Alderley -World War 1.June 1918

We will remember them, June 1918

June 1918 was another ‘thankful’ month for Alderley Edge – the last one in the war in which no losses of its young men were reported.   This article will therefore be devoted to two of the men who died in July.


Lieutenant Walter Gilman, 211th Squadron Royal Air Force, died on 13th July, aged 19.  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission record states that he ‘descended in the sea and sunk off Ostende’. 


As the recent centenary commemoration reminded us, the RAF was formed by the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service on April 1st 1918.  Gilman was commissioned in 11 Squadron, RNAS, on 2nd January 1918.  This became 211 Squadron RAF and was based near Dunkirk.  Its task was to bomb the Belgian ports of Bruges, Zeebrugge and Ostend in order to disrupt the German U boat campaign. 


Walter Gilman was the only son of William Gilman, a provision merchant, and his wife Clara, who lived at Hazelcroft, Congleton Road.  He was flying a De Havilland DH9 and is commemorated on the Arras Flying Services Memorial. 



Private Harry Barlow, 15th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, died on 18th July.  He was posted ‘wounded and missing’ on 24th March, but later was reported to be a prisoner of war. 

The German record states that he died in a military hospital, place unknown but subsequently stated to be in Valenciennes, where he is buried. 

From this we can presume he was wounded in the Battle of Bapaume, 24-25th March, at the beginning of the German spring offensive.

Harry Barlow was a cotton goods salesman before the war, presumably for a Manchester warehouse.  He married Minnie Cooper in Levenshulme in 1915 and had a son, John Arthur, in 1916.

 He enlisted in Wilmslow in December 1915and was posted to France in October 1917. The family was then living at Glen Brook, Knutsford Road.



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