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Andrew Howard was born in Bolton in August 1895 and was the son of John and Elizabeth Howard (née Joynson).

He is found on the 1901 Census living at 10 Flash Street, Bolton with his parents and siblings Margaret Ann (b.1889), Mary Ellen (b.1890) and William (b.1900).

His father died in 1909 and by the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 40 Partridge Street with his mother and siblings Margaret, Mary Ellen, James (b.1906) and Elizabeth (b.1909). At this time Andrew was working as a little piecer in a cotton mill and his mother was recorded as having had 12 children, 6 of whom had died.

When Andrew enlisted into the Army in Bolton on 4th September 1914 he was 19 years old and gave his occupation as being a carter. At his medical examination they recorded he was 5′ 3″ tall, weighing 111 lbs and having a fresh complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair. They also noted he had a scar on the front of his right thigh.

Considered fit for duty he was posted into the newly raised 6th (Service) Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment with the number 16477.

Whist training in the UK, on 5th December 1914, at Tidworth camp he incurred the first Regimental Entry on his conduct sheet where he was found attempting to travel from Luggershall station about 5.15 p.m. and producing an improper pass. More entries followed;

  • 15th December 1914 – I) Absent from parade at 7 a.m. II) Making an improper remark to an N.C.O.
  • 29th December 1914 – Absent off pass until 4th January

The Battalion moved to Blackdown camp in February 1915 and here he incurred more Regimental Entries;

  • 7th March 1915 – Refusing to obey an order
  • 24th March 1915 – Breaking out of barracks between the hours of reveille at 7 a.m. and remaining absent until apprehended by the local police in London about 2.15 p.m. on 28th March.

He then went AWOL on three more occasions;

  • 13th – 29th April 1915
  • 8th – 17th May 1915
  • 24th May – 13th June 1915

Private Andrew Howard  returned from the final unauthorised absense on 13th June 1915 and sailed for Gallipoli from Avonmouth aboard HMT Braemar Castle two days later.

They landed at Anzac cove on 4th August 1915 and were soon in action at what would become known as the Battle of Chunuk Bair where the Battalion would see a devastatingly large number of men killed.

About Chunuk Bair, General Hamilton’s 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, calling upon the name of God. 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.”

On 6th September 1915 Andrew Howard died of wounds whilst onboard the Hospital Ship ‘Beltana’ in Mudros Bay. He had sustained gun shot wounds to his thigh and had been evacuated to Mudros for treatment.

The Hospital Ship Beltana

The Hospital Ship Beltana

No personal effects were sent to his mother but later she did receive his 1914/15 star, British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal at 27 Back Chorley Street, Bolton. She would also receive a memorial plaque and scroll bearing Andrew’s name and in recognition of his sacrifice.

Andrew Howard is remembered on the Helles Memorial.

howard helles

Helles Memorial

Rank: Private
Service No: 16477
Date of Death: 06/09/1915
Age: 19
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 6th Bn.

Paul McCormick
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