The main memorial for Oldham is in the town centre, on the main shopping street. It was conceived in 1919 after the public raised money to honour the war dead and Albert Toft was commissioned to do the sculpture. It was unveiled in 1923 by General Hamilton and Bishop Temple of Manchester in front of over ten thousand people.
In 2012 and 2013 the memorial was cleaned and repaired ahead of the centenary of the beginning of the Great War. It was rededicated on Remembrance Sunday 2013.
If you know anything about the men below, please get in touch here and let me know. Especially on the blanks.
Private JW Abbott, 2nd/5th Battalion, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
Private Abbott died on the 1st of September 1917 aged 38. He was serving with the 2nd/5th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was the son of Robert and Betty and husband of Mary who lived at Fernleigh, 59 Belgrave Rd in Oldham.
Leading Stoker SE Ackroyd, HMS Defence, Royal Navy.
Stephen Ackroyd was serving on HMS Defence during the Battle of Jutland on the 31st of May 1916. His ship spotted a disabled German ship, SMS Wiesbaden and closed in to attack it. A German battlecruiser and four battleships spotted the attack and opened fire. One of the smaller magazines (ammunition stores) was hit and started a raging fire that spread to the larger magazines which exploded and sunk the ship at 6:20 in the evening. All the crew lost their lives.
It was thought that the ship was utterly destroyed, but author Clive Cussler discovered the wreck and found it to be largely intact. In 2001 it was surveyed and classified as a protected site to commemorate the 903 men who died.
Stephen Ackroyd was the son of Stephen and Mary of Brook Lane, Glodwick, Oldham and was married to Alice Maud Ackroyd, of 54 Norbury St, Glodwick, Oldham.
Private H Addyman, 5th Battalion, the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry.
Private Harry Addyman joined the 5th Battalion of the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry in Blackburn. He died on the 9th of April 1917 during the Battle of Arras in the second wave which captured its objectives. The regimental history has this to say about the day he died:
“The ground allotted to the battalion was south of Tilloy from a point about half-way between this village and Telegraph Hill to about 300 yards south of the latter. The enemy was caught unawares, in many cases asleep in the dug-outs, consequently a large number of prisoners was taken with their arms and ammunition. In our line of advance there was a very strong work known as “The Harp” on account of its singular shape, but thanks to the accurate bombardment which had preceded the attack, not much of this was left and the battalion had little difficulty in reaching its objective. The second phase of the attack which had been planned was the capture of the village of Wancourt and the line immediately west of the point, but this was not persevered with. A considerable body of our cavalry was concentrated later on in the day near Telegraph Hill, but they were not able to help the situation much for various reasons. The weather on this occasion added much to the difficulty of the troops, there being a series of violent snowstorms. Nevertheless the bearing of all ranks was excellent, and it was good to see the undoubted superiority of our men over the enemy.”
He was married to Mrs S Addyman of 4 Salem Place, Scott St, Oldham and lies in Beaurains Road Cemetery.
Officer’s Steward 2nd Class, W Addyman, HMS Good Hope, Royal Navy.
William John Thomas Addyman died on the 1st of November 1914 at ten to eight in the evening. This precision on timing is down to his service aboard HMS Good Hope. It was involved in the Battle of Coronel off the coasty of Chile near to the city of Concepion. The Good Hope lead the attack against a German force and after taking fearsome damage exploded after catching fire which spread and exploded the magazine. It tore the rear of the ship off and it sank taking all the crew with it. The newly formed Royal Canadian Navy suffered its first casualties as four Midshipmen were aboard. William Addyman is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial.
Driver F Affleck, 250th Brigade, The Royal Field Artillery.
Driver Affleck served with A Battery of the 250th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery. He was the son of Annie Affleck of Wind Mill Lane Edinburgh. He died on the 24th of July 1919 and is buried in Chadderton Cemetery.
Corporal R Affleck, 242nd Company, The Machine Gun Corps.
Richard Affleck served with the 242nd company of the Machine Gun Corps. He died on the 6th of December 1917 and is remembered on the Cambrai memorial. He left behind his wife Maude of 4 Pembroke St, Oldham.
