Regiment: Hawke Btn. Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve

Rank: Able Seaman

Number: R/4259

Died: 21/03/18

Aged: 23

Buried/ Memorial: Achiet-le-Grand Communal Cemetery Extension, France

Address: West Street, Hoole


Chester Chronicle 6/04/18
A Sealand Club Footballer Killed

"Many Cestrians will regret to learn of the death from wounds in action of William (“Billy”) Atkinson, Royal Naval Division, late of West Street, Hoole.  He died in a Casualty Clearing Station in France, on March 21st.  The deceased was well known as a local football player of great 

promise, and was one of the stalwarts of the Sealand Football Club.  Before joining this club he had helped Chester Reserves occasionally, 

and was a popular member of the All Saint’s Club.  He was about 24 and was on the staff of Messrs. John Summers and Sons Ltd., Hawarden Bridge Steel Works, Shotton.  His loss will be keenly felt by a wide circle of friends, and their sympathy goes out to his widowed mother."


The 1911 Census shows William as a 17 year old clerk at a corrugated iron works living at 18 West Street with father Samuel and mother Lucy.



Regiment:  3rd  Btn. Coldstream Guards 

Rank: Private

Number: 20689

Died: 20th July 1917

Aged: 25

Buried/ Memorial: Ypres, Menin Gate Memorial, Belgium

Address: 9, Railway Terrace, Hoole Lane, Hoole


Chester Chronicle 11/08/17
Pte. H. Boyling (Killed)

"We regret to record the death in action of Pte. Harold Boyling, Coldstream Guards.  Pte. Boyling, whose family reside at 9, Railway Terrace, Hoole Lane, Chester, joined the army on December 2nd 1916 and had only been at the front three weeks when he met his death.  Prior to joining the army he was on shunters at the Goods Yard at Chester. He leaves a widow and a child to whom much sympathy will be extended."

Chester Chronicle 1/09/17
Private H. Boyling (Killed)

"Private H. Boyling, Coldstream Guards, was killed in action on July 29th.  He was aged 25, lived at 9, Railway Terrace, Hoole Lane, Chester, and worked on the L. And N.W. Railway.  He enlisted on December 2nd 1916 and went out to the front on July 7th, 1917, being killed three weeks later.  He was the only son on Mr. And Mrs. George Boyling, 2a Suffolk Street, Chester.  Deep sympathy is felt for all the bereaved relatives.  Captain Dorman, his company officer, writing to the widow says, - “It is sad news I have to tell you and my sympathies are with you.  Private Boyling was killed in action in the last battle the other day.  I personally much regret his loss, but there is one consolation – he died a fine death for his country.“  A comrade of the deceased soldier, writing to Mrs. Boyling, states that her husband was killed by a shell. He was sitting with two more chaps at the time and one of them was also killed. “You may be pleased in one way”, adds the writer, “to know his death was instantaneous and to think he did not suffer.  He was reverently buried by two comrades just behind the trench. I am very sorry indeed because I am sure he was a good man and a good soldier.  I had only known him a little over three days, but I could see it in him the day I joined my platoon.  I must express my deepest sympathy with you in your sad loss and all his comrades that were with him at the time send their sympathy”.



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

Rank: Private

Number: 21479

Died: 1 July 1916 

Aged: 20

Buried/ Memorial: Thiepval Memorial, France

Address:  26 Lightfoot Street, Hoole


Chester Chronicle 15/07/16

Hoole Soldier Killed

'A Splendid Fellow'

"Mrs. Catherall, 26 Lightfoot Street, Hoole, has received a letter from an officer at the Front stating that her son, Pte. Edward Catherall, has been killed in action.

Pte. Catherall, who was 20, joined the Liverpool “Pals” and was previously employed in the Great Western carriage department at Chester.  

He was an old scholar of George Street Council School. The commander of his platoon, writing to the soldier’s mother says: “Please accept my sincere sympathy in the loss of your son.  He was a splendid fellow, and always did his work cheerfully and well.  Needless to say his loss is felt very keenly by the platoon of which I was platoon commander.  From the Sefton Park days until I got my captaincy I have known and liked your son.  He was sent up with a party of 40 men to strengthen a position taken from the enemy and met his death, which was instantaneous, by shell fire.” Mrs Catherall has another son serving with the colours."

