Military History Man

Military History Man MHM (Military History Man) specialize in military history research in the UK, Commonwealth and USA for museums, archives, television, radio and for people wishing to know more about their military family history.
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I am a Manchester based Historical Researcher and I specialise mainly on the Manchester Regiment and the First World War. Although, I do take enquiries on any regiment from the British Army and any time period. Academically, I have a Masters Degree in History from the University of Manchester. I also studied at the University of Salford on the Contemporary Military and International History course, achieving a 2.1 degree with honours. So far i have helped hundreds of people find their military ancestors. As far as military researchers in Manchester goes, I am one of the only ones. So, if you wish for me to conduct family history research for you please feel free to get in touch for a free quote. Hopefully I can help put you metaphorically in the boots of your ancestor.

Mission: Our mission is to provide first class research and consultation on all things military history related. We achieve this mission by thoroughly conducting research on topics set by our clients. This involves travelling to museums, archives and scouring online sources to get the answers our clients are looking for. Once we have identified a source, we make copies, digest the information and write it up in the form of a report pack, which at the end of the research, we make fully available to our clients. Our reports are both highly detailed and easy to digest, making it not only interesting, but accessible and satisfying. Depending on what your mission is, we will adapt to meet that goal. To do this, we offer a free consultation on how we can assist you. Here we will discuss how we can help you, fees and what level of research you would like. For more information, please feel free to send us a message.

Last week we were published again in the Tameside Reporter. This time the subject was the diary of Private Charles R Gri...
05/12/2018

Last week we were published again in the Tameside Reporter. This time the subject was the diary of Private Charles R Grimes of the 6th Battalion Manchester Regiment. The diary is a fascinating glimpse into childhood exploration and youthful exuberance tinged with foreboding darkness of war over the horizon. If you got a chance to read it, we hope you enjoyed it and look forward to more archival gems.

Today we’re really proud to announce that we were printed in the special centenary copy of the Tameside Reporter. This i...
09/11/2018

Today we’re really proud to announce that we were printed in the special centenary copy of the Tameside Reporter. This is the longest article we have ever had published and we are so very proud of it. It’s about the men who stood right behind the gentlemen who had the highest chance of being wounded/killed in the British Army during the First World War... the Batmen of the British Army.

Did you have an ancestor serving in the First World War? Feel free to get in touch and see how we can unlock your families secret military history.

This weeks Manchester Weekly News features our latest article on the “Tallest Tommy” in the Manchester Regiment during t...
05/11/2018

This weeks Manchester Weekly News features our latest article on the “Tallest Tommy” in the Manchester Regiment during the First World War. Take a look below or go and pick up a copy of the paper!

Last week we recounted the deeds of Private Tom Barton, a distant relative of mine. Today I wanted to show the bravery o...
17/10/2018

Last week we recounted the deeds of Private Tom Barton, a distant relative of mine. Today I wanted to show the bravery of his brother, whom I mentioned in the article, Gunner James Barton. Once again, the Stalybridge Reporter has chronicled his story perfectly and even gave me the only photograph I know to exist of him. The article reads:

HYMNS AT BURIAL

Impressive Graveside Incident

STALYBRIDGE SOLDIER KILLED IN FRANCE

An official intimation was received on Monday by Mrs Barton of 49 Huddersfield Road, Stalybridge, stating that her husband, Gunner James Barton, Royal Garrison Artillery, had been killed in action on July 24th. Sad as the information was, it was not altogether unexpected, for Mrs Barton had already received several letters from her husband's officer, his comrades, and the chaplain, in all of which they spoke very highly of him, both as soldier and a man. His commanding officer, O. N. Moriarty, wrote stating that Gunner Barton was killed by shell fire, and suffered no pain. The letter went on to say: "Your husband had been in this battery for a long time, and was known to all the officers and men. He was killed while performing his duty in a very gallant manner."

Further information as to how he met his death was sent by Corporal Cecil J. Aldridge, in a letter dated August 3rd, in which he said: "He was killed by a piece of shell whilst he was endeavouring to extinguish a fire which had started owing to the battery being shelled - an act of bravery and devotion to duty."

