JENKINS, William Joseph

Regiment: 20 Bn King’s Liverpool Regiment

Rank: Private

Number: 30144

Died: 30 July 1916

Aged: 24 

Buried/Memorial: Thiepval Memorial

Address: 52 Panton Road


"Widespread regret has been occasioned by the news of the death in action of Mr William Joseph Jenkins son of Chief inspector Jenkins of the Joint Railway co. Chester station and Mrs Jenkins of Glencoe Panton Road Hoole. 

The young man was well known in the city and in Hoole being one who tried to lead a strenuous and upright life, which is a source of great consolation to his parents, brothers and sisters, in their hour of trial. He was associated with the work of All Saints parish church Hoole and was a teacher in the Sunday school. For three and a half years he was agent for Messrs Wymans at their bookstall at Bettws y Coed. Afterwards he was engaged as a civil clerk at the headquarters of Western Command at Chester. Enlisting in June 1915 he joined the Liverpool “Pals” and went abroad in December of last year coming unscathed through the battle for Trones Wood and in a letter written to his parents on July 25th he stated that he was well. On Sunday morning however official news came from the War Office announcing that the young soldier had been killed in action on July 30th. No further particulars have been received since. Deceased has a brother, a corporal in the Cheshire regiment, who recently has been appointed a drill instructor, and his other brother is employed on the railway. With the members of the family in their bereavement much sympathy is felt. "

The 1911 Census shows William as a 19 year old Railway Book Stall clerk living at 15 Clare Avenue with father William, mother  Annie, sister Gertrude and Catherine and brothers Thomas, Aston, Sephimus and Reginald. Also there was cousin Frederick Gibson.



JONES, Ernest Brant

Regiment:  265 Brigade Royal Field Artillery

Rank: Gunner

Number 735987: 

Died: 5 January 1918

Aged: 25

Buried/Memorial: Jerusalem War Cemetery

Address: 43 Ermine Road


Cheshire Observer 26/01/18

Death of Gunner E B Jones

"We regret to learn of the death of Gunner Ernest Brant Jones R F A, who died of fever in Egypt at the age of 26 years. He was the fifth son of the late Mr Robert Jones and of Mrs Jones 53 Ermine Road Chester. He joined the RFA in 1915 and previously worked on the L and N W and G W Joint Railways. Three brothers of the deceased are serving in the Forces in various fields. Their father was for many years a ----man in the Great Western Railway ……at Chester."


The 1911 Census has Ernest as a 19 year old butchers journeyman living at 43 Ermine Road together with father Robert, mother Mary Ann and brother Bernard together with three other relatives.


The unit that Ernest was serving with, 265 Brigade Royal Field Artillery had grown out of the Territorial Cheshire Batteries. Research we are undertaking on those who served during the War and survived indicates a strong link between this unit and Hoole & Newton. So far we have identified 19 including Ernest and his brother Bernard.  

JONES, Samuel Arthur

Regiment: 2 Bn Grenadier Guards

Rank: Guardsman

Number: 15061

Died: 17 September 1914


Buried/Memorial: Les Gonards Versailles

Address: 70 William Street


Cheshire Observer 26/09/14

Hoole Reservist’s Fate

"Mrs C Coventry 70 William Street Hoole has received a War Office notification per the Grenadier Guards Orderly Room, that her son, Private S A Jones 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards, has died from wounds received in action on the 17th Sept. Private Jones joined the Cheshire Police Force in January last and left the training depot at Hoole in March when he was sent to Hazel Grove. He left the Force at the beginning of July. He was only 22 years of age and is well spoken of. Many friends in Hoole and others who knew him during his short service in the Police Force will regret to learn of his fate."


The 1911 Census has Samuel as an 18 year old recruit in the Grenadier Guards at the Guards Depot at Caterham, Surrey. In 1901 he is aged 9 at 33 William Street, Hoole with his mother Charlotte, brother William, sisters Edith, Charlotte and Elizabeth and uncle Fred Pemberton.

As far as we have been able to establish so far Samuel was Hoole and Newton’s first casualty of The Great War.



