Alderley -World War 1. March 1918

We will remember them, March 1918

Two of the Alderley Edge men who died in March 1918 were commemorated in last month’s newssheet.

The other two died as a result of the German Spring Offensive, launched on 21st March. 

There had been no major offensives on either since the end of the battle of Passchendaele in November 1917, but over the winter the Germans were able to move substantial numbers of troops from the eastern front as a result of the withdrawal of Russia from the war after the October Revolution. 

With their greatly strengthened forces built up behind the Hindenburg Line, the Germans launched their offensive at 4.40am on 21st March with a massive artillery bombardment between Cambrai and Saint Quentin.

Within a week the Germans pushed the Allied line back 40 miles – the biggest movement on the western front since 1914.  

Lieutenant Cedric Kenworthy Deakin, of the 8th Manchesters, was killed in action on the first day of the offensive (21st March).  He had already been wounded twice, in Gallipoli in 1915 and in France in 1917.  The only son of Mrs Gertrude Mabel Deakin and the late John Deakin, of Brynwood, Wilmslow Road, he was aged 22.  The family had only recently moved to Alderley Edge, as in 1911 they were living in Didsbury.

Five days later (26th March) Lieutenant-Colonel Philip Vaughan Holberton was killed in action.  He was a professional soldier who had seen action in the Boer War and had spent some time in Sierra Leone as Adjutant of the West African Regiment.

  When the war began he was Adjutant of the 6th Battalion Manchester Regiment and served with the regiment in the Gallipoli campaign.

In 1916 he was given command of a battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers and promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel. 

However, while we know quite a lot about his military career, it is a puzzle why he is commemorated on our war memorial. He does not appear in or near Alderley Edge in the 1911 census or the 1914 directory. The only clue is that his younger daughter was born in the Bucklow registration district in 1914. 

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Page last updated: 3rd Sep 2018 9:18 PM