Manning, Criss. Died 21st Dec 1914

Omitted from publication on 21st Dec 2014. Published today 104 years after his death

Francis Cris Manning was born in Brington, Northamptonshire in 1883 and baptised there on the 6th May. His parents were George and Selina (nee Tarrey) who had married at Selina’s home parish church of nearby Harlestone on 11th November 1875. George was a labourer in Great Brington – agricultural in 1881, general in 1891 when Francis was aged eight. He then had two brothers Edward aged twelve and Lewis four.

George Manning died later that year at the age of 41 and Selina two years later in 1893 at 48. We have been unable to find Francis Criss in 1901 but information from a family tree on Ancestry shows that he enlisted in the Northamptonshire Regiment in 1899 and served in South Africa. He left in 1908, signing up with the reserves. This is confirmed by his army number of 5992 which was issued in 1899. It also explains the early date of his death in December 1914. Only regular troops and reserves would be fighting at this point.

By 1911 he was lodging with the Cross family at 38 Lower Harlestone. He was working as a wood man on estate and entered under the full name of Francis Christopher Manning.

At the time the war started, he was working for the L & N-W Railway in the Rugby Carriage works. this seems to be his only connection with Rugby.

The 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment was stationed at Blackdown, Aldershot on 4th Aug 1914 as part of the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Division. They were mobilised on the 13th and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including in 1914;
The Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, The Battle of the Marne, The Battle of the Aisne, First Battle of Ypres.

The first few months of the Northants Reg. War Diaries were lost on 17th November during the First Battle of Ypres. The Diary starts again on the 21st December.

Nov 26th 1914 to Dec 20th 1914: The Battalion was resting at Hazebrouck.

Dec 21st 1914: The Battalion left Hazebrouck at 7 AM in motors. Arrived at Zellobes close to Vielle Chapelle at 12 Noon. After refilling with rations & Ammunition, the Battalion was ordered to move to Le Touret. Arrived here sometime about 4 PM. Orders were received that the Battalion in Conjunction with 1st Loyal North Lancashire Regt. Was to make a night attack to recover trenches about ½ mile East of Rue de L’Epinelte & ½ mile South of Rue de Bois. Which had been lost the previous night. The Two Battalions moved to the attack about 7 PM. The Battalion had Two Companies in the front line & Two in support.
1st Northamptonshire R. was on the North 1st L. N. L. on South by 10 PM. The position in front of us had been retaken with slight loss. Most of our Casualties Coming from Artillery fire. Total Casualties killed & wounded. Three Officers – about 60 men.
According to previous orders when the position had been retaken the Battalion was to withdraw & the line to be held by the 1st L. N. L. Regt. We had however to leave One Company D in the line. The rest of the Battalion withdrew back about ½ mile to billets reaching them about 7 AM on Dec 22nd.

It would have been in this “slight loss” that Criss Manning died. His body was not recovered or identified and he is remembered on the Le Touret Memorial.

The Le Touret Memorial commemorates over 13,400 British soldiers who were killed in this sector of the Western Front from the beginning of October 1914 to the eve of the Battle of Loos in late September 1915 and who have no known grave. The Memorial takes the form of a loggia surrounding an open rectangular court. The names of those commemorated are listed on panels set into the walls of the court and the gallery, arranged by regiment, rank and alphabetically by surname within the rank. The memorial was designed by John Reginald Truelove, who had served as an officer with the London Regiment during the war, and unveiled by the British ambassador to France, Lord Tyrrell, on 22 March 1930. Almost all of the men commemorated on the Memorial served with regular or territorial regiments from across the United Kingdom and were killed in actions that took place along a section of the front line that stretched from Estaires in the north to Grenay in the south. This part of the Western Front was the scene of some of the heaviest fighting of the first year of the war.

The only mention of his death in the Rugby press was as one of the railway men who had died.

On the 17th April 1915, the Rugby Advertiser reported:
CASUALTIES AMONG L & N-W RAILWAYMEN.—According to the April number of the “ L & N-W Railway Gazette,” there were 1,058 casualties reported among L & N-W Railway men with the Forces between February 19th and March 15th. The list includes the following :—Killed: H R Barwick, East Anglian Engineers (Wolverton). Died from wounds: T C Tooth, Bucks Territorials (Wolverton); C Manning, Northamptonshire Regiment (Rugby).

