Volunteer Infantry of Ashton- Under- Lyne 1859-1971, by Robert Bonner
Subtitled 'including the biography of William Thomas Forshaw VC'
Published by Fleur De Lys in 2005, 182 pages. Hardback (N5723)
This book is a detailed history of the Volunteer Movement in Ashton-under-Lyne from 1859 to 1971, and is the first published history of the 9th Manchesters. The book also includes a twenty page illustrated biography of Lieutenant William Thomas Forshaw the 'Cigarette VC', who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery at Gallipoli between 7th to 9th August 1915. Amongst the many photographs are ones showing the Sword of Honour presented to him by his home town of Barrow in Furness and the silver Freedom Casket presented by Ashton-under-Lyne.
Thirteen chapters describe the early days of the 23rd Lancashire Rifle Volunteers through their various name changes to the more recognisable 9th Manchesters between 1908 and 1967, after which it continued as the Manchester Territorials until 1971. Men of the battalion fought in the Anglo Boer War, then on to the battlefields of Gallipoli, France and Flanders in the First World War. In WW2 the Regiment served in France with the BEF, then a period in Iceland and then to war in Italy with the 4th Indian Division, later piercing the Gothic Line with 46th Division. The book includes the raising and short life of the 2/9th and 3/9th Battalions, and extensive biographical notes and 9 appendices list the local men who served in the Boer War with the Volunteer Service Companies, as well as detailed Rolls of Honour of the casualties and honours & awards for both world wars.
The condition of the book is generally very good. The cover has one or two very minor scuffs but is clean and bright, the spine is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound.