Saturday, 20 February 2016

Looking for Mrs Fraser on Seymour Grove in November 1914 .............. stories behind the book nu 6

An occasional series on the stories behind the new book on Manchester and the Great War.*

The Elms, Seymour Grove, 1893
Now there are times when you can feel totally frustrated when a line of research stubbornly refuses to go anywhere.

And that pretty much is where I am with Mrs W A Fraser of the Elms, Seymour Grove, Old Trafford.

In the November of 1914 she appeared in the Manchester Guardian as the contact for sending “gifts of woollen mittens” for men of the 3rd City Battalion of the Manchester Regiment who were based at White City and later also settled in Heaton Park.

They were one of the eight battalions of Pals who were raised between August and November 1914 in response to Lord Derby’s appeal for recruits.

The appeal had made in Liverpool and pretty much immediately across the country there was an overwhelming response.

Here in Manchester the first three City Battalions were each recruited in days.  The first two battalions and the 4th were based in Heaton Park while the 3rd went to White City after what I think may have been a temporary stay in Alexandra Park.

And on November 20 1914 the commanding officer of the 3rd City Battalions made it known that he would be glad to receive those gifts.

The war was characterised by a huge surge in voluntary and charity work with flag days, “comfort drives” for the troops and much more.

So I would like to know more about Mrs Fraser but so far nothing has come to light.

The Elms was there on Seymour Grove by 1891 but I think has now been demolished.

It would have stood somewhere close to Lime Avenue.

Now it may be that it is still there and I have missed it and there may be someone who can offer up information ofnMrs Fraser.

So there is the appeal.

Picture; Seymour Grove showing the Elms, 1893, from the OS map for South Lancashire, 1893 courtesy of Digital Archives Association,

*Manchester and the Great War, Andrew Simpson, due out at the end of 2016,

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