Private John Welby
19th Battalion, Manchester Regiment
Uncle of parishioner Brenda Shields, John Welby was born in Ancoats in 1895 and before the outbreak of War was employed as an office worker. On the 7th September, less than a month after the declaration of War, John enlisted in the 4th Battalion Manchester Regiment (one of the many ‘Pals’ Battalions). After several months stationed in the UK the Regiment was sent to the Western Front in November 1915. On the 1st July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, John was one of the 19,240 British soldiers killed or who died of their wounds on that day. His body was never found or identified and he is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial. This memorial records the names of more than 73,00 British soldiers who were killed on the Somme and who have no known grave. A few years ago Brenda and her sister, as a mark of respect for the Uncle they never knew, visited the part of the Somme where it is thought her Uncle died and to honour his name on the Thiepval Memorial.