A very fine tribute to Gunner Barton is paid in the letter of Second Lieutenant J. M. Lewis, who wrote: -

“As second officer I had an opportunity of knowing him intimately, and of appreciating his noble qualities, both as a soldier and a man. As a soldier he was very willing, diligent, and brave; as a man he was very obligating, cheerful, and unselfish, ever ready to do his comrades a kind action. Personally, it made me very sad to realise that he had been killed, and I respect fully tender you my deepest sympathy in this your hour of grief and pain.”
Probably the most touching and feeling of all letters received during this war was that of the chaplain of the Church Army Hut, 21 H.Q. Group, France. It is worthy of reproduction, and reads: -

“Dear Mrs Barton, - I have a sad task to carry out as the Heavy Artillery Chaplain. May god in His infinite mercy give you strength from above to bear the sad blow my letter must inflict on you. Yesterday the battery was under very heavy fire, and your dear man, and five others were wounded. Your dear one’s wounds were so severe that he only survived a few minutes. The dear one was unconscious up to the last. I have been over today to lay his poor body to its last rest and I have found both officers and men were very sad for your husband’s death. He was a favourite with them. All the officers and men who could get away came, and we sang the first verse of ‘Jesus, Lover of My Soul’ to begin with and we closed with verses one and four of ‘Rock of Ages.’ Oh, may God from on high comfort you with His sweet comfort, for none can help in your dark hour but He, and He will help – fathers, widows and fatherless are ever dear to him… My dear sister, go to Him with the burden of your sorrow, and lay it before Him. Yours sincerely, F. Fern, C. F.”

Gunner Barton was 27 years of age, and leaves a wife and one young child. He was widely known in Stalybridge. He was brought up in connection with St. Paul’s Church and School, Staley. He was formerly an engineer at the Albion Mills, Stalybridge, but before he enlisted he was working at Messer’s Carter’s Brassworks. He joined the army in November 1914, and served for a time in Egypt, but after some months was sent to France, where he served 16 months before he obtained a leave in January last.

1. Image of Gunner James Barton
2. Image of Census with James and Tom featured.
3. Image of Private Tom Barton

From one obscure sentence on a military record, you can learn things which you never knew about your military family his...
12/10/2018

From one obscure sentence on a military record, you can learn things which you never knew about your military family history...

Upon reviewing the service record of one of my distant relatives, Gunner James Barton, who was killed by shellfire on the 28th July 1917, I came across a letter which stated that: " All Gunner Barton's are soldiers, except the youngest, and have served overseas, two being wounded, and another brother (a deceased soldier). Pte. Tom Barton, 1st Manchester's was wounded at the Sulva Bay landing, then finally died from pneumonia in Alexandria, Egypt while serving for his King and Country".

This was the crucial piece of evidence I needed to find James Barton's brothers during the First World War.

From this I was able to find his brother Tom Barton through military records and a fantastic newspaper article which gives me further clues on the other Barton brothers.

Like James Barton, Tom Barton was equally as brave. The Stalybridge Reporter article says the following: "Died in Egypt. Stalybridge man who served through the war. Brother killed and three serving".

"Mr and Mrs Tom Barton, of 49 Huddersfield Road, Stalybridge, have had a cablegram from Alexandria, Egypt, stating that their son, Private Tom Barton, 1st Manchester Regiment, died there on December 14th from double Pneumonia".

"Private Barton was one of five soldier brothers, one of whom, Private James Barton, was killed in France over a year or so ago. Three others are still serving, namely, Pte William Barton, 2nd Battalion Cheshire Regiment, who is serving in Salonkia; Private Walter Barton, 1st Manchester Regiment, In Egypt; and Pte Frank Barton, Northumberland Fusiliers, who is in Ireland, having only recently attained his 18th birthday, and joined the colours. Pte William Barton has been twice wounded with bullet and shrapnel all over his body, and he has also suffered from malaria".

