THE ASHTON TERRITORIALS.

THE 9th BATTALION of the MANCHESTER REGIMENT

1915 PAGE 18

THE ASHTON TERRITORIALS, The 9th BATTALION of the MANCHESTER REGIMENT.

1915 - GALLIPOLI.

The Headlines of the Reporter Published 18th December 1915.

"DEEDS OF LOCAL SOLDIERS WORTHY OF VICTORIA CROSS."

 

Published in the Reporter 18th December 1915.

HEROIC DEEDS BY A TERRITORIAL.

"Another N.C.O. for special mention is Lance Corporal PLATT, who was continually doing good work." So wrote "Non-Commissioned Officer" in the Reporter on November 6th, in describing the doings of the Ashton Territorials since they landed at Gallipoli.

 Lance Corporal ALBERT PLATT, of the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment (Ashton Territorials), is a Stalybridge man, residing at 2, Warrington Street, who came home with his right leg taken off just below the knee. He is now in the Ashton District Infirmary wounded soldiers ward, but has so far recovered as to be allowed out to visit his wife at Stalybridge and relatives and friends. During one of three visits this week, he gave a representative of the Reporter a very interesting story of his experiences at Gallipoli. He joined the Ashton Territorials on September 1st last year, went with them to Cairo, Egypt, and from there to Khantara, Port Suez, and then went to the Dardanelles, arriving early May.

"Two of our Companies, A and B, were put into the firing line," he said, "and C and D Companies were in the reserve Companies. Four men from each platoon in C and D Company were required to go and dig themselves in 120 yards in advance of A Companies lines. This took them into the open between our lines and the Turks. Three men of my section volunteered, namely, Private ROBINSON, POLLARD (of Woodhouses), and STOCKDALE, and a man named BURMINGTON from another platoon, made up the fourth. I said to Sergeant JOE WOOD, 'Well, I suppose I can go up and see the men off?' and he gave me permission. I took a cloth bandolier with ammunition and my rifle. The lads had to go with full entrenchment kit and supplies, spade, rifle, bayonet, rations, etc. They had not been gone long before I heard someone was wounded. It turned out to be a lad named PENNY. Lance Corporal SYLVESTER, who has won the D.C.M. and another man brought PENNY in. I then said to SYLVESTER, "I'll see if any of my lads have got wounded. They may be requiring help," and leaving my rifle and ammunition I went out some distance, and then discovered that I was lost. I was in a very uncomfortable position. It was quite dark, and plenty of bullets were flying about. I decided to turn round, and see if I could find my way back. I did so, but instead of going back I afterwards found that I had gone to the right, and I stumbled on a dead Turk. I then got level with a hole and saw a head come up from it. I thought the hole must contain a Turkish sniper, and I got hold of the fellow saying, "Who are you?" He did not speak at first, and I was just going to take drastic measures with him when the fellow says, "What's to want?" He turned out to be one of the East Lancs, an old soldier who had seen service in South Africa, named JIMMY McGUIRE. He and others were digging themselves in. I said, "I will stick with you." I stuck with him all night and the next day, helping him to dig himself in. The following night I rushed back and enquired from Sergeant-Major CHRISTIE where Sergeant HARROP was. Sergeant-Major CHRISTIE told me that the whole Company were going to dig themselves in and make a new firing line. He asked , "Are you Lance Corporal PLATT?" and I replied ,"Yes," and he said, "You are just the man we want. You are going to be shot for being absent without leave." I then heard a laugh. I had not had a drink or bite since the previous night. Another night about 60 or 70 of us were told to dig a communication trench, and whilst  we were engaged a fellow told me that DICK STOTT was wounded in the head. I was fagged out with digging, but I called down to STOTT, and took him a short distance. Then I passed word to POLLARD, of Woodhouses, to come and give me a lift with STOTT. We got hold of him and rushed into the trench. STOTT had been wounded while we were in the open digging ourselves in. When we got to the trench Sergeant HARROP gave us a lift with him, and we placed him in a blanket and carried him to the dressing station. In the afternoon of the same day, C Company made a bayonet charge on the Turks. We were a little over 100 strong when we went out, but about 45 got either killed or wounded. When we got into the Turkish trench TOM FINNITY said to me "JOE BERTENSHAW is over there, ALBERT, are you going for him?" I replied, "Sure!" and I climbed back over the parapet. TOMMY  FINNITY came with me and we found JOE lying on the ground. I said, "Is that you JOE?" and he replied, "Yes... is it ALBERT?'' I replied in the affirmative, and JOE says, "Get me in, will you?" I said "That's what we've come for." We dragged him to the parapet and I shouted to some of the men to catch him. Then we rolled him over. Then we went back for another wounded lad called WILSON, of Ashton, and got him in, and we also fetched in ALBERT WRIGLEY. Just as we were getting him to the parapet the Turks opened rapid fire, and we had to lie down until their fire ceased, and they resumed independent fire again. Then FINNITY and I dragged WRIGLEY to the parapet and rolled him over, and the men caught him. In and between these I was fetching ammunition, etc, and passing it into the trench. I was in the fire of the Turks. Just as we got to the parapet after taking WRIGLEY, FINNITY was shot in the leg. Another day, B Company made another bayonet charge, and while this was going on I was digging a trench for the bombing party. WRIGLEY and BERTENSHAW are reported missing; STOTT died in Alexandria Hospital; and WILSON, I think got through all right. Altogether we had been in the trenches 21 days, and then came down for a rest. I was wounded while at the rest camp. I was just going to have a bath in the sea when a piece of shell struck me on the leg, just above the ankle. The leg was hanging, and I was taken down to hospital at Malta." Lance Corporal PLATT had six operations while at Malta. His right leg has been amputated just below the knee, and other operations have been about his shoulders due to blood poisoning. He has had "a narrow squeeze" as he put it, to get through with his life, and he has nothing but praise to offer for the careful medical and nursing attention he received from the doctors and nurses at Malta. Since coming home Lance Corporal PLATT has had a letter from Mrs. Wood, of 68, Astley Street, Dukinfield, thanking him for what he did for her brother, Private BERTENSHAW.

