Alderley -World War 1.August 1917

We will remember them, August 1917

 

August 1917 was a ‘thankful’ month for Alderley Edge – one in which none of its young men died.

However, the Advertiser did carry a report in August of a death which actually occurred on 13th July.  Its headline was

                          A SOLDIER’S DEATH BY DROWNING

and the report went on to say that Sapper Cecil Heathcote Hamilton had been ‘accidentally drowned in the Persian Gulf’. 

Sapper Hamilton was serving with the 15th Signal Company, Royal Engineers, attached to the 15th Indian Division in Mesopotamia (Iraq).  We can piece together what happened from the charred remains of his service record, which survived the destruction of the majority of such records in the blitz in 1941. 

   He was hospitalised on 7th July with ‘sand fever’ and was being transferred by barge to Kut when he fell into the river Tigris.  A hand-written report from the medical officer say he had a temperature of 101º and had been sleeping all day.

A witness statement from an orderly says that he got up from his stretcher and jumped into the river.  The river was searched but his body was not found.

Sapper Hamilton was born in Alderley Edge in 1895, the son of John William Hamilton, a wheelwright of Carr Lane, and Mary.  Before joining the army, he was a joiner working for Masseys.

He is commemorated on the Basra Memorial and on the memorial in St John’s Church, Lindow, as well as on our War Memorial.

 

If you know of Alderley Edge men who served in the war and returned


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