Glossop Advertiser - - News - Paul Brit­ton

THEY lay where they fell for al­most a cen­tury. Brave men who gave their lives in the First World War.

The re­mains of four sol­diers were dis­cov­ered in a farmer’s field near Ypres in Bel­gium by an ar­chae­ol­o­gist car­ry­ing out ex­ploratory bat­tle­field stud­ies in 2009.

The ex­act site was close to Comines-War­ne­ton and all four, from the 2nd Bat­tal­ion, the Lan­cashire Fusiliers, were killed in ac­tion on Oc­to­ber 18, 1914.

Now the Min­istry of De­fence has re­vealed three of the four are be­lieved to be from Manch­ester.

Af­ter painstak­ing re­search car­ried out over years, pos­si­ble names have been re­leased with the hope of trac­ing rel­a­tives to un­dergo DNA test­ing for con­fir­ma­tion. They are Pri­vates Wil­liam Cheetham Tay­lor, Charles Moroney and Wil­liam Purslow.

All four were re­buried in Flan­ders Fields with full mil­i­tary hon­ours in April 2015 as ‘ Un­known Sol­diers of the Lan­cashire Fusiliers’. They rest to­day at Prowse Point Ceme­tery in Ploeg­steert, Bel­gium.

The MOD said DNA proof of their iden­ti­ties would mean their graves be­ing reded­i­cated next year to bear their names.

Be­fore the buri­als in 2015, sam­ples were taken from the re­mains.

The Min­istry of De­fence’s Joint Ca­su­alty and Com­pas­sion­ate Cen­tre ( JCCC) wants to try to con­firm the iden­ti­ties by com­par­ing the sam­ples with any liv­ing rel­a­tives.

As such, a pub­lic ap­peal has been is­sued in Greater Manch­ester. Louise Dorr, from the JCCC, said: “I would love to hear from any­one who may be able to help find these men’s fam­i­lies.

“Although they have al­ready been buried as un­known sol­diers, I re­ally want to be able to iden­tify them so that their head­stones may bear their names and their fam­i­lies know that they have been laid to rest.

“As we com­mem­o­rate the 100th an­niver­sary of the end of the Great War, it brings home just how many thou­sands of men were lost and still have no known grave.”

MOD in­ves­ti­ga­tors have worked with the Na­tional Army Mu­seum to study war di­aries, trench maps and bat­tle­field or­ders.

The three names repre- sent the clos­est eval­u­a­tion the MOD can get.

Not much is known about Pte Tay­lor. From his fam­ily tree, it’s be­lieved he was born in 1884.

He mar­ried a Maud Gertrude Jun­ner on Box­ing Day, 1908 and their son, Al­bert Ed­ward Tay­lor, was born in Au­gust, 1910.

The 1911 Cen­sus saw them liv­ing at 20 Elm Street, off Old­ham Road in Manch­ester. The 1939 reg­is­ter shows Al­bert as liv­ing at 65 Row­botham Street, Hyde. He’s listed as mar­ried.

Pte Moroney was the son of Charles and Mary Moroney, of Ry­land Street, Dean Road, Sal­ford. He mar­ried Mary Ellen Ash­ton in 1913 and they lived at 10, Sandy­well, Green­gate, Sal­ford.

It ap­pears they had a son, Charles Rochford Moroney, who was born the same year as his fa­ther died.

Pte Moroney had sev­eral sib­lings, in­clud­ing Al­fred Ber­tram Tay­lor, who had a son and two daugh­ters.

Pte Purslow was the son of Thomas and El­iz­a­beth Purslow. His mother lived in Thorn­ton Street, Col­ly­hurst. He was mar­ried to Mary El­iz­a­beth Purslow and they lived in Ry­der Street, Col­ly­hurst.

He had a sis­ter, Lizzie, and three broth­ers, Ge­orge, Thomas and Vic­tor. Ge­orge died in 1916, but both Thomas and Vic­tor went on to marry and have chil­dren.

The last known ad­dress for Thomas’ youngest son, Nor­man, was Rose­bank Road, New­ton Heath.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion can email louise. [email protected] or paul.brit­[email protected]

The sol­diers were buried with full mil­i­tary hon­ours in 2015

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