 

 

Published in the Reporter 18th December 1915.

FOUR CHUMS HIT.

ASHTON TERRITORIALS IN GALLIPOLI.

"One of the Pluckiest Lads in the Regiment."

Mrs. Green, of 2, Spring Bank Cottages, Broadoak Road, Hurst, on Saturday received official intimation that her son, Private 1641 EDWARD GREEN, 1/9th Manchester Regiment, had died from wounds on November 13th, at the Dardanelles. Private GREEN, who was 21 years of age, was formerly employed as a piecer at the Cedar Mill. A chum of his, Drummer W.H.TAYLOR, also of the 1/9th Manchester Regiment, and also of Spring Bank Cottages, pays a fine tribute to his dead comrade as follows: -

"It is with the deepest regret that I inform you that my old chum EDWARD GREEN passed away on Saturday afternoon, November 13th at 4.30. He got hit in the side of the head and lost consciousness almost immediately, and it will perhaps ease your mind to know he did not suffer much pain. He was well liked by everyone in his Company, and although one of the smallest, he was one of the pluckiest lads in the regiment, as any one of them will tell you. There were, as you know, four of us who came out, all chums, and every one of us have been hit.  DICK STOTT was hit three times in the head, and died from his wounds. BILLY BARFIELD was hit through the leg and foot on June 7th, and I was hit in the same charge, and now TEDDY has been killed, and I am the only one who is back out of the four. It was a very curious thing that EDDY'S cousin, WILLIE, who only came out three weeks ago, was the first one to find him. It must have been a great shock to him. JIM (Pte. JAMES ELLIOT a brother-in-law of Drummer TAYLOR, of the 1/9th Manchester Regiment) is all right, and as for myself, I am in the pink at present." (Edward Green is buried in Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery). 

 

  

Published in the Reporter 21st December 1915.

REMARKABLE FAMILY PATRIOTISM.

FOUR GIVE THEIR LIVES.

We regret to announce the death of Private 2282 JOHN FINUCANE, aged 19 years, of the 1/9th Manchester Regiment, son of Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Finucane, of Bardsley Brow, which occurred at Netley Hospital on Saturday.

JACK, as he was familiarly called, was an apprentice at Messrs. Lupton Brothers, Ashton, and enlisted 14 months ago, and, completing his training, proceeded with a draft to the Dardanelles. From here he was invalided with acute dysentery and enteric fever, and was conveyed to Netley Hosptial, where his parents visited him, staying with him for some weeks. Every care and attention was paid to him. Rallying up to Thursday week hopes were entertained of his recovery, but an operation proved too much for him, and he passed peacefully away. Always a cheerful lad, he bore his three months suffering without a murmer, being conscious to the last, and his only regret was that he could not continue the work he so cheerfully undertook. His younger brother, Private 1845 FRED FINUCANE, died in Cairo a year ago. They were in the same regiment, and both were operated on and died in hospital on the same date in succeeding years. Much sympathy has been expressed with Mr. and Mrs. Finucane at their double loss, and on Wednesday when the funeral of Private JOHN FINUCANE took place blinds were drawn throughout the village, and every respect was shown. The interment was at Gorton Cemetery, and in accordance with the wishes of the family was not of a military character.

LOST FOUR RELATIVES.

Mr. Finucane has lost four relatives in this war, his two sons (his only sons), and his only brother, Quartermaster-Sergeant ARTHUR FINUCANE, D.C.M., and on Tuesday Private W. FRENCH (a nephew) died at the Dardanelles.

Ten members of the family are still serving. The family possess a remarkable military record. Quartermaster-Sergeant ARTHUR FINUCANE had completed 21 years service with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, and was on a pension, but was reinstated on the outbreak of war, and died for his country. He had six decorations, the Tireh Campaign, the King and Queen's Medal for the South African war, good conduct medal, and the D.C.M.

JOINED BEFORE LORD ROBERTS.

No fewer than six members of the family are pensioners. Mr. Finucane's father, Sergeant Instructor T. Finucane, who is still living and aged 84 years, has been an army pensioner for over 40 years, and father and son were pensioners together. The father enlisted in the British Army before Lord Roberts, and was one of the first instructors to join the School of Musketry at Hythe. The family hold a total of 24 decorations, including two Meritorious Service Medals, one D.C.M., one Franklin's North Pole Expedition, and various campaign medals, their military duties having taken them all over the world.  For the last 60 years every male member of the Finucane family has served in either a military or naval capacity. (John Finucane died on the 27th November. He is buried in the Manchester (Gorton) Cemetery).    

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Published in the Reporter 21st December 1915.

CAPT. I. DEARNALEY.

KILLED IN ACTION AT THE DARDANELLES.

We regret to record that another Ashton Territorial officer, Captain IRVINE DEARNALEY, has been killed in action in the Dardanelles. The sad news was conveyed by telegram on Tuesday to his mother, Mrs. Dearnaley, who resides in Fraser Street, Ashton, by the Territorial Record Office at Preston. Captain Dearnaley met his death on November 23rd. Mrs. Dearnaley was prostrated by the news. She had recently received a message from Capt. DEARNALEY, of which he wrote with his accustomed cheerfulness. He told her not to worry, as he would come out all right. He was sharing the same "dugout" as Lieut. BERTRAM ROBINSON, with whom he was great chums. Miss May Mills, of Fern Lee, Stalybridge, during the weekend received a letter from Captain DEARNALEY, of which he said he had been ordered to take command, and was going into the firing line. The news became generally known in Ashton on Tuesday night, and many were the expressions of sorrow and sympathy. Capt. DEARNALEY'S personality was one that impressed itself upon all with whom he came into contact. His determination to succeed in all he attempted, and the whole-heartedness with which he devoted his energies in any particular direction were characteristic traits. In business, in politics, in social life, and in the Territorials, Capt. DEARNALEY commanded respect by these virtues alone. If he set his mind on accomplishing anything he would do it at all costs. Capt. DEARNALEY was the youngest son of the late Mr. Irvine Dearnaley, who for many years was organist at the Ashton Parish Church. He was 32 years of age. Captain DEARNALEY joined the 2/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment soon after the outbreak of the war, and quickly gained promotion from second-lieutenant. Prior to the war he was in business as a yarn agent in Chapel Walks, Manchester. Previously he had held the position of secretary and saleman at the Minerva Mill, Ashton. He was a director of the Harper Twist Co.  He took a great interest in the work at the Parish Church. On the voyage out to the Dardanelles he travelled on the same vessel as the Rev. A.D. JOHNSON. Captain DEARNALEY had taken a prominent part in the political, social and musical life of Ashton. He cleverly played on the cello, and was a member of the Ashton Parish Church Operatic Society. He had been house secretary of the Ashton Golf Club since its formation, and was above the average as a golfer. Capt. DEARNALEY'S brother, Lieut. HAROLD DEARNALEY, is serving with the South Lancashire Regiment at the Docks, Cardiff. (Irvine Dearnaley is buried in Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery).

