Manchester Pals


The Manchester Pals were pals battalions of the British Army raised in 1914 during the Great War, formed as part of Lord Kitchener's New Armies. They were formed into eight battalions of the Manchester Regiment.[1][2][3]

Alfred Leete's recruitment poster for Kitchener's Army.
  • 1st Manchester Pals became 16th (Service) Battalion, Manchester Regiment (1st City)
  • 2nd Manchester Pals became 17th (Service) Battalion, Manchester Regiment (2nd City)
  • 3rd Manchester Pals (Clerks' and Warehousemen's Battalion) became 18th (Service) Battalion, Manchester Regiment (3rd City)
  • 4th Manchester Pals became 19th (Service) Battalion, Manchester Regiment (4th City)
  • 5th Manchester Pals became 20th (Service) Battalion, Manchester Regiment (5th City)
  • 6th Manchester Pals became 21st (Service) Battalion, Manchester Regiment (6th City)
  • 7th Manchester Pals became 22nd (Service) Battalion, Manchester Regiment (7th City)
  • 8th Manchester Pals became 23rd (Service) Battalion, Manchester Regiment (8th City)

The 16th–19th (Service) Bns constituted 90th Brigade in 30th Division and the 20th–22nd Bns, together with the 24th (Service Battalion, Manchester Regiment (Oldham Pioneers), formed 91st Brigade in the same division.[2][3][4][5] The 23rd (Service) Bn was a Bantam battalion in 104th Brigade of 35th Division.[2][3][6][7]

In about September 1915 three local reserve battalions were formed from the depot companies of the eight battalions, with the role of training replacements for the service battalions; they joined 16th Brigade of the Training Reserve on 1 September 1916:[1][2][3]

  • 25th (Reserve) Battalion, Manchester Regiment, (from 16th, 17th, 18th Bn depot companies) became 69th Training Reserve Battalion
  • 26th (Reserve) Battalion, Manchester Regiment, (from 19th, 20th, 21st Bn depot companies) became 70th Training Reserve Battalion
  • 27th (Reserve) Battalion, Manchester Regiment, (from 22nd, 23rd and 24th (Oldham Pioneers) Bn depot companies) became 71st Training Reserve Battalion

Almost 10,000 men enlisted in the Manchester Pals battalions, of whom 4,776 were killed. Overall, the Manchester Regiment lost about 13,000 men.[8] In 1993, a memorial was unveiled in Heaton Park, where the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th battalions were trained between September 1914 and April 1915.[9]

Notes Edit

  1. ^ a b Frederick, pp. 133–4.
  2. ^ a b c d James, pp. 97–8.
  3. ^ a b c d Manchester Regiment at Long, Long Trail.
  4. ^ Becke, Pt 3b, pp. 1–9.
  5. ^ 30th Division at Long, Long Trail.
  6. ^ Becke, Pt 3b, pp. 51–9.
  7. ^ 35th Division at Long, Long Trail.
  8. ^ Stedman 2004, p. 231
  9. ^ Stedman 2004, p. 239

References Edit

  • Maj A.F. Becke,History of the Great War: Order of Battle of Divisions, Part 3b: New Army Divisions (30–41) and 63rd (R.N.) Division, London: HM Stationery Office, 1939/Uckfield: Naval & Military Press, 2007, ISBN 1-847347-41-X.
  • J.B.M. Frederick, Lineage Book of British Land Forces 1660–1978, Vol I, Wakefield: Microform Academic, 1984, ISBN 1-85117-007-3.
  • Brig E.A. James, British Regiments 1914–18, London: Samson Books, 1978/Uckfield: Naval & Military Press, 2001, ISBN 978-1-84342-197-9.
  • Caroline Scott, The Manchester Bantams, The Story of a Pals Battalion and a City at War: 23rd (Service) Battalion, The Manchester Regiment (8th City), Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2016, ISBN 978-1-78346-389-3.
  • Stedman, Michael (2004) [1994], Manchester Pals: 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd & 23rd Battalions of the Manchester Regiment : a History of the Two Manchester Brigades, Pen and Sword Books, ISBN 1-84415-046-1

External sources Edit

  • Chris Baker, The Long, Long Trail