JONES, Thomas William Allen

Regiment:  4th Btn. Cheshire Regiment

Rank: Second Lieutenant


Died: 31st July 1917


Buried/ Memorial: New Irish Farm Cemetery, Belgium

Address: Westholme, 31 Halkyn Road, Hoole


Chester Chronicle 11/08/17

Second- Lieutenant T.W.A. Jones Wounded

"News has been received from the War Office that Second Lieutenant T.W.A. Jones, son of Mr. And Mrs. S. Jones, Westholme, 31 Halkyn Road, Chester, has been wounded in France.  Before joining the colours he was articled to Messars. Warmsley, Henshall and Co., accountants, of Chester entering their office direct from King’s School."


Chester Chronicle 1/09/17
Second Lieutenant T.W.A. Jones (Seriously Wounded and Missing)

"Further official information has been received by his parents that Second Lieutenant T.W.A. Jones, Cheshire Regiment, is now reported seriously wounded and missing.  Second Lieutenant Jones’s home is at 31 Halkyn Road, Chester."

Sadly, we now know that Thomas lost his life on the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres

or Passchendaele as it is sometimes known.




JONES, William Henry

Regiment:  1st/7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment  

Rank: Private

Number: 3068

Died: 14 July 1916 

Aged: 20

Buried/ Memorial: Thiepval Memorial, France

Address:  5 Lime Grove, Hoole

Pte. W.H. Jones, Hoole (Killed)

"On Tuesday Mr. And Mrs. F. Jones, 5, Lime Grove, Hoole, received the sad news that their son, Pte. William Henry Jones, Royal Warwickshire Regt., had fallen in action.  He was a bright, promising young fellow, only four days off attaining his 21st birthday and deep sympathy is felt for the parents in their loss.  He had been in France eighteen months, having volunteered for the army at the beginning of the war.  As a boy he attended Chester College School, and played full back for their winning football team.  He played in the All Saints’ team also.  Having entered the florists’ department of Messrs. Dicksons, Ltd., he eventually left to take up an appointment with Messrs. Perkins, Coventry, and was with that firm when he enlisted.   Pte. Jones, who was over on leave five weeks ago, was a cheerful and popular soldier, and his comrades deeply deplore his death.  The sad news that he had fallen was communicated to Mr. Jones (who is with Messrs. Dickson, Ltd.), in the following sympathetic letter: “Dear Mr Jones, - It is with greatest regret that I write to inform you of the death of your son, who was killed in action, and I wish to convey my deepest sympathy with you in your loss; also all his comrades wish me to do the same for them.  No man was more popular, or more cheerful in the face of anything; no matter what the weather was or what the job to be done was, you could always rely on him to do his duty as a soldier and a gentleman.  His death, mercifully, was quite painless.  He was killed instantly, and he died, as I know he would prefer to die, fighting against our common enemy, and for everything an Englishman holds most dear.  We all miss him very much, and hope you will bear his loss in the assured knowledge that his death has occurred in a cause that will be England’s gain.  Yours very sincerely, T. Windridge, Sergt.”


Cheshire Observer 29/07/16

"We regret to record the death in action of Pte H W Jones son of Mr F Jones 5 lime Grove Hoole. Pte Jones, previous to the War , was employed for three years at Messrs Dickson’s nurseries and left to take up a position with Messrs Perkins of Coventry. He enlisted at the outbreak of the War in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and went out to France in the early part of 1915. He had been at the Front just 18 months. His father Mr F Jones landscape gardener at Messrs Dickson’s Chester has received the following letter from Sergt Windridge, the Royal Warwickshires;-

“Dear Mr Jones, It is with the greatest regret that I write to inform you of the death of yoiur son who was killed in action 14/7/16 and I wish to convey my deepest sympathy with you in your loss, also all his numerous comrades wish me to do the same for them. No man was more popular or cheerful in the face of anything. No matter what the weather was or the job to be done he could always be relied on to do his duty as a soldier and a gentleman. His death mercifully was quite painless, he being killed instantly and, as I know, he would prefer to die fighting our common enemy and for everything an Englishman holds most dear. We all miss him very much.” Pte Jones was educated at the Chester College school under the headmastership of Mr Esplin, and played fullback in the winning football team of that school and All Saints’ School."


