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Harold Greenhalgh was born to Lawrence and Sarah Frances Greenhalgh (née Ashton) on 28 March 1895 at 199 Darwen Road. They later moved to 26 Egerton Vale, and then again to 26 Edward Street where they are enumerated on the 1911 census. They moved again to number 2 Dimple, Egerton.
This kind of constant removal, or “flitting” as it was known, was not uncommon in those days following the introduction of mass production when families literally ‘chased the cotton’ as new mills opened up.
Harold attended school in Walmsley before going to work as a dyer at Bridson’s bleachworks on Chorley Street, Bolton.
The 6th Battalion, LNL, was stood-up on 8th August 1914 and Harold signed on sometime between then and October 1914 when he is shown as a batman to Lieutenant Grimshaw at Tidworth Barracks, Salisbury plain, where initial training began.
From Tidworth the battalion moved to Blackdown near Aldershot, and on 14 June 1915 the whole of the 13th division (as well as the 10th and 11th) got the train at Farnborough station to go to Avonmouth where they were supposed to board the SS Japanese Prince. They were re-routed to SS Braemar Castle instead and eventually sailed on 17 June bound for Malta.
Their next port of call was Alexandria in Egypt for more training and acclimatisation – this is where Harold was instructed in how to use a machine gun.
Mudros is the major port on the island of Lemnos and lies some 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the landing beaches of Gallipoli. It is here that the divisions rested and trained whilst waiting for the call for invasion.
The invasion of the Gallipoli peninsula was an entirely sea-borne operation. It has to be remembered that during that time no purpose-built landing ships existed. The main transport for men, mules, horses, artillery and all supplies was by barges towed by launches steered by 16-year old Royal Navy midshipmen, and by a variety of whatever craft was available. The hastily converted collier, SS River Clyde, having famously run herself ashore on V Beach in a one-off landing feat, remained stuck for the rest of the campaign.
During the night of 6 July 1915 the 6th LNLs were put ashore by lighter at Seghir Dere in Gully Ravine, where they went into bivouac.
General Hamilton’s immediate battle plans were severely handicapped by the fact that he was greatly under strength. His original force, landed on 25 April, had suffered heavy casualties and, with some divisions not yet arrived, it is doubtful that he had more than a mere 110,000 men for the operation. This was to reinforce the Australians and New Zealanders at Anzac, to effect a landing at Suvla Bay and from there to attempt the capture of the main peak of Sari Bair, thus overlooking and commanding the narrows of the Dardanelles. The 6th Battalion LNL was sent forward immediately into the front line, relieving troops of the 29th Division.
The 6th Battalion LNL returned to Anzac Cove on 4 August and occupied bivouac billets in Victoria Gully where, as a result of enemy shelling, two men were killed and a further 32 were injured.
On the night of 6 August two battalions of the 13th Division, of which the LNL was one, commenced their advance from Anzac. On the following morning the 6th LNL was marched to the foot of the Chailuk Dere, and on the night of the next day it was sent to the Apex as reinforcement to the New Zealand Brigade.
On 9 August three columns were sent forward to complete the conquest of Chunuk Bair. During that night the worn out New Zealanders were relieved and the 6th Battalion LNL and the 5th Wiltshires took their places in inadequately shallow trenches.
The 6th Battalion LNL arrived first and set about trying to improve the poor shelter. The Turks realised that if the summit of Chunuk Bair was held, the outcome would be a massive Allied advantage. They therefore shelled the ridge at dawn on 9 and 10 August and then let loose a horde of infantry soldiers with fixed bayonets. Both the Wiltshires and the Lancashire boys had no chance – caught in the open they were swiftly and mercilessly overwhelmed by sheer weight of numbers. The battalions did all they could, Captain Mather’s company (6th Battalion LNL) doing especially well charging 3 times with the bayonet.
The official despatch states: “The two battalions of the New Army chosen to hold Chunuk Bair were the 6th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and the 5th Wiltshire Regiment. They were simply overwhelmed by a superior and determined foe.”
