Francis Moran

FRANCIS MORAN (1898 - 1917)

Francis, or Frank as he was commonly know, was the eldest child of railway labourer James and his wife Ellen's two children. In 1901, three year old Frank was living with his parents and baby brother Sidney at 13 Wellington Street, Macclesfield. Ten years later, having left St Alban's school, Frank was working as a cotton weaver while Sidney and, Frank's eight year old sister, Margaret, went to school. Frank may not have worked as a cotton weaver for very long since by the time he enlisted he was working at 'Mrs Leech's Dye Works' on Pearl Street in Macclesfield.

Frank joined the 2nd/9th (Territorial Force) Battalion, Manchester Regiment, in May 1916, at the age of eighteen. He was transported to France with his Regiment aboard the troop ship HMT Arcadian (which was torpedoed about a month later by a German submarine and sank in the Aegean Sea; nearly three hundred troops drowned). The Regiment disembarked in France, at Marseilles on 4 March 1917 and was transported by train to Pont Remy, in the Somme Department. They arrived in northern France a week after setting off from Marseilles. When Frank's Regiment, as part of the 42nd Division, were moved to east of Amiens, they were equipped for trench warfare with the issue of their rifles and steel helmets. Frank and his Regiment consequently started a programme of training, which covered the tactics of trench combat, trench digging and route marches.

Following training, the Regiment moved to the frontline at Epehy, where they relieved the 48th Division and joined the 3 Corps in the Fourth Army. The village of Epehy was captured at the beginning of April 1917 and is it possible that it was during this action Frank sustained gunshot wounds in his left-hand side. He was taken to hospital but died of his injuries, aged nineteen, on 1 May 1917.

Private Frank Moran is buried at the Bethune Town Cemetery, Pas de Calais. It was Frank's father, James, who chose the wording for his son's headstone. It reads:

"A noble sacrifice
for the cause of humanity"

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