KAY, William Joseph

Regiment: 1st Bn. Cheshire Regiment

Rank: Lance Corporal

Number: 50531

Died: 21 August 1918

Aged: 21

Buried/ Memorial: Adanac Military Cemetery, Miraumont, France

Address: 17 Prescott Street, Hoole


Chester Chronicle 21/09/18

Hoole Lance Corporal Killed

"News was received last Thursday week of the death in action of Lance- Corpl. William Kay of Hoole.  Much sympathy has been expressed to his parents in the loss of so promising a young man.  Before the war he was employed by the Co-operative Society.  Joining up in 1914 at the age of 17 and nine months, he had seen much service abroad.  He was 21 and seven months old.  He was educated at All Saints School, Hoole."


KELLEY, William Thomas

Regiment:  4 Bn Cheshire Regiment

Rank:  Private

Number:  27570

Died: 30 December 1917

Aged: ?

Buried/Memorial: Chatby Memorial Egypt

Address: 85 Gloucester Street


Cheshire Observer 29/09/17


Private William Kelley

"News has been received by his wife who resides at 85 Gloucester Street that Private W T Kelley No 27570 Cheshire Regiment has been wounded in action after being out about ?? months. Previous to outbreak of war he was employed at the Grosvenor Hotel Chester for over 12 years and was respected by all who knew him and who wish him a speedy recovery."


Cheshire Observer 23/02/18


"The foregoing photograph is of the late Pte W T Kelley Cheshire Regiment who was drowned at sea on the 30 December 1917 and whose death was announced in our last issue."


The 1911 Census shows William aged 34 at 85 Gloucester Street with his wife Mary and daughter Winifred.


KING, John Edward

Regiment:  17th Bn. The King’s (Liverpool Regiment)  

Rank: Private

Number: 15404

Died: 27 June 1916

Aged: 23

Buried/ Memorial: Cerisy-Gailly Military Cemetery, France

Address:  10 Philip Street, Hoole


Chester Chronicle 15/07/16

"Pte. J.E. King of the King’s Liverpool Regiment (Liverpool Pals) was killed on 27th June.  He was the son of Mr. E. King of Philip Street, Hoole, an engine driver on the L. and N.W. Railway, and was employed in the District Traffic Supplies Office of the L. and N.W. Railway at Chester, and subsequently at Conway.  He would have been 24 at August next.  He joined the forces in August 1914 and went to the front in October 1915.  He was a bomb thrower in his company and was exceedingly well liked by his comrades.  Great sympathy is felt for his bereaved relatives.

Official intimation has been received that Pte J E King of the Kings Liverpool Regiment (Liverpool Pals) was killed on June 27th. Son of Mr E King of Phillip Street Hoole an engine driver on the L and N W Railway Pte King was employed in the District Traffic Superintendent’s office of the L and NW Railway at Chester and subsequently at Conway. He would have been 24 years of age in August next. After leaving school he was first employed at the offices of the “Cheshire Observer” and “Chester Courant”. He always was well thought of by all with whom he came in contact and his patriotism knew no bounds. Joining the Forces in August 1914 he was most anxious to get to grips with the enemy and chafed at the long training his regiment was called upon to undergo. The dead soldier was a bomb thrower in his company and was exceedingly well liked by his comrades. Great sympathy will be extended to his bereaved relatives."

The 1911 Census shows John as an 18 year old railway clerk living at 10 Phillip Street with his father Edward, mother Jane, brothers Edwin (who saw home service during the War with the Labour Corps) and George and sisters Florence, Alice and Constance.


