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9th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment
(Ashton Territorials or Ashton Pals)
Men from Denton who served with the 9th Battalion
Roll published on the 15 August 1914

When the Great War broke out Britain only had a small professional army but soon afterwards it became apparent that this was insufficient. Consequently, thousands of men volunteered for service in Lord Kitchener's New Armies. As part of this, it was realised that local ties could be harnessed and many more men would enlist if they could serve alongside their relatives, workmates and friends. The battalions they served with became known as Pals Battalions.

Although Pals Battalions were raised all over Britain most of them were raised in northern Britain. Men from towns and cities such as Accrington, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle enlisted in their thousands during 1914 and 1915.

Many of the Pals Battalions sustained heavy casualties and this had a severe impact on their communities. When conscription was introduced in January 1916 the Pals Battalion model was not repeated because of the devastating effect it was having on local communities.

On the 10 August 1914 Lord Kitchener announced that territorial forces could volunteer to serve overseas but the Ashton Territorial Force was below its permitted establishment, having only 24 officers and 888 men. This prompted a recruiting campaign and men from Ashton and the surrounding townships queued in Ashton to enlist.

At the outbreak of war most Territorial Force Battalions used the old eight Company system (lettered “A” to “H”) but this was changed to four (lettered “A” to “D”) shortly afterwards. In the four-Company system there were about 228 officers and men in a Company. Each Company was comprised of 16 Platoons with Platoons 1 to 4 in “A” Company and so on.

The headquarters of the 9th Battalion was at The Armoury on Old Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, while the headquarters and depot of the Manchester Regiment was at Ladysmith Barracks on Mossley Road, Ashton-under-Lyne. Only the gateway and flanking wall of the former barracks survive and these were listed Grade II on the 2 December 1986, List Entry No. 1309509.

Private, Pte; Acting Lance Corporal, A/L/Cpl; Lance Corporal, L/Cpl; Acting Corporal, A/Cpl; Corporal, Cpl;
Acting Serjeant, A/Sjt; Acting Colour Serjeant, A/Col/Sjt; Serjeant, Sjt.

Name Rank Service
"A" Company
EARNSHAW James Pte then L/Cpl 1000 9 June 1915 Mount Pleasnt Rd
MOTTERSHEAD James Thomas Pte 1958 then 47347 Discharged Seymour Street
THICKETT Frank DCM Pte then Sjt 1969 then 350516 21 March 1918 Thornleys Rd
"B" Company
MATLEY Ernest Cecil Pte then Cpl 1445 then 350218 Discharged
MOORES George William Pte 1422 then 201601
in Labour Corps
Demobilised James Court
PARKINS Alfred Pte then A/L/Cpl 497 then 203481
in Lancashire Fusiliers
Discharged Ashton Road
RADCLIFFE Thomas Pte then Sjt 1199 then 350103
& 3516726
Demobilised Wilde St
ROWLAND William Pte then A/Sjt 1451 then 350221 Demobilised Manchester Rd
SEDDON John Pte then A/Col/Sjt 1916 then 350483 Demobilised
WILLIAMS James Pte 1201 then 350104 Discharged Kynder St
"C" Company
RICHARDSON Henry Pte 463 Discharged Grosvenor St
"D" Company
BOSWELL George Pte 1566 Discharged Stockport Rd
EASTWOOD John Pte 1664 then 238341
in Hereford Regt
Demobilised Ashton Rd
WOODRUFF Percy Pte then A/Cpl 1659 then 350346 Demobilised Tame St
"E" Company
WINDED Thomas Cpl then Sjt 1550 then 350274 Demobilised Osborne Rd
"F" Company
WATSON Percy Lawrence Pte 1758 25 June 1915 James Court
"G" Company
PURCER John Richard Pte 1874 then 235725
in East Lancashire Regt
Demobilised Charles St
"H" Company
ADSHEAD Arthur MM Pte 1644 then 350336 Demobilised Manchester Rd
ADSHEAD William Pte 1863 15 August 1915 Manchester Rd
ANDREWS John William1 Pte 1314 29 August 1915
BOON Fred Pte 1459 Demobilised Milton St
COOK John Wright Pte 350228 23 March 1918 Ashton Rd
HARTLEY Ellis Lee Pte 1624 Discharged
KELLY Edward Pte 1922 12 July 1915 Water St
LATHAM Archibald DCM Pte 350367 Demobilised Stockport Rd
MOSS Harold Pte 1628 then 350325 Demobilised Lyndhurst Ave
TURNER Harry Cooke Pte 1630 Discharged Hyde Rd
WILMOT Harry Pte 1783 Discharged Booth St

1ANDREWS John William transferred to "D" Company.

Left: Cap badge of the Manchester Regiment.
Right: Shoulder badge of the 9th (Ashton Territorials/Ashton Pals) Battalion, Manchester Regiment.

The Cheshire Reporter for Saturday, 15 August 1914.
Surviving attestation records show that some of these men had enlisted for volunteer territorial service prior to the 15 August 1914. This roll should, therefore, be taken as a record of their mobilisation for active service.

Volunteers who enlisted in a territorial battalion were defined as being 'embodied' and when they left they were defined as being 'disembodied'. Disembodied volunteers could be called upon to serve again as long as they were medically fit. Here the usual military terms of 'discharged' and 'demobilised' have been used.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is as accurate as possible but it cannot be guaranteed that it is so in every instance.

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