The Men Behind the Medals Project was limited by both time and budget. Unfortunately we cannot pretend to have told the definitive story of any of these men.
We used a wide range of sources in our research, ranging from books, documents and photographs held in our archive to the many records available on websites such as Ancestry, Findmypast and The London Gazette. Army Service Numbers 1881-1918, The Manchester Regiment Group and The Long, Long Trail were also particularly useful.
We also attempted to make contact with as many donors and relatives as we could identify. The passage of time meant that we could not reach everyone, but a number of people were kind enough to send us additional information about the life of their relative. They shared details and memories that would have been impossible to find in any other way, and helped to ensure their relative's story is never lost.
I'd run out of space before I could fully do justice to the contribution these ladies and gentlemen have made. I hope they'll forgive me for just listing their names.
Thank you to:
- Mr William Adams, the son of Frank Adams
- Mrs Julie Wickham, the great niece of John Allbeson
- Mr Gerard Anderson, the grandson of Peter Anderson
- Mrs Joan McNulty, the daughter of Alfred Archer
- Miss Catherine Ashton, who helped to tell the story of Albert Ashton
- Mr Alan Arnold, his partner Annemarie Davis and his father Harry, the nephew and great nephew of Harry Ball
- Mr Bruce Lander, the grandson of William Barnes
- Mr Tony Walker, the nephew of Arthur Berry
- Mrs Ivy Stewart, the daughter of Thomas Bridge
- Mrs Elizabeth Upchurch, the daughter of Harry Bright
- Mr John Hartley, the grandson of Thomas Brough
- Miss Eva Dale, the niece of William Buckley
- Mr Peter Crofts, the son of Percy Crofts
- Mr Andy Rudall, whose relative Harry Hackett was killed on the same day as Frederick Dean
- Mrs Vivien Ellis, the granddaughter of Ethel Dean, who was married to George Dickinson and whose sister married James Shelmerdine. Her cousin Wendy Eaton Williamson kindly supplied photographs of these two men
- Mrs Rosemary Brown, the daughter of Norman Dunkerley
- Mr Eddie Gardiner, the great nephew of Fred Gardiner, and his relatives who identified Fred on a group photograph
- Mrs Philippa Colman, the granddaughter of John MacCurdy Greer
- Mr Tim Hadfield, the great nephew of James Hadfield
- Mr John Wrigley, the nephew of John Hallows
- Miss Margaret Hanrahan, the granddaughter of Thomas Hanrahan
- Mr John Burton, along with Peter and Michael Burton, and Michael and David Harrison, who are the grandsons of James Harrison
- Mr Robert Harrison, the nephew of Norman Harrison
- Mr Duncan Green, the grandson of George Heald
- Mrs Anna Birch, the granddaughter of Phillip Holberton
- Mrs Joan Bowden, the daughter of Fred Holland
- Miss Sylvia Hesketh, the great niece of William Holt. Pete Thomas and Neil Drum also shared information and a photograph of William that they discovered whilst researching their book A District at War: Irlam and Cadishead's part in the Great War 1914-1918
- Mrs Sheila Casson and Mr Brian Rose, the daughter and grandson of Edwin Hurley
- Mr David Blomfield, the great nephew of Menzies Lang
- Mrs Barbara Beevor, the niece of Samuel Lewis
- Mrs Amanda Upton, her brothers and sisters and her mother Mrs Margery McGauley, the widow and children of Benny McGauley
- Mrs Jenny Yates, Mr William Booth and Mrs Bev Nicholls, the daughter, grandson and great granddaughter of James Moyle
- Mr Ian McMullen, the great grandson in law of Jonathan Mulcaster
- Dr Michael Warren, the nephew of Donald Murray and David Stanley Murray
- Mr Eric Stuffins, the nephew in law of William Newman
- Mr Kenneth Nicholson, the son of Leslie Nicholson
- Mr John Nuttall, the nephew of Thomas Nuttall
- Mrs Nicole O'Connor, the daughter in law of James O'Connor
- Mr Cliff Phillips and Mrs Lorna Jones, the son and widow of Arthur Phillips
- Mrs Andrea Subedi, the granddaughter of Horatio Pierce and great granddaughter of Edward
- Mrs Janet Radcliffe and Mrs Margaret Tomlinson, the great niece and niece of Albert Raw
- Mr George Rayner, the son of George Rayner
- Mr John Widger, the nephew of Edward Roberts
- Mr Arthur Boardman, the nephew of Fred Shepard
- Mrs Thelma Buchanan, the second cousin of Harry Stern
- Mr Colin Caverhill, the great nephew in law of Charles Trueman
- Mr Bruce Warrington, the son of Bruce Warrington
- Warrant Officer Class 2 (Foreman of Signals) Peter White, Royal Signals (retired), the nephew of Allan White
- Mr Paul Whittaker, the grandson of William Whittaker and great nephew of Fred
- Mr Stephen Woodhouse and Mrs Elizabeth Jackson, the grandson and granddaughter of Frank Woodhouse, as well as their late father William
- Mr Crispin Worthington, the son of Hubert Worthington and nephew of Claude and Thomas. He also agreed to share details of his own life
In spite of all their help though, the responsibility for any errors or omissions must be mine.
