Mayers, Harold

Harold Mayers was from Bollington, Cheshire and married Martha Ann Tellett from Ewloe. A card in the County of Flint Index for Ewloe has the following information: Mayers Harold, Stags Head, Ewloe, Cheshire Regiment. Pte. 4 years France, missing 2 years,  signed by  Martha Ann Mayers.

Harold has been researched by Steve Davies in connection with his “Macclesfield Reflects” – commemorating the fallen of Macclesfield and the surrounding villages during the Great War.

Harold was born in 1879 at Kerridge, near Bollington, the son of Edward Mayers and Ann (formerly Jackson), and was baptised on 15 June 1879 at Pott Shrigley (a small village just up the road from Bollington and his father’s birthplace). The 1881 Census shows him living on Jackson Lane, Bollington. Then at the Farmhouse, Stakehouse End in 1891, by which time he was working in a cotton mill as a piecer.

He married Martha Whiston in 1898 and by the time of the 1901 Census, was working at a local paper mill and residing at Garret Houses, Bollington. Tragically, his wife died in 1908 at the age of 28 and four of their children Annie (born about 1899), Albert (born about 1904), Doris (born 1905) and Edith (born 1907), were living with the Whiston grandparents at 7 Higher Lane in 1911, while Harold was a labourer living at 3 Higher Lane and the other child (Elsie) was at Cheshire View with other relatives.

His service number would suggest that he was a member of the Territorial Force, and when war broke out, enlisted at Macclesfield with the Cheshire Regiment. Harold was subsequently posted overseas on 17 February 1915 (I cannot determine if this was with 1/6th Cheshire’s or another battalion).

He married Martha Ann Tellett at Birkenhead in 1916. This is the link to Flintshire as she was born in Ewloe and presumably requested Harold be commemorated on the local memorial. In 1921 Martha subsequently remarried (to Albert Smith) at Willenhall in Staffordshire,

Harold was amongst the many 1/6th Cheshire’s killed in action at the Battle of Pilkem Ridge (the first phase of Third Battle of Ypres and more infamously known as the Battle of Passchendaele) on 31 July 1917. With grim irony, his first cousin and namesake, 357935 Pte. Harold Mayers, of the 10th King’s (Liverpool) Regiment, was killed in action on the same day of the same battle.

Harold has no known grave but is commemorated on the Menin Gate (panel 19-22) and on the Kerridge Sunday School Memorial Plaque and the war memorials at Kerridge and Bollington. He is also listed on the 1917 Bollington Parish Roll of Honour and is very probably the “H. MAYERS” featured on the Henry & Leigh Slater Ltd Roll of Honour (Slater’s was a paper mill).

Harold’s brother, John Henry Mayers, was a Sapper with the Canadian Engineers. He emigrated to Canada/USA, enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 19 March 1918 and died of tuberculosis while on leave at his father’s home in Grimshaw Lane in Bolllington on 8 July 1921, aged 46. His name appears in the Canada Book of Remembrance. He was buried in the grave of his first wife and her parents at St Peter’s in Prestbury [plot K2647]

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