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Manchester 'Pals' die together; NICOLE MCCLURG looks back at what was making the news 100 years ago.


In defence of a redoubt Story of a Noble Sacrifice A THRILLING episode of the great battle, in which a garrison of Manchester 'Pals' gave their lives rather than yield in defence of a redoubt, is told by the correspondents in their despatches today.

The men belonged to the 19th Manchesters, better known as the Fourth Pals.

The special correspondent of the Manchester Guardian wiring from the British Front last night says: The Manchesters in Manchester Hill Redoubt, west of St Quentin, were fighting steadily.

Communication with them was maintained in spite of the hurricane of shell.

One of the many inexplicable incidents of the batttle was the recovery of a patrol which had been sent out of the redoubt just before the Germans attacked. It wandered about in the fog, and enemy waves must have passed right through it; yet the officer and a few men escaped and got back to their brigade next day.

Manchester Hill held out until after three o'clock, when a final message from the battalion commander to the brigade major showed the desperate straits of his little garrison. But there was the same spirit of determination and even a note of cheeriness in his last words. He had been wounded and he said that practically nearly every man had been hit. The Germans were swarming around the redoubt and had penetrated some places but he added, "The Manchester Regiment will defend Manchester Hill to the last."

These men were 'Pals.' They had enlisted in a group from the same mills and warehouses, stuck together through all vicissitudes of the war, and died together with four German divisions strangling them in an iron grip, refusing to accept their lives as the price of surrender.

Mr Hamilton Fyfe, describing the Manchester Pals' splendid sacrifice says: Unfortunately, we shall never know exactly what their experience was. The garrison of the redoubt fought on; it is believed that all were killed. The colonel kept on reporting progress during the morning and early afternoon. He was cheery all the time. "The Manchester Hill to the last," he said. Soon after the attach began. About midday he announced that he was slightly wounded. Later he said, "Practically all my men have been hit."

Between two and three, still calm and cheerful, he warned headquarters that the end was near. At 3.22 he said: "I cannot hold out much longer." No word of surrender. He had promised 'to the last' and to the last of the Manchesters kept up their gallant fight. Nothing more was heard from that brave man, their colonel. The rest was silence. The redoubt had fallen.

The Fourth Pals were recruited at the Albert Hall, Manchester in Septmber 1914. The first part of the training was carried out at Belle Vue and the battalion, under Lieut.-Colonel GGP Heywood, afterwards proceeded to Heaton park, where the 16th, 17th and 18th Manchester Pals were already stationed. Subsequently, all four battalions were moved to Grantham and later to Salisbury Plain.

In November 1915, the Pals joined up with the Expeditionary Force in France. The first commander of the 19th. Lieut.-Colonel Heywood died soon after taking up the command and he was succeeded by Brevet-Colonel EA Kettlewell, who in turn was followed by Lieut.Colonel Sir HB Hill, Bart., in June 1915.

Toll of the Brave Sec.-Lieut. Charles E Hope, Manchester Regiment, 134, Ashley Lane, Moston, fell in battle on March 22. After serving in the ranks of the Royal Scots through the Somme battle of 1916, he was granted a commission. Before the war he was on the staff of Messrs. G.S. Mitchell and Co., shipping merchants of Bloom Street, Manchester.

Missing A TELEGRAM has been received by Mrs Endsor, 81 Hulme Hall Lane, Miles Platting, that her son Sec.-Lieut. WM Endsor, Gordon Highlanders, soon after the outbreak of war, before which he did some good work in the local Scout movement. It was only on Tuesday that Mrs Endsor received news of the death of a second son.

War Films in The Open Air A SERIES of kinematograph displays of actual war films, explained by men who have served with the colours, will be given this week in the Manchester district. The first will take place this evening on the old Infirmary flags, and tomorrow night the films will be shown at the corner of Ashton Old Road and Chancery Lane. On Thursday the display will be at the corner of Thornton Street and Ashton Old Road; on Friday the screen will be erected in Peel Park, and on Saturday at Eccles.


Sec.- Lieut. WM Endsor of the Gordon Highlanders, missing March 21, 1918 (left), and Lieut. Charles E Hope of the Manchester Regiment, killed March 22, 1918
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Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Date:Apr 7, 2018
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