Thursday, 13 July 2017


In my research of the Manchester Corporation Tramways (MCT) WW1 Memorial Plaque I found quite a few of the employees had been remembered on memorials and in cemeteries in and around the Belgium Town of Ypres.

Therefore it seemed only right that we visit this area of the Western Front to find them and to pay our respects to them.

In travelling by train from Didsbury Manchester to Ypres Belgium it was important that these memorials and cemeteries were located within easy reach of the town.

As I have previously written, The Menin Gate in Ypres, the centre of remembrance, contains the names of 19 MCT employees (see May Blog) and Ypres Reservoir Cemetery was the location of 3 employees’ graves (see June Blog).

Just on the outskirts of Ypres there are a couple of cemeteries were more of the MCT employees’ graves were located. So prior to our involvement in the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate Memorial we hired a taxi to take us to these cemeteries.

The old chateau grounds at Potijze is the site of three Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) cemeteries which are located two and a half miles from Ypres and contain over 850 commonwealth burials of the First World War. They are Potijze Chateau Grounds, Potijze Chateau Lawn and Potijze Chateau Wood. Two of the MCT employees are buried in the Potijze Chateau Grounds Cemetery

Potijze Chateau Grounds Cemetery is the location of the grave of Arthur James Schollar who was employed as a Trolley Boy with MCT at the Hyde Road Car Shed Ardwick Manchester. He was Private S/40325 with the 7th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders.

He died on the 28th September 1918 and his grave reference is I.C.72. He was the son of James Edward & Rubina Mary Schollar of 19 Sherborne Street Gorton Manchester.

He was only 20 years of age when he died.
On many CWGC headstones there is an inscription from the family at the base.
For Arthur James it reads “Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Pray for Him”

E. Williams .... "believed to be buried in this cemetery"
Another grave in the cemetery belongs to E Williams who was a coach painter with MCT.

He was 352322 Private with the Royal Army Medical Corps 2nd East Lancs Field Ambulance.

He was the son of Richard and Mary Williams of Pendleton Manchester.

The CWGC records show that he was the husband of Bertha Williams of 6 Green Walk Ainsdale Southport. Sadly to date I have not yet managed to ascertain his christian name.
His grave reference showed his location as being on a Special Memorial near The Great Cross. Beside this cross were a number of graves which had an inscription on the tops of the headstones and E William’s grave was amongst these.

The inscription reads as follows “Believed to be buried in this Cemetery” E Williams was 36 years old when he was killed on the 10th October 1917.

The family inscription at the base reads “Their Glory Shall not be Blotted Out”

Having paid our respects at Potijze Chateau Grounds the taxi then took us to The Menin Road South Military Cemetery.

This was the location of the grave of Thomas Henry Talbot grave reference I.U.33.  Thomas was a platelayer with MCT and served as 9772 Private 11th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers.

He died on the 7th August 1917 aged 43.

The family inscription at the base of the headstone reads as follows: “In the Midst of Life We are in Death. A Loving Husband & Father Sadly missed”.

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

                                                     LEST WE FORGET

© Martin Logan, 2017

Pictures; from the collection of Marin Logan

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