Broadbottom Community Association

History Project

World War I: Casualties and Survivors




Hudson Ashworth              died Ypres          26.7.17       lived at 18 Bank Gate

Frank Beard                        died  Belgium     26.4.18      lived at Ashlar House

Harold Beard                      died of wounds  30.10.18     brother of Frank

Archie Birtwhistle              died of wounds    2.11.16     lived at 14 Bank Gate

Albert Broadbent              died of wounds  13.10.18     aged 21

Frank Brown died 2.2.20 served at Somme went a.w.o.l after mother’s funeral

Clarence Chatterton                           died     5.11.17     aged 26

Eric Cumming                 died of wounds at Montauban 13. 7.16   aged 25

Arthur Dawson                    died Bilgny           30.5.18    aged 35

Robert Etchells  died of meningitis in hospital 10.7.16   lived at the Bungalow  

James Hadfield captured near Ypres died as POW 30.10.18 lived 5 Brick St

Fred Hall                                died at Rieux      11.10.18    lived at 15 Well Row

Ira Hall                                    died at Loos        25.5.16  lived at Lower Market St

Harold Hancock          died at Passchendaele   9.10.17   lived at 16 Market St

Charles Hemmings   died near Armentieres   17.4.17     lived 84 Mottram Rd

Fred Higginbottom died of pneumonia at Etaples 11.6.17 lived at 88 Mottram Rd

John Ibbotson died at Boezinghe                           26.7.16 lived at 5 Lymefield Terrace

Albert Littlewood missing in action Menin Gate     25.5.15  lived 23 Old St

Alec McCulloch               killed in action Aubers     30.9.18

Harry Porter                     died Laventie                  12.3.18  lived 17 Summerbottom

Fred Robinson died Masnieres, Hindenburg Line  24.11.17  aged 32

Arthur Sidebottom died of wounds at Arras           15.6.17   lived 60 Crescent Row

Ben Sidebottom      died at Becordelbecourt          12.2.16  aged 28 brother of Arthur

Tom Slack    died of wounds Beaumont Hamel       28.9.16  lived at 4 Olive Terrace

David Smith   died at Croisilles                                28.3.17  lived at 2 St Ann’s St

John Smith died as POW in Ras-el-Ain, Turkey     17.8.17   lived at 43 Lwr Market St

Stanley Strutt   died at Ypres                                  14. 9.17   lived at 106 Mottram Rd

George Titterington died at Ypres                          27.3.16   lived at 83 Highfield Terrace

Tom Titterington died of wounds at Loos                 6.7.16    lived at 7 Ogden St brother    of George

Arthur Wainwright wounded at Ypres, died of wounds 24.10 .21    lived 60 Lwr Market St

John Arthur Young killed in action at Ecoivres        24.10.17 lived 5 Lymefield Terrace

William Smith died of TB in Hyde Sanatorium         18.1.21.  lived at 11 Gorsey Brow

Ben Sidebottom

Ben Sidebottom,  pictured here in the brass band before the war (second row, left hand side, detail below.) Right is a letter he wrote home 3 weeks before he was killed in February 1916.

Dear Brother

Just a line to let you know I am still living and hope this will find you in good health. My father tells me that J Gregory is working at Broad Mills now. He is a lot better off than being here, I’ll tell you. Never come in the army. I don’t know what it is like in peace time but it’s rotten in war time. They treat us something awful, me and Bill I’m billeted with. We sleep on the floor with a blanket under us. Me and Bill sleep together, and we sometimes waken in the night starved to death nearly. You get up in the morning at 6. Parade and 6.45 for what they call dirty parade. Breakfast at 8 o’clock. We fetch the Dixie up in our turn. It is a big pan with potatoes and lumps of beef and carrots all mixed up together. 

Dr. Bennett is the army doctor for the Cheshires. There is a lot of cases with measles here. A lot of the troops have got them. 

You should here them sing a little anthem here- it goes to the tune of “There is a happy land, far, far way."

          “Here we get bread and jam, three times a day

          Oh you should see it spread,

          When you put it on your bread.

          Some day they’ll find us dead, far, far away.” 

I have got all right after the inoculation.

 From your brother Ben.

 (Letter and photograph courtesy of Jean Sidebottom)

 Harold Beard

Harold Beard (photo right, from Glossop Chronicle) was educated at Hyde and later went to the Manchester College of Technology and Salford Royal Technical Institute. He was a member of the Poor Children’s Mission at the Chapel, and of the Sons of Temperance.  He was a gifted musician who played the violin, and a member of the Hyde Philharmonic Society. 

