Sunday, 23 October 2016

Who was this young man?

I wonder who this young man was.

This question has been preoccupying the thoughts of my friend Tricia from Bexley who sent me the picture with the comment

“Would you do me a favour and walk the streets of Manchester and pin the attached picture of the mysterious Manchester Soldier to every lamp post in the hope that someone may recognize him.

I am getting no nearer to identifying the young man the only info I have is on the postcard with the exception of the fact that underneath the photo it stated he was a 2nd Lieutenant I assume they came to that conclusion through the evidence of his one pip shown in the photo. 

It may be the person who wrote on the postcard knew the young man perhaps a relative.

I have been through all the cemetery records at Deville Wood where he fell and am halfway through the Thiepval Memorial but have had no luck. 

I have also tried Ancestry but the outcome was the same.”

Now the reverse of the card simply says, "16th Manchester, (30th Division.) Missing
Reported “Wounded and Missing” from 26th July 1916, probably taking Deville Wood.”

It is not much to go on but if Tricia has the names of those officers killed at Deville Wood or in the July of 1916 we may be able to move forward.

My old friend David Harrop has lent me the huge volume containing the Roll of Honour of the Manchester Pals and between the two we might be able to identify him.

And this is an appropriate moment to try and find him given that next month marks the end of that battle a century ago and of course will also be dominated by the acts of Remembrance across the country.

Here in Manchester as elsewhere there will be ceremonies for the anniversary of the Armistice as well as Remembrance services.

David will be participating in a “remembrance walk and talk” in Southern Cemetery with Emma Fox and has also added to his permanent exhibition in the Remembrance Lodge in Southern Cemetery, of which more later.

But for now it may just be that someone recognises the picture and can help us.
Location; Manchester

Picture; Unknown Soldier from the Manchester Regiment, date unknown from the collection of Tricia Leslie

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