16th Service Battalion
( 2nd Salford Pals)
The XX Lancashire Fusiliers
1914 - 1918
The 16th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers were known as The 2nd Salford Pals, the battalion was raised in Salford on the 15th of November 1914, by Mr Montague Barlow MP and the Salford Brigade Committee. They began training near home and on the 28 December 1914 they moved to Conway for training. They became part of the 96th Brigade, 32nd Division and moved in May 1915 to concentrate in Shropshire at Prees Heath. The camp was found to be too wet for training and the Division moved on the 21st of June 1915 to Catterick in North Yorkshire. using the firing ranges at Strenshall. In August 1915 they moved for final training and firing practice at Codford on Salisbury Plain. They proceeded to France, landing at Boulogne on the 22nd of November 1915. Their first taste of action was at Thiepval Ridge on The Somme on the 1st of July 1916, the battle resulted in the Salford Pals being almost wiped out. The battalion was reinforced and saw action throughout the war. In 1917 they were involved in Operations on the Ancre and the pursuit of the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line. In 1918 they were in action on the Somme and in the Battles of the Hindenburg Line and the Final Advance in Picardy
Died on this day 06/02/1918
Sergeant Robert Tait
16th Lancashire Fusiliers.
Sergeant Robert Tait, of the
Lancashire Fusiliers, died from wounds in February 6th, 1918. This soldier
was 21 years of age, and resided at Park Street, Middleton.
Sergeant Tait is buried at Mendinghem, Military Cemetery, Belgium.
British troops who found themselves
at these CCS during the war, jokingly nicknamed them. Mendinghem, Dozinghem
On 18 November, the final day of the Battle of the Somme, the 97th Infantry Brigade advanced across no-mans-land in driving sleet, and headed for the German front and support lines on Redan Ridge. Despite some men reaching the enemys positions, they were too few in number to hold them. By dusk all the remaining soldiers had been pushed back, or so it was thought.
On Redan Ridge, unknown to the British, a party of 120 men still held a portion of Frankfurt Trench and remained there in isolation, with the enemy completely unaware of their presence. This didnt last for long. On 20 November 1916 the Germans launched their first attack, which was beaten off by the beleaguered troops.
The following day a non-commissioned officer and one of the men from the trapped party broke back through enemy lines and alerted the British to their predicament. An attempt later that night to bring back the marooned troops failed, as the rescuers were unable to breach the German front trench.
By this time, the occupiers had run out of food and rations. Some of the stranded men volunteered to go out into no-mans-land to take supplies from the bodies of dead soldiers. A second German attack was repelled on 23 November, although by now the situation for the stranded men was becoming perilous. Over half of them were wounded and the lack of supplies was becoming desperate.
Lieutenant George Higginson was a 28-year-old teacher from Worcestershire who enlisted at the outbreak of war. Until his commission came through in December 1914, George underwent training with the 19th Royal Fusiliers at their camp in Woodcote Park, Epsom. The battalion eventually landed in France in September 1915.
Less than two months later, George was injured by an explosion during grenade instruction at Bayonvillers on the Somme. The extent of the wounds to Georges right arm were so severe that he was evacuated back to Britain for treatment. After leaving hospital, George was transferred into a different battalion of his regiment.
Zero hour was 3.30pm on 23 November. George and his Lancashire Fusiliers, along with the 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, advanced under the cover of an intense artillery barrage. Initial progress was encouraging. Munich Trench, the German front line, was reached and occupied without too much opposition, but then the Germans emerged from their dug-outs to launch counter-attacks against the British. Fierce fighting at close quarters took place.
Despite the ensuing struggle, George and some of his men managed to cross the Munich Trench and head towards Frankfurt in search of their trapped comrades. But no further progress towards the stranded men was made.
On 29 November, George Higginsons widowed mother received a telegram from the Army stating that they had received information that George had been wounded, and the authorities began making enquiries.
