Museum of the Manchester Regiment
The Men Behind the Medals

Elijah Chamberlain

Elijah Chamberlain :

Elijah Chamberlain : (L to R) 1914-15 Star; British War Medal

(L to R) 1914-15 Star; British War Medal

Elijah was born between April and June 1893 in Leeds, West Yorkshire. His father was called George and his mother was Mary Ann. He had 3 older siblings: William, Thomas and Harry; and 4 younger: Eliza, George, John and Joseph. The family had lost 2 other children.

In 1901 the family lived at 1 King Street in Audenshaw, Lancashire. George worked as a driver at a sewage works. By 1911 he had died. Mary and her children moved to 8 Bank Street in Higher Openshaw, Manchester. Elijah had found work as a general labourer for a rubber manufacturer.

The First World War broke out in August 1914 and in late November or early December of that year Elijah joined the 6th City Battalion being formed by the men of Manchester. This unit became the 21st Battalion of the Manchester Regiment, and Elijah was given the service number 18837. He was assigned to XVIII Platoon in E Company.

In January 1915 the 21st Battalion moved to Morecambe in Lancashire and began training. In April they moved to Grantham, Lincolnshire. They moved again to Larkhill, Wiltshire in September before sailing to France on the 10th November 1915.

We don't know what Elijah did in France. The 21st Battalion took part in the Somme Offensive that began on the 1st July 1916. The Offensive continued until November, but Elijah would not see its end. He was killed in action during fighting in Delville Wood on the 29th August 1916, aged 23. Harry served with the 10th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He was also killed, on the 29th September 1917.

Elijah is buried in Bernafay Wood British Cemetery, near Montauban. His modern grave reference is C. 16. As well as his 1914-15 Star and British War Medal Elijah was also awarded the Allied Victory Medal for his Army service.

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

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