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Ernest Daley was living at 17 Cecil Street when he enlisted in the Army on 6th December 1915. This would have been at the end of the Derby Scheme.

The Derby Scheme was a voluntary recruitment policy in Britain created in 1915 by Edward Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby. The concept behind The Derby Scheme was that men who voluntarily registered their name would be called upon for service only when necessary. Married men had an added incentive in that they were advised they would be called up only once the supply of single men was exhausted.

The scheme was also referred to as the “Group System” as men were classified in groups according to their year of birth and marital status and were to be called up with their group when it was required.

The scheme proved unsuccessful and was abandoned in December 1915, in spite of the fact that the execution of Nurse Edith Cavell by the Germans, on 12 October 1915 was used in recruitment rallies by Lord Derby. It was superseded by the Military Service Act 1916 which introduced conscription. [Source: Wikipedia]

Ernest was 23 years old and had been employed as a newspaper warehouseman. He had married Hannah Rothwell at Chadderton Parish Church, Oldham in July 1913, their first child Dorothy being born that December. A second child, John was born in January 1915.

Private Ernest Daley was mobilized on 19th October 1916, joining the 4th (Reserve) Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in the UK. After four months of training, on 28th February 1917 he sailed for France to join the 10th (Service) Battalion in the field.

Upon his arrival in France Ernest joined the Battalions’ A Company.

Less than two weeks later, on 11th April 1917 Ernest was reported as being wounded and missing in action following following an unsuccessful raid on the German trenches at Arras.  This action saw particularly heavy casualties for the Battalion.

Ernest was later confirmed to have been killed on that date, his body presumably having been recovered he was buried in Tank Cemetery, Guemappe.

For more information about Tank Cemetery, and the diary events around the time of Ernests’ death [click here]

Rank: Private
Service No: 203470
Date of Death: 11/04/1917
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 10th Bn.

Paul McCormick
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