General Sir Ian Hamilton later wrote: “Generals fought in the ranks, and men dropped their scientific weapons and caught one another by the throat. So desperate a fight cannot be described. The Turks came on again and again, fighting magnificently and calling on the name of Allah. Our men stood to it and maintained, by many a deed of daring, the old traditions of their race. There was no flinching. They died in the ranks where they stood.”
It is interesting to note that the commander of the Turkish divisions in this battle was none other than Mustafa Kemal, later Kemal Atatürk, father of a new Turkish nation. At a later stage in the battle of Chunuk Bair he is reputed to have halted the shooting saying, “We have killed enough. Shoot over their heads to keep them occupied.” Unfortunately the continued firing set the gorse and bracken alight, resulting in many of the Lancashire and Wiltshire men being burned to death.
Some 450 men were lost at Chunuk Bair, most of whom have no known grave, but are remembered on the Helles Memorial. Private Harold Greenhalgh from Bolton Lancashire is one of them.
The Bolton Journal and Guardian of 17 September 1915 published the following announcement about Harold who was initially recorded as missing;
More 6th Lancashire Losses after Suvla Bay Landing
The eldest of the two soldier sons of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Greenhalgh, 2, Dimple, is officially posted as missing. Private Harold Greenhalgh was a member of the machine gun section attached to the 6th Battalion L.N.L. Regiment, and participated in the gallant charge of the battalion on August 9th. He was a fine soldier and at Tidworth was singled out for valet duties by Lieut. Grimshaw. He was employed at Messrs. Bridson’s bleachworks, and formerly resided at Dunscar and Brookbank, Harwood. His brother, Private George Ashton Greenhalgh, is serving with the 9th battalion L.N.L. Regiment. The companion of Private Greenhalgh, Corporal Walker, of 34 Horrocks-st, Vallets, is also missing.
His name is on the Helles Memorial, and also the Dunscar War Memorial at home.
Service No: 11402
Date of Death: 09/08/1915
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 6th Bn.
Memorial: HELLES MEMORIAL
This article has been reproduced with kind permission from the DBBC young roots heritage project. The young people identified and researched the the servicemen pictured in a 1916 Bolton Journal and Guardian supplement who were killed at Gallipoli. You can visit their website by clicking on the DBBC logo.
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- 10497 LCPL. J. WILSON. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 10873 PTE. W. BENTHAM. L.N.LAN.R. 1 Comment
- 10892 CPL. W. H. KAY. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 11-18269 PTE. R. LINDSAY. L.N.LAN.R 9 Comments
- 11011 PTE. T. BRENNAN. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 11104 PTE. R. FOSTER. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 11186 PTE. C. F. CHARNLEY. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 11219 PTE. A. P. BALSHAW. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 11333 PTE. E. KEATES. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 11335 PTE. J. E. DENTON. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 11342 LCPL. J. BYRON. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 11401 PTE. T. H. BYRNE. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 11402 PTE. H. GREENHALGH. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 11419 PTE. D. BROMLEY. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 11424 LSJT. H. W. LEWIS. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 11507 PTE. J. HATTON. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 11528 PTE. C. BATTERSBY. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 11566 SJT. T. HILTON. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 11605 PTE. J. DOLAN. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 11662 PTE. J. BATTERSBY. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 11675 PTE. F. HADDON. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 11718 PTE. W. MCCORMICK. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 11728 PTE. J. BLACKBURN. L.N.LAN.R. 2 Comments
- 11842 PTE. M. COUPS. L.N.LAN.R. 1 Comment
- 11846 PTE. A. HULME. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 11918 PTE. A. HART. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 11946 PTE. A. MULLIN. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 11947 PTE. J. MERCER. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 12094 PTE. J. CALDERLEY. L.N.LAN.R. 1 Comment
