Wednesday, 7 June 2017


On our recent trip to the battlefields and cemeteries of the Western Front we stayed in the town of Ypres Belgium, see May Blog.   

Ypres (now Ieper) is a town in the Province of West Flanders and is the epicentre of WW1 remembrance on the Western Front. It is the location of The Menin Gate Memorial whose many panels are inscribed with the names of over 54,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers whose remains were never found and subsequently have no know grave.

The primary aim of our visit was to locate the nineteen names of Manchester Corporation Tramways (MCT) employees on the Memorial Gate and to take part in the Last Post and wreath laying ceremonies.

However it was also to try and locate those MCT employees who have a grave and are buried in the various cemeteries within and surrounding Ypres.

During the war the area around the town became known as the Ypres Salient and was held by the allies throughout the war.

The first conflict known as First Ypres took place in October 1914 while Second Ypres occurred in April 1915.  The most famous Third Battle of Ypres otherwise known as Passchendaele took place during 1917.

The town of Ypres itself houses two cemeteries Ramparts Cemetery, beside the Menin Gate and Reservoir Cemetery, which is located to the North East of the town and is the last resting place of 1,579 indentified casualties of WW1.

My research of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website found that three of the MCT employees were buried in Reservoir Cemetery.

Herbert Greenfield was a Guard with MCT. He was the son of Mrs R H Greenfield of 33 Anderton St, Queens Road Harpurhey Manchester and the late Mr W Greenfield.

He was 4966 Lance Sergeant of the 12th Battalion Manchester Regiment. His 4-digit number suggests that he was either a reservist or an early volunteer recruit.

He died on the 7th December 1915 and is buried in Ypres Reservoir Cemetery in Grave Ref: l.A.20

Henry Stockdale was also a guard with MCT. He was 300372 a Private with the 8th Battalion Manchester Regiment.

He died on the 12th September 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres and is also buried in Ypres Reservoir Cemetery in Grave Ref: l.D.14.

Ernest Aubrey Tanner was a guard with MCT and probably worked at Princess Road Car Depot Moss Side.

He was the son of Edward and Elizabeth Thurfida Tanner and lived at 34 Monton Street Moss Side Manchester.
He was 275550 Lance Sergeant of the 7th Battalion Manchester Regiment. He died on the 8th September 1917 during Third Ypres. He is buried in Ypres Reservoir Cemetery in Grave Ref: l.D.35.

If you have any info on these men or any other MCT Employee please contact me at or by mobile 07985490124


© Martin Logan, 2017

Pictures; from the collection of Marin Logan

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