Littleborough’s History

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Private Kenneth William Baxter

Kenneth was born in Brierfield, Lancashire in 1886 and in 1901 he lived with his parents Charles and Esther and brother Tom at 2 Bridge Street, Littleborough. Kenneth married Betsy Gibson in 1910 and in 1911 he lived with his in-laws at 6 Sutcliffe Street. Prior to enlisting in Rochdale, he was a Jigger at Ealees Mill and was a member of the Littleborough Conservative Club. Private 37934 K. W. Baxter, 2nd Bn Lancashire Fusiliers was killed in action on Tuesday 14th August 1917 when his Battalion were in the trenches at Monchy le Peux. Kenneth’s body is interred in grave number I C 38 Level Crossing Cemetery, Fampoux, France and he is remembered on Littleborough Cenotaph and the Conservative Club War Memorial. The Roll of Honour in the Rochdale Observer for 7th September 1917 included 2 sentiments, from his wife Betsy and his mother, sister-in-law and brother Tom (in Brazil). On 17th August 1918 the paper’s In Memoriam column included 2 sentiments from his mother, brothers, sister-in-law and Tom Baxter



For details of the soldiers who died at Passchendaele see here

Private Fred Brearley

Fred was born in Littleborough in 1880 4th Qtr and in 1881 was living his family on Halifax Road, Littleborough; his parents Edwin and Elizabeth Ann and his sisters Emma and Alice and brother Frank. His father and siblings worked in the textile trade and were born in Facit, his mother born in Stockport. He later had another sister, Eva and brother Harry. By 1911 he was lodging at 10 Albert Place, Gloucester being a Professional Musician. He played either solo-cornet or with Orchestras and prior to his enlistment he had become widely known and had filled many engagements across the country The Rochdale Observer for 30th June 1917 noted that Pte Brearley had been gassed. He was subsequently invalided home to Lockee Red Cross Hospital, Dundee where 36 year old Private 84863 Fred Brearley, Royal Army Medical Corp died on Friday 31st August 1917. The St Barnabas Parish Magazine for October 1917 included a lengthy account of his funeral “with full military honours......... A large crowd assembled near the house and also lined the streets whilst a service at the Littleborough Parish Church was also well attended, deceased having been well known and a member of a highly-respected family”. Private Brearley’s is buried in Grave Number T.777 and is remembered on the Holy Trinity War Memorial, Littleborough Cenotaph and the family headstone.. Fred left a widow living on Chapel Hill but lived in Leamington when called up. The Rochdale Observer for 5th September 1917 included details of the funeral the edition of 31st August 1918 included sentiments from his family In Memoriam column.

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