  

 

The Headlines Published in the Reporter on 25th December 1915.

OUR SOLDIERS DELIGHTED WITH THEIR CHRISTMAS GIFTS.

 

Published in the Reporter 25th December 1915.

CHRISTMAS GIFTS.

Some time ago a bale of comforts was sent out to the Ashton Territorials connected with the Market Ward Relief Committee. Mrs. Pownall has just received an acknowledgment from Major CONNERY, and also a letter from one of the Territorials who has received one of the gifts, and who sends Christmas greetings to all the ladies of Ashton. Major CONNERY wrote on November 25th: - " Dear Mrs. Pownall, The bale of comforts for the dear old 9th sent by you has just arrived safely, and will be very welcome to the boys during the cold and wet weather we are beginning to experience. The War Office has supplied extra clothing for winter, comprising of vests, under-drawers, mufflers, mittens, mackintoshes, and a certain number of gum boots for use in the trenches, and they have now been issued to the men. May I, on behalf of Colonel WADE, our dear commanding officer, and the residue of the dear old 9th battalion, who have done so well, thank you for your kindness and thoughtfulness in sending out such comforts. I can assure you that the gifts will be fully appreciated, and may I, on behalf of Colonel WADE, and the residue of the dear old 9th Battalion wish you all a very pleasant Christmas and a brighter and good New Year."  The letter sent by the Territorial (unknown) reads as follows: - "I am writing this letter to thank you and the ladies of Ashton for your kind thought, and the trouble you have been put to in sending these gifts to the men of the 9th Battalion. I am pleased to say I received one of your gifts from Major CONNERY, our quartermaster. It makes one happy to think that someone has not forgotten the boys. Some of us, as you know, have been away from dear old Ashton for nearly eighteen months, and it is with pleasure that one can receive gifts from the old home. Your comforts you have sent will be very useful this winter, and one will be able to think of your kind thoughts in sending these useful comforts to us. I will now conclude, wishing the ladies of Ashton a merry Christmas and a bright and prosperous New Year." 

 

 

 

Published in the Reporter 25th December 1915.

"DID HIS DUTY."

Ashton Territorial Killed.

TEN OTHERS WOUNDED.

Had Been Through Hardships But Quite Happy.

"He had no fear. He was quite anxious to do his bit for his King and country," said Mrs. Jones of 34, Jermyn Street, Ashton, when she told a Reporter representative that she had received an official intimation that her only son, Private 3291 AARON JONES, had been killed at the Dardanelles. Private AARON JONES was 18 years of age. He was a fine stalwart youth with a cheery smile for everyone. He was employed before the war at Messrs. Kenyon and Wilson's, corn factors, of Victoria Street, Ashton. He joined the 2/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment in February, and was sent out with a draft to the Ashton Territorials in the Dardanelles. Private FRED ROGERS, of the 1/9th Battalion, son-in-law of Mrs. Jones, has written to Mrs. Jones giving her further details of AARON'S death. He writes: -

"He was killed whilst doing his duty for King, for love of liberty, and for his country. He was killed by a Turkish bomb about 8pm on November 22nd, and was buried on the 23rd at 12.15. The news of his death was broken to me at 11 o'clock, and I was just in time to hear the burial service read over him. I was given permission to look at his face. He was hit in the stomach with the bomb. He was buried not far from the firing line."

