By 1918 Ashton under Lyne had lost over 1500 men in The Great War, each life lost is its own tragedy. Families lost Fathers, Sons, Husbands and Brothers in a terrible conflict that was named the war to end all wars by the author H G Wells. As it turned out the human race have not shaken off its capacity for conflict even a century later.
The War Memorial in Ashton under Lyne has a total of 1814 names forged in bronze, 1514 of those names died in World War One; nearly 3.5% of the total population at the time. But if you compare the 1911 census with the 1921 census; Ashton under Lyne lost around 15% of its male population who were of a fighting age. I hope this year that all that can, attend the laying of the Wreaths across the United Kingdom, to remember their fallen relatives.
If you read our last Blog on the Great War, you will be aware that on the 21st March 1918 the German Army attacked British positions on Manchester Hill. This attack was the first of many between March and July 1918, the intension being a decisive set of operations to punch a hole in the allied trench lines. Despite making ground and winning some victories; the end result was little more than had been achieved by either side in so many futile attacks on embedded trench positions.