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Folder Servicemen R-T

ROWSON, J; SEAL, Walter; TOM [Initials or forename?]; SMITH, Harold Edward; SMITH, Sydney; STOTTARD, N; SUMMER, Fred; SUMMERELL, Sid; SUMMERFIELD, Fred; TINGEY, William



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Driver, 138667, 7th Reserve Battery, Royal Field Artillery

Driver ROWSON's first letter is from Fulwood Camp at Preston, where he is awaiting deployment. He next writes from Egypt in early 1919 requesting Harold's assistance in getting him prioritised for demobilisation. Like Harold, he works for the Manchester Overseers of the Poor. Harold's intervention seems to have been successful as his final letter confirms his release.

pdf SEAL, Walter Garrick

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Private (later Corporal), 273, 2nd Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps

Walter Garrick SEAL was born in 1896 but was adopted by Sarah Ann BROWNE of Ashton-under-Lyne. He was posted to Egypt early in the war and stationed at Cairo. He subsequently served at Galliopli but either while there, or following his return, he developed malaria and bronchitis and was returned to England where he spent time in Battle War Hospital at Reading, from where his final letter was written in December 1916. His pension record shows that he was demobilised 0n 27 March 1917 which suggests that he did not return sufficiently to health to return to active service. Soon after his return, he married Florence Elizabeth SWIRE.  He mentions MAYOR, MILLAR, FLETCHER, FRASER and LAWTON, but only in so far as they were at Alexandria, 250 miles away, and he had not met them. He died in 1971.

pdf SMITH, Harold Edward

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Private, 784, 2/1 Battalion East Lancashire Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps

Harold Edward SMITH came from Hulme and writes between late 1915 and early 1916 from Tunbridge Wells, then later from Colchester. His service record shows that he served, from 29 Feb 1917 with the B.E.F. He writes mostly about Zion and mentions Frank MAYOR and Jim FRASER (hopes both will be well soon), Ted KITCHEN (much improved), George DODD (surprise at his promotion to sergeant), A. ANDERSON (remember me to him) and Bert BRYDEN.

pdf SMITH, Sydney

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D Company, 21st Battalion, Manchester Regiment

Sydney SMITH writes a single letter, postmarked 13 Jan 1915, from his billet/lodging in Morecambe. He provides no information to help identify him and does not appear in the listing for D Company in "Manchester City Battalions Roll of Honour".


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Possibly not a serviceman

A strange note in three small parts discussing a possible meeting between the author and Harold. The author, who gives a "care of" address at Sugar Brook Farm, Ashley, Altrincham, implies that Harold does not know him. He is possibly Norman STOTHARD who in 1911 was living in Barton Road, Stretford, then aged 18 and an apprentice shirt cutter.


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Private, 19945, H Co., 20th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers

Sid SUMMERELL writes this single letter from France around July/August 1916. He speaks of bombardment and reports that he is the only man of those who came out in his section to still be alive. He mentions Fred SUMMERS, who he had seen the previous day.

pdf SUMMERS, Fred

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Private, 22486, D Co., 23rd Service Battalion, Manchester Regiment

Fred SUMMERS writes first from various training establishments, then in May 1916 from France, where he tells of his dugout, surrounded by the graves of unknown British Soldiers. He describes it as a "trying time". He mentions John HYDE, Sidney SUMMERELL (met him), Mr. MAYOR (mentions his illness), Jack HANDFORD (over here) and Fred SUMMERSFIELD.


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Ordinary Seaman, Royal Navy - Various Vessels

Fred SUMMERSFIELD begins his correspondence from HMS Powerful at Devonport from where he expects to be posted to HMS Warspite. However, he serves successively on HMS Albion, HMS Prince George and HMS Honeysuckle. On this last ship, a minelayer, he writes of the evacuations from Suvla Bay and Salonika. he mentions FLETCHER (hoping he is better) and Mr. MAYOR.


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Private, 354171, 1/3rd Battalion, Royal Army Medical Corps

William (Bill) TINGEY writes from an undisclosed location in the Mediterranean, possibly Gallipoli. He was one of the older soldiers, born in 1883 and a married man. He mentions Fred SYRETT (out here), George DODD (small shrapnel wound and later promoted sergeant), Sergeant COWAN and Bert CHAMBERS.

pdf TOM Popular

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There is no information as to the name of the writer. He signs both letters 'TOM' but it is unclear whether this is his forename or his initials. He appears to be stationed in Egypt as he mentions a visit to Alex[andria]. He was initially confused with Tom ALSTON (above), who was also based in Egypt, but the writing, style and content differ significantly.