Fifty six men who served with the Chorley Pals were killed in action, died of wounds or illness during or shortly after World War One.
Their names are listed here by their final resting place or where they are commemorated on battlefield rather than local memorials.
Of the 56, nearly half have no known graves and are commemorated on a number of memorials to the missing on The Western Front.
France: The Somme
The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20th March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. The memorial also serves as an Anglo-French Battle Memorial in recognition of the joint nature of the 1916 offensive and a small cemetery containing equal numbers of Commonwealth and French graves lies at the foot of the memorial. The memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, was built between 1928 and 1932 and unveiled by the Prince of Wales, in the presence of the President of France, on 31st July 1932. The dead of other Commonwealth countries who died on the Somme and have no known graves are commemorated on national memorials elsewhere.
Each year a major ceremony is held at the memorial on 1st July. The ceremony on 1st July 2006 to mark the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, was attended by members of the Royal Family and the President of France. HRH Prince Charles and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, laid wreaths at a service attended by an estimated 4,000 people; BBC Television News covered the event.
The Thiepval Memorial can be found on the D73, off the main Bapaume to Albert road (D929). There is an excellent Visitor Centre and a large car and coach park adjacent to the site.
There are twenty two Chorley Pals commemorated on the Memorial – 21 killed on the 1st July 1916 attacking the German positions in the village of Serre and another less than 3 weeks later.
BERRY, Thomas Pt. 15526 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 27
BRETHERTON, William Pt. 16070 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 41
BRINDLE, Francis Pt. 15159 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 20
CARR, William Pt. 16006 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 20
COWELL, John William Pt. 15644 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 26
DICKINSON, James Pt. 15957 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 17
ENDERBY, Joseph Pt. 15646 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 23
ENTWISTLE, Carswell L/Cpl. 15437 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 25
GREEN, William Pt. 15164 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 25
HURST, John Pt. 15862 Kia 26.8.1916, aged 23
IDDON, Richard Pt. 16059 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 28
LANG, Austin Sgt. MM 15657 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 31
LORD, Alfred Hopkinson Pt. 16015 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 21
MARSDEN, Frank Sgt. 15939 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 33
PARRY, Owen Thomas Cpl. 15539 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 23
PENDLEBURY, Richard Pt. 15448 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 28
RATCLIFFE, William Pt. 15540 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 22
ROBINSON, Thomas Pt. 15449 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 28
ROLLINS, Seth Pt. 15964 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 21
SAUNDERS, Leonard L/Cpl. 15966 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 27
SPEAKMAN, James Pt. 15673 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 29
UNSWORTH, Herbert Pt. 15866 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 34
WARD, John Edward Pt. 15351 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 22
Queens Cemetery, Serre
Located in No Man’s Land in front of the Pals trenches, facing the village of Serre (or Puisieux-les-Serre, to give its correct title).
The village was taken by Commonwealth forces on the 28th February 1917, lost on the 26th March 1918 and recovered on the following 21st August. In the spring of 1917, the battlefields of the Somme and Ancre were cleared by V Corps and a number of new cemeteries were made. Queens Cemetery (originally known as Queens V Corps Cemetery No. 4) is on the old front line of July 1916, south of Mark Copse (one of four small plantations that were on or close behind the line between Serre and Hebuterne). The graves are of casualties of the 31st, 3rd and 19th Divisions who died in July and November 1916, and February 1917. There are now 311 First World War burials in the cemetery, 131 of them unidentified. The cemetery was designed by N.A. Rew.
The large village of Puisieux is 5 kilometres north of Albert and 26 kilometres south of Arras. The easiest way to reach the cemetery is to follow the D919 from Arras (sometimes indicated as N319), through the villages of Ayette, Bucquoy and Puisieux. Continue along this road, through the tiny village of Serre-les-Puisieux, until you come to a large farm surrounded by tall poplar trees and adjacent to the large Serre Road Cemetery No.1. On your right you will see a set of CWGC direction signs indicating the way to a group of small cemeteries and the Sheffield Memorial Park. Queens Cemetery Puisieux is the second cemetery along the dirt track and is situated in open fields facing the memorial park. (N.B. the track from the main road is not suitable for cars and you are advised to park by Serre Road Cemetery No.1 and walk – you will be walking across No Man’s Land towards the British trenches).
There are six members of the Chorley Pals buried in the Cemetery, all killed in action on the morning of the 1st July 1916; their bodies were not found until March, 1917.