The 1911 Census shows Edward as a 14 year old apprentice painter living at 7 Talbot Street, Newtown with father Edward, mother Mary, 

brothers Cecil, William, George and Albert and sisters Beatrice and Mildred.


DAVIES, Richard Cecil

Regiment: Western Command Royal Engineers

Rank: Major


Died: 17 May 1917

Aged: 56

Buried/Memorial: Overleigh Cemetery Chester

Address: Yorton Lodge, Vicarage Road


Cheshire Observer 19/05/17

"With deep regret we record the death, which took place early on Thursday morning of Major Richard Cecil Davies, at his residence, Yorton Lodge, Vicarage Road, Hoole in his 56th year. For many weeks the deceased had suffered a serious illness and the citizens generally had come to realise that there was very little hope that he would recover. The news that the respected alderman had passed away was received with genuine regret, not only by Cestrians and the inhabitants of Hoole but by a wide circle of friends in Cheshire and North Wales, where always he had been held in high esteem. For some weeks he had been confined to the house, where up to May 4th he had attended to a portion of his Army work. The Major was of a genial disposition, and until his recent breakdown seemed to be in a very fit condition. It is difficult to realise that we have to add his name to the long list of prominent Chester citizens who have been called away within recent years. To his widow and her daughters and the remainder of the bereaved family we offer deep sympathy.

Entering the Council in 1893, the Major played a prominent part in the public life of the city, and in many spheres of usefulness he long will be remembered as an active spirit, anxious as he ever was to benefit the city on all possible occasions. In the late alderman Chester had a zealous and industrious public representative. The fact that he was elected Chief Citizen is of itself an indication of the high place he held in the esteem of his fellow citizens, and we may add that he proved one of the most popular Mayors the city ever had. He entered upon his mayoral duties when comparatively a young man, and although his twelve months occupation of the high position lay in difficult times presenting many problems Ald. Davies rose superior to all trials, and with tact and dignity always contrived to maintain the high traditions of the ancient office. A son of a citizen of Chester, Mr Davies, while proudly upholding the dignity of the Mayoralty threw himself with boundless enthusiasm into the strictly municipal labours, while at the same time taking an active interest in all the social life of the city. Inthe latter he was ably supported by the Mayoress, Mrs Davies, and it is no exaggeration to state that Mr Davies during his Mayoralty earned the respect and goodwill of all classes, and the citizens of all shades of religious beliefs and political views. The late Mr Davies’s family have been connected with architectural business in Chester since about 1815. The late alderman’s grandfather, who came to Chester in the year 1805, was an architect and surveyor, and entered the employment of Mr Harrison, the celebrated architect who planned the restoration of Chester Castle and designed the City Club and other substantial buildings. The grandfather afterwards left Chester for a brief time, but returned to the city about 1815, when he started business on his own account as architect and surveyor. That business has been carried on by members of the Davies family without intermission ever since. Alderman Davies became a partner with his father, Mr John Henry Davies and on the latter’s death became head of the firm, consisting of his brothers, Mr Fred Davies and Mr Horace Davies. The late Mr R Cecil Davies had been a member for the last ten years of the Council of the Society of Architects. He was surveyor to the Chester Rural District Council, and in his private practice was engaged on many important buildings both in Chester and North Wales. He, in connection with his firm, carried on the work for the Chester Union and extensive alterations and rearrangements for the Wirral Union, Holywell union and the Hawarden Union. He and Mr H Beswick were joint architects for the City and County Unionist Club premises in Newgate Street. His reputation as an architect and surveyor was such that he was frequently called upon to give expert evidence in the law courts in building disputes and similar litigation.

The day after war broke out, Mr Davies volunteered for active service, and joined the staff of Colonel Huleatt, of the Engineers’ Staff of the Western Command, and he was gazetted a captain until holding the honorary rank of Major of Volunteers in the Royal Engineers Regular Forces. In the early days of the War as a member of Colonel Huleatt’s staff, he rendered invaluable services in the many great camps which had to be established through the large area covered by the Western Command. Since then, this work has been sub-divided into districts, and Captain Davies was subsequently made a divisional officer of the Royal Engineers for Chester. Almost to the end, it may be said, the deceased carried out his important duties and did not relinquish the burdens of his professional work until practically a fortnight before his death.

