A great recruiting rally, the last notable effort made under voluntary, system of enlistment, took place during the latter half of September and the early part of October, 1915. It culminated in a very impressive demonstration on Saturday, October 2nd, with a semi-military procession, and a meeting in the Market Square in the afternoon, and a further meeting in the Public Hall at night. The procession passed through some of the principal thoroughfares of the Borough. There were two brass bands in the procession - Hyde Borough and Bredbury and Romiley, - and stirring martial music was discoursed. The procession included a fairly large contingent of the 66th (Welsh) Divisional Cyclist Company, a few men of the 3/6th Cheshire Territorials, and members of the Hyde Volunteer Training Corps ; also Hyde St. George’s and Bredbury St. Mark’s Church Lads’ Brigades, the 1st Hyde Detachment of Girl Guides, and numerous Boy Scouts. A notable feature of the turnout was a Zeppelin model, twenty feet long, which had been constructed at the works of Messrs. Jacobsen, Welch and Co., Ltd., Newton, and a lorry load of dummy shells. In the rear of the procession were seven motor cars, containing several ladies and a number of gentlemen. Among these were Alderman Thos. Perrin, J.P., Councillor A. M. Fletcher, J.P., Rev. H. E. Dowson, B.A., Alderman J. Mirfin, Mr T. Owen Jacobsen, J.P., Rev R. M. Moore (at that time Hyde St. Thomas’s curate, who had been working on munitions for some months), Mr. And Mrs. Tom Smith (Burnley), Mr. Walter Gee, Mr A. Williamson, J.P., Mr. W. Ardern, Councillor W. Pope, Alderman and Mrs. H. Brooke, Councillor Amos Winterbotham, Mr. J. T. Cartwright and Mr. Tom Bennett (Matley). Several small flags were displayed in front of each car. The Mayor and Mayoress (Councillor and Mrs. Welch), and Miss Welch, were in the last car, his worship wearing the civic robes. The meeting in Market Square was addressed by the Mayor, Mr. Jacobsen, Mr Tom Smith and Councillor Pope, and it was followed by the performance of the Maze Drill in the roadway in front of the Town Hall by fifty-two members of the Hyde Volunteer Training Corps. The night meeting in the Public Hall was attended by probably not less than a thousand persons. On the following day there was a ‘recruiting service’ at St. George’s Church, with a stirring sermon by the vicar (Rev. J. Alaric Davys), to a congregation that included the Mayor, members and officials of the Corporation, and representatives of a number of military, semi-military, and civilian institutions. As a result of the recruiting rally, there was a considerable addition to the ranks of local men serving with the colours
THE APPEAL TRIBUNAL AND ADVISORY COMMITTEE.
About the end of November, 1915 two local bodies were appointed to adjudicate upon applications for exemption from military service. The main duty of the Advisory Committee was to obtain information and advice in reference to persons for whom appeals were made, and this committee’s work considerably relieved the Tribunal. There was much work for both bodies. The Advisory Committee consisted of Alderman T. Perrin, J.P. ( Chairman), Alderman H. Brooke, Mr. W. A. Aspland, Mr. A. Williamson, J.P., and Councillor W. Pope. It was a thoroughly representative body. Both Mr. Perrin and Mr. Brooke had held the office of Chief Magistrate of the Borough, while Mr. Perrin was chairman of the Stalybridge, Hyde, Dukinfield and Mossley Joint Tramways and Electricity Board. Mr. Aspland was a director of the Slack Mills Company, Ltd. Mr. Williamson was secretary of the Hyde and District Operative Spinners’ Association.
The Tribunal comprised the Mayor ( Councillor Stanley Welch ), chairman; Mr. Oliver Hibbert, J.P., Mr. John Hall Brooks, Mr Samuel Knowles. Mr Walter Gee and Councillor Ebenezer Bury. The Mayor was the managing direct of Messrs. Jacobson. Welch and Co. Ltd., manufacturing stationers, Newton Mill. Mr. Hibbert was chairman of Messrs. Edward Hibbert and Co. Ltd., Greencroft Mill cotton spinners and manufacturers. Mr. Knowles was secretary of the local Hatters’ Society, and Mr. Gee secretary of Hyde and District Cardroom Operatives’ Society. Mr. Bury was a member of the firm Messrs. Bury and Hopwood, chamois leather manufacturers; also chair of the Hyde Borough Education Committee, and a member of the Joint Tramways and Electricity Board.
Front Row: Messrs. W. Baker, W. Hibbert, J. McGinty, Mrs. Danby Mrs. Mirfin (P.L.G.), Miss Quinn, Miss Wilkinson, Miss Mattin, Mrs. Stafford, Mr. John Charlton.
Back Row: Councillor A. Shaw, J.P., Messrs William Robinson, S. Etchells, T.H. Whitworth, Richard Cragg, Harry Knowles. T. Bennett, A. Ward, T. Wilson.
Immediately the war started, many employers in Hyde, realising the seriousness of the situation, encouraged their male workpeople of military age to respond to the call of the King for the defence of the country. The largest local firm, Messrs. Ashton Bros., cotton spinners and manufactures, Flowery Field, set a good lead, and the movement was splendidly backed up at Slack Mills, Kingston Mills, green croft Mill, Newton Bank Printworks, Newton Mill (Messrs. Jacobsen Welch and Co.’s). the Godley Margarine Works, and many other local factories and workshops. It was soon found, on the other hand, that all the ironworks in the town and district would require not only all their regular men, but others also, for munitions-making, a task that, as war proceeded, turned out to be of supreme importance.
Front Row: Messrs. F. Gregory, G. Whyatt, J. W. Wooliscroft, F. Molly, H. Secker, (C r.) E. Bury, C. Duxbury, E. B. Charnley, (Cr.) T. Worrall, H. W. Denton.
Back Row: Messrs. J. Carr, T. Horrocks, H. C. Buttery, S. Shepley, Jos. Heginbotham, J. Marshall, J. Horsfield, O. Hibbert, C. Morris.
Photo by A. E. Searle, Hyde.