PRIVATE Albert Edward Cartlidge of the 1st Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment, was the first Middlewich fatality of the Great War.

He was killed just 70 days into the conflict, on October 13, 1914, and was not listed in the Northwich Guardian until December 4.

The newspaper read: “It is reported that Mr Cartlidge formerly of the Flint Mill, has lost a son at the Front.”

Private Cartlidge’s body was never identified, so he has no known grave, but instead his name is inscribed on the war memorial at Le Touret, which commemorates over 13400 British soldiers who were killed in this sector of the Western Front from October 1914 to the eve of the Battle of Loos in late September 1915, and who have no known grave.

THE first Middlewich soldier to be reported killed in the Northwich Guardian, and the first to be given a marked grave, was Private Douglas David Dobson, of the 1st Battalion on the Middlesex Regiment.

Private Dobson died of his injuries on November 21, 1914. A report of his death in the Guardian four days later described him as married man, living in Warmingham Lane.

LESS than two months before the end of the war, on September 18, 1918, Middlewich experienced its most sombre of days when four men from the town were killed on the same day.

Two soldiers, Private Samuel Preston, 6 Machine Gun Corps, and Lance Corporal William Lunt, 10 Lancashire Fusiliers, were killed in action on the Western Front, and buried in France.

Company Sergeant Major Harry Jones, 12th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment, was killed in action in Salonika, and is commemorated on the Doiran Memorial.

Sergeant Ernest Snelson, Royal Welch Fusiliers, died in hospital at Chester aged 27, and is buried at Middlewich cemetery.

FROM the Higgins family of 6 Brooks Lane, five brothers went off to fight in the war, with just three returning.

Private Samuel Higgins joined the Cheshire Regiment on August 20, 1897, and served for the next 21 years until on December 2, 1918, he returned to civilian life in Middlewich with a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal to add to his Victory and British War medal, and his 1914 Star.

His brother, Private John Higgins, of the 10th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment, was killed in action on April 9, 1918 aged 32, and buried at Strand Military Cemetery in France.

Lance Sergeant Philip Higgins of the 12th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment, enlisted on September 1, 1914, aged 26, and served for the next four years and 314 days, until his discharge, aged 31.

Private Joseph Higgins of the 1st Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment, entered the theatre of war in France on August 16, 1914, but was captured at the battle of Mons ten days later.

His was prisoner of war in Germany for the next four years. The youngest Higgins brother, Private Edward Higgins of the 9th Battalion of the Welsh Regiment, was killed in action on April 13, 1918, just four days after his brother John.