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Folder Servicemen A-B



pdf ALSTON, Tom Popular

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Sapper, later Sergeant, 75620, Royal Engineers (Signals)

Tom Alston was born c1875 and was a married man when he enlisted. He and his wife Ethel lived at 89 Old Hall Lane, Withington with daughter Kathleen (b c1905) and son Norman A. (born c1907). A second daughter, Lilian M, was born c1916, so she presumably did not see her father until she was at least three years old. He was posted to Egypt from where his earliest correspondence in September 1915 is mailed. He travelled out on H.M.S. Mars, sailing from Plymouth via Malta to an unidentified port from where he sailed on the Franconia to Alexandria. He was later transferred to Cairo towards the end of 1915. By the end of the war he moved again to Palestine and then to Damascus in Syria, where he tells of having his watch and other possessions stolen from his tent. He mentions Lt. Willie ROBY (as his Signals Master).

pdf ANDERSON, A Popular

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16th Battalion, Manchester Regiment

This is possibly Arthur Anderson, brother of Jim Anderson (below). Anderson was one of the Manchester Pals. His letters cover his training, initially at Heaton Park, where he complains of the lack of uniforms, but is more appreciative of the catering!, and later at Larkhill Camp on Salisbury Plain. He served with the British Expeditionary Force in France, with accounts of being under fire and the mud in the trenches. He describes anti-aircraft fire bringing down a German plane. He mentions Frank MAYOR and Albert COCKER (is this Sergeant COCKER below?), Ted KITCHEN, L. FLETCHER and J. L. PATCHETT

pdf ANDERSON, David Popular

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Service details not known

Two letters dated 1 Jul 1917 from Dan Anderson of Broadheath, Altrincham, which relate to the (apparently recent) death of "David", who is assumed to be either the brother of the writer. It is possible that the family was in Scotland in 1911 as they cannot be located in the Manchester area. Given the limited information available, none of the deaths reported in the CWGC database can be matched.

pdf ANDERSON, Jim Popular

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Staff Sergeant, 25618 Army Service Corps. Attached 10th Bn. Royal North Lancashire Regt.

One of the mosr prolific correspondents with 19 letters spanning 1914 to 1919. Covers initial UK postings then, from September 1915, service in France, Salonica Egypt and Palestine. Jim writes extensively of his training at Eastbourne and Aldershot, including learning to ride, as well as of his experiences in the field. He also writes of the influenza epidemic and how he had been ill with the disease. He mentions Fred LANGLEY, Fred SUMMERSFIELD, George DODD, Willie CULBERT, Ted KITCHEN. Hubert BUNTING, and Frank NAPTHALI Also mentions his brothers Arthur (See A. Anderson above?) and Dan (see David ANDERSON above?) as well as 'Hilda' (who appears to be his wife).

pdf BARRETT, Cyril Popular

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Barrett, Cyril.pdf

Private, 555, Royal Army Medical Corps, 2/3 East Lancashire Field Ambulance

Cyril Barrett'is early letters are posted from UK bases but he subsequently writes from the Dardanelles. From here he joins the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force and writes from Egypt. He appears to have survived the war. Mentions 'both BRYDENs' and Bert (presumably Herbert) BRYDEN. Cyril's 'flamboyant' handwriting has proved difficult to read in places.

pdf BORTHWICK, John Eric Popular

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BORTHWICK. John Eric.pdf

4th Bn. Manchester Regiment

John Eric Borthwick (known as Eric) was born in 1895 the son of George and Emma Borthwick. He writes two letters from Yetney Village Camp, near Grimsby. Despite there being no further letters, it appears that he survived the war as there is no entry in the Commonwealth War Graves register. He appears to have married Gladys Cooper in 1925 and a reference to the couple appears in the 1939 register. His (apparently twin) brother Frederick (Fred) also served.

pdf BORTHWICK, Fred Popular

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WW1-6 - 1-Borthwick, Fred (1).pdf

Gunner, 79844, Royal Field Artillery

Fred Borthwick was was born in 1895 the son of George and Emma Borthwick and the (apparently twin) brother of John Eric Borthwick. The only correspondence seems to be a card dated 29 Aug 1916 giving his address as Fulwood Barracks, Preston. He survived the war.

pdf BROOKES, Harry Popular

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Private, 2553, 2/4 Bn. Royal Scots Regiment

The letters are addressed from Edinburgh and later Essex. The 2/4 Battalion was a territorial battalion and did not serve overseas. Raised in Edinburgh in September 1914, the battalion erved in Penicuik, Peebles, Portobello, Edinburgh and Cambusbarron. Moved to Essex with 65 Division in March 1916 and then to Ireland in January 1917. Disbanded in July 1918. He mentions Walt TEALE, LAMBERT, KEIR (to the home service - unfit), Pte. MAJOR (possibly deceased), Mr. BILLING (his teacher at Zion). He is identified as "Harry" by a reference by H. LAMBERT with whom he was billeted.

pdf BRYDEN, Herbert Popular

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Bryden, Herbert.pdf

Private, 401, Royal Army Medical Corps

Herbert Bryden was posted to the Dardanelles. He appears to have been aboard HMS Royal Edward on 13 Aug 1915 when sunk by a German submarine. It later seems that he returned to the UK in January 1916 having a bullet lodged in his right thigh (see his service records); a letter from his sister gives his current address as ward 1B, 4th General Hospital, Stobhill, Glasgow. He returned to service after 32 days in hospital. He re-enlisted following the end of the war and left the service in 1923.

pdf BUNTING, Hubert

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Bunting, Hubert.pdf

Sergeant 2408 22nd Div R.A.O.C.

Hubert Bunting first writes from Red Barracks at Woolwich shortly after enlisting and in July 1915 from Aldershot.By September, he writes of being posted to France but by August 1916, he is in Malta at St. Michael's Convalescent Camp, though he does not give any reason for being there. The next letter in August 1918 places him in Serbia and in December, following the end of the war, he is in Macedonia. Mentions Jim ANDERSON, Willie CULBERT, Percy and Ernest LAWTON, Tom MILLER, Harry WOODGATEand Jim FLETCHER.