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Folder Servicemen C-F

CORKER, Sergt.; COWSILL, Percy; CULBERT, William; DODD, George; DRUMMOND, George; DYER, Arthur; DYER, Frank; KITCHEN, Edward; FLETCHER, James E (Jim); FRANCIS, O [Owen?]; FRASER, James Bishop


pdf CORKER, Sergt

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Sergeant, Service number and regiment unknown

The correspondence consists of a single Christmas Card posted from Sydney, Australia and printed "Sergt. CORKER". The address given is 2nd District Guard, YMCA, Pitt Street, Sydney. The postmark is not readable but Harold Hill has noted the date (presumably of his reply) as 15 Feb 1919. Possibly he is the Albert CORKER who is mentioned in Frank WILD's letter. There is an Albert CORKER, a cloth warehouse maker-up, living at 13 Naylor Street, Hulme in 1911 with his parents Samuel and Hannah. This is a convenient location for a connection with the Zion Institute. He does not appear in the 1921 census or in the Commonwealth War Graves records. This is not, however, proof of identity.

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Private 15068 Royal Army Medical Corps

Percy writes firstly in July 1915 from Colchester Military Hospital where he was in training  In October 1916 he has been transferred to the Cheshire Regiment and writes from France and comments on the mud in the trenches and writes of men being injured from shrapnel during a church service. By November of that year he had been repatriated to the War Hospital at Dundee with a raised temperature resulting from an unspecified infection which he believed to have been contracted in the trenches.

pdf CULBERT, William

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Private, 01870, Army Ordnance Corps.

This prolific correspondent, who signs as "W. Culbert" is probably the William Culbert, who is mentioned in other letters. His correspondence begins with his training in Aldershot in 1914 where he expresses a wish to "go to the front soon". Later correspondence from April 1915 is addressed from the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in Egypt. He mentions Etnest and Percy LAWTON (Percy having been saved from the "Royal Edward disaster"), George DODD, Harcourt BRAYSHAW, Ernest HUNTER, Jim ANDERSON and "Mr. KITCHEN" and "Mrs. WALKER". His final missive, a postcard from Fifeshire dated 12 Apr 1919 appears to record his recent marriage; this appears to be to Ethel M. CAMERON during the first quarter of 1919.

pdf DODD, George

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Pte., service number and regiment not known

George Dodd first writes from Egypt on 14 Oct 1914, which suggests that he was either already a serving soldier or a reservist. He travelled on HMS Avon and remained there through to October 1915, the date of the last letter. He writes of encounters with the Turks at the Suez Canal and in June 1915, he was wounded above the eye by shrapnel, though soon returned to duty.  He mentions Percy LAWTON, Jim ANDERSON, Harry WOODGATE, Ted KITCHEN ('in the Marines'), Mr. FERNLEY?, Frank WILD ('has been hurt'), L. T. MILLAR, Will TINGEY (Number 348) and 'Bish' FRASER.

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Rank, Number and Regiment not known

George writes this single letter on 14 May 1915 from a boarding house in Scotland where he and his wife are on holiday. The letter implies that he is on home leave following an injury to his shoulder a month previously. His wife Nancie adds a message of her own. This letter is addressed to Harold at Grassington (Yorkshire) where it seems he too is recovering from a recent illness.

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Corporal, Nursing Orderly, 2nd Field Ambulance, later Clerk 42nd Divisional HQ R.A.M.C.

Arthur Dyer begins his correspondence while based at the Citadel in Cairo, Egypt. He admits to not liking the work as an orderly. He later becomes a clerk in the office of the Assistant Director of Medical Services. He appears to suffer from short sight as he remarks on the inadequacy of his glasses. He describes his impressions of the country and its people. Mentions Corporal DODD (3rd Field Ambulance), Ernest LAWTON (R.A.M.C.), BARRATT (who has survived the sinking of H.M.S. Edward) and the two BRYDENs.

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Private 2406, D Company, 1/6 West Yorkshire Regiment

Frank writes this single letter from Clipstone Camp, Mansfield. He mentions that many of the men in his company are the 'sick, lame and lazy' and that he, himself, is awaiting the report of a Medical Board. A reference to meeting a fellow soldier in Belgium suggests that he is recovering from wounds or illness. He adds that he may be charged with being absent for nearly three weeks following his arrival. He asks how Harold had gone on with his appeal, which implies that he was possibly medically unfit to serve.

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Private 314, 1st East Lancs. Field Ambulance, R.A.M.C.

James (Jim) Fletcher first writes from Southampton in October 1914, where he is about to embark for Egypt on H.M.S. Aragon. A year later, he has just returned to England, where he writes from Liverpool Royal Infirmary. It is not clear whether he was wounded or repatriated as a result of illness. He remains in the UK for much of the remainder of the correspondence. The final letter dated 20 July 1917 is addressed from "somewhere" and suggests that he has returned to the field. In 1911, he was an apprentice letterpress printer living with his parents and siblings in Mytton Street, Manchester. He mentions George DODD (now has three stripes), Bert (Herbert) BRYDEN, "Bish" (who he met in Malta), Tom MILLAR, Ted KITCHEN, Frank MAJOR (not heard anything of him), Arthur BAILEY and Tom WILLIAMSON (May WILLIAMSON's brother, both with the 5th Bn. Manchester Regiment) and also his sister Florrie.


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Private, 7th Battalion, E Co., Manchester Regiment

Possibly Owen FRANCIS, who appears as born in 1896 in the 1911 census living in Tempest Street, off Stretford Road, close to the Zion Institute. Private Francis first writes in Decamber 1914 from Southport (home?) where he is recovering from illness. He writes a year later from Crowborough Camp in Sussex.

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Pte. 363, Royal Army Medical Corps, Divisional HQ Staff

Signs as "J B FRASER" but probably James Bishop FRASER born 1894 and living in Hulme/Moss Side 1911/1921 as an invoice clerk. (He is referred to in other Zion members' letters as "Bish" clearly a familiar name from his middle name). He may have been a reservist since as early as December 1914 he writes from Alexandria, from where he has moved to Abbassia by the following April. In July 1915 he writes from an undisclosed location as a member of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, which ties in with his entry into a theatre of war on 17 July 1915 as recorded on his medal card. He mentions Jim FLETCHER, George DODD, Jack BUNTING, Walter SEAL and Charles McFARLANE. After demobilisation, he married Enid LIGHTOWLER (possibly related to conscientious objector Gilbert LIGHTOWLER) on 9 June 1923 in the Zion Congregational Church.  His death is recorded in 1976.