 In his last letter home, Private JONES said, "he had been through a few hardships, but he was quite happy, and asked his mother not worry." According to a letter from Private HARRY FORNLEY, of the Transport Section of the Territorials, the bomb or grenade which killed poor Private JONES also wounded about ten others. (Aaron Jones is buried in Azmak Cemetery, Suvla).

 

  

Published in the Reporter 25th December 1915.

CAPT. I. DEARNALEY.

How He Met His Death in Gallipoli.

How Captain IRVINE DEARNALEY met his death while with the Ashton Territorials in the Gallipoli Peninsula is told for the first time by Captain B.F. ROBINSON, who, with Captain DEARNALEY, was attached to the 2/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment. Both went out together to the front a few months ago, and they shared the same dug-out. ROBINSON was then a lieutenant, but has since been promoted. Writing to his mother Captain ROBINSON states: - "I expect by the time you get my letter you will have heard all sorts of accounts about poor old IRVINE, so even at the expense of myself and my ease of mind I must let you know exactly how it happened. B Company had relieved D Company in the actual firing line. We had been in nine days out of the fourteen, and they were only going to do five or six. They had gone into the firing line on Saturday afternoon. On Tuesday, 23rd November, about 1pm in the afternoon, IRVINE was doing his three hours 'On duty.' He walked down the communicating trench to the fire trench, and where the two joined he stopped to look at something in the trench. Mind you, he was well under cover all the time. At this moment a bullet came between the joining in the sandbags, and hit him straight under the right eye, and he dropped at once. Death must have been instantaneous, he never spoke a word. His orderly ran for me, and I was on the spot within a very few minutes. I was at his funeral the same evening in the little cemetery in Geoghans Bluff about two miles from the firing line. He was buried next to Major ANDERSON. There were four of on Saturday afternoon. On Tuesday 23rd WILDE (O.C. 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment) the adjutant, and PERCY FIELDING and myself. No more of us could be spared." Captain ROBINSON, we are pleased to learn, is now all right again, though he was greatly upset by the death of Captain DEARNALEY. (Captain Irvine Dearnaley is buried in Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery).

  

  

Published in the Reporter 25th December 1915.

YOUTH'S SAD FATE.

"He seemed such a child to have given his life for his country; his mother has my deepest regret and my sincerest sympathy." was the concluding sentence in a letter which Mrs. Clara Fernley, of 48, Tatton Street, Ashton, received from Nurse Clara E. Cherry, 21st General Hospital, Alexandria, writing breaking the news that Private 3281 JAMES  FERNLEY had died from wounds. In last weeks issue of the Reporter it was stated that Private JAMES FERNLEY of the Ashton Territorials, had been reported very dangerously ill at Alexandria. Nurse Cherry wrote: - "Your little lad was admitted into my care on Wednesday, December 1st. He was very seriously ill indeed, having been shot through the lungs. He was quite conscious, gave me your address, and wanted me to send a postcard home. I think he realised that he was not going to get better. We did all we could for him. He suffered very little pain, only his breathing became weaker. His mothers name was on his lips all the time. He passed quietly away at 11.50." An official intimation of Private FERNLEY'S death has also been received.  In a letter from Private H. FERNLEY, brother of Private JAMES FERNLEY, who is also with the Ashton Territorials in the Transport Section, further details are given of the way Private J. FERNLEY was injured. He says: - " JIM has not much chance. They were having a bit of a rough time, and the Turks sent a grenade over their trench, and from what I am told it did a great deal of damage, wounding about ten, and killing one - AARON JONES. JIM was wounded." Private FERNLEY worked as a piecer in Oldham, and was his mother's main support. He could not bear to see other men in khaki and walk the streets himself, and accordingly he joined the Territorials. He was only 18 years of age.  (James R Fernley is buried in Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery).

