Saturday, 5 November 2016


When Great Britain declared war on Germany in August 1914 it was widely believed that it would be over by Christmas. 

However as we approach Christmas 2016 at this moment in time one hundred years ago the fighting is still raging on the Western Front, The Balkans and Mesopotamia (today known as the Middle East).

Following Lord Kitchener’s appeal for volunteers thousands rushed to join the colours in order to get a piece of the action before it was all over.

For many it would be there first journey abroad and so they wanted to be part of a great adventure.

However that adventure would be at a tremendous cost and for over 800,000 British Soldiers it would be their last and they would never return home.

Manchester was at the forefront for enlisting volunteers with nine Pals Battalions raised by the City. Manchester Corporation did not form its own Pals Battalion but over five thousand employees of Manchester Corporation joined up with 2,889 of those employees enlisting from the Manchester Tramways Department (MTD).

The Memorial Plaques erected in 1923 at Queen’s Road, Hyde Road and Princess Road Car Sheds, bear testimony to the sacrifice made by the MTD.

They honour the 310 employees who never made it home and whose grave is a corner of a foreign field.To date as a result of my research of the Memorial Plaque I have found information on 295 of the 310 employees whose names are inscribed on it.

By December 1914 at least 14 MTD employees had died with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). The BEF first made contact with the German Army on the 23rd August 1914 and there then followed the Battles of Mons, Le Cateau and The Marne.

The first MTD employees died on the 26th August 1914.

As the war continued into 1915 I have found out that at least a further 60 employees lost their lives during the 2nd Battle of Ypres, Gallipoli and Loos to mention but three battles of 1915.

1916 was to see the largest number of employees falling with 89 losing their lives.

Two of those employees lost their lives at sea, one at Jutland and the other with Lord Kitchener at Scapa Flow. The majority lost their lives during the five month Battle of the Somme.

By the end of the third year of the war over half the employees on the Memorial Plaque had lost their lives.

During Remembrance Week 2016 please remember all of the Manchester Transport Employees who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

At the base of the MCT War Memorial is the following inscription, ."Let those who come after see to it that these names be not forgotten"


© Martin Logan 2016

Picture; MCT Memorial Plaque at Hyde Road Bus Depot coutesy of Martin Logan

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