LAIRD, Colin

Regiment:  19th  Btn. The King’s (Liverpool Regiment) 

Rank: Lance Captain


Died: 20th September 1917

Aged: 29

Buried/ Memorial: Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium

Address: “Plas Coed”, Shavington Avenue, Hoole

Cheshire Observer 29/09/17

"The foregoing is a portrait of Acting Capt. Colin Laird Kings (Liverpool) regiment son of Mr and Mrs W D Laird Glascoed Shavington Avenue Hoole whose death in action was recorded last week."

Cheshire Observer 13/10/17

Lieut. Colin Laird (Killed)

"News of the death in action, on 20th Sept., of Lieut. (Acting Captain) Colin Laird, of the King’s Liverpool Regiment, and younger son of Mr W.D. Laird, Chief Inspector of Weights and Measures to the Cheshire County Council, and Mrs Laird, Plas Coed, Shavington Avenue, Chester, will be received with profound sorrow in Chester and district. Lieut. Laird, who was 29, was an old King’s School boy, and after completing his education, entered the office of the County Accountant.  As soon as war broke out he responded to the country’s call and joined the King’s Liverpool Regiment on 1st September, 1914.  After 12 months’ training he obtained a commission in the same regiment and had been at the front 13 months, an in much severe fighting.  His death has caused sorrow among his fellow officers and the men of his battalion among whom he was esteemed for his personal qualities and his efficiency and gallantry as a soldier.   The Lieut. Colonel commanding the battalion writing to his parents says that he was leading a party of men endeavouring ti capture a German strong point in the big battle, and from stories gleaned from his mean, he was killed instantaneously by a German machinegun, when only about 20 yards from his objective.  The commanding officer added, - “He died gallantly as a fine soldier and an English gentleman.  His loss to me is a great one, as I had a great trust in his capability and courage.  He was rapidly being promoted in the profession which he took up when his country called him.  He was always cheerful and bright, and it was always a pleasure to meet him.  I know nothing can help you in your great sorrow at this moment, but hope that possibly his brother officers and my own great opinion of him will somewhat help to soften the trouble.  With great sympathy from his brother officers and myself”. In civil life, as in the army, Lieut. Laird was held in high esteem.  His never-failing cheerfulness and good heart made him popular wherever he went.  He was an enthusiastic oarsman, having been for several years an active member of the Grosvenor Rowing Club, of which he had been vice-captain.  He was always looked upon as a through sportsman.  He had rowed in successful crews of the Grosvenor Club and was a useful oar, but at sculling he shone most and gave promise of developing into a really good sculler.  He has won the Junior Sculls at Chester Regatta, and at the last regatta competed unsuccessfully against strong opposition for the championship of the Dee.  He had also won several club sculling races.  He leaves a widow and to her and the other members of his family much sympathy will be extended."

Cheshire Observer 26/12/14
Chester Oarsmen Serving Their Country
- Private Colin Laird 1st battalion Pals Liverpool Regiment.

The 1911 Census shows Colin as a 22 year old accountant for the County Council living in Shavington Avenue with father William, mother Kate, sister Louie and Flora MacAlister a domestic servant. 


LAWSON, George William

Regiment: 5 Bn Cheshire Regiment

Rank: Private

Number: 2503

Died: 21 September 1916


Buried/Memorial: Delville Wood, Longueval

Address: 119 Westminster Road


Cheshire Observer 17/10/16


"We regret to announce the death in action of Pte G W Lawson 2503 of the Cheshire Regiment, youngest son of Mr and Mrs Lawson 119 Westminster Road Hoole. Pte Lawson who was 19 years of age volunteered for service in October 1914and proceeded to the Front in June the following year. He was instantly killed by a shell on Sept 21. Previous to joining the Forces he was an apprentice to Mr J T Thomas decorator Boughton. The following letter has been received by his parents from an officer of the Regiment. ”British Expeditionary Force Sept 22 1916. Dear Mrs Lawson, Please allow me to express my sympathy with you in the loss you have sustained by the death of your son. He was a soldier and died a soldier’s death, and has given hid life for his King and country. He was killed instantly by a ……………among us. I have known him for….months and he will be greatly missed…..yours sincerely Herbert Ratcliffe Second Lieut Cheshire Regiment.

