Museum of the Manchester Regiment
The Men Behind the Medals

This website tells the stories of the men whose medals are on display at the Museum of the Manchester Regiment

The Museum was originally formed in May 1936 at the Regimental Depot and Headquarters, Ladysmith Barracks, Ashton-under-Lyne. Following the outbreak of war in 1939 the museum was closed and its contents safely housed in Wales. The collection returned to the barracks in 1948, but with subsequent changes, both military and political, it was not until 1987 that the collection found its permanent home, back in Ashton-under-Lyne and in the care of Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council.

An extremely important part of the collection has always been that of the medals. Their possession within the collection is a reminder of the achievements of the Manchester Regiment and its forebears during its proud two-hundred years of service to Crown and Country. Not only do they help to recall a particular war, campaign or action but help to keep alive the memory of a particular man or an outstanding act of gallantry.

Although the Manchester Regiment is no more, these medals serve as a permanent reminder of the outstanding but often forgotten deeds of our ancestors, such as:

  • The capture of the French West Indian Islands.
  • The wars against revolutionary France.
  • The battlefields of the Crimea.
  • Their presence at the founding of Australia and New Zealand.
  • The heroic defence of Ladysmith in the Anglo/Boer War.
  • The retreat from Mons by the 'Contemptible Little Army'.
  • The long campaigns in Italy and Burma during WWII.

The museum provides a permanent and secure home for the medals of its soldiers and it is here that their families and friends are able to view the medals of their loved ones, knowing that they will be safe and secure for the benefit of generations still to come.

Now, thanks to the generosity of the Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund, access to the lives and deeds of individual soldiers has been made available for the first time in the shape of these superbly researched volumes. We are indeed most grateful.

Captain Robert Bonner MA

Chairman of the Museum of the Manchester Regiment Advisory Committee

This project is dedicated to the memory of Major Ron Young. It could not have been completed without help from a large number of people.

Men Behind the Medals Phase 2 (2013 – 2021)

The first part of this project ended in 2013. Since then 80 medals or sets of medals have come into the museum collections. With so many more stories to tell Tameside Museums & Galleries successfully applied for a grant to AMOT (Army Museums Ogilby Trust) to continue adding more soldiers’ biographies to this website. We would like to express our gratitude to AMOT for supporting us with this project.

Thank you also to everyone who has assisted with this second part of the project; from museum staff and their contacts who have helped with research, Tameside Local Studies & Archives Staff, Matt Alderson who undertook the research for the project and Simon Critchley who took the photographs. Finally a big thank you to the friends and family of the soldiers who have so generously donated the medals to the Manchester Regiment collection and assisted with providing information and photographs to help ensure that these soldiers’ lives will never be forgotten.

Since the first phase of this project the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in Ashton Town Hall closed for refurbishment works to the building. If you would like to view particular medals by appointment please contact the Curators Michelle Hill or Alex Leese based at Portland Basin Museum on 0161 342 5480.

Michelle Hill

Curator, Tameside Museums & Galleries

Museum of the Manchester Regiment
c/o Portland Basin Museum
Portland Place
Heritage Wharf

Telephone: 0161 342 5480
Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund logo
Army Museums Ogilby Trust logo
Tameside Metropolitan Borough logo
Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund logo
Army Museums Ogilby Trust logo
Trustees of the Manchester Regiment Museum & Archive and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council