1885 - 1916
CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916
Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916
Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Pte 21673 Charles Leslie Alsop
- Age: 21
- From: Liverpool
- Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 19th Btn
- K.I.A Sunday 30th July 1916
- Commemorated at: Thiepval Memorial
Panel Ref: P&F1D8B &8 C.
After him came a brother Frank and then a set of twins Margery and Albert Edward and then finally another sister Marion. His elder sister Dorothy was born in 1890 died in 1908 aged 17.
The 1901 Census shows 7 year old scholar Charles and family at 12 Geneva Rd Elm Park, Fairfield.
The 1911 Census for the same address shows Charles aged 16 a tailor's apprentice living his parents and 6 remaining siblings.
On 09th April 1914 Charles was a witness to his elder brother George Alfred's wedding to Jessie White at St Philip's Church, Liverpool.
Later that year, on 25 September 1914 he enlisted in Liverpool joining the 19th Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment as Private 21673. He is described as being 5 Foot 8 inches in height, weighed 128 lbs, with a 37 inch chest, hazel eyes and dark brown hair. His stated religion was Church of England.
Formed on 07th September 1914 the 19th Battalion trained locally at Sefton Park and remained living at home or in rented accommodation until November 1914. They then moved to the hutted accommodation at Lord Derby’s estate at Knowsley Hall. On 30th April 1915 the 19th Battalion alongside the other three Pals battalions left Liverpool via Prescot Station for further training at Belton Park, Grantham. They remained here until September 1915 when they reached Larkhill Camp on Salisbury Plain. He arrived in France on 7th November 1915.Charles was killed in action during the attack on Guillemont on 30th July 1916, aged 21, his body was not recovered from the battlefield or was subsequently lost as he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme at Pier 1 D 8B & 8C.
19th Battalion Diary 30th July 1916
MALTZ HORN FARM
BATTLE begun. ZERO hour 4:45 am. The Battalion reached its objective, but suffered heavy losses, and had to evacuate its position owing to no reinforcements.
Everard Wyrall gives details of the attack in his book The History of The King’s Regiment;
"The 2nd Attack on Guillemont- 29th July 1916 the 89th Brigade the 20th King's were to attack on the right and the 19th on the left. During the evening of the 29th the night was dark and foggy when the Battalions moved off and the 19th with Lt Col G Rollo commanding, when passing the South east of the Briqueterie they were heavily shelled first with H E and then with a new kind of asphyxiating Gas shell which had curious results, at first it had no nasty effect but about 8 hrs later men began to fall sick with violent headaches and pains in the stomach. All ranks had to wear gas masks which in the darkness and mist made the going terribly difficult. It was indeed wonderful that they were able to reach their Assembly point at all. But they did and by 2.45 a.m. on the 30th July 1916 the Btn was assembled having suffered about 30 Casualties on the way up ready for the Zero hour at 4.45 a.m.
It is known that the two left Companies of the 19th under Capt. Dodd and Capt. Nicholson advanced in touch with the 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers on their left although they suffered many casualties from Machine gun Fire did not encounter many Germans and reached their final objective about the time allocated, beginning at once to dig in south of the orchard on the South east corner of Guillemont.
On the left of the 19th the Scots Fusiliers most gallantly forced their way through Guillemont to the eastern side of the village but were soon overwhelmed by the enemy and few returned.
At 8 a.m. finding that the village was not held the two left Companies of the 19th received no word from the rear or either flank believed themselves to be totally isolated so were forced to fall back and dig in, their position being untenable.
At midday the effective fighting strength of the 19th Btn was just 7 Officers and 43 other ranks"
When darkness fell on the battlefield the 30th Division held a line from the railway on the eastern side of Trones Wood , southwards and including Arrow Head Copse, to east of Maltz Horn Farm. On this line the division was relieved by the 55th Division during the early hours of the 31st July.
Casualties in the 19th Battalion were 11 Officers and 435 Other Ranks
The events of 30th July 1916 were regarded at the time as Liverpool’s blackest day. There follows an extract from The History of the 89th Brigade written by Brigadier General Ferdinand Stanley which gives an indication of the events of the day.
Well the hour to advance came, and of all bad luck in the world it was a thick fog; so thick that you couldn’t see more than about ten yards. It was next to impossible to delay the attack – it was much too big an operation- so forward they had to go. It will give some idea when I say that on one flank we had to go 1,750 yards over big rolling country. Everyone knows what it is like to cross enclosed country which you know really well in a fog and how easy it is to lose your way. Therefore, imagine these rolling hills, with no landmarks and absolutely unknown to anyone. Is it surprising that people lost their way and lost touch with those next to them? As a matter of fact, it was wonderful the way in which many men found their way right to the place we wanted to get to. But as a connected attack it was impossible.
The fog was intense it was practically impossible to keep direction and parties got split up. Owing to the heavy shelling all the Bosches had left their main trenches and were lying out in the open with snipers and machine guns in shell holes, so of course our fellows were the most easy prey.It is so awfully sad now going about and finding so many splendid fellows gone.
Charles' father George received his sons Army pay on 14 March 1917 of £6:2s:10d and a War Gratuity on 22 August 1919 of £8:10s.
Charles was remembered a year later in the Liverpool Echo on 30th July 1917, under the heading, “Lost at Battle of Guillemont”:
“In ever loving memory of Private Charles Leslie Alsop (Machine Gun Section, K.L.R. – Pals), who fell in the Battle of Guillemont, July 30, 1916. Sadly mourned by all at home and Brother Alf (wounded). – 12, Geneva Road, Elm Park, Fairfield.”