ASTLEY, Robert L/Cpl. 15433 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 31
BOLTON, William Pt. 15641 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 25
GRIMSHAW, Thomas Sgt. 16011 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 36
HITCHON, James Foldys Lt. Kia 1.7.1916, aged 21
PENDLEBURY, James Pt. 158031 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 21
TOOTELL, William Pt. 15676 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 21
Serre Road No. 3 Cemetery
Located close to Queens Cemetery in No Man’s Land in front of the Pals trenches facing the village of Serre, it was made by the V Corps in the spring of 1917. There are over 80 casualties buried in this site, including two Chorley Pals.
HULL, Jack Pt. 15857 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 20
WIDDOP, Clarence Pt. Kia 1.7.1916, aged 18
Euston Road Military Cemetery, Colincamps
Colincamps is a village further along the D919 in the direction of Albert and “Euston” was a road junction a little east of the village, within the Allied lines before the Somme offensive of July 1916. The cemetery was started as a front line burial ground during and after the unsuccessful attack on Serre on 1st July, but after the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line in March 1917 it was scarcely used. The cemetery now contains 1,293 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War.
BLACKSTONE, John L/Cpl. 16057 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 23
CLARKSON, William Cpl. 15956 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 22
HARDMAN, Harry Pt. 15855 Kia 1.7.1916, aged 43
Sailly-Saillisel British Cemetery
Sailly-Saillisel British Cemetery is 16 kilometres east of Albert and 10 kilometres south of Bapaume on the Somme battlefield. Standing at the north end of a ridge, it was the objective of French attacks in September and October 1916, and was captured on 18th October. The village remained in Allied hands until 24th March 1918 when it was lost during the German advance, but was recaptured by the 18th and 38th (Welsh) Division on 1st September 1918. The cemetery was made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from small burial grounds and isolated positions, chiefly south and east of the village. The cemetery now contains 765 burials and commemorations of the First World War, with one Chorley pal amongst them.
WOODS, Stephen Pt. 15547 Kia 17.1.1917, aged 33
Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt L’Abbe
Mericourt-l’Abbe is a village approximately 19 kilometres north-east of Amiens and 10 kilometres south-west of Albert. A number of Casualty Clearing Stations were at Heilly from April 1916 until June 1917. The cemetery was begun in May 1916 and contains 2,890 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery, a Chorley Pal amongst them.
RIGBY, William Geoffrey Morris Lt. Dow 7.7.1916, aged 20
Beauval Communal Cemetery
Beauval is a village on the main road (N25) between Amiens and Doullens, about 24 kilometres north of Amiens. The 4th Casualty Clearing Station was at Beauval from June 1915 to October 1916 and the 47th from October to December 1916. The great majority of the burials were carried out from these hospitals, but a few were made as late as March 1918. Beauval Communal Cemetery contains two Chorley Pals amongst 248 Commonwealth burials.
ELLISON, Wilfred Pt. 15267 Died 25.5.1916 of appendicitis, aged 21
LAWRENSON, John Pt. 15658 Dow 4.7.1916, aged 30
Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimillie near Boulogne
Terlincthun British Cemetery is situated on the northern outskirts of Boulogne in the village of Wimille. The first rest camps for Commonwealth forces were established near Terlincthun in August 1914 and during the whole of the First World War, Boulogne and Wimereux housed numerous hospitals and other medical establishments. The cemetery at Terlincthun was begun in June 1918 and now contains more than 3,300 burials, as well as one Chorley Pal.
MAGRATH, Andrew Pt. 15860 d. 21.11.1918 (Illness)
Arras Memorial to the Missing
The French handed over the Arras to Commonwealth forces in the spring of 1916. The memorial, located to the west of the town on the Boulevard du General de Gaulle, commemorates almost 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand who died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and 7th August 1918, and have no known grave. There is just one Chorley Pal commemorated on the panels.
AINSWORTH, Eli Cpl. 15156 Kia 13.5.1917, aged 32.
THOMPSON, John L/Cpl. 15675 Kia 31.3.1918, aged 32
Highland Cemetery, Roclincourt
Roclincourt is a village east of the road from Arras to Lens and was just within the British lines before the Battles of Arras in 1917. It was from the village that the 51st (Highland) and 34th divisions advanced on the 9th April, 1917. Highland Cemetery was made (under the name of Roclincourt Forward Cemetery No. 1) when the battlefields were cleared after the 9th April, 1917. There is just one Chorley Pal buried amongst 300 other men.
FADDEN, Michael Cpl. 15958 Kia 9/4/1917, aged 39
Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun
Duisans and Etrun are villages in the Department of the Pas-de-Calais, about 9 kilometres west of Arras. Most of the graves in the cemetery relate to the Battles of Arras in 1917, and the trench warfare that followed. There are now 3,205 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery, including one Chorley Pal.