The most important public work with which the late alderman was associated was that of the civic government of the city, and he early came to prominence, after being elected to the Council in November 1893, as a representative of St John’s Ward in place of the late Mr J D Siddall. He was re-elected in 1896, 1899, 1902 and 1905, and on the 27th June 1906, he was appointed an alderman, in place of the late Mr Thomas Smith. He was elected sheriff in 1901 and mayor in 1908. Mr Davies’s professional experience as an architect and his all-round capabilities as a business man made him a valuable asset in the counsels of the Corporation, and his value as a committee man was early recognised. He was elected a member of the most important committees, including the Improvement Committee, the Watch Committee, the Assessment Committee, and subsequently the Electricity Committee. On the latter body he speedily occupied a prominent position and after acting as vice chairman for some years he ultimately succeeded Alderman Robert Lamb as chairman in 1909. His unceasing labours towards perfecting the lighting arrangements of the city were so far successful that before the War Chester came to be looked upon as one of the best illuminated cities in the North of England. His professional duties in the Army caused him reluctantly to give up this sphere of activities, but this break was regarded as merely temporary. By the many thousands of citizens and other Cheshire folk who enjoyed the concerts in the Groves, Alderman Davies’s name will be kindly remembered for his unceasing energies in promoting these popular outdoor entertainments, the proceeds of which, while under the control of the civic authorities, went in aid of local charities.

As we have already indicated, Alderman Davies’s year of office as Mayor was particularly busy, and among one of the many pleasing functions he was called upon to preside over was that on the occasion of the Duke of Westminster taking up the freedom of the city. During his Mayoralty, Alderman Davies revived the custom of having a Mayor’s chaplain, the Rev C A Griffen acting in that capacity and Alderman Davies’s example has been followed by succeeding Mayors who have chosen their own chaplains to do duty. The deceased gentleman’s activities in public life were not confined to Chester alone, for, as is well known, he was for many years a member of the Hoole District Council and one time acted as chairman of that body. It will be remembered that while a member of the Hoole Council he and Mr Duck held strong views in regard to amalgamation with the city, and it was in connection with these that the deceased finally retired from the Hoole Council. While associated with the Hoole Council, Mr Davies inaugurated the now popular custom of the chairman, and members and officials of the Council attending divine service at All Saints’ Church, Hoole on the first Sunday after the annual meeting of the Council, and this practice has now become known as “Hoole Mayor’s Sunday.”

The ranks of the old Volunteers are alas rapidly shrinking, and it will be with the deepest sorrow that the members of the Volunteer Medallists’ Association will hear of the death of Major Cecil Davies, who from its inception had always displayed the liveliest and most practical interest in the association’s welfare. His was a long and honourable connection with a Force which came into existence in days when no Derby recruiting schemes were necessary. Beginning as a ranker in the Earl of Chester’s Rifles, he rose to the position of sergeant and afterwards joined the Earl of Chester’s Yeomanry Cavalry in which he served for two years. Later he received a commission in the Flintshire (Buckley) Engineers at the same time as Ald. Robert Lamb when Major Gibson was in command of that corps. Subsequently Alderman Lamb became major in command, and his friend and colleague, Mr R Cecil Davies, very appropriately succeeded him in command of the corps with the rank of Honorary Major. It was something of a coincidence that on the occasion of the election that gave Alderman Lamb his seat on the Chester City Council, the late Mr Davies was similarly honoured. Major Davies received his medal for twenty years service as a Volunteer, and no-one will gainsay the fact that the honour was a well won award.

Apart from the interest Alderman Davies took in the Volunteer movement, he was also a keen participant in the work of the Fire Brigades of both Chester and Hoole. It is not generally remembered nowadays that the deceased was in early life a member of the Earl of Chester’s Volunteer Fire Brigade, and in later years was made …. Captain. He was largely instrumental in forming the Hoole Brigade, and laboured hard and long to assist in bringing it up to its present high state of efficiency. He became chief officer of that body and his untiring work on behalf of volunteer fire brigades was recognised by his being called upon to …. one of the umpires at many brigades’ competitions in Cheshire and North Wales.