And on the 25th September, 1915:
TO COMMEMORATE FALLEN HEROES.
During the service the daily portion from “ The Happy Warrior ” was read by Mr Frank Ward, and the following names of men on the Rugby Railway Mission Roll of Honour, and of local railway men who have fallen in the war were read out:—…C Manning, carriage department

On the L & N-W Roll of Honour, Criss is remembered as C. Manning, Carriage cleaner, Rugby.

He is listed on the Great Brington War Memorial (as Francis C Manning) and the Harlestone War Memorial (as Christopher Manning) On the Rugby Memorial Gates he is C Manning.

He was awarded, under the name of Cross Manning, the British and Victory medals as well as the 1914 star.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

22nd Jul 1916. Helping the Prisoners of War

HELPING THE PRISONERS OF WAR.

A meeting of the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee was held on Wednesday evening. Mr Wm Flint, C.C, Chairman of the Committee, presiding. Also present : Mrs Lees, Rev Father Jarvis, and Messrs A E Donkin, W H Clay, C J Newman, G W Walton, J Mellor, and the Hon Secretary, Mr J R Barker. Apologies for absence were received from Mrs Blagden, Mr F R Davenport, and Mr S H Weobley.

The Chairman, in reviewing the past work of the Committee, said that, starting with a list of 13 prisoners of war, the work had grown to such an extent that the Committee were now looking after the welfare of 55 men from Rugby and the villages. The expenditure had increased so very considerably that the Executive thought the Committee should meet to consider what steps should be taken to maintain the weekly parcels to the prisoners of war.

The Hon Secretary presented a statement of accounts to date. Subscriptions and donations amounted to £526 16s 6d, and the cost of food parcels and other expenditure was £417 8s 2d, which left a balance in hand of £109 8s 4d. He was glad to be able to report that during the past week there had been a slight improvement in the subscriptions, and although the money in hand would only provide for a few weeks parcels, he was glad to be able to report that several local efforts were being made to raise funds. It was, however, very necessary that, without delay, the Committee made arrangements to secure sufficient money to carry on the work for several months ahead, especially in view of the possibilities of further names being added to the list.

Various schemes were suggested and agreed upon, the first effort to be a Flag Day, Mr Newman and Mr Barker agreeing to carry out the arrangements as early as possible.

COVENTRY MUNITIONS TRIBUNAL.

The following local cases were heard before Mr Carmichael at the Coventry Munitions Tribunal on Friday in last week.

Alick J Tabor, Woolscott, near Rugby, applied for a leaving certificate from the B.T.H.—The case was adjourned from a previous Court. Another adjournment for four weeks was granted ; and the Court instructed the lad to return to work.

G North, 113 Railway Terrace, Rugby, was fined 10s for absenting himself from work at the B.T.H without leave for the whole of the week ending July 8th, the fine to be paid in four weekly instalments.

A King, 385 Clifton Road, Rugby, was charged by the B.T.H Company with being absent from work without leave on Saturday, July 8th, for 8¾ hours on Monday, and the whole of Tuesday, July 11th. The man’s previous time-keeping had been bad, and he was fined 15s and ordered to pay in weekly instalments of 2s 6d.

F H Shorthose, 19 Market Street, Rugby, was summoned for refusing to work overtime at the B.T.H on Saturday afternoon, July 8th, thereby delaying skilled men.—He was fined 10s (2s 6d per week), and was warned by the Chairman regarding his defiant attitude before the Court.

J Asquith, Shawell, Rugby, employed at the B.T.H, was charged with failing to work diligently on the morning of July 8th, and the case was dismissed owing to the conflicting evidence. Asquith asked for expenses ; but, in reply, the Chairman informed him that he was lucky to get off.

POST LETTERS EARLY.—The Postmaster-General calls attention to the fact that in view of the restricted number of postal collections and deliveries now afforded throughout the kingdom, it is particularly desirable that letters should be posted as early in the day as possible. In many rural districts there is only one delivery, and letters for such districts, unless posted in time for early evening mails, will not be delivered until the second day after posting. Early posting also facilitates the work of the Post Office sorters, and on account of the great depletion of staff for military purposes this assistance will be much appreciated.

PUBLIC BATHS.

