Saturday, 9 December 2017

Remembering the Employees of Manchester Corporation Tramways .... Christmas 1917 from Martin Logan

As we approach Christmas 2017 100 years ago the Manchester Corporation Tramways (MCT) Employees serving on the Western Front were about to celebrate, if one can use that word, their fourth Christmas in the trenches.  

Since August 1914 around 250 MCT employees commemorated on the Memorial Plaque will have died.

During the period January to December 1917 at least 75 employees taking part in many offensives including Arras, the Third Battle of Ypres otherwise known as Passchendaele and Cambrai will have perished.

Brereton S W 
The first MCT employee to die in 1917 was a Brereton SW.

This person was Samuel Whitlow Brereton who was a guard working on the trams out of Hyde Road Tram Shed.

Waggon Road Cemetery
He was private 19338 with the 21st Battalion Manchester Regiment – 6th City Pals.

Samuel was the son of Samuel W and Emma Brereton of Runcorn Cheshire and the Husband of Frances Brereton of 47 Duncan Rd Longsight Manchester.

He was killed on the 12th January 1917 aged 27. He is buried in Waggon Road Cemetery Beaumont-Hamel grave reference A.5 which is situated in the Somme Department of France.

Richards E W
Ernest W Richards was a painter with MCT. He was Lance Corporal 308416 1st Battalion The King’s (Liverpool Regiment). He went missing on the 30th November 1917.

Cambrai Memorial
His body was never found and so he is commemorated on panel 4 of the Cambrai Memorial Louveral, which is situated in the Nord Department of France. He was 37 years of age. He was the husband of Gertrude Richards of 8 St Mark’s St Levenshulme Manchester

Foulding F
Fred Foulding was a platelayer with MCT. He was sergeant R897 of the 11th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps. Like E W Richards he too went missing on the 30th November 1917 and his body was never found.

He is also commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial Louveral panel 9, Nord France. Fred Faulding was the holder of the Military Medal and was gazetted 24 January 1917.

These men never saw another sunrise and never saw the sun going down again. They would also never celebrate another Christmas. So as we celebrate the festive season with our families and friends please spare a thought for Samuel, Ernest, Fred and all their mates and remember them.

If you have info on any of these employees or anyone else on the MCT Memorial Plaque please contact me at or by mobile 07985490124


Martin Logan © 2017

Pictures; sourced by Martin Logan, Waggon Road British Cemetery and the Cambrai Memorial where they are remembered. are from the CWGC website

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