I called at the Eccles Salvation Army Corps, Church St, Eccles, today and spent an hour with the very helpful Lieutenant Jon who kindly looked through their records to establish if the Church had held a memorial/roll of honour.
The records clearly show that the building contained a roll of honour, but we are presently unsure of what form this memorial/roll of honour is. Jon has assured me that he will look in to this matter further.
1916 Comrades in the Service
We are still losing the boys. Our roll of honour is full and other names to be put on. We never forget to pray for the lads and in the letters which our adjutant "Hewitt" reads every Sunday evening we find from their contents that our prayers are being answered. It is a pleasure for us to send a few comferts in the shape of parcels regularly to our Comrades. We feel it ought to be recorded that our Comrades Brother and Sister Howarth have 4 sons with the colours.
I thought forum members may be interested in some of the following entries in the records.
September 3rd 1939
OUTBREAK OF WAR
On the first of September we were all profoundly shocked at the news. The Germans had started fighting the Poles. We had planned a Great Field Day effort for local funds on Saturday Sept 2nd but this was cancelled owing to the grave situation & the necessity of "Black Out" the Halls. The work of which was begun by Saturday afternoon. On Sunday morning, the 3rd of September it was arranged for Treasurer W Howarth to get the Prime Ministers statement at 11.15am & bring the message to the comrades present at the ?Holmers? meeting. The news was that a state of war existed between England & Germany. Major Allen, the Corps Officer, led the congregation in the chorus "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee" & also prayed for the King & Country in the struggle entered upon. The services throughout the day was very much charged with the power of God. Bandmaster O Howarth wrote some beautiful music on the ?? throughout the day.
SERVING WITH THE COLOURS
Jack Duckworth Bandsman [rank with the Salvation Army] John Sweatman Soldier [rank with the Salvation Army] Leslie Duke Bandsman [rank with the Salvation Army]
L F Duke
There wasn't a picture of John Sweatman, but there was one additional picture showing W Clark of Eccles.
After conferring with the Locals it was decided with regret the the Saturday and Sunday evening open airs would have to be cancelled during the "Black Out" period owing to the Cross being surrounded on every side with traffic & the total absence of people. However, it was arranged that open airs on the Saturday afternoon would be held when the people was making for the market of the town.
The two nights when this district received the force of the Germans Air strength will long be remembered. Amongst the many people who lost their lives were our following named comrades. Robert Thompson, Bandsman. Mrs Thompson, wife of the above. Kenneth, Allan and John, the three sons of our comrades. Major Wm Allen, the Commanding Officer, who apart from the shelter visitation is attached to the town's war mortuary & recognised the bodies of his own people as they were brought in with other victims of the air raid. Moving sights were witnessed at the funeral service in the citadel also at the graveside in Peel Green Cemetery, conducted by Major Allen, assisted by Mrs Major Allen.
Brother Frank Davies & Sister Mrs Clara Davies, his wife, lost their lives on the second night of the Blitz, when Weaste district suffered very heavily. We were unable to bury our comrades until Saturday, January 4 when the Weaste cemetery re-opened. Mrs ?Hunter?, mother of Mrs C Davies also lost her life through this raid and was buried with our comrades. They all enjoyed a very bright Christian experience.
Band Secretary Sid Trott & Songster Secretary Evelyn Mitchell was married at Atherton Salvation Army Hall. The ceremony was conducted by Wm Allen, C.O. of Eccles. The bridegroom is at present serving in the Air Force.