Alderley -World War 1 September 1916.
We will remember them, September 1916
September 1916 saw four more men from Alderley Edge lose their lives in the Battle of the Somme.
Gunner Walter Dykes died on 2nd September, aged 19. A pupil at the local school, he left at age 14 to work as an errand boy and then as a gardener at Warford colony. His father James was a building labourer and the family lived in South Street. He was in the Royal Field Artillery and is buried in Quarry Cemetery, Montauban.
Private Harry Hockenhull, 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment, died on 3rd September. He too was a gardener before he enlisted. The notice of his death in the Advertiser reported that he was at Gallipoli and was invalided home with frost bite. He was then posted to the front in France, was wounded, hospitalised and then returned to the front for the third time. He was remembered as a prominent member of Alderley Victoria Football Club. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
Private John William Fudge, 1st Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, was born in Manchester in1883, but by 1891 the family were living in Duke Street. In 1901 he was working as a gardener in Whitefield, but in 1911 he was back in Alderley Edge. He died on 5th September, and was posthumously awarded the Military Medal ‘for bravery in the field’: he had volunteered to fetch out a man who was lying at the bottom of a mine unconscious through gas and was instrumental in saving the man’s life. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
Lance Corporal Charles Coops, 12th Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps, died on 18th September, aged 23. Another gardener, he volunteered in November 1915, was posted to France in March 1916 and promoted to Lance Corporal in May. He was wounded in action on 1st June, but returned to the trenches, only to be posted missing on 18th September, probably in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. He too is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
If you know of Alderley Edge men who served in the war and returned home afterwards, we should be glad to hear of them.