A comrade of the deceased soldier has also written as follows “Dear Mrs Lawson It is with deep regret I am writing to tell you of your son George’s death of which no doubt you have had official intimation. George was killed on Thursday 21st as was also our chum Charlie pate by the explosion of a shell. It may comfort you to know that death was instantaneous and therefore he suffered no pain. He is buried with his comrades who fell with him near where he fell and a cross bearing their names marks the spot. You may find some consolation in the knowledge that George was very popular throughout the platoon and he was a good and fearless soldier who died fighting for his King and country. In conclusion I will add that his comrades tender you their deepest sympathy in your great trouble. Yours sincerely W Tinkler”.

The headmaster of Hoole All Saints Boys School ( Mr T J Boughton) of which Pte Lawson was an old pupil has written to the bereaved parents as follows :- My Dear Mr and Mrs Lawson I have just heard with deep regret the news you have received this morning. I hasten to assure you of my sincere and loving sympathy trusting you may be strengthened and comforted by the One who alone can perform this. I remember George so well and I am so glad he was one of those who came to see me a short time ago. Remember he has died the noblest of all deaths, for his country. Remember too he was one who volunteered for service. This again increases the honour. With kindest regards, yours sincerely Thos. J Boughton.


The 1911 Census shows George as aged 14 a grocer’s assistant, living at 119 Westminster Road with father Daniel, mother Joyce, sister Maud together with his brother Thomas and his wife Lilian and son Thomas.



Regiment:  13th Bn. Cheshire Regiment 

Rank: Private

Number: 3612

Died: 20 January 1916 

Aged: 22

Buried/ Memorial: Tancrez Farm Cemetery, Belgium

Address:  67, Westminster Road, Hoole


Chester Chronicle 29/01/16
Four Comrades Killed
How Germans Shelled a House

Chester Signaller’s Fate
"The sad news has reached his home in Chester that Signaller George Leonard, of the 13th Battalion Cheshire Regiment, and youngest son of Mrs. Leonard, 67, Westminster Road, Hoole, has fallen in action.  He was a promising ant patriotic young soldier and his comrades in the field deeply mourn his loss.

Signaller Leonard was well-known in Chester, having been formally employed as a clerk at Messrs. Dickson’s nurseries, and then at Messrs. R. Bolland and Sons.  He then obtained a post in the office of Lever Bros. At Port Sunlight and it was from there that he enlisted in the 13th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment, which it will be recalled, marched through the streets of Chester headed by Sir William Lever, Bart., and Mr Gershom Stewart, M.P.  He proceeded to France with his battalion in August last year and had done good work out there as a signaller.  Testimony to his proficiency and trustworthiness is forthcoming in letters received by the bereaved mother informing her of the sad news of the death of her gallant son on the 19th inst. “I could trust him absolutely,” writes one officer. 

Deep sympathy is felt on all sides with Mrs. Leonard and the members of her family in the sudden blow which has fallen upon them.  The deceased was a lad of manly character, and possessed personal qualities that endeared him to all who knew him.  He had a high sense of dutifulness to his mother, and whether at camp or at the front, constantly wrote her letters cheerfully assuring her that he was well.  From the training camp alone he sent her no fewer than 97 letters describing his daily routine of duty.  He was of a bright anf happy temperament, able to enjoy life with the full zest of youth, yet, like many more brave Englishmen serving their country in the presence of hourly peril, not without daily thoughts of the deeper things of life, and was not ashamed to be seen reading his Bible.  When living at home, he was a member of the Rev. J.J. Hargreave’s  Bible Class and he is the second member of that class who has fallen on the battlefield.  The deceased was liked by all who worked with him or know him, and in particular his buoyant, open-hearted manner made him a favorite with children whose romps he would join in – though as a six footer of twenty two – with a whole-hearted interest to make them happy.  His older brother, Corporal Tom Leonard, is serving in the Royal Engineers in France, and twice “gassed”.


