11th Bn
XX The Lancashire Fusiliers
1914 - 1918

Formed at Codford, September 1914, as part of K3. September 1914 :
attached to 74th Brigade, 25th Division.12 August 1918 : disbanded in France

Joel Halliwell VC

Born in Middleton on 29th December 1881, Lance Corporal Joel Halliwell was to be awarded the Victoria Cross for "...conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty".
On 27 May 1918, Halliwell was captured by the Germans and remained a prisoner with them for a short time before he managed to escape. On his way back to the British lines, seeing many wounded comrades lying on the ground, he mounted a stray German horse which he rode back to pick up a wounded man and brought him back to safety, in spite of heavy shellfire. He went on to repeat this process, back and forth, through heavy enemy gunfire, with no thought for his own safety, some ten times, until his horse received a severe wound and he could no longer continue.
Lance Corporal Halliwell was a modest man, maintaining that he had simply done as he was told and that any other man in his battalion would have done what he had done if they had the chance, as they never thought of anything but their duty.
He returned to Middleton amid public jubilation and a civic welcome by the Mayor and Mayoress of the borough.
Joel Halliwell died on the 14th June 1958.

Joel Halliwell VC

Lance Corporal Joel Halliwell of Parkfield, Middleton served in the Lancashire Fusiliers in World War 1. In 1918 he was captured by the Germans and was a prisoner before escaping back to the British territory. He was met with carnage along the way seeing many of his comrades lying wounded in the chaotic 'no mans land.' Finding a stray horse, he rode back through the heavy shell and gunfire to pick up the wounded from the battlefield and take them back to safety. Braving these terrifying conditions he was able to return and one by one, picked up 10 of his comrades until unfortunately the horse was fatally wounded. He then trekked well over a mile or so and back to bring water for the wounded. He modestly maintained that he had simply done what any comrade would have done having had the chance as it was only their duty. How he wasn't hit himself is nothing short of a miracle but saving his comrades was foremost on his mind rather than that of his own safety.

He returned to Middleton where he was celebrated a hero. Thousands rallied to witness the civic parade laid on to welcome Joel and to see this brave man of our town for themselves. He recieved the Victoria Cross for valour, the highest award possible and remains the only Middleton man to date to have recieved this honour. In all, 1,356 VC's have been awarded. Lance Corporal Halliwell was one of 19 Lancashire Fusiliers to recieve one.

He went on to get married, have 3 children and run The New Inn on Long St. He even tried to enlist to fight in WW2 but by this time, his age went against him and he was refused. He died in 1958 his funeral having full military honours and is buried in Boarshaw Cemetary.

Joel's Family visit the the Fusilier Museum

Joel Halliwell VC Road Naming Middleton

Joel Halliwell VC Road Naming Middleton 2

WW1 1915 Trio correctly named to 11038 PTE.R.LORD. LAN.FUS. Robert Lord was an original 1st Salford Pal (15th Lancashire Fusiliers) and he is in the book showing that he was in D Company of the 16th Platoon. He was aged 21 when he was killed in action on the 7/8/1917 with the 11th Lancashire Fusiliers. His address was 24 Regents Square, Salford, Manchester. And he is commemorated on the Menin Gate (Ypres Memorial

Died on 21/10/16
Private Edward Taylor.
11th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers.

They're were 18 men with the surname Taylor who were killed in the First World War from Middleton. Edward is the least known unfortunately, I do know he was born in Middleton, but that's as far as I know.
He’s laid to rest at Regina Trench Cemetery on the Somme battlefield.

But he’s not alone, as a fellow 11th Battalion man from Middleton, Private Fred Sinclair, is buried just a few feet from Edward.

Photo shows Regina Trench, which was the German front line from which the 11th Lancashire Fusiliers attacked on this day in 1916.

Died on 07/08/1917
Private Norman C Taylor
11th Lancashire Fusiliers

Driver Norman C. Taylor, of the Transport Section, Lancashire Fusiliers, died of wounds during 1917. He was only 19 years of age, and was the son of Mr. and Mrs. J.B Taylor, formerly of 24, Old Hall Street, Middleton, and now of Harpurhey.
Previous to joining the Army he was employed at the Irkdale Dyeworks. He attended Providence church regularly, as well as the Sunday School.

A very young looking photo of Norman, he is laid to rest at Menin Road South Military Cemetery, Belgium.

Died on 18/06/1917
Private Richard Hayes
11th Lancashire Fusiliers

Private Richard Hayes, of 74, Boardman Lane, Rhodes, was killed whilst fighting with the Lancashire Fusiliers in France in 1917.
This soldier who was employed by O, Ashworth & Co, Rhodes, and was a scholar at the Rhodes Wesleyan School and enlisted in December 1914.

An officer writing to his mother said. "I am very sorry to have to write to you about the death of your poor son. I can only say how awful sorry I and all the boys are to lose one of our best chaps. He was killed on the day that I arrived in the trenches to join the Battalion, so I did not know him long, but I heard all about him. Perhaps it will relieve you a little to know that it was killed out right by a shell, and that a proper service was given over him and a cross put up. Although nothing can take away your sorrow in your very great loss, I do hope it will bring you some little comfort sometimes to think that your son gave his life in the greatest cause any man ever did."

Private Hayes burial place was lost, so his name is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial in Belgium.

A William Hayes, his brother, was killed with the Lancashire Fusiliers 3 months later in September 1917.

