Stories of the memorial men

The Ellel war memorial.
The Ellel war memorial.

Local historian Shaun Corkerry looks at the people behind the names on Ellel war memorial.

He said: “It is a great privilege to be able to tell the story of a small number of the men named on the Ellel war memorial, which I have been researching now for some time.

The names on Ellel war memorial.

The names on Ellel war memorial.

“I have also been trying to find out more about the 180 other men from Galgate and the parish of Ellel – which includes Bay Horse, Hampson Green, and part of Dolphinholme – who served in the Great War and came home.

“My full research is on the Galgate Past and Present and the Galgate Hyperlocal Facebook pages.

“If anyone has any information that could help me I can be contacted on Corkerrys@aol.com.”

The history behind the names

HENRY CHRISTOPHER CORNTHWAITE

Private 14776 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers 7th Bn – formerly 6344 Lancashire Fusiliers.

Henry (or Harry) was born in 1897 and was the son of Mr William and Mrs Mary Ann Cornthwaite, Pear Tree House, Galgate.

Harry enlisted in Rochdale and served at Gallipoli with the Lancashire Fusiliers, later transferring to the Inniskillings.

Harry’s regiment was subjected to a German gas attack at Hulluc on Thursday, April 27 1916 during which Harry died.

Private H Brown, one of Harry’s friends, wrote to Henrys mother on May 31: “I’m very sorry to hear about Harry, but I thought it would console you a bit to know he has been out away in a little cemetery our Battalion has for our own boys” (this became PHILOSOPHE BRITISH CEMETERY, MAZINGARBE)

Aged 19, I believe he is the youngest casualty on the Ellel memorial.

ALFRED FISHWICK, Sergt.

Sergeant 3039/241008 King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regt.) “B” Coy. 2nd/5th Bn.

Alfred was born in 1898 in Galgate. He was the youngest son of Mr William Henry and Mary Fishwick of 4, The Crescent, Galgate. Alfred worked in the Boiler house at the silk mill.

Alfred enlisted in Lancaster and went to France in 1916. On October 26 1917 the 2/5th Kings own mounted an attack on German positions in the Shaaf Balie area.

As the attacks failed and counterattacks took place the battalion formed a defensive line until relief later that night. Alfred was killed during these operations.

ALFRED FREEMAN

Private 461066 Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regt.) 16th Bn.

Alfred was born on November 21 1891 at Skerton and was the youngest son of Mr W H and Mary Ann Freeman.

He emigrated to Winnipeg with his family in 1913 and was employed in the Canadian Pacific Railroad shops.

He had served as a Territorial in the UK, and was also in the Canadian equivalent serving in the 79th Cameron Highlanders of Canada.

Alfred enlisted for overseas service on the 15 January 1915 in Winnipeg and became a Private in the 3rd Canadian (Scottish) Contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He returned to England in October 1915 and in November 1915 married Miss Hornby of Galgate.

Alfred served for several months in the trenches and when out of the line was an officer’s servant.

He also took part in the fighting around Ypres.

According to a letter received from his Brother in law Alfred went up to his unit on August 7 and a Mortar shell must have hit his position as “Alf was buried for three hours before he could be got out...

“Alf collapsed and died” in Number 3 Canadian Clearing Hospital at 1am on August 9 1916 – two days after his wounds were received. He was 25 years old.

FRANK JACKSON

Corporal 1280 King’s Own (1/5th Bn Royal Lancaster Regt.)

Born 1893 in Carnforth, Frank was listed in the 1911 census as an apprentice gardener living at “the bungalow” Bailrigg.

Frank enlisted in Lancaster (he may have been a pre-war territorial) and arrived in France on February 14 1915 with the 1/5th Battalion. At the time of Corporal Jackson’s death the 1st/5th were in the Ypres Salient.

Frank died of wounds received on May 8 on Monday, May 10, aged 22.

Interestingly Franks original Grave Marker cross was bought back from Belgium by his Parents and it was placed in the churchyard of St John’s Church near the west window until 1967, when it was bought inside the church to help preserve it.

ROBERT PARKER MM. Sergt.

Sergeant 27518 King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regt.).”C” Coy. 8th Bn.

Robert was born in Ulverston in 1893; he was the son of Margaret and the late Robertius Litt Parker of Ulverston.

