Friday, 6 January 2017


As we partied on New Years Eve 2016 and waited in anticipation to herald in 2017 please spare a thought for the soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and those from Manchester Corporation Tramways (MCT) who in their trenches waited with much trepidation for 1917. 

Thiepval Memorial, 2014
They had just celebrated, if one can use that expression, their third Christmas fighting the Germans on The Western Front and doing their best to try and stay alive. The employees of MCT had paid a heavy price for their involvement in this war, which many had volunteered for. By now nearly half of the employees inscribed on the MCT Memorial Plaque had died and would never return home.

They had fought through the battles of 1914 at Mons, Le Cateau, the Marne and the Aisne. 15 employees did not even reach their first Christmas in the trenches.

1915 brought Gallipoli and many other battles and skirmishes which resulted in a further 51 employees losing their lives.

1916 would bring the largest death toll amongst the MCT employees. Two employees died on ships, one at Scapa Flow and the other employee at the Battle of Jutland. A further three employees died outside of Europe, two in Iraq and one in Africa. However the largest number, 82, died on the Western Front many during the Battle of the Somme.

38 employees are remembered on the Thiepval Memorial The Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. The photo was taken by me in September 2014.

So as they entered 1917 is it any wonder that those employees who were still alive were thinking if this war would ever end and also wondering if they would ever return home to their families.

I am doing my best to try and research all of the 310 names inscribed on the Memorial Plaque. To date I have managed to gather information on at least 296 employees and have also been extremely fortunate to make contact with numerous relatives. By doing so this gives me a living link to those employees.

If you can help me in any way shape or form with this endeavour I would be very grateful.

Please contact me at or by mobile 07985490124

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 2017

Picture;  Thiepval Memorial September 2014 Martin Logan taken  during a tour of the battlefields

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