By his death, Freemasonry in Chester and Cheshire …. one if its most prominent figures. He was initiated into the craft at the Dee Lodge at Parkgate, which at the time boasted the membership of several Chester citizens. He passed through the several offices, becoming Worshipful Master, and he also possessed many degrees of the Order, more than any other man in Chester. He attained the dignity of Junior Warden of the province in the year 1909. He was Past Z in the Chapter, and held high office in the Provincial Chapter. A Director of the Freemasons’ Hall, he was one of those instrumental in its building, and was its architect. Since the foundation of the Deva Lodge he had identified himself with it, and held the office of D C. He gave as much of his time to it as his multifarious professional and civic engagements would permit. His loss will be severely felt by the craft generally.

The deceased was a member of the Deeside Bowling Club and the Hoole Bowling Club. He was an original member of the Bache Golf Club, and was an old member of the City Club.

The funeral takes place on Monday, the first part of the service being at St John’s Church as 12 o’clock, and the interment takes place at 12.45 at the new cemetery."

The 1911 Census shows Richard as a 50 year old architect living at Yorton Lodge, Vicarage Road wife wife Amy and daughters Bertha and Irene.

The 1901 Census records the address as 1 Vicarage Road and as well as Amy, Bertha and Irene, other daughters Edith and Bessie are both still at home. Also living there is Amy’s father Arthur Lockwood and Mary Lloyd a domestic servant.


EVANS, John Victor

Regiment: 15 Bn Cheshire Regiment

Rank: Pte

Number: 36652

Died: 24 March 1918

Aged: ?

Buried/Memorial: Pozieres Memorial

Address: 45 Lightfoot Street


Cheshire Observer 15/09/17


A Chester Bank Clerk Wounded

"His parents (Mr and Mrs John Evans Denbigh) have received information that their only son, Pte John Victor Evans, has been wounded in recent fighting. He, with other soldiers of the Cheshire Regiment, was relieving another battalion in the front trenches, when a shrapnel burst close to the trench, and Evans received injuries to his right shoulder and arm. He is now in a base hospital and fairly comfortable. This is the second time this young soldier to be wounded. We trust that he will speedily recover. Before joining the Army he was engaged in Parr’s Bank, Chester."


HARRISON, Charles Robert

Regiment:  1st/5th Cheshire Regiment

Rank: Grenade Sergeant

Number: 2176

Died: 23 OCTOBER 1915 

Aged: 23

Buried/ Memorial: Suzanne Communal Cemetery Extension, France

Address:  3 Sunny Bank, Hoole Lane, Hoole


Chester Chronicle 30/10/15

Chester Territorial Killed

Sergt. C.R. Harrison

"We regret to announce that news has reached his relatives in Chester of the death in France of Grenade Sergt. Charles Robert Harrison of the 5th Cheshires, son of Charles J. and Caroline Harrison, 3 Sunny Bank, Hoole Lane, Chester.

The deceased soldier was well known in Chester and the sad tidings of his death will cause sorrow among a host of friends.  He lost his life on October 23rd through the explosion of a bomb in his dugout. Grenade Sergt. Harrison, who would have attained his 24th birthday next December, received his education at St Paul’s School, Boughton. He entered the employ of Messrs. Dickson Ltd., but after a few months joined the loco staff at the G.W. Railway, Chester.  In the Territorials before the war he served for four years in the 5th Cheshires and attained the rank of lance corporal. He patriotically joined his old corps when hostilities broke out, being warmly welcomed back by officers and his old comrades.  He was in “B” Company commanded by Captain Churton, and he had been promoted to the rank of sergeant while serving at the front. He was home on leave for 5 days in June last, and returned cheerfully to his duties.  The deceased was greatly respected by all who know him and had all the qualities of a fine soldier.  When at home he was a member of the Grosvenor Park Road Baptist Church.  A brother of the deceased is a signaller in the 2/5th Cheshires."

