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Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
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
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Pte 21940 Thomas Ackerley

  • Age: 25
  • From: Rochdale
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 20th Btn
  • K.I.A Friday 28th January 1916
  • Commemorated at: Cerisy-gailly Mil Cem
    Panel Ref: II.D.28
SDGW shows this soldier’s place of birth as Rochdale; however, there are no births in the Rochdale area which match his age on enlistment. The only Thomas Ackerley (or similar spellings) of the right approximate  age born in England and Wales was born in the March quarter of 1889 in Altrincham district; however this is one year older than his age on enlistment.  It is possible that if his birth was illegitimate it was not registered, or if Thomas was brought up in institutions he may not have known his exact birthdate. He was baptised in St. John the Baptist, Knutsford, on 22/1/89, mother Jane Ackerley, no father listed.  
The 1891 census shows a Thomas Ackerley, age 2, born in Knutsford, an inmate in the Altrincham Union Workhouse, listed together with his likely brother, Frank, 4, born in Altrincham to mother Ackerley.  Also Jane Ackerley, single, 32, laundress, born Timperley.  There is also a Harry Ackerley, 9, in the workhouse, born in Knutsford in 1881 to mother Ackerley.  
The death of a Jane Ackerley, 33, is recorded in West Derby district in 1893.
The 1901 census finds Thomas in the Diocesan Boys Home at 43 St. Albans Street, Rochdale. age 13, place of birth ‘not known’.  If this is the same Thomas Ackerley, the reason for his move to Rochdale is not known. In the same Census appear Frank and Eva Ellen Barker, Rochdale but unfortunately their marriage record (1910) on line does not provide Eva’s maiden name and there is no record of them in 1911 at Farnworth Street. 

On enlistment, Thomas states his occupation as steward.  The following crew lists show Thomas Ackerley, born Rochdale, except for two entries -
1911 age 21, Ivernia, 112 Empress Road, Liverpool
1911  age 22, Saxonia, 112 Empress Road - name crossed out, did not join ship
1912 age 22, Carmania, 71 Victoria Road, Seacombe (born Liverpool)
1912 age 23, Ivernia, 112 Empress St, Edge Hill (born Manchester)
1912 age 23, Carmania, 37 Linacre Lane, 3rd class waiter (address of Henry Lowe, steward in 1911)
1912 age 24, Carmania, 71 Victoria Road, Seaforth crossed out, Seacombe
(Although these are Cunard Line ships, the name Ackerley does not appear on the Cunard WW1 Memorial.)
On enlistment in Liverpool on 09th November 1914, stating his age as 24 years, born in Rochdale and his occupation was steward.He is described as being 5’ 4 and a half inches tall, weighing 119 lbs with a fresh complexion, grey eyes and brown hair.  He gives his religion as Church of England. Thomas gives his next of kin as Eva Barker, 48 Farnsworth Street, Liverpool.  There are no births for an Eva Ackerley between 1860-1900; she cannot be identified. Eva’s name was crossed out and replaced with the name of Nellie Williams, 72 Ponsonby Street.  At this address in 1911 is Ellen Jane Williams, 41, born Toxteth, and her brother Thomas 48, born Bootle.  Like Eva, her relationship to Thomas cannot be ascertained.

He went to France in November 1915 and was killed in action on 28th January 1916
The Battalion War Diary for 28th January 1916 records:
Maricourt. In the trenches.  During night of 27/28 the enemy had erected various small flags on and near his fire trenches. Enemy artillery very active all day.  Commenced shelling over Left Group at 5 a.m., Right Group at 7:30 a.m.  Fire, support, and communication trenches were heavily shelled in all groups at intervals during the day, a very heavy bombardment being directed on Left Group from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.  after which front line was little fired at.
MARICOURT village was shelled from 10:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.and intermittently from that hour till 11:30 p.m. the bombardment from 2 to 3:30 being the heaviest. It is estimated from the intervals between shells (when salvoes were not fired) and the number of hours the bombardment lasted [that] at least 5000 shells were fired on and over the subsector.
Casualties 2 O.R. Killed and 2 O.R. Wounded (at duty).  
Thomas was one of the Other Ranks killed. (The other O.R. killed in action was Cpl 22710 Edward Halewood.)
He was buried near to where he fell, in Maricourt Military Cemetery.  After the war when graves were concentrated, his body was identified by the cross on his grave and his khaki uniform, and he was reburied in Cerisy-Gailly Military Cemetery, Somme, where he now rests at II D 28. He was awarded all three medals..
His Victory and British War Medals were returned, evidently his sisters could not be traced.  A War Gratuity of £4-10s was ‘unissued’.  No recipient for his Army Effects of £5-9s-4d is listed, nor is a pension card found, suggesting that Thomas had no dependents.
Sadly, Thomas’ name does not appear on any IWM memorial.


Killed On This Day.

(105 Years this day)
Tuesday 24th October 1916.
Pte 33220 David Brocken
24 years old

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 24th October 1917.
Pte 17690 Henry Phipps
22 years old

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 24th October 1917.
Pte 308326 James Speakman
26 years old

(103 Years this day)
Thursday 24th October 1918.
Serjeant 17245 Robert George Evans (MM)
22 years old