LEONARD, William

Regiment: 10th Btn. Lancashire Fusiliers

Rank: Lance Corporal

Number: 25923 

Died: 1 September 1918

Aged: 30

Buried/ Memorial: Bancourt British Cemetery, France

Address: 67 Westminster Road, Hoole


Chester Chronicle 28/09/18

Hoole Lewis Gunner Killed

"Lance- Cpl. William Leonard, Lanc. Fusiliers, fourth son of Mrs. Leonard, 7 Westminster Road, Hoole, has fallen in action.  The captain of his company writes that he was killed on Sept. 1st by a machine gun bullet, and adds:  “Your son was an able Lewis gunner, and his death is a loss to his platoon.”  The deceased, aged 30, was in the employ of Mr. Jones, baker, Charles Street, and attended the Baptist Mission Church and Sunday School, Westminster Road.  Deep sympathy is felt for the mother, who two years last January lost her youngest son – Signaller George Leonard, Cheshire Regt., who was killed in action."


The 1911 Census shows William as a 22 year old baker’s van driver living at 67 Westminster Road with his mother Elizabeth and brothers Arthur and George (also killed in the war – see above).


In 1901 his father George is still living and two older brothers Thomas and Frederick are also still at home.


LITTLER, Charles William

Regiment:  3rd Btn Grenadier Guards

Rank: Lance Corporal (CWGC)

Number: 22472

Died: 17th October 1916

Aged: 24

Buried/ Memorial: St Sever Cemetery, Rouen, France

Address: 4 Vivian Terrace, Hoole Lane, Chester


Chester Chronicle 21/10/16

Private Chas Littler (died of wounds)

"Pte Charles Littler, eldest son of Mr Littler, butcher, Pipers Ash, has died of wounds while serving in the Grenadier Guards. He was 24 and leaves a widow, Ellen, and a child, who live in Vivian Terrace Hoole Lane. Deep sympathy is felt for them in their loss. Before joining the army Pte Littler was a member of the Manchester Police Force. A brother was wounded at the same time, and is now in the hospital in Manchester. "


LLOYD, Samuel

Regiment:  438th Field Coy. Royal Engineers

Rank: Sapper

Number: 446898

Died: 19 February 1917

Aged: 29

Buried/ Memorial: St Sever Cemetery, Rouen, France

Address: 17 Pickering Street, Hoole

Sapper S. Lloyd R.E. (died)

"It is with great regret that we record the death of Sapper S. Lloyd, R.E.. The sad news came as a great surprise, he having left England for the front only a month ago.  He was the son of the late Mr. George Lloyd and Mrs. Lloyd of 17, Pickering Street, Hoole.  Seized with illness on Sunday, February 18, he was admitted to the hospital, but succumbed on Monday 19th to meningitis.  He was well known in Chester and highly respected.  Previous to joining the colours he was in the employ of the late Mr R. Pinnington, Brook Street.  He was an enthusiastic and valued worker in the Primitive Methodist Church, Hamilton Street, and will be sorely missed, especially amongst the children with whom he was a great favourite.  Deep sympathy is felt with his widowed mother and sister, and with his younger brother, Arthur, serving in Egypt.  The deep sympathy of the church at Hamilton Street found expression on Sunday evening and was conveyed to the sorrowing home.  A memorial service has been arranged for Sunday morning March 11th at 10.45, conducted by the Rev. E.A. Steen."



LOAM, Gilbert Henry

Regiment: 15 Bn Royal Warwickshire Regiment

Rank: Private

Number: 929

Died: 30 August 1916


Buried/Memorial: Thiepval Memorial

Address: 24 Clare Avenue


Cheshire Observer 23/09/16


"LOAM Killed in action, on August 30th Pte Gilbert Henry (Harry) Loam second son of the late James Gilbert and Mrs Loam of 24 Clare Avenue Hoole Chester."

The 1901 Census shows Gilbert as a 13 year old living at 24 Clare Avenue with his father James, mother Elizabeth, sister Maggie and brother James jnr. In 1911 he is lodging in Birmingham where he worked as an assistant clothier.


