Lieutenant William Harold Armitage

William attended Wakefield Grammar School as a boarder from 1904 to 1909, he was a talented cricketer and footballer. William read Engineering at Sheffield University gaining a First Class Honours Degree. He enlisted as a private in 1914 at the outbreak of war and was subsequently promoted to Sergeant and then to Second Lieutenant. He was awarded the Military Cross for Conscious Gallantry in 1916, on New Year’s Eve he successfully led a wire cutting expedition, 20 yards from enemy lines. Two nights earlier he had help a wounded man back from the wire, in the face of heavy enemy fire.

At the time of his death William was about to be married to Miss Mildred Head. He was the only son of Mr & Mrs Armitage. William was killed in action, his battalion were fighting in the battle of Vimy Ridge.

Lance Corporal Harold Cadwell

Harold was a professional golfer and club-maker who was wounded by a gunshot to the eyes. His brother Eric, who was stationed in France with the R.A.F, applied for special leave to see his brother before he was sent home. After borrowing a motor cycle he went to Rouen where Harold was in hospital, but he had left on the ambulance train. Undaunted, he went to the ship which would bring Harold home. Harold told him he had been injured in the thick of the fighting and that he lay for thirty hours before help arrived. He was repatriated and his parents, Frederick and Ellen, were able to see him before he passed away at the Fulham Road Hospital.

Sister Janet Lois Griffiths

Janet was born in Southport in 1877, the youngest daughter of Thomas Pidduck Griffiths, an ironmonger and later a liberal member of Southport Council and Agnes Griffith. She trained at the Royal Infirmary, Liverpool, where she was awarded the medal of the Royal Humane Society for conspicuous bravery when she rescued another nurse from a fire. Once qualified, Janet joined the Queen’s Nurses. When war broke out, she volunteered at once for active service and joined Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service. After initial service in the UK, at a military hospital near Portsmouth, in the summer of 1915 she proceeded to Egypt with H.M. Forces. She joined No. 19 General Hospital at Alexandria which was busy with wounded and sick from the Gallipoli campaign at that time.

Janet had been in Egypt barely three months when the ambulance wagon in which she and other nurses were travelling home from the hospital came to a stop on a level crossing. Seeing a train coming, Griffiths jumped from the back of the wagon and ran forward to assist her colleagues in escaping the vehicle. The train struck the wagon and Griffiths was killed while attempting to save others.

Mechanician William Henry Jenkins

William was born in Liverpool on 20th March 1883, the son of Henry William and Emma Jane Jenkins. William joined the Navy in in 1904, working as a mechanic. He was wounded aboard HMS Warrior during the Battle of Jutland. A shell hit Warriors engine room, William was badly scalded, although seriously wounded and in great pain he returned to the engine room to continue his duties. Another shell hit causing shrapnel injuries to his side.

He was tended to by his shipmates, and evacuated to HMS Engadine when the ship was abandoned. William was eventually taken to The Royal Naval Hospital, South Queensferry where he died. He was buried alongside the other 71 shipmates who were killed on HMS Warrior that day.

Lance Corporal Henry Lloyd

Henry was born in 1896, the son of Thomas and Ada Lloyd. He enlisted in the army in 1914 and as soon as he turned 19 he went to the Front with the 7th King’s. He was wounded during the ‘famous’ charge at Festubert and was invalided home. After nine months convalescence, he returned to the frontline.

Just over twelve months later he was wounded once again, he died of tetanus in Leeds hospital.

Major Leonard Matteson

Leonard lost his parents when he was very young, he was brought up by his uncle and aunt; Mrs and Mrs W Matteson from Park Avenue. He received his commission at the age of 18 after training at Sandhurst College. At the outbreak of war Leonard was sent out to France, took part in the retreat at Mons and the Battle of Marne. He then returned to England to train officers at Lichfield, and then Deptford Barracks before being transferred to Gallipoli. Whilst there he was involved in an accident, when his horse fell on him.

After treatment in Alexandria he returned to the front (at Gallipoli) where he took part in the evacuation. He was one of the last to leave the peninsular. Leonard was invalided to hospital in London, later visiting his aunt and uncle in Southport. Major Matteson died suddenly in London aged 33, leaving a widow and a 10-year-old son.

Private Nutts Rimmer

On the 2nd May 1915, Nutts attempted to enlist in the King’s Liverpool Regiment at Southport. He claimed he was 19 years and 180 days old and was working as a plumber. He was discharged five days later on the 7th May 1915 “Having made a mis-statement as to age on enlistment.” He was in fact just 15 years and 99 days old. Nutts was accepted for the army once he reached legal age, seeing action in Iraq in 1920 during the Arab Rebellion or Iraqi Revolt. On the 24th July 1920, a force which included three companies of the Manchester Regiment were caught off-guard whilst setting up camp. The immediate British casualty count was 20 men killed, 60 men wounded and 318 missing.

Only 79 British and 81 Indian missing soldiers were later released by the Arabs. The Manchester Regiment lost 3 officers and 131 men; it is believed that around 100 prisoners from the Manchester Regiment were taken to Najaf and killed there. Iraq remained a theatre of warfare until a peace treaty was ratified in 1924.

Captain Gerald Rowley

Gerald was born in Southport in 1894, the son of Walter Thomas Rowley. He enlisted in the Rifles Battalion of the KLR in August 1914, being drafted to France in February 1915. In 1916 he came home to gain his commission into the Cheshire Regiment, joining his battalion in February 1917. He was wounded on 31st July 1917, after a month in hospital in Rouen, he returned to his regiment. He was awarded the Military Cross two months later – For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty, two bars soon followed.

On 16th September 1918 he received his first bar for exceptional powers of leadership, organising his men drawing successive withdrawals. On 24th September 1918 a second bar followed for conspicuous gallantry – maintaining his line’s position for two days under critical conditions. His personal courage was a splendid example to his men. He was killed in action during the Advance to Victory.

Lieutenant Cyril Lawson Tetlow

Cyril was the son of Mr W.H. and Mrs Gertrude Tetlow of ‘Whitecroft’ guest House, Manchester. He was killed in flight with 2nd Lieutenant Hugh Cecil Marnham, pilot, Sussex Yeomanry, attached to the Royal Flying Corps. They took off at 5.37pm on an Artillery Registration Sortie. They were flying BE No.1737, engine number 22023WD 815 when they received a direct hit by Anti-Aircraft fire and the BE caught fire and fell in flames near Bethune.

Before the war Cyril was a master at University School, Southport.

Lieutenant Wilfred Van Cruisen

Wilfred (Van as he was known) was wounded in action on 16th August, he died from those wounds on 1st November at Fazakerley Hospital. Six days before being wounded he was awarded a Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry. Eighteen of his men were buried by shell fire, he immediately went to their rescue, encouraging his men to assist. 15 were saved.

He was under heavy shell fire the whole time. He was only 18 and a half years old.