Died on 20/04/1918
Private James Yates
11th Lancashire Fusiliers

It was only two days since Mr. Yates opened his mail at his home, at 23, Market Street, Middleton, amongst his usual letters there would have been a telegram from the War Office, informing him that his son, John, who was serving with the Warwickshire Regiment, was regrettably 'Killed in Action'
So just 48 hours later his quivering hands slowly opened another identical one, informing him that his other son James, was also regrettably 'Killed in Action'
His grief must have been beyond comprehension.

Just two names among many more that are commemorated on the Middleton Memorial, but each one of these names tells an individual story, one of sacrifice and utmost sorrow for the poor families left behind, but also the dreams and hopes of young lives tragically cut short.

Private James Yates is laid to rest at
Croix-Du-Bac British Cemetery, France.

Died on 18/05/1916
Private George Albert Moir
11th Lancashire Fusiliers

Private George A Moir, son of P.C and Mrs Moir, 53, Morton Street Middleton, and of the gallant Lancashire Fusiliers, was killed on May 18th 1916. A Comrade wrote. "He was killed by a rifle grenade. His death was instantaneous and he suffered no pain.
We had been together from the first. He enlisted about two days after me and we both did our training in England together. He was much respected by all the boys in the platoon, and they send their deepest sympathy. It will be some consolation to you to know that he died a hero's death, fighting for his King and country, and that he had a share in the honour recently won by our battalion."

Private Moir, aged only 19, is laid to rest at Ecoivres Military Cemetery, France.

48934 Pte Francis Taylor

enlisted into the 11th Bn of the Lancashire Fusiliers,he was then at Lower Stratton in Wilts.
He had previously served in the Hertfordshire Regiment with his Regimental number then being 10071.
In my experience,I believe that he had been wounded with the Herts regiment,been returned to the UK (Swindon) to recuperate and then re-enlisted into the LFs.
He was killed in action on the 1st April 1918.

Initials: F
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: Lancashire Fusiliers
Unit Text: 11th Bn.
Date of Death: 01/04/1918
Service No: 48934
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 4.

Francis his wife
Frances Lilian Dash

sent in by
Helen Williams
(Francis Granddaughter)

Captain Thomas Rufus, MC

"A Coy" 11th Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers. Killed in action 14/04/1918, aged 28.

Click here to go to
Ploegsteert Memorial

Pte Tom E. Sizer 11th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers

Killed in Action
23 March 1918

Rank: Private
Service No: 35032
Date of Death: 23/03/1918
Age: 34
Regiment/Service.11th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers
Panel Reference: Bay 5.
Additional Information:
Husband of Elizabeth Sizer, of 21, Fletcher St., Bury, Lancs.

The newspaper cutting below tells of a wall plaque, engraved with the name of Tom Sizer.
It was found in a scrap yard, and later hung over the bar in the Brickcroft Tavern, off Taylor St in Bury.
Keith Sizer contacted us and sent the newspaper cutting and asked where the plaque was now

The newspaper say's they handed the Plaque to the Museum (at Wellington barracks)
we could not find the plaque and no one in the Museum knew anything about it then on Remembrance Day 2007, Dennis was putting the photos on the web site and spotted this behind Paul Barton and Seth Adams at sometime the Plaque had been put on a wooden Plinth the photo was taken in the LF Club before it closed

Sent in by Keith Sizer's Grandson of Tom

Died 29/03/1917
Private John Dean
11th Lancashire Fusiliers

Private John Dean, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Dean, 77, Church Street, Middleton, died in France on March 29th, 1917. Information of the sad event was received in a letter from Private James Scott, his brother-in-law, who saw him the previous night when he was then apparently in good health.
That intimation of Dean's death came to him by a Middleton man, named Thomas Kent, of Wood Street, and it was quite a shock to Scot, to be told that he had died in bed. It appeared that he had at times been troubled with a cough, and it is thought he may have choked in a fit of coughing. The late soldier was 32 years of age, and was a beetler at the Stakehill Works, where he had been employed since he was 11 years of age. He enlisted in September 1914.

It's no wonder that young men of Middleton were quick to enlist at the outbreak of war to escape the mills.
Hard to believe he was working since he was eleven.

Private Dean is buried at Bailluel Communal Cemetery, France.

Private Thomas Shepley Holmes
11th Lancashire Fusiliers.

Thomas S. Holmes, son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Holmes, 79, Church Street, Middleton, was killed in the early days of 1917 whilst fighting with the 11th Lancashire Fusiliers in France.
The news of his death came to his parents through two sources, one of which was in a letter from his comrade Private John Dean, who stated that his friend was killed through the demolition of his dugout by a hostile shell.
Holmes, would have been 25 years of age in March of 1917, joined the 11th Lancashire Fusiliers a month after the outbreak of war, and after training was immediately sent to France. He was at one time invalided home to England, and had been in France again three months when he was killed. He was employed at the CWS Jam Works.

Private Holmes is laid to rest at the beautiful Berks Cemetery Extension, Belgium.

His mate, Private John Dean, also from Middleton, who was mentioned in the letter, died just two months later.

29468 Pte Walter Tomlinson

5353 Fusilier John Edmund West
11th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers
Died of gunshot wounds to the stomach and thigh 28.11.17 on a hospital ship in Malta.
He was a railway carriage cleaner before enlisting.


6033 L/Cpl John Beddow

John's DCM Medal

DCM citation

John is on front row
w ith arm in Bandage

John in later years
Click on any photo to enlarge

WW1 YMCA New Testament named on inside cover to Pte S R Fitton 11th Batt. Lanc. Fus. B.E.F. France. (Although initials could be F R or J R?). Has Lord Robert's August 1914 message to inside cover and at rear YMCA Plege