated Battalion at Gagny on 5th September.

[N.B. Captain Hugh Irving St. John Hartford was killed in action on 22nd October 1914 and is also commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial.]

There are conflicting dates for James’ death. The CWGC states 14th October whilst his Medal Index Card has the 25th. His surviving Service Papers confirm that he was reported missing from 14th (List 5294) and it was later deemed that he had died “on or since” the 14th (Army Form B 104 – 82a). In total he had served 4 years 331 days with the Regiment.

From the War Diary the 13th October is a more likely date when the Battalion was in the trenches at Festubert:
4.45 a.m. ‘A’ Coy made dawn attack on RUE D’OUVERT without success, casualties Major Vandeleur, 2nd Scottish Rifles, Major Young, Captain Harbord, D.S.O., Lieut. Harrington, 2nd Lieut Thomas, 55 N.C.O.s & men missing, 8 N.C.O.s & men wounded.”

James is one of 85 Officers and men of the 1st Battalion, killed in action in October and November 1914, who have no known grave and are commemorated on Le Touret Memorial.

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Private 10049 Alfred Harold EARP – ‘D’ Company

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  22 October 1914      Age: 19

Personal: Alfred was born on 30th April 1895 at Crewe, Cheshire, the son of Henry Laytham (Engine Fitter) and Mary Elizabeth (née Roberts) Earp of 14 Landon Street, Crewe. He had four older brothers, John Henry, Robert Edward, Jubilee William and Albert Alexander, and a younger brother, Charles Edgar. (1901 Census RG 13/3356) At the time of that Census the family were living at 37 Sandbach Street, Crewe.

At the time of his enlistment Alfred’s stated occupation was ‘Forge Labourer‘. Before enlistment he had worked for two years, between 8th August 1910 and 7th August 1912, for the London and North-western Railway Company. His reference stated he was “Sober, honest and a very superior timekeeper“. Rev. Bidlake, Christ Church, Crewe, also provided a reference for Alfred, saying he “believed him to be steady“!

He was 5′ 4” tall (1.63 m.), weighed 110 lbs. (7 stone 12 lbs) had a ‘fresh‘ complexion, brown eyes and light brown hair. His stated religion was Church of England.

Alfred was not married, nor did he have any children. His mother, Mary, had Alfred’s total effects returned to her in May 1916, amounting to £5 10s 1d (£5.50, equivalent to about £370 today). The War Gratuity of £5 (about £225 today) was paid in July 1919. At that time his parents were living at 14 Sandon Street, Crewe, Cheshire. However, Mary Elizabeth died in 1920 and Henry Laytham 3 years later.

Pt Earp’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: Alfred enlisted into the 1st Battalion at Crewe, Cheshire, aged 18 years 1 month, on 10th January 1913 on a 7 + 5 period of service (i.e. 7 years Active Service followed by 5 years in the Reserve). For some reason he was absent from training between 20th – 25th April, before being posted to the 1st Battalion on 30th April.

He served initially as an ‘Officers Servant‘ and was assessed by Captain Dugmore on 6th October 1913 as “Intelligent, hard working and reliable.”

As a serving soldier he sailed from Belfast with the 1st Battalion at the outbreak of War and entered France on 16th August, confirmed by his Medal Index Card. As a member of ‘D’ Company he saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, on the right flank under Captain E.R. Jones.

Alfred was one of the 53 NCOs and men killed in action at Violaines on 22nd October 1914, the last day of the Battalion’s action to take La Bassée. In total he had served just 1 year 286 days with the Regiment.

On the 22 October, the Battalion was still in position at Violaines. “D” Company was engaged in digging trenches in front of the village, when it was rushed by a surprise German attack. The Company fell back, leaving “C” Company exposed. This Company was also forced back. The whole Battalion now found that there were no troops on either flank and was forced to further withdraw to avoid being cut off. Over 220 men became casualties – dead, wounded or captured.” (Source: “Stockport Soldiers 1914-18”

Alfred is one of 85 Officers and men of the 1st Battalion, killed in action in October and November 1914, who have no known grave and are commemorated on Le Touret Memorial.

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Sergeant 8172 Alex(ander) EVANS (A.R.) – ‘C’ Coy.

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  28 October 1914      Age: n/k

Personal: Alex was born in 1885 at Alton, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, the son of William (Engine Fitter) and Fanny (née Roberts) Evans. He had an older brother, William, an older sister, Lucy, a younger sister, Agnes, and a younger brother, Jacob. In 1891 (Census RG 12/2193) the family was living at Shakespeare Cottage, Uttoxeter.

Alex’s father, William, died in the March quarter 1894 and in 1901 (Census RG 13/2585) Alex and his siblings are living with his widowed mother at 8 Oxford Road, Wolstanton, Staffordshire. Alex was employed as a “Railway Goods Messenger“. By 1911 Alex was a serving soldier and enumerated with his Battalion in Ireland.

The ‘Register of Soldiers’ Effects‘  shows that Alex’s total effects amounting to £7 19s 8d (£7.98 – equivalent to about £650 today – 2020) was returned to his family in February 1915. This was divided equally between his mother, Fanny, his two brothers, William and Jacob, and his sister, Lucy. The War Gratuity of £8 (about £370 today) was paid in August 1919 to his mother.

With effect from 6th June 1915 Fanny also received a Pension of 5s. per week for one year (i.e. £0.25 – about £20 per week today). At that time she was living at 56 High Street, Maybank, Stoke-on-Trent.

Sgt. Evans’ name on the Memorial

Military Service: The ‘Register of Soldiers’ Effects‘ gives the date Alex enlisted into the Cheshire Regiment at Lichfield, Staffordshire, as 26th May 1906.

His Service Papers are not available but he was probably posted to the 1st Battalion in Ireland, on a 7 + 5 period of service (i.e. 7 years Active Service followed by 5 years in the Reserve).

Alex would have been transferred to the Reserve List in May 1913, and as a Reservist was recalled at the outbreak of War and sailed from Belfast with the 1st Battalion, entering France on 16th August, confirmed by his Medal Index Card.

As a member of ‘C’ Company he saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, on the right flank under Captain Dugmore. He was one of the 6 Officers, a Warrant Officer and 199 Officers and men who answered roll call at the end of that day.

Alex also survived the Battalion’s action at Violaines on 22nd October 1914, the last day of the Battalion’s action to take La Bassée. He was, however, killed 6 days later at Neuve Chapelle on 28th October 1914.

The War Diary for that day states:
5.0 a.m. Battalion in support to attack on Neuve Chapelle, came into firing line at 3 p.m. Entrenches on East side of Estaires – Neuve Chapelle road at Pont Logy. Battalion on outposts with ‘B’ Company in reserve.
Casualties: 2/Lieut. Woodhead wounded, 1 Sergeant, 1 Private killed, 4 wounded, 5 missing. Enemy opened fire, which was returned about 9 p.m.

Alex is one of 85 Officers and men of the 1st Battalion, killed in action in October and November 1914, who have no known grave and are commemorated on Le Touret Memorial.

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