Alderley -World War 1. July 1916
We will remember them,........
July & August 1916;
Four men from Alderley Edge died on the 1st July, 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme –four of the 19,240 British soldiers killed that day. Two others died later in July and one in August.
Rifleman Clement Griffith was born 1st October 1896, the youngest son of Clement and Sarah Griffiths. In 1911 he was a bookstall boy, living with his widowed mother, an older brother and two sisters at 19 West Street. He enlisted in March 1915 in the Rifle Brigade and was posted to France in 1915. He was reported missing, presumed dead on 1st July and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. He was three months short of his twentieth birthday.
Last Year several parishoners from St Philip &St James made a pilgrimage to visit several of the Memorials and Grave sites. Thiepval Memorial.
Private William Price Griffiths was born in Liverpool in 1895, but by 1911 the family had moved to Chapel Road, Alderley Edge. His father,was a plumber and decorator. William Price enlisted in February 1915 and was posted to France in November. At the time of his death he was serving in the 17th Manchesters attached to the 1st Trench Mortar Battery of the 90th Brigade. The family were members of the Methodist Church and he is commemorated on a plaque there as well as on the Thiepval Memorial
Thiepval Memorial has over 72,000 names of soldiers missing in action. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and built 1928-1932.
Lieutenant Roland Minor was the only son of Philip and Susan Minor of Avonmore, Alderley Edge. Born in 1895, he was educated at Abbotsholme School and then became an articled clerk in his father’s firm of solicitors in Manchester. At the outbreak of war he joined the Public Schools Battalion and was commissioned in the King’s Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment in May 1915. On 1st July, the 1st Battalion of the Regiment attacked the German lines at Serre. The battalion was almost wiped out. Lieutenant Minor is buried at Euston Road Cemetery, Colincamps.
Poppies at Dantzig Alley.
Lieutenant Frederick Gordon Ross was serving in the 20th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, one of the battalions known as the Manchester Pals, when he was killed in action on 1st July. Aged 46, he was one of the oldest men from the village to die in the war. Before the war he was managing director of Robert Platt, cotton spinners in Stalybridge. He was a prominent figure in the village, having been both treasurer and secretary of the Cricket Club and assistant treasurer at St Philip’s Church, where there is a brass plaque in his memory.
Lieutenant Frederick Gordon Ross was buried at Dantzig Alley. Revd Jane Parry & Michael Scaife at his grave side.
Lance-Corporal Frederick Waller, born 1893, was the eldest son of Alfred and Florence Waller. Alfred was the cemetery caretaker and the family lived at Cemetery Lodge. Before the war Frederick was a gardener. In January 1915 he enlisted in another of the Manchester Pals battalions and was posted to France in November. He was killed by a machine gun bullet on 9th July 1916 and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
Graves at Thiepval Memorial.
Sergeant Oliver Leah was born in1896 and baptized at the Hough Chapel. His father was a gardener and the family lived at Oak Meadows, Heyes Lane. Before the war he had moved to Bury, where he worked as a gardener. He enlisted at Bolton in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in September 1914 and went to France a year later. He was killed on 10th July in the Battle of Albert, the first phase of the Somme offensive, and is buried in Pozieres British Cemetery.
Sergeant Oliver Leah's grave at Pozieres. The cross left with gratitude from the people of Alderley.
Pozieres British Cemetery.
Lieutenant Edward Melland Schill, 17th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers, died on 25th August from wounds received leading an advance in the second phase of the Somme offensive. The son of Charles Henry Schill, of Croston Lodge, chairman of a Manchester firm of shipping merchants, he had graduated from Christ Church, Oxford, with a First in History, and then joined the family firm. When war broke out he was in Chile on business. He returned to England, volunteered and was commissioned in December 1914. He is buried in the Military Cemetery at Corbie.
Talbot House in Popergine were many of the soldiers had rest & recreation.