Brave and Devoted to Duty

The sad news was communicated to the gallant soldier’s parents in the following kindly and touching letter written by Lieut. Heald (SEE PHOTO): - “Dear Mrs Harrison, - I have the hardest letter to write you of all.  Yet I hope when you read it you will feel prouder of your son than ever.  I am sorry to say that he was killed by a bomb explosion this morning.  It was a case of pure accident.  Your son was a man far outstanding above his fellows.  He had been with me ever since the beginning of the war, and I have been intimately associated with him on many expeditions in the front of our lines when the relations of officer and man become merged in those of comradeship, and invariably he has displayed the qualities of courage and resource as great as any of those men you read of in the papers who have won various decorations. I firmly believe that if he had had the chance he would have won the highest decoration possible. He was greatly loved by his grenadiers.  By his personal example and his devotion to duty he pervaded the whole section with his spirit and made then one of the finest bodies of men in the British Army. He knew not the meaning of fear, and if he did, he did not show it, which is even greater. I feel his loss very keenly for I loved him as a comrade and a man.  Poor old chap. I was with him until the end, and did all I could to save him, but God has taken him to a better world, where there is no more war, but peace and happiness.  You should be a proud man, Mr Harrison, for having such a son, and now that he has gone think of him as a man who has done his duty to his country and fellow men as a true Englishman, and to me he is irreplaceable.  I can only say I am proud to have known him in my section of grenadiers.  Major Churton and many others join me in expressing our deepest sympathy.  I have been through his effects and am having them forwarded to you.  If there is anything else I can do please let me know – Yours Sincerely, Thomas L.C. Heald Lieut." 


The 1911 Census shows Charles as a 19 year old railway engine cleaner living at 3 Sunny Bank Hoole Lane with father Charles, mother 

Caroline, brothers Stanley, Arthur, Tom and Percy and sister Caroline.

His brother Arthur saw service in the Royal Navy during the War aboard H.M.S. CHESTER.

With very great thanks to Mr Charles Harrison.


HASSALL, Arthur Horace

Regiment: 17th Sqdn. Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry)

Rank: Lance Corporal

Number: 101630

Died: 15 October 1918

Aged: 24

Buried/ Memorial: Haifa War Cemetery, Palestine

Address: “Plevna”, Hoole Road, Chester


Chester Chronicle 26/10/18

Lance- Cpl. A.H. Hassall (Died)

"We regret to announce that Lance- Cpl. Arthur Horace Hassall, Machine Gun Corps, died of pneumonia at Alexandria on October 15th.  He

was aged 24 and the second son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Hassall of “Plevna”, Hoole Road, Chester, and formerly of Utkinton Hall, Tarporley, 

with whom in their bereavement deep sympathy is felt."


HAYES, Harry Urmson

Regiment: 1 battalion Black Watch Royal Highlanders

Rank: 2nd Lieutenant


Died: 13 October 1915

Aged: 19

Buried/Memorial: Loos Memorial

Address: Hoole Bank House


Cheshire Observer 30/10/15

Toll of the War

Sec Lieut Hayes Killed in action

"We regret to learn that Sec lieut Harry Urmson Hayes of the 1st Batt, Black Watch, was killed in action in France on October 13th. Sec Lieut Hayes was only 19 years of age and was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs George W Hayes of Pinewood, Worplesdon Hill near Woking and of 

Hoole Bank Chester, which latter house, as is well known, is at present being used as a Red Cross hospital. The deceased lieutenant is 

supposed to have been killed by a German bomb near the enemy’s wire entanglements. He had been at the Front for about six months.

Sec Lieut Hayes was educated at Charterhouse and the Royal Military College Sandhurst. He has a younger brother who at present at school."


Chester Chronicle 30/10/15

Lieut Hayes Killed in Action

"It is with deep regret that we announce the death of 2nd Lieutenant Harry Urmson (Dick) Hayes, son of Mr and Mrs George W. Hayes of 

Hoole Bank Chester, who was killed in action in France on the 13th October. Lieut Hayes had been gazetted to a 2nd Lieutenancy in the 

1st Battalion of the Black Watch and it was while fighting with that famous regiment that he fell. He was a very popular and promising young fellow.