Statements were taken from seven soldiers who attacked alongside George. The contradictory nature of some of these statements revealed how difficult it was to accurately recall events that took place under extreme conditions. Accounts contradicted each other hugely as to what had happened to him. Finally, a Sergeant Holt said that Higginson was between the German first and second lines when he was hit by machine-gun fire. When Holt went to his assistance he found that George was already dead and so he dragged him into a shell hole and covered him with a waterproof sheet.
On 20 March 1917, the War Office wrote again to Georges mother, sending their deep regrets, but stating that they believed he had been killed somewhere between Munich and Frankfurt Trenches on 23 November. Georges body was recovered and he was laid to rest in Waggon Road Cemetery.
The men stranded in the German trench were never rescued and managed to hold out for another couple of days. By the time that they came to surrender, after another severe enemy attack, only 15 unwounded soldiers were able to stagger out of Frankfurt Trench and hand themselves over to the Germans.
Thanks to Mike Murray and http://www.nam.ac.uk
Sent in by Pat Hackett (her uncle) in Australia
11434 Private Walter Wood
16th Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers
Date of Death: 05/04/1918
QUESNOY FARM MILITARY CEMETERY
Walter and has wife Louisa
sent in by Angela Hulse
This is a picture of my grandad, Private Thomas Dunn Regimental Number 15061, of the 16th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers (2nd Salford Pals). Taken whilst training in Conway, I think. Please can he be added to the gallery on the Lancs Fusiliers website. Grandad survived the slaughter, but never talked much about it (or else I was too young to listen properly).
Grandad's brother in law, Harold Ferguson, (husband of Martha Dunn) was the first of the Salford Pals to be killed, on 23.12.1915.
Name: John William Baron
Birth Place: Rochdale, Lancs
Death Date: 3 Apr 1918
Death Location: France & Flanders
Enlistment Location: Rochdale
Regiment: Lancashire Fusiliers
Battalion: 16th Battalion
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre
16th Bn (2nd Salford Pals) Lancashire
Hastings J (Coy Sgt Mj), Douglas W J (Coy Q M S), Bradshaw S J (Sergt, )Burns T (Sergt, )Masterton R (Sergt), Brooks W (Sergt)
Private Matthew Lomax
Click here to go to
Lomax family tree
51469 Private John William Slade MM
Date of Death: 05/11/1918 died from wounds
16th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers (2nd Salford Pals)
John was awarded the MM "Posthumously" for the action in the capture of Ramicourt (Hindenburg Line) on the 2nd October 1918
during which he was mortally wounded and died of his wounds on the 5th November 1918 "The award was announced in the London Gazette on the 14th May 1919"
PREMONT BRITISH CEMETERY
Grave ReferenceII. E. 13.
Son of William and Elizabeth Slade, of 18, Crosland Terrace, Helsby, Warrington, Cheshire.
Date of Death:02/10/1918
Awards:D S O
Grave ReferenceB. 12.
CemeteryHANCOURT BRITISH CEMETERY
Son of Emily Frances Stone, of 21, Vanbrugh Park, Blackheath, London, and the late Edward Stone.
Arthur's Brother was Walter Napleton Stone VC 3rd Bn Royal Fusiliers Click here for more details of Walter
These are pics of 37789 Samuel Kershaw of the 16th Bn .
Born 28/03 1894 died in Stepping Hill Hospital 22/01/1964.
sorry the bottom 3 will not enlarge
Sent in by grandaughter Barbara Marshall. 20 November 2011.
Taken from the Bury Times
24 Lurgan Ave Fulham London.
Died 27 Jan 1966 in Wolverhampton aged 74 of pneumonia
12019 Sgt Arthur Sidney Smith served in 8 Platoon of B Company 16th Bn the Lancashire Fusiliers
( The Second Salford Pals)
His Company Commander was Captain T F Tweed and his CSM was W Robinson.
His PLatoon Commander was Lt
C W Smith.
He rescued 4 men after a mine
explosion and also made a gallant attempt to rescue a fifth man who
was lying out in the open with wounds.
He was later transferred to
the Labour Corp as he had received a war wound, and became entitled
to the Silver War Wound Badge (SWB).