The staff at Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre consists of the Archivist, Larysa Bolton, Librarian Alice Lock, Assistant Librarian Susan Essex, Senior Library Assistant Jill Morris and Library Assistants Anne Turner, Lynne Chapman and Jake Corbin. Lynne and Jake have since left the centre, and I wish them both the very best.
They are the custodians of the Manchester Regiment Archive, and I'm very grateful for the time, help and patience all seven extended to me as I painstakingly combed through it. Colin McInnes and Keith Edwards, two of the Family History Volunteers based there, took the time to introduce me to unfamiliar sources.
The staff of the Museum of the Manchester Regiment began the work that led to this project and have been a source of support and help on many occasions. Thank you to Garry Smith, David Thorpe, Liam Hart, Russell Kenworthy, Barbara Latham, Martin Smith, Andrew Davies, Eddie Hartigan and Cathy Fisher.
The Chair of the Museum's Advisory Committee is Robert Bonner, a retired Captain of the Manchester Regiment, a published author and an indispensable source of knowledge and insight. I'm very grateful for his help, support and proof-reading!
Some of the sources we consulted are not available in Tameside or on the internet. The museum employed independent researcher Alan Bowgen to research and copy the officers' military service records held at The National Archives. Alan has 17 years experience working at The National Archives. Further details about Alan and the expertise he provides to his clients, can be found on the website: www.archive-researcher.co.uk.
Another set of files at the National Archives relate to Far East Prisoners of War (FEPOWs). Keith Andrews consulted these files for us. He is a Researcher of Far East Prisoners of War and an Amateur Historian. Keith can be contacted at 12 Perran Avenue, Whitwick, Leicestershire, LE67 5PQ, on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01530 450621.
The Army Personnel Centre in Glasgow holds the service records for soldiers who served after 1922. Gerry McArdle is the Historical Disclosures section officer, he and his colleague Roddy Hay generously added to their already heavy workload by rapidly providing us with copies of all the records our budget allowed us to request.
Members of staff at a number of museums and heritage bodies around the country kindly spared the time to help me with research into individuals. Without trying to put them in order, they were: Jackie Fay at the Local Studies Collection in Kendal Library ; David Blake at the Museum of Army Chaplaincy ; Kate Holliday of Cumbria Archive Centre in Kendal ; Billy Foster, Regimental Secretary of The King's Own Scottish Borderers ; Carol Mason at The Royal Hospital, Chelsea ; Luke Marriage of the India Office Records at the British Library ; Barrie Duncan of South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture Museums Service; Steve Bland of the Princess Louise's Kensington Regimental Association and last but far from least Mary Pendlebury and Susan Smith at Oldham Local Studies and Archives Centre.
As well as helping to tell his grandfather's story, John Hartley shared his research about several other members of the 6th and the 17th Battalions, and this helped to tell their stories. Linda Corbett very kindly allowed me to use material from her First World War Ashton Territorials website.
Bev Nicholls cleaned my office for several months before she discovered her great grandfather James Moyle was one of the men I was researching. She then informed other members of her family about the project and they all helped to tell his story. She did a great job cleaning too!
The printed Men Behind the Medals catalogue was designed and created by designer Katie Kennedy. The website was created by Richard Langley of the Modes Users Association. They have both drawn deeply upon their considerable talents to turn my writing into something attractive and readable.
The photographs of the medal groups were taken by Alan Seabright of Manchester City Galleries. To successfully take hundreds of flash photographs of highly reflective items in a short period of time takes a great deal of skill. To make them look this good takes more.
My fellow attendees at the Museums Association Esmee Fairbairn Network Days have been a great source of professional assistance and encouragement.
On a final, personal, note, I want to thank Ian, Chris, Nathan, Kat, Charlotte, Ned, Louise, Phil, Hanna and Alex for the support they may not have known they were providing. I'm also grateful to the young athletes and my fellow coaches, at Oldham and Royton Harriers and Athletics Club.