 

  

Published in the Reporter 25th December 1915.

ONE OF THREE BROTHERS.

An official intimation has been received by Mr. and Mrs. Zachariah Lilley, of 9, Bengal Street, Ashton, that their son, Private 2757 WILFRED LILLEY, of the Ashton Territorials, died of wounds on November 27th.

WILFRED LILLEY was one of three brothers who joined the forces. The others are Private JOSEPH LILLEY, of the 3rd Battalion Manchester Regiment, and Private NATHANIEL LILLEY, of the 3/9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment. Their father, Mr. Zachariah Lilley was one of the old Volunteers, and before the formation of the V.B. Manchester Regiment he was in the 23rd Lancashire Rifle Volunteers, under Colonel MELLOR, and also served under Colonels J.KENWORTHY and EATON.  In the Reporter some time ago the photographs were published of six brothers named LILLEY, whose home was in Holden Street. They were nephews of Mr. Z.Lilley, so it cannot but be said that the Lilley's are playing a great part in this war. 

 Private WILFRED LILLEY worked as a piecer at the Queen Mill, Dukinfield, before he joined the Territorials, twelve months last September. He was but 19 years of age, but was well made and looked older. He quite took to the life, and in his letters was always cheerful and uncomplaining. In his last letter he referred to the fact that he had met his brother-in-law out there, and a lot more lads he knew. He and his brother-in-law, he said, would make fine chums and they would stick together. (Wilfred Lilley is buried in the Lancashire Landing Cemetery).

 

  

Published in the Reporter 25th December 1915.

MAJOR CONNERY.

The many friends of Major M.H CONNERY, the idolised quartermaster of the Ashton Territorials, will be pleased to hear not only that he has been offered promotion to Provost Marshal, but that he thanked the authorities for their offer, but requested "to be allowed to remain with the boys of dear old Ashton." (A provost Marshal is an officer appointed in an army on the field to preserve order as head of the military police and perform various duties appertaining to discipline). In a letter dated December 6th to Mr. E. Byrne, Major CONNERY writes in a very hopeful strain. He says: - "Things are very quiet here just now. I do not think it will last much longer. A few Turkish prisoners came in the other day, and said all they had had to eat was a slice of bread and six olives a day, and a man cannot last long on that. Well, God is good, and we must only hope for the best, and with God's help I will be spared to return home with the dear old Ninth. We all miss Colonel WADE very much. He trained the boys well in Egypt who have done so well out here. Best wishes for a merry Christmas, and may we all meet before long."

 

 

  

Published in the Reporter 25th December 1915.

MOTHER AND SON DEAD.   

 

News has reached his relatives in Dukinfield that Private 3090 JESSE LAWTON, of the Ashton Territorials, was killed in action at the Dardanelles on Saturday 22nd. Writing to his mother, Mrs. Lawton, of Combermere Street, Dukinfield, not knowing that Mrs. Lawton has also passed away, the Rev. E.Haymond, CE chaplain with the 42nd Division M.E.F. said: "May I offer to you the deep sympathy of the Brigade with you in the loss of your brave son, Private JESSE LAWTON. He was shot whilst at his post in the foremost firing line, and died of wounds in the early morning, about 5.30am, of November 22nd. That afternoon I buried him in Border Ravine, a ravine on the western side of the Peninsula. The grave is situated near the summit of one of the two slopes (the more southerly one) that form the ravine. Believe me, madam, there is abundant cause for pride and perfect trust in the manner of your son's passing. May the consolation of Christ be with you." Private LAWTON, who was 22 years of age, was a warehouseman at the Victor Mills, Stalybridge, before he joined the 2/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, and was connected with the Victor Mills Cricket Club. He used to attend the Old Chapel, Dukinfield. (Jesse Lawton is buried in Azmak Cemetery, Suvla).

    

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