MARRS, Joseph

Regiment: 9th Btn. Cheshire Regiment

Rank: Private

Number: 52440

Died: 21 August 1918

Aged: 34

Buried/ Memorial: Sandpits British Cemetery, Fouquereuil, France

Address:5 Halkyn Road, Hoole


Chester Chronicle 28/09/18
Mr. Marr’s Bereavement

"Pte. Joseph Marrs, Cheshire Regt., fourth son of Mr. W.G. Marrs, formerly stationmaster at Chester Station, and of Mrs. Marrs, 5 Halkyn Road, Chester, has been killed in action.  Pte. Marrs was 34 and unmarried.  Before the war he was a booking clerk at Chester Station for many years.  He enlisted in the Cheshire Regiment two years ago last march.  He saw 13 months’ active service abroad, and then had the misfortune a year ago to break a leg.  After being invalided home, he was then in the country till March, when he rejoined his unit, and was killed on the 21st August.  Pte. Marrs, like his father, was extremely popular, and many friends in Chester, Hoole and Newton will regret his untimely end."


The 1911 Census shows Joseph as a 27 year old railway booking clerk living at Dalston House Halkyn Road with his father William, mother Eliza and brothers George and Bert.


McGREGOR, Charles

Regiment: 1 Bn Cheshire Regiment

Rank: Sergeant

Number: 51812

Died: 2 September 1918

Aged: 31

Buried/Memorial: Vaulx Hill Cemetery

Address: 17 Charles Street


Distinguished Conduct Medal Citation
London Gazette 15/11/18

51812 Sjt C McGregor, Ches R (Hoole, Chester).

"When the advance of the battalion was held up by the enemy machine gun fire, he went out single-handed and killed the detachment and captured the machine gun. His gallant action saved the battalion many casualties. Throughout the day he set a splendid example of courage and devotion to duty."


MORRIS, Thomas

Regiment: Machine Gun Corps Infantry

Rank: Private

Number: 19209

Died: 29 August 1916

Aged: 36

Buried/Memorial: Thiepval Memorial

Address: 16 West Street


Cheshire Observer 30/09/16

"We deeply regret to learn that official information has been received of the death in action on August 29th of Pte Thomas Morris son of Mrs M Morris 16 West Street Hoole. He was in his 36th year and prior to joining the Regular Army served four years in the Royal Navy afterwards enlisting in the Royal Welch Fusiliers and doing most of his service with the colours in India.

Prior to the outbreak of war deceased was employed by the Wrexham Transport Co. He rejoined the colours at the outbreak of war and had been through the thickest of the fighting with the machine gun section of his battalion. Deceased was well liked by his comrades for his most cheerful and soldier like qualities. He had only 10 days to serve to complete 13 years service for his country. He was educated at the British School Victoria Road under the headmaster Mr Skeldon."


MORRISON, Robert Cecil

Regiment:  5th Btn Cheshire Regiment

Rank: 2nd Lieutenant


Died: 13th November 1916

Aged: 28

Buried/ Memorial: Lonsdale Cemetery, Authuile, France



Chester Chronicle 25/11/16
Hoole Curate Killed in Action

A gallant soldier clergyman

"Deep sorrow was caused in Hoole on Tuesday by the news that the Rev. Robert Cecil Morrison, BA, formerly curate of All Saints Parish, staying at 67 Hoole Road, had been killed in action at the front. 