LOWE, James Pt. 15660 Dow 21.10.1917, aged 21
St. Pol Communal Cemetery
The town of St Pol is about 29 kilometres south-west of Bethune and 34 kilometres north west of Arras. St. Pol-sur-Ternoise was an administrative centre during the whole of the war, taken over by British troops from the French in March, 1916; and No. 12 Stationary Hospital was posted on the race-course near the town from the 1st June, 1916, to 1st June, 1919. The Extension was made alongside the “Cimetiere Thuillier” (which is more than 500 years old) by the French Tenth Army, and in March, 1916, the British Plot was added in the South-West quarter. A Chorley Pal is one of over 200 casualties buried in this site.
GASKELL, Thomas Pt. 15438 Dow 18.7.1916
Ste. Catherine British Cemetery, Arras
Ste. Catherine is a village, just north of the town of Arras. From March 1916 to the Armistice, Ste. Catherine was occupied by Commonwealth forces and for much of that time it was within the range of German artillery fire. The cemetery was started in March 1916 and used by the divisions and field ambulances stationed on that side of Arras until the autumn of 1917. The cemetery was enlarged after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the surrounding area. Ste Catherine British Cemetery contains 339 First World War burials, including one Chorley Pal.
COLLIER, George A/Sgt. 15156 Kia 13.5.1917, aged 23
Lowrie British Cemetery, Havrincourt
Havrincourt is a village in the Department of the Pas de Calais, about 12 kilometres south-west of Cambrai and just north of Havrincourt Wood. It was stormed by the 62nd (West Riding) Division on 20th November 1917. It was lost on 23rd March 1918, but it was retaken on 12th September by the 62nd Division, who held it against a counter-attack the following day. Lowrie Cemetery was made by the 3rd Division Burial Officer at the beginning of October 1918, and named after him. The original 211 burials were increased after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefields on all sides of Havrincourt. There is just one Chorley Pal buried here, probably being re-buried from his original resting place.
HART, James L/Cpl. 15440 Kia 27.9.1918, aged 22
Loos Memorial to the Missing
The memorial is located in Dud Corner Cemetery near to the village of Loos-en-Gohelle, near Lens and the name is believed to be due to the large number of unexploded enemy shells found in the neighbourhood after the Armistice. The Loos Memorial forms the side and back of the Cemetery, and commemorates over 20,000 officers and men who have no known grave, who fell in the area from the River Lys across to east and west of Grenay. There is one Chorley Pal amongst those commemorated.
LANCASTER, James Pt. 15656 Kia 2.10.1916, aged 27
Cinq-Rues Cemetery, Hazebrouck
Hazebrouck is a town 12 kilometres west of Bailleul and the border with Belgium, whilst Cinq rues British Cemetery lies 3 kilometres west of the town. The cemetery was used chiefly by the field ambulances and fighting units of the 29th Division from April to August 1918 for the burial of Commonwealth casualties sustained during the German offensive. There are 226 First World War burials in the cemetery, including one Chorley Pal.
HUNTER, Henry Pt. 15651 Kia 21.4.1918, aged 25
Outtersteene Communal Cemetery Extension, Bailleul
Outtersteene is a village about 5 kilometres south-west of Bailleul, and was captured by the III Corps on 13th October 1914. In August 1917, during the Third Battle of Ypres, the 2nd, 53rd and 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Stations came to Outtersteene, and the first and last of these remained until March 1918. The hamlet was captured by the Germans on 12th April 1918, and retaken by the 9th, 29th and 31st Divisions, with the ridge beyond it, on 18th and 19th August, but the cemetery was not used again during hostilities. A Chorley Pal is amongst the 1,393 men buried in the cemetery.
PILKINGTON, George William Pt. 15862 Dow 20.12.1917, aged 22
Aval Wood Military Cemetery, Vieux-Berquin
Vieux-Berquin is a village 8 kilometres south-west of Bailleul and a similar distance south-east of Hazebrouck. The Battle of Hazebrouck (one of the Battles of the Lys), including the Defence of Nieppe Forest, lasted from 12th to 15th April 1918 and the village was lost on the 13th. The cemetery was made in June and August 1918, largely by the 11th Battalions of the East Yorkshire and East Lancashire Regiments – the latter being the Battalion of Chorley Pal, Richard Whatmough who is buried along with 409 other Commonwealth soldiers.
