Alderley -World War 1.October 1916
We will remember them,
In October the Battle of the Somme entered its fourth month - and four more men from Alderley Edge lost their lives in the fighting around Le Transloy and the Ancre Heights.
Corporal Alfred Haywood was a painter employed by Mr Jaffrey before the war. He enlisted in the 1st/5th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment in the autumn of 1914 and went to France in February 1915. In October 1916 the battalion was engaged around Le Transloy. A letter from his officer to his parents tells us what happened. “We were going up the trench on October 3rd when a shell landed in the middle of us, wounding your son very badly. He was taken at once on a stretcher to the dressing station.” He died in hospital a week later. He was 26.
Rifleman George Leonard Davies served in the Post Office Rifles. Born in Swansea in 1888, by 1911 he was in Alderley Edge, working as a postman and lodging in Chorley Hall Lane. In 1913 he married Ethel Frances Smith, a cook at Delamere, Heyes Lane. He died on 7th October, probably also in the Battle of Le Transloy.
Private Fred Birchenall, who died on 8th October in the Battle of the Ancre Heights, served in the Canadian Infantry, 43rd Battalion. He was born in Alderley Edge in 1883, the son of Joseph and Mary Birchenall. In 1901 he was a railway clerk living with his widowed mother in Brown Street, but in 1907 he emigrated to Canada. In 1910 he married in Winnipeg, where the 43rd Battalion was recruited.
Drummer Charles Henry Helling was born in Crewe in 1888, but by 1901 the family had moved to Alderley Edge. The 1911 census describes him as a bootmaker living with his parents and two younger brothers in South Street. In 1914 he married Emma Wheeldon, a servant in Wilmslow. He enlisted in the 8th Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment. He was killed in action on 21st October in the Battle of the Ancre Heights.
If you know of Alderley Edge men who served in the war and returned home afterwards, we should be glad to hear of them.