"The deceased soldier, news of whose sad death has now come to hand, was only 24 years of age, and he had been serving with the colours from September, 1914, having gone all through the war. He was with the Manchesters in the landing at Sulva Bay, on the Gallipoli Peninsula, and in the engagement was very severely wounded, in the stomach and in his knee. On his recovery he was sent to India, where he contracted enteric fever, and had a very hard struggle to pull through. Before joining the army he was employed in the galvanising department at Messers Summers' works, Stalybridge. He was associated with St. Paul's Church and School, and possessing a kindly and sympathetic disposition he was an especial favourite amongst all acquaintances. With Mr and Mrs Barton in their second bereavement through the war, the greatest sympathy is felt in their town".

1. Image of Private Tom Barton
2. Image of Gunner James Barton
3. Image of letter in Gunner Barton's service record
4. Image of the full article

Next Wednesday we're blowing off some cobwebs and hosting a masterclass at Tameside Local Studies and Archives, Ashton U...
15/03/2017

Next Wednesday we're blowing off some cobwebs and hosting a masterclass at Tameside Local Studies and Archives, Ashton Under-Lyne. Come and join us from 2pm for tips on how to research your own military ancestors!

Our full length article now available on the GM1914 blog:Did your ancestor serve on the Somme?
07/07/2016
Elsie – In occupation Montauban

Our full length article now available on the GM1914 blog:

Did your ancestor serve on the Somme?

This blog post was written by Liam Hart and researched by volunteers at Tameside Archives and Local Studies. “Have now practically no ammunition left! More absolutely necessary at once otherwise gu…

The article in question. Did your ancestor serve on the Somme? Get in touch, I happen to know a thing or two about it.
01/07/2016

The article in question. Did your ancestor serve on the Somme? Get in touch, I happen to know a thing or two about it.

01/07/2016

100 years ago this morning, marks the beginning of the Battle of the Somme. A battle in which nearly 20,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers lost their lives. A battle which men from Manchester took the heavily fortified town of Montauban.

Without the doubt, on a whole the Somme was a disaster on the first day. However, the 30th Division containing many pals battalions from the North West, achieved all of their objectives. Without a doubt, for the men of the Manchester Regiment, it was one of their finest hours.

Please take time to read my latest article in the Tameside Reporter and the GM1914 blog.

To the fallen, we will remember you.

29/06/2016

With the centenary of the Battle of the Somme fast approaching, steer your eyes to this footage. Much of this documentary is filmed at the battle and is the first battlefield footage ever recorded.

Curious as to what your ancestor got up to during this action? Please feel free to get in touch.

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/battle-of-the-somme

Pictured here is Hugh Corrie Brown of the Manchester Regiment, after extensive research we uncovered a vast unknown mili...
10/06/2016

Pictured here is Hugh Corrie Brown of the Manchester Regiment, after extensive research we uncovered a vast unknown military history. Get in touch today to begin your research.

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland, one of the most significant battles of the First World War. ...
31/05/2016

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland, one of the most significant battles of the First World War. The effects of this battle would not be seen till the end of the war, and for many it would be seen as a dissapointing failure. With hindsight, we now see that this battle assisted in depriving Germany from vital resources which would be used against the troops on the front line in France and Belgium.

Did one of your ancestors take part in this momentous naval battle?

Image credit to the BBC

24/01/2016

In the coming weeks, we shall have a new website! In the meantime, please get in touch through the facebook or twitter pages, or simply write to us regarding military family history!

08/12/2015

Give the gift of your very own military family history this Christmas. Get in touch to see what we can provide for you! #familyhistory #ww1 #ManchesterRegiment

10/11/2015

With armistice day approaching tomorrow, why not find out what your ancestors did in past wars #ww1 #familyhistory

27/09/2015

Recently we reached 700 likes, thank you for everyone's continued support! Get in touch to find more about your military ancestors!

In writing about Pte. Hurst of the 18th Battalion Manchester Regiment, we have had to delve into the gruesome struggle f...
28/07/2015

In writing about Pte. Hurst of the 18th Battalion Manchester Regiment, we have had to delve into the gruesome struggle for Trones Wood. This battle was part of the Battle of the Somme and took place mid July 1916. It was the end of the pals battalions as many friends lay dead or wounded next to each other. Many who died in Trones Wood would never have a grave.

