The Cemetery contains 2 soldiers of the Cheshire Regiment, who both died in 1918.


1st Battalion, The Cheshire Regiment
Officers, N.C.O.s and Men of the 1st Battalion, Buried in Aire Communal Cemetery

©: G E Conway, 2009
Their name liveth for evermore
Private E J Conway (circa. 1905)
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Private 10335 Richard John FAZACKERLY

Date of Death:
11 May 1918  (Died of wounds)        
Grave No:
II.J.17.
Unit:
'B' Company
Age:
22


Personal History:
Richard was born in the March quarter 1896, the eldest son of Richard John and Susannah (née Griffiths) Fazackerly (married March quarter 1892) of Queen's Place, Tranmere, Birkenhead, Cheshire. He had an elder sister, Elizabeth, and a younger brother, Joseph. (1901 Census 13/3396)

There is no record of Richard being married.

Military History:
Richard enlisted in the 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment at Chester. Currently his Army records are unavailable, probably destroyed in Second World War bombing.
As a regular soldier he sailed for France at the outbreak of War and his Medal Card shows he entered France on 16 August 1914 and he would have fought with the 1st Battalion at Audregnies, La Bassée and 1st Ypres in 1914.

In December 1917 he was posted to Italy with the Battalion, where he stayed until April 1918.

On 1st May 1918 he died of wounds received in action at the Stationery Hospital, Aire.


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This cemetery contains 894 Commonwealth soldiers' burials  from the Great War (868 from the UK, 15 from Canada, 6 Australians, 1 from New Zealand and 4 from India). There are also 7 Germans and 1 from France.

From March 1915 to February 1918, Aire was a busy but peaceful centre used by Commonwealth forces as corps headquarters. The Highland Casualty Clearing Station was based there as was the 39th Stationary Hospital (from May 1917) and other medical units.



Medal ribbon bar
All of the men named below were awarded the 1914 Star (with "clasps and roses"), the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
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Use the links on the left to read a little more about each man and see where he is buried.
 
Private 8326 William NEIL (A.R.)

Date of Death:
9 July 1918 (Died of wounds)
Grave No:
III.G.14.
Unit:
'C' Company
Age:
29


Personal History:
William was born in Salford, Lancashire, in July 1888, the youngest son of John (Railway warehouseman) and Ellen Neil of Regent Road, Salford. He had four older brothers, John, Joseph, Edward and Walter. (1901 Census: RG 13/3736).

At the time of his enlistment he was employed as a Carter. When he joined the Cheshires he was 5' 5¼" tall (1.65 m.), weighed 132 lbs. (9 st. 6lbs.) had a 'fresh' complexion, brown eyes and brown hair. His religion was Church of England. He also had poor teeth and flat feet, but not enough to reject him from service.

According to his Service papers William married Lily Dunkerly on 14 August 1915 and they lived at 107 Oxford Street, Regent Road, Salford. After his death she was awarded a pension of 13/9d (68p) per week. They had no children. Two weeks after the Armistice she received William personal possessions, forwarded by Army Records, Shrewsbury - 2 identity discs, photos, 1 certificate, 2 coins and a cigarette case.

Military History:
William enlisted at Chester on 26 November 1906. His terms of service were 7 + 5 (i.e. 7 years active service + 5 years reserve), and was transferred to the Army Reserve list on 25 November 1913. He was posted to Londonderry on 25 March 1907 and spent the rest of his time there.
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On 15 March 1909 he qualified as a 'cold shoer'. The 1911 Census (RG 14/6182) indicates his transfer to Longmoor Camp, East Liss, Hampshire, presumably for 'shoeing smith' training where he is recorded along with trainees from other Regiments. He became a full 'shoeing smith' on 27 January 1912. His record states he was classed as very good and efficient.

His time as a regular soldier was not without some difficulties. Between 18 March 1906 and 12 June 1913 he was charged nine times, alternating between absences and drunkenness, resulting in a series of fines, CB and periods of detention. His tenth offence on 12 August 1913 was "urinating in his coir bedding", for which he was made repay the cost of the bedding and given 8 days CB (Confined to Barracks).

When leaving the Army his conduct was said to be "fair" except that he had been "drunk in charge of horses", but when he applied for a job with the Great Western Railway in January 1914 his application was not "recommended owing to character"

As a reservist he was recalled to the 1st Battalion at the outbreak of War and was appointed 'Regimental Pioneer' on 6 August. Just 19 days later, however, he was demoted to Private by the O.C. for misconduct. His Medal Card shows he entered France on 16 August 1914 and he would have fought with the 1st Battalion at Audregnies, La Bassée and 1st Ypres in 1914. On 11 August 1915 he was promoted again, to Corporal, but only lasted two weeks, being demoted again for "overstaying his special pass to England". (He should have returned by midnight on 16 August but failed to return until 09.30 on 17th.) There was perhaps some justification for this as he married Lily in Salford on the 14th!

Whilst in France on active service he was granted two fortnight leaves in England, in November 1916 and November 1917. In December 1917 he was posted to Italy with the Battalion, where he stayed until April 1918. Whilst stationed at Genoa he received a kick to the back of the head by a mule (4 January 1918). The mule broke away, knocked William to the ground and "jumped on him". He was treated for deep lacerations at Camp Arguata Hospital and returned to duty on 18 February.

On 3rd July William was wounded in action and died on the 9th at the Stationery Hospital, Aire. In all he had served 11 years 121 days with the Colours.

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Aire Communal Cemetery
AWAITING PHOTOGRAPH
Pt Fazackerly's Medal Index card
Pt Neil's Medal Index Card
Photo courtesy of BWG ©
Photo courtesy of BWG ©