- 12193 PTE. J. BOOTH. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 12482 LCPL W. PARKINSON. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 12534 PTE. R. DURNING. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 12630 CPL. W. LEYLAND. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 12651 CPL. P. ATKINSON. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 12781 LCPL. J. SANDERSON. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 12783 LCPL. J. MOSS. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 12813 PTE. J. R. INGHAM. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 12882 PTE. W. S. CALDERLEY. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 12994 PTE. W. HUDSON. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 13515 PTE. W. BARLOW. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 13852 LCPL. S. HULME. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 14085 PTE. W. H. ATKINSON. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 14739 PTE. R. BRIGGS. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 14972 LCPL. A. DUCKWORTH. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 14998 PTE. H. FAIRHURST. L.N.LAN.R. 1 Comment
- 15047 PTE. W. ROPER. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 15232 PTE. W. LAWRENCE. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 15303 CPL. M. SOUTHERN. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 16477 PTE. A . HOWARD. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 16995 SJT. A. DALTON. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 17138 PTE. S. JOHNSON. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 17208 PTE. H. DUNION. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 17304 LCPL. W. H. FITZSIMMONS. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 17770 PTE. F. HOWARTH. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 17834 PTE. T. FISHWICK. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 17881 ASJT. F. C. BRUNSDON. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 17885 PTE. J. H. CROMPTON. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
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- 18463 ASJT. W. H. NELEMS. L.N.LAN.R. 1 Comment
- 18762 PTE. R. HORNE. L.N.LAN.R. 1 Comment
- 18789 PTE. A. PEERS. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 18811 PTE. G. FLOOK. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 19312 PTE. E. HAINEY. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
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- 19916 PTE. J. GREENWOOD. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 20004 SJT. W. A. FERNYHOUGH. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 20063 PTE. R. ALSTEAD. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 20097 PTE. H. HELMN. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 20110 PTE. J. RIGBY. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 20218 PTE. W. HIBBERT. L.N.LAN.R. 1 Comment
- 20289 L.CPL. J. MARLOW. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 20479 LCPL. D. HOWE. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 20775 PTE. D. BROWN. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 20849 PTE. H. ASPINALL. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 20965 PTE. J. HASLAM. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 20981 LCPL. J. GARLICK. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 20985 PTE. M. DUNDERDALE. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 21009 PTE. D. KEEVILL. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 21034 PTE. J. W. RILEY. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 21159 PTE. E. JONES. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 21200 PTE. T. A. HILTON. L.N.LAN.R. 1 Comment
- 21224 PTE. W. E. PARR. L.N.LAN.R. 5 Comments
- 21355 PTE. W. WESTHEAD. L.N.LAN.R. 2 Comments
- 23115 PTE. F. HEALD. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 23131 PTE. H. CARDWELL. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 23513 PTE. A. THORNLEY. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 23804 PTE. J. CHARNLEY. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 23816 PTE. J. WATERHOUSE. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 24388 PTE. J. BARON. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 24724 PTE. R. DITCHFIELD. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 3197 C.Q.M.S. J. E. GRAHAM. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 32130 PTE. G. PARRAMORE. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 3247 PTE. A. JACKSON. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 32611 PTE. T. GREEN. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 35818 PTE. C. T. GYNES. L.N.LAN.R. 1 Comment
- 36323 PTE. S. E. JONES. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 36329 PTE. H. MARSDEN. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 3795 PTE. W. FORD. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 4571 PTE. J. DAVIS. L.N.LAN.R. 1 Comment
- 4617 PTE. W. GLAZEBROOK. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
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- 23580 PTE. J. H. SHARPLES. L.N.LAN.R.
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- 203806 PTE. J. ROBERTS. L.N.LAN.R.
Communication with Battalion headquarters was almost impossible as runners were shot down in attempting to get back reports of progress…..
Extract from 4/5th Battalion War Diary
- 26th October 1917
- Communication with Battalion headquarters was almost impossible as runners were shot down in attempting to get back reports of progress….. Extract from 4/5th Battalion War Diary
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