The Baths Committee reported the receipt of an application from the Officer Commanding a Squadron, Royal Flying Corps for facilities for his men to attend the Baths at a reduced rate. They had informed him that free use of the swimming bath was granted to all soldiers or sailors in uniform on condition that they provided their own towels and drawers, or paid the regulation price for same. The numbers attending the baths and the amounts received for the month of June as compared with the same month in 1915, were as follows :—Baths, &c : Swimming bath, 1916, 5,511 ; 1915, 6,008. Slipper baths, 1916, 1,455; l915, 1,074[?]. Receipts, 1916, £54 10s 2d ; 1915, £56 10s 7d.-Approved on the motion of Mr Walker.

RESERVOIR GROUNDS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

The Water Committee had decided that the grounds at Brownsover Mill be opened during the summer from noon to 8.30 p.m (Sundays included) so long as no damage was done.—Adopted.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Capt the Earl of Clonmell, of the Warwickshire R.H.A, is transferred to the Territorial Force Reserve.

The Rev C T Bernard McNulty, M.A, vicar of Holy Trinity, Leamington, has recently been promoted from 4th to 3rd Class Chaplain, with the rank of Major, and has been appointed Senior Chaplain of his Division.

We are pleased to note that Capt G T Hilton, of North Street and Hillmorton Road, Rugby, has been mentioned in despatches for distinguished conduct in the field.

George E Middleditch, 1st Lieutenant, Oxon and Bucks L.I, was wounded at Ypres, France, some four weeks ago. Before the War Lieut Middleditch was an apprentice (premium) in the L & N-W Rly Erecting Shop. At the outbreak of the War he joined up at once as a private. He soon got promotion—first a lance-corporal, then a corporal, next a sergeant, then a commission as 2nd lieutenant, now 1st lieutenant ; and, we understand, has been recommended for a captaincy. He was wounded in the leg and back at Ypres, and is now well again. He visited the shop on Tuesday, and received a splendid ovation from his fellow-workmen and a very hearty send-off.

CASUALTIES TO RUGBY MEN IN THE GREAT ADVANCE.

Pte J F Holmes, East Surrey Regiment, son of Mr J Holmes, of Union Street, has been seriously wounded during the recent fighting.

Capt S Morris Bickersteth (O.R), a brother of the Rev Julyan K F Bickersteth, formerly of Rugby, was killed during the attack on Serre on July 1st. He was 23 years of age.

Mrs Greenwood, Kirstall, Lower Hillmorton Road, has received news that her son, Lieut J Greenwood, Northants Regiment, the well-known Rugby and Newbold footballer, has been wounded.

Other Rugby casualties reported recently are : Diver W Elkington (11137) killed ; and F H Warden (2168), F Burberry (275), and Sapper H Barrows, R.E. ; Ptes J Varney (Rugby), A Welsby (New Bilton), and T Lee (Swinford), wounded.

LANCE-CORPL W J COOPER OF HARBOROUGH MAGNA.

Lance-Corpl W J Cooper, R.W.R, son of Mr Jack Cooper, of Harborough Magna, was killed in action on June 26th. Lance-Corpl Cooper was a native of Newbold, but had spent most of his life at Harborough Magna. He was 30 years of age, and was called up as a reservist in August, 1914, and had been in France from the beginning of the war. Prior to the outbreak of hostilities, he was employed in the Cement Works at Newbold.

NEWBOLD SOLDIER REPORTED MISSING.

Mr Tom Smith, of Newbold, has received official intimation that his son, Rifleman Tom Smith, of the Rifle Brigade, was wounded on June 1st, and has been missing since that date. Rifleman Smith, who was about 23 years of age, was employed at the Cement Works before he enlisted at the commencement of the War.

Pte Wm Curtis, Leicester Regiment, another employee of the Cement Works, and son of Mr A Curtis, has written informing his parents that he has been wounded, and is now in hospital.

BRAUNSTON.

LOCAL CASUALTY.—Mrs J Manning received news last week that her son, Pte Thomas Manning, was wounded and in a base hospital in France ; and on Tuesday notification came that he had died. Mrs Manning has three other sons serving in the Army, two in France, and one at Salonica. Much sympathy is felt with the family in their bereavement.

HILLMORTON.

MRS CASHMORE of Lower Street, has received information that her youngest son, Pte F Cashmore, of the 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, died of wounds received in the great push on the 6th inst. Previous to this Pte Cashmore had taken part in much fighting both at the Dardanelles and Egypt.

LONG ITCHINGTON.

CORPORAL CONSTABLE WOUNDED.—Mr and Mrs Ernest Constable have received an intimation from Corporal Harry Constable, stating that he is lying wounded in Firdale Hospital, Sheffield. The wounds are in both legs, right arm, and head, but he writes cheerfully, and it is hoped that he may effect a good recovery. It is barely six weeks since he was sent to the front.