In 1911 Robert was listed as living at chapel street Galgate and employed as a general labourer at a manufacturing works. He was the husband of Annie Price Parker of 23, The Crescent, Galgate, and they had four children.

Sgt Parker enlisted in Lancaster. It appears Sgt Parker was sent to France from 1916.His Military Medal for gallantry was awarded as per the London Gazette of January 25 1918.

Sgt Parker is the only man on the Ellel war memorial to be decorated for gallantry, (though not the only Military medallist from Galgate).

Robert Parker died on either July 17 or 27 1918 (exact date uncertain), aged 37.

WILLIAM HERBERT SATTERTHWAITE. CAPT. (Acting Major)

William was born in 1878 in Lancaster, the elder son of Mr Alexander Satterthwaite, (Mayor of Lancaster 1905-6), and Mrs Mary Jane Satterthwaite.

William was Educated at Uppingham school and spent some time in Preston before being employed by Messrs William Thompson and Co. silk spinners, Galgate and Preston, as director and assistant manager.

An officer in the Volunteers and later the Territorials from 1900, he re-joined the TF on the outbreak of war.

Following various staff jobs in the UK William arrived in France on February 7 1917 with the 2/5th Kings Own.

He was mentioned in despatches for his war services to date in the London Gazette of 11 December 1917. He was then attached to 1/5 Loyal North Lancs regt where he was second in command of the Battalion. He was killed during the routine relief of another unit on June 7 1918.

“Major Satterthwaite was talking to some officers in their trenches, when a shell landed in their midst killing Major Satterthwaite immediately, and wounded two others [Lts Edwards and Hollis)as well as two men”]. Aged 40 at the time of his death, Acting Major Satterthwaite is the oldest casualty on the Ellel war memorial.

ROBINSON STOCKS

Sapper 23015 Royal Engineers 12th Field Coy.

Probably the unluckiest man on the memorial, Robin was born in 1892 in Halifax, Yorks. In the 1911 census he was listed as an apprentice Joiner living at East View Galgate with his parents, Sydney and Martha Ann.

Robin enlisted in Lancaster around 1912 a regular soldier. He served in the 6th Division in France and was wounded during the battle of Cambrai.

It appears from the unit War diary that Sapper Stocks was wounded during operations on the 22nd, taken to the units dressing station and was killed by a direct hit from a shell whilst there. He was 25 years old.

As Robin was awarded the 1914 star (he arrived in France on the 8 September 1914)He was therefore an “Old Contemptible.”

GEORGE STUART

Pioneer 44148 Royal Engineers 78th Field Coy.

George was born in Lancaster in 1889 but later moved to Galgate living in Makinson’s Row. In the 1911 census he is listed as an estate labourer but was later employed as auxiliary postman and bakers assistant and van man for Mr J D Smith. George was the son of Mr Geo Stuart and stepson of Mrs Elizabeth Stuart.

George enlisted at Morecambe in 1914 with the Royal Engineers and Went to France on July 14 1915 with the 78th Field Company RE who were part of the 17th Division.

George’s obituary gives the following details of George’s death whilst involved in operations south east of Ypres on the Comines canal:

“Sapper Cecil B George writing on March 4 said:

“Your son George was killed Feb 29 (1916) by a bursting shell...we were all sitting in the dug-out having our dinner about 4.30pm previous to going out to the firing line for night work. The Germans started shelling and George went out to see where the shells were bursting...a shell burst over him and he was hit in the back just below the shoulder on the left hand side...just as I opened the door he came in and fell at my feet. We lifted him onto a bed but he died almost immediately.”

* Want to know more?

An essential starting point is The War memorials of Lancaster and Morecambe, edited by James Dennis, published by the Lancaster military heritage group – and the accompanying data disc.

Their website is also invaluable.

http://www.lancasterwarmemorials.org.uk/home.htm

other useful websites are:

http://www.1914-1918.net

The Long, Long Trail, a site all about the soldiers, units, regiments and battles of the British Army of the First World War.

Ancestry .co.uk : http://home.ancestry.co.uk/

The Commonwealth war graves commission,

http://www.cwgc.org/

The London Gazette

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/

* The obituaries for many of the men on the memorial were published in the Lancaster Guardian 1914-1919.

The Public record office (The National Archives) and The Kings Own Museum, Lancaster have the war diaries for most of the units in which the men served and which give daily accounts of their activities.