5 August 2018

V Platoon, B Coy, 23rd Manchester Regiment

These men all appear in the Manchester City Battalions, Book of Honour published by Sherratt and Hughes in 1916. I've had a copy on my shelf for years and it's a very useful reference work; essential in fact for anyone with an interest in the Manchester Regiment.

There were eight service battalions, numbering from the 16th through to the 23rd Battalion and the book features photos of the men in platoon order, with separate photos for officers, NCOs, and bands. The big frustration with the book is that although the photos are accompanied by lists of names of the men who appear, it is impossible - for the most part - to identify who is who. Apart from some ordering by rank, there appears to be no logic to the way in which the names are recorded. I've puzzled over this for years but I'm still no closer to arriving at an answer.

Nevertheless, it is possible to identify some men and the crop above is a good example of this. The man on the left wears the rank insignia of a company quartermaster sergeant. He is seated next to an officer - a lieutenant judging by his cuffs - and he in turn sits next to the company sergeant major. The book tells us that these men are Lt J E Rothband, 21529 CQMS J Hunt and 23015 CSM W Gorin.

Jacob (Jack) Eustace Rothband, above,  was killed in action at Mametz Wood on the 19th July 1916. He was 37 years old and is buried in Flatiron Copse Cemetery at Mametz. Photo from British Jewry Book of Hnour 1914-1920.

21529 Warrant Officer Class 2 John Hunt later served in the Tank Corps with the number 75480. He died in 1919 and is buried under a  Commonwealth War Graves headstone in Boltonj (Heaton) Cemetery. He was 25 years old.

28515 CSM Walter Gorin was an old soldier who had originally joined the 3rd Gloucestershire regiment as an 18-year-old in 1897 and subsequently enlisted with the Grenadier Guards in 1899, serving in South Africa. He would be killed in action on the 20th July 1916 whilst serving with the 23rd Manchester Regiment.  The Manchester City Battalions book incorrectly records his regimental number as 23015.

I have added this photo to these men's profiles on my British Army Ancestors website. For more information on the numbering in these City Battalions, see my earlier posts:

I research soldiers!

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