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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 300177 Peter Atherton

  • Age: 42
  • From: St Helens, Lancs
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 18th Btn
  • K.I.A Friday 7th December 1917
  • Commemorated at: Tyne Cot Memorial
    Panel Ref: Panel 31-34

Peter Atherton was born 1875 at St Helens and was the son of Thomas and Ann Atherton and he had nine siblings, Mary, Ann, John, James, Ralph, Alfred, William, Ruth & George.

The 1881 Census finds Peter aged 5 and a schoolbpoy living with his parents at 87 Glover Street, St Helens. His father Thomas is 33 years of age as is his mother Ann. His siblings listed in the household are; Mary E. 12, John T. 10, James 8, Ralph 2 and Ann J. aged 6 months.

By 1891 Peter is 15 years of age and is employed as a glass maker. He is living at 92 Glover Street with his parents and seven siblings; John T. 20, James 18, Ralph 12, Alfred 10, William 6, Ruth 4 and George 1. 

Peter enlisted in the 21st Lancers on the 28th September 1894 at Warrington and was aged 19 years and three months. He was five feet six and half inches tall, weighed 138lbs, had a florid complexion, blue eyes, dark brown hair and gave his religion as Church of England.

28.09.94-09.09.95: Home.

10.09.95-22.10.96: India.

23.10.96-12.11.99: Egypt.

13.11.99: 01.10.1902: Home.

01.04.1900: Appointed Lance Corporal.

21.06.1900: Appointed paid Lance Corporal.

03.09.1900: Deprived of Lance Corporal appointment.

02.10.02-27.09.06: Reserve.

27.06.1906: Discharged.

He had fought in the Sudan campaign 1898 and was awarded Sudan Medal 1898 with Khartoum Clasp.

He is not found on the 1901 Census having been in the Army.

He married Mary Ellen Roylance in 1904.

The 1911 Census shows the family living at 65 Lyon Street, St Helens. Peter is aged 35, born 1876 in St Helens and a general labourer. His wife Mary Ellen is aged 34, born in 1877 in Liverpool. They have been married for seven years and have four children, Ruth aged 6, born 1905, Peter aged 4, born 1907, May aged 2, born 1909 and Mary Ellen aged 1, born 1910. They also had the Wareing family boarding at the house, Mary Ellen aged 47, born 1864, John aged 22, born 1899 a bottle blower, Elizabeth aged 20, born 1891 a coal pit brow and Hannah aged 16, born 1895 no occupation listed.  

When war broke out Peter re-enlisted on 05th September 1914 at Knowsley aged 38 and was serving as 1115, Lancashire Hussars Yeomanry before transferring to the 18th Battalion, The King’s Liverpool Regiment as Private No 300177.

Peter was killed in action on the 07th December 1917 aged 42.

The 18th Bn War a diary records -

On 4th December the battalion moved up to front line trenches at Gheluvelt, No.3 Coy on right, No.4 Coy in centre, and No.2 Coy on left.  Heavy enemy shelling, all calibres and Minenwerfers. Several direct hits on R. Coy posts. Retaliation asked for but little response from our guns.  Casualties 6 killed, 6 wounded.

December 5 - Enemy opened heavy machine gun fire, and fired salvos of 77s on working parties. Heavy shelling, all calibres, consequent on movement being observed. Enemy M.G.s active along Bassevillebeek Valley. Casualties 2 wounded.

December 6 - Heavy bursts of fire on Bassevillebeek Valley for about 10 minutes.  Enemy very vigilant and invariably shelled movement around Bn H.Q. after dawn.  During the night 6/7th violent bursts of fire 7.7 + 10.5 cm + 18cm were directed against Bn H.Q. vicinity, Dumbarton Wood and tracks. Casualties 3 wounded, 1 killed (300182 Baker)

December 7 - 7 a.m. Violent bursts of fire, all calibres.  Casualties 3 killed. Those killed were  Ptes. 49253 Moss, 300177 Atherton, and 58565 Moore. 

Peter has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, in Belgium.

Alfred Atherton the younger brother of Peter was also lost to the family. He died of wounds on 11th October 1918 whilst serving with the Cheshire Regiment. He now rests at St Sever Cemetery Extension at Rouen, France.

Grateful thanks are extended to the St Helens Roll of Honour website for their kind permission for use of the photograph of Peter.