Alderley -World War 1.April 1917
We will remember them, April 1917
April 1917 was a bad month for Alderley Edge, with the loss of three more of its young men. The first was Lance Corporal Arthur Griffiths, 7th Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment, who died on 19th April, aged 34. We know that he enlisted at Chatham in the Royal Engineers and then was transferred to the South Lancs. The 7th Battalion was in France from July 1915, and his memorial in Alderley Edge Cemetery says he died on active service, so one presumes he served there. However, he actually died in Norwich of nephritis. He was the son of Thomas Griffiths, a gardener in Monmouth, and the husband of Lucy Griffiths of 12 Chapel Street. Arthur too was a gardener, working for Charles Railton of Cherry Tree House, Macclesfield Road.
Three days later, far away in Mesopotamia (Iraq), Private John Morris died of wounds received eleven days previously. The son of James and Annie Morris of Duke Street, he was also a gardener. He enlisted in November 1915 in the 14th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment. In October 1916, he was posted to the 8th Battalion, which was by then serving in Mesopotamia. At the time he was wounded, Baghdad had been taken and the British force was advancing north. Those who were wounded, like John Morris, were transferred to hospital in Amara, where he died and where he is buried.
Second Lieutenant Maurice Alfred Kay was the first Alderley Edge man to die as a result of the war in the air. He enlisted in 1914 in the Public Schools Battalion Royal Fusiliers and went to France in November 1915. He was recommended for a commission in the Royal Flying Corps, which he was given on 4th August 1916. According to the Advertiser he was killed on 30th April fighting a German patrol in France. He is commemorated on the Arras Flying Services Memorial. The son of Alfred and Sophia Kay of Stamford House, Trafford Road, he was educated at Lytham College and Manchester Grammar. He was only 20.