Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1917, Private William Henry Allen, Private John Walker, Private Robert Grindley, and Private Samuel Bartley, 2nd/9th Battalion, the Manchester Regiment, were killed together on the Western Front when a mine exploded.
Private Allen (on the left in the photo), had been a mine worker in the New Moss Colliery in Ashton-under-Lyne, and joined the Manchester Regiment in September of 1914. Two days after he was killed, and two days before the news reached his mother, his father was one of forty-three people killed when the Hooley Hill Rubber and Chemical Works caught fire and exploded. William, from Ashton-under-Lyne, was 22 years old.
Private Walker (on the right in the photo) had been apprenticed to a painter and decorator and was an active member of local cricket and football clubs. He had joined the Manchest Regiment in the summer of 1915, and had been in France for four months at the time of his death. His commanding officer praised him for being a very efficient soldier, well-liked by all ranks. John, from Hurst in Berkshire, was 22 years old.
Sadly, no further information could be located at this time on Private Grindley, other than that he came from Chester.
Private Bartley was one of a family of seven children. He is commemorated on a memorial plaque in St. Nicholas’ Church in Burton-in-Wirral, Cheshire, and on his headstone are the words “The youngest is this day with our Father”. From Burton-in-Wirral, Samuel was 19 years old.
All four are buried in the Gorre British and Indian Cemetery at Pas de Calais in France.