DEATH OF PRIVATE SUTTON RUSSELL.-The sad news was received on Tuesday of the death of Private Joseph Sutton Russell in hospital of malarial fever on the 14th last. Private Russell enlisted in the Army Ordnance Corps in December, 1914, and was with the contingent in Mesopotamia. It was known that he had been in hospital, and only on Tuesday morning a post card was received from him, dated 6th June, on which he stated that he was out of hospital, and that his health was improving. So the shook caused by the news of his death was very great to all his relatives and friends, and, indeed, to the whole village. Before he joined the army, Private Russell had been for some years a clerk in the office at Messrs Kaye & Co’s Cement Works. He was also the Clerk to the Parish Council, assistant overseer, tax and rate collector, and Secretary to the Co-operative Society. He was of a genial temperament, and always ready to make himself useful. As a member of the Parish Church choir, and in many other capacities, he will be greatly missed. Private Russell was the life and soul at the Cricket Club in the pre-war days, and it was always a pleasure to witness his performance either as a bats man or a bowler. The deepest sympathy is felt for his widowed mother, brother and sisters, and for his fiancée, Miss Hilda Jeacock. His brother, Lance-Corpl Arthur Russell, is now in training in the Royal Warwicks.

FRANKTON.

KILLED IN ACTION.-News was received on Tuesday of the death of another of our brave village lads. Corporal Frank Doyle, a bright young fellow, was attached to the Berkshire Regiment. He enlisted early in the war. He was shot down at his post, with three more of his comrades. The sad news was conveyed to his widowed mother by the Rev R S Mitchison, of Barby, who motored to tell her. Much sympathy is felt throughout the village with Mrs Doyle in her sad loss. Mr Mitchison’s son-in-law is an officer in the same soldiers Company, and has been severely wounded.

WOLSTON.

Mr and Mrs John Orton have received news that their son, Pte H Orton, of the 1st Worcesters, has been wounded in the left hand. He is now in hospital in England, and progressing favourably. He has seen many months of fighting in France.

RIFLEMAN R B BUTLIN KILLED.—Mr J Butlin has received news of the death of his son, who was shot through the heart. He was one of Kitchener’s Army, who joined the King’s Royal Rifles. His death occurred on the 10th inst., and he was laid to rest at Potijze Military Cemetery, near Ypres. The inscription on the tomb was : “ He tried to do his duty.” Much sympathy is felt for Mr Butlin, who has lost his wife, a grandchild, and son in the space of a few months, and is himself an invalid. He has also received a sympathetic and comforting letter from the chaplain.

 

BISHOPS ITCHINGTON.

FROM THE FRONT.—Pte Thomas Thacker, of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was slightly wounded in the latest attack on the West. Pte Thacker, who had previously been wounded, received some shrapnel in the ankle. He has been at his home since July 13th, and has made such good progress that he will return to his depot in the course of a few days.

DUNCHURCH.

SERGT W E CONSTABLE, youngest son of Mr and Mrs John Constable (formerly of Dunchurch), who joined the Royal Engineers early last year, has been mentioned in despatches by General Sir Douglas Haig, dated April 30th. He is to be warmly congratulated upon his distinction.

DEATHS.

CASHMORE.—Died of wounds in France,. Private F. Cashmore, 1st R.I.F., aged 24 years.

CHATER.—In loving Memory of our beloved and only child, Rifleman W. H. Chater, Machine. Gun Section, 12th R.B. Killed in action in France, June 30th, 1916, aged 31 years.
“ Sleep on, beloved, and take thy rest,
We loved you well, but God loved you best.”

COOK.—Died of wounds on July 8th, Cyril Edward, Second-Lieutenant, Royal Sussex Regiment, elder son of Sam Cook, Wargrave, Berks, and grandson of the late Mrs. Cook, of Hillmorton House, aged 23.

DOYLE.—In ever-loving memory of Corporal Frank Doyle, the dearly loved son of Betsy and the late Joseph Doyle, of Frankton. Killed in action at No Man’s Land, July 13, 1916.
“ He sleeps, not in his native land,
But ’neath some foreign skies,
And far from those that loved him best ;
In a hero’s grave he lies.”
—From his loving MOTHER, BROTHERS, and only SISTER (LIZ).