Mr Morrison, who was 28 years of age, was a native of Kingstown, Dublin, taking his BA in 1913. He was a well-known athlete in his university days, being an international hockey player for Ireland. He also served 3 years in the Officers’ Training Corps of the University, and put in the usual period of camp training. Mr Morrison was ordained Deacon in 1914 and Priest in 1915, and came to All Saints, which was his first curacy, on Trinity Sunday of 1914. After the outbreak of way he heard the call that was being made to the young manhood of the country. As a clergyman he might have remained without criticism fulfilling his parochial duties, but once his conscience had decided upon the true course, it was not in his nature to choose an easier way of service, and he at last (though not as early as he himself would have wished) obtained his desire to be allowed to go and dedicate his manhood to fighting for his country against the foes of civilisation and righteousness. Having been allowed to relinquish his work in the parish, he departed at the beginning of the present year, with the consent and Godspeed of the vicar and other intimate friends to quality for a commission. Becoming a cadet in the OTC at Bristol, he put in three or four months there, obtained a 2nd Lieutenant’s commission in the Cheshire Regiment, and went to the front on October 10th. On the two Sundays before his departure he was back in Hoole, and the parishioners (who in the previous February, on his departure, had presented him with a silver communion set and a cheque in token of their esteem), were delighted “to have him again in their midst.” He fell in action on the 13th of November, having only been a month at the front.

He is deeply mourned by the people of Hoole, for he was genuinely loved. He was devoted to the duties of his calling, and his manly, kind-hearted nature made friends wherever he went. He will be warmly remembered by all who knew him, and especially by the sick and aged people of the parish, who will ever recall with grateful and heart-felt memories the time he ungrudgingly gave up to cheering their loneliness with his bright presence and helpful words. Even since he had gone from the parish he had sent postcards bearing kindly thoughts to some of the old people. It was a beautiful trait in his character that he thought of the pleasure these little remembrances would give, but it was in keeping with his unselfish life and his last sacrifice. He took a keen interest in the Band of Hope, and indeed in parochial work in every department, was a willing and energetic co-operator with an enthusiastic and vigorous vicar and would have made his mark, had he been spared, in the service of the church to which he had been ordained. "

Vicar of Hoole’s Tribute

"The Rev. E. A. Pavitt, MA, (Vicar of All Saints’) pays the following tribute to his late curate in the parish magazine, which is just being issued:- “News has just come to hand as I write that the Rev. RC Morrison was killed in action on Monday, November 13th. To many of you, as to myself, this has come as a great shock, and is a source of very real personal sorrow. He left us in February last, and became 2nd Lieutenant RC Morrison, of the Cheshires. 

“On Sunday, October 1st, he was in Hoole, and read evening prayer for me; and on the following Sunday evening – our harvest festival – he turned up quite unexpectedly just before the bell ceased, and to our great pleasure, again read service. He was then on his final leave. On Tuesday, October 10th, he crossed over to France, and was almost immediately in the trenches. In just under 5 months his “bit” was done, and one more promising life was cut off. I must not attempt to write of all that is in my heart. Let it suffice that the whole parish mourns his loss. He wrote me several times during his few weeks abroad, and pervading all his letters there was a deep seriousness and maturity of thought, and reflection which indicated that ripening of character which the terrible experiences of the battlefield might be expected to produce in a noble-minded young man. 

“One thing we may rejoice to know from his own testimony – though we could never have doubted it – and that is that when he received his baptism of fire, and as he went about his hazardous duties, he was intensely conscious of the unseen Presence of his Lord ever near him. One letter described a little service he had held for his men in a dug-out, at which he spoke a few words in the name of Christ. This is a recollection which I for one will always treasure of his last days on earth, even while I try to think of him as having entered upon that service which is higher than any that earth can afford – that service in the nearer presence of the King, where they always see His face “and serve Him day and night in His temple”.

 “On Sunday, December 3rd, we shall use morning prayer as a memorial service. In regard to that service, I may mention now, that when he resigned the curacy, he expressed a wish to present some new service books for the Holy Table, but anonymously. Later on, when settled at Oswestry, he sent me a cheque in fulfilment of his promise; but pressure of our National Mission work, and then subsequently the difficulty of getting the correct thing have delayed the consummation of his wish. I am given to understand that the books will be ready in time for December 3rd, and I propose to dedicate them in his memory, and to the glory of God, and the memorial service that day. They will be an abiding record of the ministry of a good soldier of Jesus Christ, who, being found “faithful unto death,” has most assuredly received “the crown of life”. There was one other wish of his concerning the parish, but I must not speak of it yet.”



Article researched and written by Dave Rees, Hoole History & Heritage Society, with additional research by Alison Greenwood

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