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Private 17517, “B” Company 15th Royal Scots.

Killed in action 1st July 1916, age 24.

Remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

Unknown relationship to the University.


 

William was born in 1892 at Hollinwood, Oldham. He was the son of Theodore and Annie Haslam. His father was the Head Master of Stanley Road Council School. On leaving school he joined the clerical staff of the Werneth Spinning Company, an Oldham cotton firm. It is presumed that he attended Manchester Technical College to study part time. In 1914 he was living at the family home at Hollinwood.

When Kitchener called for more volunteers for the war and the Pal’s battalions began to form, the Manchester Caledonian Association and the Manchester St. Andrew’s Society met at the Victoria Hotel and suggested the a Manchester Scottish Regiment should be recruited for service with the Army. The Royal Scots already had a history of enlisting Manchester men so they were chosen as the parent unit and recruiting for the 15th (Manchester Scottish) Battalion The Royal Scots began in September 1914. William volunteered for the new unit which trained in the U.K. until January 1916 when it finally went to the western front and served in the trenches at Flanders. In May 1916 it moved south to the Somme with the 34th (New Army) Division. On 1st July 1916 Fred celebrated his 21st birthday in the trenches as the Battle of the Somme began. The Battalion went over the top at 07.30 attacking trenches between La Boisselle and Becourt Wood. The German positions here were especially well constructed with deep dugouts and redoubts which were not destroyed by the British artillery. The attacking infantry were devastated by the defending Germans, but they none the less managed to take and defend Wood Alley.They could advance no further. The Manchester Scottish suffered some of the heaviest casualties that day with over 600 officers and men killed and wounded. William was amongst the fallen.