It is believed that William is one of the men who owed his life to Sgt Smith.
57334 Private Leslie Shilton
11557 Private JOHN JARDINE,
Date of Death: 22/03/1916
Killed in action of wounds
March 22nd 1916.
He enlisted in Salford in 1916 and was placed in 12 Platoon C Coy 16th bn .
His OC was captain R B Knott,his CSM was F A Ford.
His Platoon Commander was Lt F J Hick and his Platoon Sgt was Sgt G Johnson.
Corporal Harry Lloyd BIDMEAD
Service No:12590, aged 23. Buried in Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, Pas-de-Calais, France.
The Victoria Cross
Neville Marshall VC,MC and bar,Croix de Guerre (Belgium),
The first party was soon killed or wounded, but by personal example he inspired and volunteers were instantly forthcoming. Under intense fire and with complete disregard of his own safety, he stood on the bank encouraging his men and assisting in the work, and when the bridge was repaired, attempted to rush across at the head of his Battalion and was killed doing so.
The passage of the canal was
of vital importance, and the gallantry displayed by all ranks was largely
due to the inspiring example set by Lt-Col Marshall MC
The first party was completely wiped out by
enemy fire, but Lt Marshall courageously led another group into the
fray, inspiring volunteers to follow him to the bridge. When the bridge
was finished he tried to run across it on his own to take on the German
soldiers, but was quickly shot and killed as he did so
Name in a tunnel before soldiers death on the Somme
THE year is 1916 and behind the front lines of the Somme a young soldier sits in a cramped, dark tunnel waiting his turn to be called above ground to face almost certain death.
For Kearsley soldier 11789 Private Harold Mottershead, of the Lancashire Fusiliers' 2nd Salford Pals, time hung heavy. And as he waited, he carved his name and battalion details on the tunnel walls, to ease the agony and to show he was there.
Within hours, the young married man was dead killed in the first attack on Thiepval one of thousands of British troops lost on the nation's costliest day of a brutal war. His body was never found and he was listed missing in action.
Decades went by and poppies covered the French fields where so many died, and the graffiti in the tunnels from the long-dead hands of British and Canadian soldiers lay undisturbed.
The passages under the church in the village of Bouzincourt, originally created in the Middle Ages to allow local people to hide from invaders such as the Vikings, became dangerous and hard to reach.
But a village official found his way through them to photograph the graffiti as a record of the "war to end all wars".
And a former Bolton woman, who had married a Frenchman and made her life in the area, deciphered them.
Paula Kesteloot, formerly Flanagan, is an ex-Farnworth Grammar School and Bolton South Sixth Form College student who is now teaching languages in French primary and secondary schools.
She knows a great deal about the First World War and its local connections; she worked as a translator and text writer for the Somme trench museum and runs battlefield walks.
She lives in Albert, which was a British garrison town on the western front of the Somme battlegrounds, and was intrigued by the soldiers' wartime words, especially those of Pte Motterhead, who came from Kearsley where she grew up.
"All I know is that his wife at the time, Nancy Mottershead, became Nancy Street and her later address was 434 Manchester Road, Kearsley.
"It was very moving when I read the words the soldiers wrote then, and I just thought that the families and remaining relatives would like to know about how they spent their final hours before they died," Paula explained.
She also wants them to know that, in spite of the years and the distance, the soldiers are not forgotten in 2006. Young pupils in her primary school, Notre Dame, are each adopting one of the 20 soldiers identified from the tunnels as part of the 90th anniversary of the Somme battle on July 1.
They will write a poem for each soldier, and read them at ceremonies at the two cemeteries where the soldiers are buried or whose names are on the famous Thiepval Monument.
Then they will place their poem and a poppy for each soldier's name on the graves to show that, in the hearts of a new French generation, this corner of a French battlefield will be forever England.
l Paula Kesteloot wishes to
thank Neil Drum for his book, God's Own, and the Lancashire Fusiliers
Museum in Bury in her battlefield researches.