“2nd Lt. James Kirk, late 10th, attd. 2nd, Bn., Manchester R.
For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty North of Ors on 4th Nov., 1918, whilst attempting to bridge the Oise Canal.
To cover the bridging of the canal he took a Lewis gun, and, under intense machine-gun fire, paddled across the canal on a raft, and at a range of ten yards expended all his ammunition. Further ammunition was paddled across to him and he continuously maintained a covering fire for the bridging party from a most exposed position till killed at his gun.
The supreme contempt of danger and magnificent self-sacrifice displayed by this gallant officer prevented many casualties and enabled two platoons to cross the bridge before it was destroyed.”
He is buried in Ors Communal Cemetery, Ors, France and commemorated on the Oldham War Memorial.
“No. 3T5499 Pte. Walter Mills, late Manch. B. (Oldham).
For most conspicuous bravery and self sacrifice.
When, after an intense gas attack, a strong enemy patrol endeavoured to rush our posts, the garrisons of which had been overcome, and though badly gassed himself, he met the attack single-handed and continued to throw bombs until the arrival of reinforcements, and remained at his post until the enemy’s attacks Had been finally driven off.
While being carried away he died from gas poisoning. It was solely due to his exertions, when his only chance of personal safety lay in remaining motionless, that the enemy was defeated and the line retained intact.”
He is buried in Gorre British and Indian Cemetery, France, and Commemorated on the Oldham War Memorial.
This beautiful memorial I found in Oldham, in Town Centre and close to the St Mary’s Church. Its a beautiful memorial but seems out of place opposite a pub with rowdy revellers doing their thing.
A large number of men from Manchester and Oldham died in the “Pals Regiments” and Albert Toft was commissioned to provide the memorial to them. The memorial was unveiled by General Sir Ian Hamilton in April 1923 while William Temple, Bishop of Manchester, provided the dedication. The interior of the pedestal contained a chamber in which were placed books containing the local roll of honour, and a space in which people could pray. After the Second World War it was decided to incorporate a Book of Remembrance into the base of the original memorial as a tribute to those who had died in the recent war.
There are two Victoria Cross holders commemorated on the name plates. Walter MIlls Vc and James Kirk VC.