WATMOUGH, Richard Pt. 15968 Kia 26.6.1918, aged 26
Etretat Churchyard, near Le Havre
Etretat is a small seaside town about 26 kilometres north of Le Havre, 140 Kilometres south west of Abbeville. In December 1914, No 1 General Hospital was established in Etretat and it remained there until December 1918. In July 1917, it was taken over by No 2 (Presbyterian USA) Base Hospital Unit but it continued to operate as a British hospital. In February 1915, two plots were set aside for Commonwealth burials in the churchyard and now contains 264 Commonwealth burials of the First World, including one Chorley Pal.
MAKINSON, James Pt. 15960 Dow 9.7.1916, aged 19
Bois Guillaume Communal Cemetery Extension, Rouen
Bois-Guillaume is a north-eastern suburb of the city of Rouen, 80 Kilometres south west of Abbeville. The extension adjoining Boisguillaume Communal Cemetery was begun in March 1917, most of the burials being made from No 8 General Hospital quartered at Boisguillaume in a large country house and grounds. The communal cemetery contains 320 First World War graves and that of one Chorley Pal.
GREENWOOD, William Pt. 15854 Dow 8.9.1917, aged 32
Belgium: Ypres Salient
Menin Gate Memorial
The Menin Gate is one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the area known as the Ypres Salient. The site of was chosen because of the hundreds of thousands of men who passed through the gate in the wall of the town on their way to the battlefields. It commemorates those of all Commonwealth nations (except New Zealand) who died in the Salient, in the case of United Kingdom casualties before 16th August 1917. Those United Kingdom and New Zealand servicemen who died after that date are named on the memorial at Tyne Cot, a site which marks the furthest point reached by Commonwealth forces in Belgium until nearly the end of the war.
The Menin Gate Memorial now bears the names of more than 54,000 officers and men whose graves are not known. It was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield, with sculpture by Sir William Reid-Dick, and was unveiled by Field Marshal Plumer on the 24th July 1927. In his address he said ‘It can be said of each one in whose honour we are assembled here today, “he is not missing, he is here”.’
Located close to the centre of Ypres, each evening at 8.00 p.m. members of the local Fire Brigade play the Last Post at the Memorial. Besides a period during World War Two, it has been sounded each night since July 1927. There is just one Chorley Pal commemorated on the memorial.
CALDERBANK, Henry Pt. 15845 Kia 3.8.1917, aged 33
Dozinghem Military Cemetery
The cemetery is located to the north-west of Poperinghe, near Krombeke. The area of Westvleteren was outside the front held by Commonwealth forces in Belgium during the First World War, but in July 1917, in readiness for the forthcoming offensive, groups of casualty clearing stations were placed at three positions called by the troops ‘Mendinghem’, ‘Dozinghem’ and ‘Bandaghem’. The 4th, 47th and 61st Casualty Clearing Stations were posted at Dozinghem and the military cemetery was used by them until early in 1918. There are now 3,174 Commonwealth burials of the First World War in the cemetery, with just one Chorley Pal amongst them.
CUTLER, Ernest Sgt. 15645 Dow 6.10.1917, aged 23
New Irish Farm Cemetery, St. Jean les Ypres
The cemetery is located to the north east of the town of Ypres (Ieper). New Irish Farm Cemetery was first used from August to November 1917, and again in April and May 1918. At the Armistice it contained just 73 burials but was then greatly enlarged when more than 4,500 graves were brought in from the battlefields north-east of Ypres (now Ieper) and from numerous smaller cemeteries in the area. A Chorley Pal is amongst 4,715 commonwealth servicemen buried or commemorated in this cemetery.
THOMPSON, Joseph Alexander Cpl. 18971 Dow 7.9.1918, aged 32.
The Cemetery is located on Southport Road and contains the graves of two Chorley Pals who died in the U.K. from illness. There are 57 other soldiers from Chorley buried in the Cemetery who died during both World Wars; their graves are marked with the usual white CWGC headstones.
MILTON, George Pt. 15538 Died 1.2.1915 of pneumonia, aged 21
RILEY, Robert Pt. 16021 Died 16.11.1916 of pneumonia, aged 44
Brindle St. James’ C of E Church
The parish church of Brindle is located in the centre of the village, on the B5256 from the A6 at Clayton Green heading towards Blackburn.
SHARPLES, Joseph Pt.15542 Died 22.2.1919 of pneumonia, aged 25
Compiling and writing this feature was made considerably easier by consulting the book ‘Chorley Pals’, written by local WW1 Historian John Garwood, an authority on the Chorley Pals. It was published in 1989 and up-date in 1992; copies are available from Astley Hall in Chorley priced £3.75, and on loan from Chorley Library.
Cemetery and memorial information in France and Belgium courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Photographs (unless stated otherwise) are the Author’s © Steve Williams 2007