Oldham Pals 1914-1920
About the Oldham Pals records
Search approximately 1,755 records of men, by platoon, who joined the so-called 'Oldham Pals' battalion: the 24th (Service) Battalion, The Manchester Regiment.
The records published here are the most complete roll of the original contingent of the 24th Battalion Manchester Regiment. They will usually tell you the following about your ancestors:
- First name/s rather than initials
- Date the man arrived overseas
- Details of subsequent transfers
- Details of whether the man was killed in action or died of wounds
- Details of awards
The battalion was formed in Oldham on 24 October 1914 and was placed under the command of the 91st Infantry Brigade in the 30th Division in April 1915. The brigade was, therefore, a pure Manchester brigade. The other three battalions in the brigade were the 20th, 21st and 22nd battalions of the Manchester Regiment.
In November 1915 the battalion sailed for France. The majority of the men arrived in France on 8 and 9 November 1915 so they qualified for the 1914/15 Star. On 20 December 1915 the entire 90th Infantry Brigade was transferred to the regular 7th Division and in May 1916 the battalion was converted into a pioneer battalion.
Information published in The Oldham Battalion of Comrades – Book of Honour in 1920 is at the heart of these records. This followed the format of the Manchester City Battalions Book of Honour, published in 1916, listing men by platoon and company and publishing photos of platoons. Separate photos of non-commissioned officers, officers and the bugle band were also published.
Please note that the compilers did not provide a key to the photographs to identify the individual soldiers. The lists and photographs do, however, place the individual in the context of the group of men he served alongside. There is no indication of when the photos were taken, although this must have been before April 1915 as at least two of the men photographed had been discharged due to sickness by March that year.
As with the Manchester Pals photos, some officers, NCOs and buglers may be linked to two or more lists and/or photographs, since each was photographed in more than one context. Other sources used in the construction of these records include WWI service and pension records, medal index cards, Soldiers Died in The Great War, Officers Died in The Great War, and The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Roll of Honour.
This set of records complements our Manchester City Battalions records, which cover the 16th to 23rd (Service) Battalions, The Manchester Regiment (inclusive), as well as our Oldham Employers' Roll of Honour 1914-1920 records.
Our thanks to the Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society for providing us with these records.
Begin with the basics
The name of the person you are searching for may not be recorded in the way you expect. Henry John Davies, for example, may have been recorded as Henry Davies, Henry J Davies, H Davies, or even H J Davies. We would therefore suggest that you initially search using their last name only. If you receive too many results, you can then add a first name to narrow them down.
First name variations
If you don’t find the result you want first time, it is worth trying every possible variation in the first name field.
Your ancestor might have used a different first name in everyday life from the one that appears on official records. For example, your great-uncle Jack’s birth name might have been John. If you can’t find someone recorded under the name you expect, try variations of that name. And if you still can’t find your ancestor using their full first name, try entering their first initial instead.
Last name variations
We’ve added an ‘Include variants’ tickbox next to the ‘Last name’ field to allow for common differences in spelling or incorrect spelling. For example, if you search for the name ‘Foakes’ while ticking the variants option, you may also get results for ‘Folks’, ‘Fookes’, ‘Forkes’, ‘Foukes’, ‘Foulkes’ and ‘Fowkes’.