The deep sympathy of the citizens of Chester will be felt for the bereaved parents who, at the outbreak of the war, gave up their beautiful 

house, Hoole Bank, to be used as a hospital for wounded soldiers. Mr and Mrs Hayes have, since they left Hoole Bank, been living at 

Worplesdon Hill, near Woking, where the sad news of their son’s death reached them. 2nd Lieut Hayes was only 19 years of age."


Chester Chronicle 1/09/17

The Late Second Lieut. H U Hayes

Memorial in Chester Cathedral

"A memorial tablet of white marble has been placed in Chester Cathedral to the memory of the late Second Lieut Harry Urmson Hayes, Black Watch, the only son of Mr and Mrs Hayes Hoole Bank, Chester. The inscription on the tablet which is surmounted by the regimental badge is as follows “In loving memory of Harry Urmson Hayes Second Lieut the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) killed in France 13th October 1915 aged 19. He gave his heart to his home, his life for his King and country and his soul to his God” The gallant lieutenants parents, it will be remembered have given a munificent donation for a memorial in Chester Royal Infirmary."

The 1901 Census shows 5 year old Harry living at Hoole Bank together with father George, mother Eva, brother Eric, John Higson a visitor and nine domestic staff. A further seven staff are living at the coachman’s cottage.


His father George had donated Hoole Bank House for use as a Red Cross Auxiliary Hospital in August 1914, in which role it continued until 1919. HH&HS are carrying out further research into Hoole’s role in this aspect of the Home Front during the First World War. 


HORNER, William A 

Regiment:  8 Bn Ox & Bucks Light Infantry

Rank: Corporal

Number: 28066

Died: 3 November 1918

Aged: ?

Buried/Memorial: Taranto Town Cemetery Italy

Address: Vicarage Road


Cheshire Observer 7/12/18


"Much regret will be felt locally at the sad news of the death of a soldier son of Mr and Mrs Horner, formerly of Vicarage Road, Hoole and 

now of Milngavie, Dumbartonshire. Their elder son, William, after two years Army service in Italy was coming home to train for a commission when he fell victim at sea to influenza and died within a week of reaching England. He was only about 20 years of age. Deep sympathy is extended to the bereaved relatives who were well known and much respected during their residence in Hoole. Mr Horner, senior, was for a considerable time organist of City Road Presbyterian Church."


  IMISON, Charles K 

Regiment:  17 Bn King’s Liverpool Regiment

Rank: Acting Sergeant

Number: 15718

Died: 9 August 1916

Aged: ?

Buried/Memorial: Abbeville Communal Cemetery 

Address: Oak Lea Hoole Road


Chester Chronicle

The Casualty Lists

"Killed : Previously reported missing now reported killed - Imison, 15718, Acting-sergeant C K, Runcorn"


KEENE, Edward

Regiment: 8 Bn Cheshire Regiment

Rank: Pte

Number: 11232

Died: 4 September 1915

Aged: ?

Buried/Memorial: Alexandria Chatby Cemetery & Memorial, Egypt

Address: Born Hoole


Chester Chronicle 9/10/15

The Casualty List

In Mediterranean

"The following are reported under various dates in the Mediterranean

Died Cheshire Regiment - 8th Battalion – Keene, 11232, E."


MARTIN, Percy John

Regiment: 24 Bn London Regiment

Rank: Private

Number: 723489

Died:  25 January 1917

Aged: 20

Buried/Memorial: Lijssenthoek Cemetery Belgium

Address: Workhouse, Hoole Lane


Chester Chronicle 10/02/17

Chester Workhouse Master’s Son (died)

"Deep sympathy is felt for Mr J Martin, master of Chester Workhouse, in the news he has received of the death of his only son, Mr Percy Martin, while serving in the forces at the front. Mr Percy Martin, who was 20 years of age, had been educated at Ellesmere College. He then, after being in the Chester offices of the Royal Assurance Company for three months, joined the staff at Lloyds Bank at Chester, and had been there nearly three months when he enlisted in the Buffs. He was afterwards transferred to the London Regimen, and was serving with one of the battalions at the front when he was stricken with pneumonia. He died in hospital. The deceased was a most promising and likeable young fellow, and his untimely death is a great blow to his friends.

