Private Eric James Woodhead

20th Battalion Manchester Regiment

Eric was an older brother of Cyril Woodhead, who was killed on 31 May 1915 aged 21.

Eric also lived with his parents, Samuel and Ann Woodhead, and his six siblings in West Grove, Sale.  Prior to enlisting in the 20th Battalion in November 1914, he was employed as an insurance clerk.

After several months in Manchester his Battalion was posted to Larkhill, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire in September 1915.  Mobilisation followed shortly and the Battalion arrived in France two months later.

At 07:30 on the morning of 1 July 1916, the Battalion 'went over the top' on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Eric, along with many thousands, was killed in the murderous fire of rifles, machine guns and artillery shells; he was 25.  He died alongside 110 other solders of his regiment; a further 171 were wounded and 29 recorded missing.

He is buried in Dantzig Alley Cemetery, Somme, France and commemorated on our War Memorial at St. John’s.

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