Photograph of Herbert in Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre. Reference: Acc3600
(L to R) British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal
Herbert was born between January and March 1899 in the Ashton-under-Lyne area of Lancashire. His father was called Arthur and his mother was Ada. He had 4 older siblings; Percy, Frederick, Emma and Lizzie, and 2 younger, Willie and Annie. The family had lost one other child by 1911, but we don't know their name.
Arthur worked as an electric crane driver at a 'gas engine makers'. He raised his family at 336 Whitelands Road in nearby Dukinfield. By 1911 several of his older siblings had found work in the cotton industry. We don't know what work Herbert did once he was old enough.
The First World War broke out in August 1914. The British Army expanded massively, but it was still not enough. In January 1916 conscription was introduced, meaning that men could be called into the Army whether or not they wanted to join.
Herbert was 'called up for service' on the 7th March 1917, shortly after his 18th birthday. He was first assigned to a unit of the Training Reserve, although we don't know which.
Herbert then joined a unit of The King's (Liverpool Regiment). Again we don't know which, although he did not serve overseas with them. This came when he was posted to the Manchester Regiment, and given the service number 57321. This number suggests that Herbert joined the Manchester Regiment towards the end of 1917.
We don't know which battalion of the Manchester Regiment Herbert joined, so we can't say for certain where he served. We know he was wounded once during his time overseas, but not the circumstances.
The war ended in November 1918, and by the autumn of 1919 Herbert had been posted to the 1st Battalion of the Manchester Regiment at Blackdown near Aldershot. He was released from the Army and allowed to return home on the 20th September. He was then transferred to the Class Z Reserve on the 18th October. This had been formed so that soldiers could be rapidly recalled if fighting with Germany had broken out again, but it never did.
We don't know much about the rest of Herbert's life. At first he returned to his family at 336 Whitelands Road.
Between October and December 1920 Herbert married Elsie Warner Day in the Ashton area. They had 2 children; Audrey between July and September 1932 and Olwyn between October and December 1934. Sadly Olwyn died in June 1935.
In later life Herbert and Elsie moved to 45 Curzon Road in Ashton. This was their home when Herbert died on the 18th March 1962. He was 63 years old. Elsie was 72 when she died in June 1972.
Herbert's medals were donated to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in July 1995.