Maj Gen (retd) Mungo Melvin, WFA vice-president
When one thinks of lessons from the Great War (1914-1918), most historians would point to the Kirke Report of 1932. Yet the recent centenary commemorations of the First World War provided an opportunity for the modern British Army not only to remember the conflict, but also to study it afresh in order to derive some pertinent lessons for today. Many professional military historians were sceptical to say the least, but once they had joined one of the British Army’s three major battlefield studies on the Western Front run in 2014, 2016 and 2018, they saw how much of contemporary value was being discussed. As the Army’s senior adviser to this project and responsible for designing and helping to run these activities, my talk details the approach we took and what we learned.
To All Our Members!
Terry thanks you!
“I would like to thank all the branch members for the generous book token card. It will be staying unused for a while. We are having the shower room which adjoins the library refurbished. This means the shelves are blocked by material to go into the shower and a piano. There is no point my buying any more books just yet as there is literally no place to put them. It will enable me to avoid rushing off to Waterstones for a while!”
Best wishes, Terry
Buxton Hospitals in the Great War
We have an article from Jackie and Roger Berry on their exploration of Buxton looking for traces of the wartime hospitals - see here.Handover to the new chairman (and don't drop it!)
Search for Relatives of Soldier, John William Beverley
A book wrapped in brown paper found in a cupboard in a house in Milnrow has led to a family history search by two ladies from Huddersfield. The book, ‘To Pay the Price’ by Silas K. Hocking, was a present to a John William Beverley given to him by his cousins, Clara Bell Matthews and May Matthews on his twelfth birthday in December 1900. Even more intriguing was a letter found inside the book from John William Beverley to his mother dated 26 September 1917 from the battlefields of France where he was a soldier.
The discovery of the book and letter led to Oldham where John William Beverley was born on 4 December 1888. A property repairer by trade, he lived with his mother, Martha and Stepfather, Albert Whiteley, until he married Annie Smith (dob circa 1889) at the beginning of 1912. They subsequently had a son, John Beverley, born Jan/Feb/March 1912.
John Wm Beverley joined the 2/10th Manchester Regiment of the Oldham Territorials at Whitsuntide 1915, and was sent to Egypt early in 1917. He was later sent to France where he was wounded in the knee with shrapnel on 5 April 1918. Transferred to the Lord Derby Hospital, Warrington he died on 20th May 1918, aged 29 and was buried in a war grave in Chadderton cemetery on 24th May 1918.
The researchers are trying to trace relatives of the above to return the book and letter to them. It is especially important as this year is the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI.
Mike O'Brien's new book
There is a review of Mike's new book on Americans in the British forces, here.
Medals of Private George William Shaw
We were contacted recently through the website by Mark Shaw who is searching for information about his great uncle, Private George William Shaw, 12364 of 9th battalion Cheshire Regiment. Mark's email reads as follows:
I hope you may be able to help me, as I am currently researching my Family Tree. I have identified George William Shaw as my Great Uncle. He served in A Company 9th Battalion Cheshire Regiment, from 01/09/1914 until his death 22/06/1917. His service number was 12364.
I have found that his medals (with the exception of his BWM), death plaque and associated certificates were sold on Ebay in 2014. I am unable to identify the seller or the purchaser.
I would like to find who it was that bought the items, if only to ask for copies of the documentation and, maybe provide a little background information in regard of my Uncle. Ideally, I would love to buy the items.
I know it is a long shot but I thought that it may be possible that one of your members may be the purchaser. I would be obliged if you could see your way clear to circulating the details to your membership.
There is an account of the visit to Ypres by Martin and Winifrid Logan to honour the memory of those Manchester Corporation Tramways who fell in WWI - Tramways workers
Manchester Military History Society
The Society meet at:
East Manchester History and Gaming Centre,
Knivton Street, Godley, Hyde, SK14 2PU
More details on their website - Manchester Military History Society
A new memorial to Manchester railwaymen killed in WWI