22/07/2015

In researching Private James Henry Hurst, we have became very attached to the 18th Battalion Manchester Regiment. In a time when malnourishment in Manchester was rife, only 5% of the lads who turned up to join the 18th were turned away. A very fit and strong bunch. This did them much good at their first action, the Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916.

14/07/2015

Assisted three French ladies in finding their Great Grandfather who was a British soldier, serving in France during the First World War. We believe to have found him, he was a Military Medal winner who served with 29 Coy Royal Engineers. We also believe he was a mechanical engineer. An Interesting story of love while in the midst of war.

13/07/2015

Now researching Pte. James Henry Hurst of the Manchester Regiment.

20/06/2015

Now the 200 year anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo has passed, have you ever wondered if you had an ancestor who was present on that glorious day?

Enquire today and find out!

Sergeant Joseph Harding Gill of the 6th Battalion Manchester Regiment. After further research, we discovered that he als...
11/06/2015

Sergeant Joseph Harding Gill of the 6th Battalion Manchester Regiment. After further research, we discovered that he also served with the London Regiment, Kings Royal Rifle Corps, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and the Labour Corps.

Discover the hidden secrets of your ancestors military history through Military History Man. Get in touch today!

24/05/2015

Research complete on the 36th Battalion Home Guard during the Second World War.

Did your ancestor serve at home during the Second World War? Find out through Military History Man.

To mark the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign, here is a picture of 2 Platoon, 'A' Company of the 10th Battalion Manch...
25/04/2015

To mark the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign, here is a picture of 2 Platoon, 'A' Company of the 10th Battalion Manchester Regiment, Oldham Territorial Force, in the trenches in Gallipoli.

Did you have a relative who served in Gallipoli?

24/04/2015

As ANZAC day approaches and we remember the events of the past week, 100 years ago. I would like to share with you a personal favourite poem dedicated to the noble Tommy.

Tommy,

I went into a public 'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, " We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' " Tommy, go away " ;
But it's " Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's " Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' " Tommy, wait outside ";
But it's " Special train for Atkins " when the trooper's on the tide
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's " Special train for Atkins " when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap.
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, 'ow's yer soul? "
But it's " Thin red line of 'eroes " when the drums begin to roll
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's " Thin red line of 'eroes, " when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's " Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's " Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! "
But it's " Saviour of 'is country " when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An 'Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

Rudyard Kipling

Today we surpassed 700 likes on the Military History Man page. We thank you all for joining us, have a look at ...
20/04/2015
Military History Man

Today we surpassed 700 likes on the Military History Man page. We thank you all for joining us, have a look at how we can help research your military family history:

http://www.militaryhistoryman.co.uk/

Professional Military based genealogical research service based in Manchester, UK.

We also do German First World War records. Although, this is much more difficult than British and Commonwealth forces.Hi...
14/04/2015
i.imgur.com

We also do German First World War records. Although, this is much more difficult than British and Commonwealth forces.

Hier sind wir auch deutsche Ersten Weltkrieg Aufzeichnungen zu tun. Obwohl , das ist viel schwieriger, als britische und Commonwealth-Truppen .

http://i.imgur.com/HawiwGh.png

09/04/2015

Three more likes to get Military History Man to 700 likes?

08/04/2015

Today I finished typing up and digitising the 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment War Diary during the First World War. It took almost a years worth of time and dedication. However, it is now a fantastic resource for anyone wishing to look up this battalion.

Research complete: Corporal William Boyd, 11th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers.Corporal W. Boyd was involved with such ac...
31/03/2015

Research complete: Corporal William Boyd, 11th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers.

Corporal W. Boyd was involved with such actions as the Battle of Vimy Ridge (his very first battle) and the Battle of Albert. He also was awarded a Military Medal during this period. He survived the war, and likely went back to work as a plumber.

Many Canadians believe that it was just the Canadian Expeditionary Force fighting at Vimy, but here is a real life example which shows that the Canadians were not alone. Although very brave themselves.

Picture courtesy of the Library and Archives of Canada. It shows Canadian forces on the advance at Vimy, 1917.

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19 St Hildas View, Audenshaw
Manchester
M34 5JJ

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