Harold enlisted on 3 February 1915 in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and went to France in December 1915. He was engaged in various trench battles on the Somme including Mametz Wood (July 10-12) where he gained a commission with distinction. His division withdrew from the Somme and moved north to the Ypres sector where Harold was in the trenches again when the Germans began a heavy artillery bombardment. Harold was seriously wounded on 3 September by an exploding shell. He received wounds to the head, back, right arm, and shoulder and  thigh after being crushed by the parapet falling in on him. He was sent home via Calais to Folkestone on 26 December 1916. He returned to duty but suffered a relapse in 1917 and was transferred to hospital and them home where he died of wounds in 1918, 6 months after his brother Frank was killed.

Frank Brown 

Born in Mottram, on 15 October 1895, Frank was one of five children of Horace and Mary Brown, then at 19 Church Brow, Mottram. Horace was a labourer and Mary a winder in the mills. By 1908 they had moved to 4 Hodge Fold, Broadbottom. He enlisted in September 1914 and was posted to 12th (Service) Battalion Kings Liverpool Regiment. He went to France on 27 July 1916 but by mid-November was home on sick-leave due to a back wound and shattered arm from a shell explosion in the trenches at Givenchy. Back in France by  September 1916 on the Somme he was again injured by shrapnel in three places in his legs. He was hospitalised in Manchester, and when recovered he was posted to the 5th Kings Liverpool Regiment and placed on garrison duties at Pembroke Dock, Liverpool. Frank attended his mother’s funeral at the family grave in Mottram Cemetery in February 1917, and did not return to Liverpool. He appeared at Dukinfield court on 20 February on the charge of being absent without leave. He was remanded in custody awaiting the arrival of a military escort to take him back to barracks. The arresting officer was given a reward of five shillings (25 p). Later that June he was absent without leave again, and this is the last time anything appears in the papers about him. His death is listed as February 2nd 1920, so he did not suffer the fate of many other deserters, nor was he excluded from the roll of honour.


After the war, some returning soldiers were recognised for their service:

On Friday 16th December 1921 a special award ceremony was held in the Mottram Council Room at Market Place, Mottram. A ‘Distinguished Services Recognition Fund’ had been set up and an award of £5 was presented to each of eleven men from Mottram, Broadbottom, and Hattersley, who had distinguished themselves  in the war. These men were:

Fred Dutton, Military Medal

George Dutton, Military Medal

John W Yates, Meritorious Service Medal

George Hobson, Military Medal

Wright Shirt, Military Medal

William Bailey, Military Medal

Percy Morris, Military Medal

James Sidebottom, Military Medal

Joe Williamson, Military Medal

George Bond, Distinguished Conduct Medal

Sergeant John Gallagher, Distinguished Conduct Medal and Military Medal.

Illuminated addresses were also presented to two officers who had been awarded the Military Cross: Captain H C Costabadie and Captain Gordon Evill.

Unveiling the war memorial in July 1922.

 (From Archive Photographs of Longdendale, compiled by Bill Johnson)

A Survivor's story

Samuel Middleton, born 1898.

Samuel had a tough start in life when his parents left him with his grandmother while they went to America to try and improve their lot. His grandmother died suddenly and he was taken into the family of a young widowed relative by marriage, who had a small child. As soon as he could, aged 9, he took on work to help support his adoptive family. He enlisted in 1914 and served throughout the war. He married in 1916. He brought back with him engraved shell cases and a paperknife made from a cartridge. The souvenirs record battles he fought at: Ypres, Mons, the Somme. 

After the war he came back to Broadbottom and hoped to return to his old job at Best Hill Mill but there was a shortage of work and he was made redundant. Unemployment pay was limited: six weeks with benefit alternated with six weeks without. In desperation he traded his young wife’s pet canary for a bicycle to help in his search for work. He turned his hand to any job he could find, vowing ‘I will never let anybody’s trade be a secret to me.’ He did casual mill labour and worked as a stone dresser in the Hague quarry. Later he went on to be a manager at the Shire Hill Quarry in Glossop and then to run a fish shop in Gorton.

(Photograph Ida George, Samuel's daughter

Footnote:On the home front, Best Hill Mill was used during the war for the manufacture of  munitions. Left is a photograph of workers at the factory.


(Thanks to Neil Shuttleworth for his research on which this section is based)  

32 Broadbottom men who served in World War I were killed or died just after the war. The fuller stories can be found in Tony Catchpole’s  account of local casualties in the two world wars: To be remembered

The following is a brief summary of what happened to the young men who lost their lives.  In the fuller versions there are glimpses of young men who were footballers, cricketers, members of orchestras and bands, Sunday school teachers. They were sons and fathers, mill workers and young professional men. Several families lost more than one member. Three Sidebottom brothers served  and two died. Of four Titterington brothers, two died and two survived. They also lost a brother-in-law, Arthur Wainwright.

Arthur Wainwright’s grave 

(Copyright N Shuttleworth)





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