The Board of Guardians passed on Tuesday a vote of condolence with the bereaved father. The clerk (Mr Hull) who announced the sad tidings to the board, said those acquainted with Mr Percy Martin knew what a fine young fellow he was. He was shy and modest, but one had only to know him to realise what a splendid character he had. Not only had his father lost a good son but the nation was poorer for the loss of such a promising young fellow.

The Chairman (Mr Wm Williams) said it was very sad that a career so full of promise had been cut off so early. He had however shared the fate of many of our brave lads, and his father was sharing the sorrow borne by so many of his fellow countrymen.

The Board passed a vote of condolence with the master,, all the members rising."


PINCHES, Norman Gordon

Regiment:  19th Btn, King’s Liverpool Regiment (Liverpool Pals)

Rank: Lance Corporal

Number: 21589 

Died: 30 July 1916

Aged: 22

Buried/ Memorial: Guillemont Road Cemetery, Guillemont

Address: 66 Lightfoot Street, Hoole


Chester Chronicle 19/08/16

Four Chester “Pals” killed in action

"Pte SH Thomas, 17th Liverpool Pals; Pte CF Bath (?), 19th Liverpool Pals; Lance Corporal G. Pinches, 19th Liverpool Pals: and Lance Corporal FA Pierce, 17th Liverpool Pals.

We are now in a position to say how the above met their fate. One of the “pals” (Harry Foster) writes:- “We were in reserve for a week just behind the line waiting for out third attack. On the night of July 29th we moved up to our position just ahead and on the right of Trones Wood. Here we took up our position in the shell holes, just behind the 19th and dug ourselves in for safety, awaiting early morning when the advance was to commence at 4.45. We were in our stations, myself being with Ossy Eaves. Frank and his men quite near, also Sam’s gun team. We were under constant fire but not heavy, being mostly gas shells. It would be towards one or two o’clock when poor old Sam met his fate. Our sergeant had just given us our ration and gone to the shell hole where the gun team were and here, unfortunately, one gas shell found its mark, landing in the centre of the gunners. Poor lads, it wiped the whole of them out. It was a bad start for us, but at 4.45 the boys were up, into the mist they went, headed by our section commanders. We ploughed along taking shelter here and there, for they poured one continual rain of lead at us. We were suffering terrible losses, but the boys kept on. When we first started the attack I saw Frank leading his section. He was on our right, but he disappeared in the mist, his men following him with confidence. We kept pushing forward, and were then held up by a German advance trench (a strong point). Here we fought for three quarters of an hour, when the enemy saw their chance was hopeless. They downed arms, hands up, and cried like children for mercy. We took up our position in what was once a German trench, only three of us out of our section, our NCO, Ossy, and myself. Getting lost, we attached ourselves to the 19th. Here we met another of our pals who had also got lost. He was one of Frank’s section. Then he told us the terrible news. Frank was leading his section in the charge and unfortunately was shot through the heart. The sights were bad enough but the shock of losing Frank and Sam – well, I can’t describe my feelings – it’s heartbreaking. They were two fine fellows, so very popular in the company. And not only were they excellent soldiers but thorough gentlemen too. I shall always remember their true sport – a helping hand was always ready.” 


PRICE, Christopher Llewelyn

Regiment: 7 Bn Cheshire Regiment

Rank: Pte

Number: 268302

Died: 14 October 1918

Aged: 26

Buried/Memorial: Perth China Wall Ieper Belgium

Address: 15 Edna Street


Cheshire Observer 28/12/18

Killed In Action

"PRICE – Killed in action on 14th October 1918 Pte Christopher Llewelyn Price 5th (?) Bn Cheshire Regiment, beloved husband of Emily Mary Price15 Edna Street, Hoole, Chester, aged 25 years."


RHODES, George

Regiment: 16 Bn Cheshire Regiment

Rank: Pte

Number: 50538

Died: 29 April 1917

Aged: 30

Buried/Memorial: Grand Seraucourt British Cemetery

Address: 21 Station View Hoole Lane


Chester Chronicle 16/06/17

The Casualty Lists

"Rhodes (Cheshire Regiment), 50438, G., Chester, missing."


SHARKEY, James Thomas

Regiment: 2 Bn Cheshire Rgt

Rank: Private

Number: 8171

Died: 18 February 1915

Aged: 25

Buried/Memorial: Menin gate Memorial Ieper

Address: Born Hoole


Cheshire Observer 13/03/15

Cheshire’s Casualties

"Frostbite - 8171 J T Sharkey"

Cheshire Observer 20/05/15

Killed In Action

"SHARKEY  killed in action in France (?) February 18th the day of his 25th birthday. James Thomas Sharkey No. 8171 2nd batt Cheshire husband of Louisa M Sharkey  No 21 Fosbrooke Street(??) Boughton Chester."


WELSFORD, George Keith

Regiment: 11 Squadron Royal Flying Corps

Rank: Lieutenant - Observer

Died: 20 October 1916

Aged: 24

Buried/ Memorial: Arras Memorial, France

Address: Hoole House, Hoole

Chester Chronicle 28/10/16

Lieut, G.K. Welsford Killed

"Lieut George Keith Welsford RFC (killed in action) was 24 years of age, and the eldest son of Mr and Mrs J H Welsford, formerly of Hoole House, near Chester and a Unionist candidate for the Crewe Division. Lieut Welsford received his commission in July of this year."

George was educated at Harrow and their records contain further information about him and a letter from one of his brothers that describes the fatal incident.

Lieutenant G K Welsford

"Eldest son of James Hughes Welsford, Shipowner, of Hoole House, Chester, and of his wife, Ethel Welsford.

Gymnasium VIII: won Light-weight Boxing Competition: Ebrington Swimming Cup.

Lieutenant Welsford, who, after leaving Harrow, had been abroad for several years in British Columbia and Demerara, returned to England on the outbreak of War and enlisted in the Royal Engineers, as a Despatch Rider. A year later he was given a Commission in the Royal Flying Corps in France and became Machine Gun Officer to the nth Squadron (11 Squadron). He was killed on 20th October 1916."

His brother wrote as follows, describing the manner of his death:

It was about 7.30 am on October 20th that five aeroplanes went up from the Squadron to take photographs. They were two or three miles over the German lines, between Arras and Douai, when they were attacked by about 27 Hun aeroplanes, and George’s machine was ahead of all the rest and went straight into the middle of them. A tremendous battle ensued, and George’s machine being the foremost was prettily heavily attacked and four Huns got firing at him directly from behind…..George at once got up on his seat and was busy firing his top gun, when one Hun machine got a gun on him and riddled the pilot, putting about seven or eight shots into his back and smashing up the engine. The pilot was, I think, rendered unconscious, at any rate he lost control of the machine and it turned over and dived, and poor George, who had been standing up on his seat, was seen to go over the top plane and disappear.

WILLIS, Arthur Sydney

Regiment: 230th Siege Battery Royal Garrison Artillery

Rank: Gunner

Number: 69406

Died: 28 March 1918

Aged: 22

Buried/ Memorial: Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension, France

Address: Hoole Old Hall, Hoole Village


Chester Chronicle 13/04/18

Gunner A.S. Willis (Died of Wounds)

"We regret to announce that Gunner Arthur Sydney Willis, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Willis, Hoole Old Hall, has died of shell wounds received in action in the Arras district on March 28th. Gunner Willis, who was a bright and promising young man, enlisted two years last February.  He was previously wounded having been shot through the thigh, when acting last year as a dispatch rider at Messines Ridge.  The deceased was educated at Trafford School, and before joining up, worked on his father’s farm.  He attended All Saint’s Church, Hoole.  Much sympathy with the bereaved family."

The 1911 Census shows Sidney as a 15 year old living at Hoole Old Hall and helping with the farming, with father Joseph, mother Elizabeth, brothers Linden and Edgar, sister Mabel, aunt Mary Jones and Nellie Dickinson and Ada Davies both servants. 



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

All rights reserved - Copyright © 2012-2020 Dave Rees