Alderley -World War 1.February 1916

February 1916 was a thankful month for Alderley Edge – a month when no men from the village died.  The disastrous Gallipoli campaign had been ended in December 1915 and the units involved, including the 1/7th Cheshire Regiment, were withdrawn to Egypt. 

From there, later in 1916, these forces embarked on the Palestine Campaign, in which two Alderley Edge men, Privates Albert Vincent Davies and Owen William Parry, lost their lives a year later.

They will be commemorated next year

 

On the Western Front, while the relentless grind of trench warfare continued, the British and French drew up plans for a combined offensive on the Somme. 

However, on February 21st the Germans opened an offensive against the French fortress of Verdun, starting a battle which lasted ten months and forced the French to divert many divisions to its defence. 

Thus the British had to bear the brunt of the attack in the Battle of the Somme, which began in July and in which 18 men from Alderley Edge were among the thousands of British dead.  

 

 The main focus of activity in support of the war in the village was the Brookdale Military Hospital (on the site of Alderley Edge School for Girls).  The first annual report of the hospital, covering the period 14th November 1914 to 31st December 1915, was issued in February 1916 and stated, “During this period 169 patients have been treated, of whom 140 were British, 5 Canadian, 21 New Zealanders, 2 Australian and 1 Belgian.”

An open air ward had been opened for the treatment of patients with septic wounds or who had been gassed and the accommodation had been increased from 20 to 50 beds.

 

If you know of Alderley Edge men who served in the war and returned home afterwards, we should be glad to hear of them

Nurse Hatton in the centre of the picture taken outside the Brookdale Military Hospital.


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