|1. Charles Walter Merryweather, b. May 31, 1880|
|2. John Cole Merryweather, b. November 04, 1878|
|3. Mary Dorathea Merryweather, b. bef. September, 1882|
St Cath's Birth Ref V15 P478 Jun 1840 East Retford
St Cath's Mar Ref V11a P228 Jun 1877 Newport Mon
St Cath's Death Ref V7b P14 Mar 1915 East Retford, age 74.
1871 census shows age 31 living Bridgegate, East Retford, Occ Merchant
Tailor, Born East Retford.
1881 census shows age 41 living with his wife and 2 children at 15
Bridgegate, East Retford, Nottinghamshire, Occ Tailor and Outfitter
employing 22 persons
Memorial to Charles James and son Charles Walter in West Retford Church.
1881 census shows age 41 living with her husband and 2 children at 15
Bridgegate, East Retford, Nottinghamshire,
1881 census shows age 10 months living with parents at 15 Bridgegate,
East Retford, Nottinghamshire
Scholar at Retford School,Notts, Trinity Col Cambridge 1900, admitted as
From the Salford Reporter 15 Jan 1915
Capt Charle Walter Merryweather 16 Battalion (Salford) Lancashire
Fusiliers, those name appears in the list of wounded officers, is one of
the modern side masters at Manchester Grammer School and his home is in
Hill Top Ave, Cheadle Hulme,(Nr Stockport Cheshire, Now part of
Manchester suburbs), Capt Merryweather took up active service very
shortly after the outbreak of war, he retains his position on the Grammer
School Staff, He was wounded by shrapnel but not seriously.
Major, 16th Bn., Lancashire Fusiliers
who died on, Thursday, 23rd November 1916.
source= Family Bible of Richard gives Charles Death Date as 8 Jan 1915 !
THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France
Grave Reference/Panel Number: Pier and Face 3 C and 3 D
Location: The Thiepval Memorial will be found on the D73, off the main
Bapaume to Albert road (D929).
Also Memorial in West Retford Church.
CHARLES WALTER MERRYWEATHER, Major, UNIT: 16th Battalion, Lancashire
Fusiliers, DATE OF DEATH: Thursday, 23 November 1916, CEMETERY OR
MEMORIAL: Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France
Walter Merryweather was born on 31 May 1880 at Retford, Nottinghamshire,
where his mother, Emily, still lived at 19 The Square. His father, C J
Merryweather, had died some time earlier. He was educated at Retford
Grammar School and spent a short period in France and Germany learning
the languages. He later attended Trinity College, Cambridge, where he
had been a member of the University Rifle Corps. He graduated with an
honours degree in modern languages. He was a teacher at Manchester
Grammar School. Locally, he lived with his friend and colleague, Charles
Fry at Hill Top Avenue, Cheadle Hulme. Charles is also remembered on the
Memorial. His service papers describe Merryweather as being 70.5 inches
tall with a weight of 161lbs.
He had been commissioned in November 1914 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 16th
Battalion (the second of the Salford Pals Battalions), quickly being
promoted on the 18th of the month to temporary Lieutenant. He was again
promoted on 20 January 1915 to Captain. He went overseas on active
service on 22 November 1915 in command of “A” Company. He is recorded by
the War Graves Commission as holding the rank of Major, although there is
no confirmation of this in the London Gazette and the Regimental records
show him as a Captain.
On 4 January 1916, Walter was in the front line at Authille when he
received a gunshot or shrapnel wound to the right thigh. The bullet was
removed at a Casualty Clearing Station the same day and he was then sent
to No. 2 Red Cross Hospital at Rouen. He was back in England within a
couple of weeks and spent further time in various hospitals. In May,
1916, a medical review said “He does not appear to have improved. He
cannot march more than 3 or 4 miles. He should go through a course of
graduated physical training with a view to restore the loss of muscular
power and energy”. This was successful as, by the following month, Walter
was fit enough to return to his Battalion.
On 18 November, the final attack in the Battle of the Somme was launched
in weather that changed between snow, sleet and rain. It was not a
success and most troops withdrew back to their own lines. A small party
of the Border Regiment and the Highland Light Infantry had been unable to
escape and was cut-off in Frankfort Trench, with German troops
surrounding them. On the night of 20/21 November, two soldiers from this
party managed to escape and brought news that they were still holding
out, but were running short of food and water.
It was decided to make a concerted effort to try and rescue them. A group
of some 320 men from the Lancashire Fusiliers and Royal Inniskilling
Fusiliers was assembled, under the command of Walter Merryweather. They
would seize a section of the closer Munich Trench and hold this whilst a
small group dashed on to Frankfort Trench.
There was a brief artillery barrage and, at 3.30 pm on the 23rd, the
British troops stormed across No Man’s Land to take Munich Trench. But
they had not been able to capture all of the anticipated length. This
meant they were open to grenade attack from both sides, from Germans who
had come out of their dugouts. Fierce hand-to-hand fighting was also
taking place within the trench and this allowed some German prisoners to
escape. However, about 20 Germans were bayoneted to death.
Meanwhile, the small group, under Lt Higginson, had pushed on towards
Frankfort Trench. They were lying on the ground, waiting for the
artillery barrage to lift off the trench, when Higginson was shot. 2nd Lt
Rylands was then sent forward to take command but he was also shot. When
the barrage lifted, there were only about 10 men left in the party and
they were pinned down and unable to move forward. They could not see any
the party still thought to be in Frankfort Trench and, so, withdrew back
to Munich Trench. It was reported that Walter was standing on the parapet
of Munich Trench directing operations and encouraging the raiding party
to return, when he was shot.
The troops now withdrew back to the British line about 4.15 pm. Half the
party had been killed or wounded. The troops still in Frankfort Trench
held on for some while longer in the hope that another rescue attempt
would be made but, out of water and ammunition, they were forced to
It would be a further six days before Walter’s mother received a telegram
informing her of his death. Walter is also commemorated on the memorial
in his native Retford. Cheadle Hulme War Memorial
St Cath's Birth Ref V9c P381 Dec 1878 East Retford
1881 census shows age 2 living with parents
St Cath's Birth Ref V7b P11 Sep 1882 E Retford.
pos, St Cath's Death Ref V7b P27 Mar 1958 Bristol, age 75.