Private GG Agar, 1st/8th Battalion, The Manchester Regiment.
George Gill Agar was the son of George and Annie of Whitby and was married to Margaret of Stoke Gabriel. He lies in the churchyard at Stoke Gabriel, after dying of wounds in Lewisham, London. He served with the 1st/8th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment.
Private DH Airey, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
David Henry Airey was the son of Frank and Ada and husband to Gertrude Cowper Airey of 139 Shaw St, Oldham.
Private J Airey, 15th Battalion, The Tank Corps.
John Airey served with the 15th Battalion of the Tank Corps and died aged 20 on the 27.9.1918. He is buried in Flesquieres Hill cemetery.
Private JJ Aldred, 20th Battalion, The Manchester Regiment.
Private JJ Aldred of the 20th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. He was the son of Mrs Aldred of 20 Lytton St Oldham and the husband of Florence of 31 Sholver Lane, Moorside, Oldham.
Rifleman WA Aldred, 1st Battalion, The King’s Royal Rifle Corps.
Rifleman Aldred was the son of Mary Haslam of 20 Lytton St, Oldham. He died on the 10th of July 1916 aged 21.
Private BS Allen, 2nd/7th Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment).
Benjamin Seymour Allen served with B Company. He was the son of Millicent Allen of 18 Dickens St, Moorside, Oldham. He died on the 21.3.18 aged 20 and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.
Private HS Allen, 1st/10th Battalion, The Manchester Regiment.
Henry Seymour Allen was the son of Henry William and Millicent Allen, of Stockport. He was married to Lucy Isabella Allen, of 46 Colwyn St. Westwood, Oldham. He died on the 11th of April 1918 aged 25 and is buried in Wimereux Communal cemetery.
Private TR Allison, 2nd Battalion, The Grenadier Guards.
Private Allison was the son of John Edwin and Elizabeth Allison, of 9 Bowling Street, Hollinwood, Oldham and the husband of Harriet Ann Allison, of 3, Church Lane, Oldham. He died aged 33 on the 27th of May 1918.
Private B Alston, 1st/5th Battalion, The East Lancashire Regiment.
Private B Alston was the husband of Mrs. M. E. Alston, of 121, Duckworth St., Darwen.He died on the 12th of January 1918 and is buried in Gorre British and Indian cemetery in France.
Private F Alton, 10th Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment).
Frank Herbert Alton died on St Valentine’s Day 1916. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate in Ypres.
Private JC Anderton, 1st/10th Battalion,The Manchester Regiment.
Private John Chadwick Anderton was 24 when he died. He was the son of William and Elizabeth of 245 Rochdale Rd, Oldham.
Private RJ Anderton, 2nd Battalion, The Manchester Regiment.
Robert John Anderton was married to Ellen of 6 Florida St, Oldham. He died on the 15th of March 1918 aged 35.
Gunner T Andrew, 117th Battery, 26th Brigade, The Royal Field Artillery.
Gunner T Andrew lies in Cambrai East cemetery after dying on the 6th of November 1918. He was the son of William and Hannah of Oldham and married to Ethel of 20 Tamworth St, Werneth in Oldham.
Private WM Andrew, 23rd Battalion,The Manchester Regiment.
Private Andrew died on the 24th of October 1917 aged 29. He lived with his wife at 27 Circular Rd (nowadays Chauncy Rd), New Moston, Manchester.
Gunner JE Anson, Royal Garrison Artillery.
Gunner Anson died on New Year’s Eve 1917 fighting in Africa. He is buried in Alexandria (Hadra) cemetery in Egypt.
Serjeant G Archbold, 2nd/10th Battalion, The Manchester Regiment.
Serjeant Archbold died on the 15th of September 1917. He lies in Ramscappelle Road cemetery.
Lance Corporal R Archer (MM), 24th Battalion, The Manchester Regiment.
Robert Archer was batman to Lt. Col James Chadwick. They both died as a result of the injuries sustained when a German shell exploded close to them. They were building a trench near to Bullecourt when Chadwick took a few men forward for a better appreciation of the lay of the land. They were both laid to rest in Mory L’Abbye cemetery. He was a recipient of the Military Medal.