Soldiers who died 75 or 80 years ago during World War Two

Date published: 07 October 2019

Volunteers at Littleborough History Centre have been researching the service personnel from the Pennine districts of Rochdale (Littleborough, Milnrow, Newhey, Smallbridge and Wardle) who died during World War Two.

This list is of men whose 75 or 80 years anniversary occurs in October 2019.

  • Littleborough

Private John Dunn (Dunne)

John was born in Wigan in early 1925, the son of William and Ellen Dunn (nee Marnin) of Littleborough. In 1939, John’s parents, William (a labourer in cotton mill) and Ellen, and family lived at 8 Timbercliffe, Littleborough. The family included Thomas, Alexandra, Francis and Irene, together with Lawrence McGrath.

Prior to enlisting in 1943, John was a member of the Home Guard and worked at Shore Mill.


Clegg's Mill at Shore
Cleggs Shore Mill


19-year-old Private Dunn, T/14742913, Royal Army Service Corps died on 8 October 1944 whilst serving in Scotland. He was buried with full military honours in Shore (St. Barnabas) Churchyard, Row 22, Grave 3 and is remembered on Littleborough Cenotaph and Cleggs Shore Mill War Memorial.

The Rochdale Observer of 11 October 1944 in giving details of his death noted that his parents were then living at 3 Turf Terrace, Littleborough. 3 days later, the paper provided more details of the funeral.


Private John Dunn (Dunne)
Private John Dunn (Dunne)


  • Milnrow

Private Herbert Eric Gunther Giles

Herbert was born in Hamburg on 30 May 1925, the son of Berthold and Frieda Caroline Maria Selig of Riversmead, Grindleton, Clitheroe. His real name was Hans Erich Gunther Selig, but he served under the alias of Giles.

Before enlisting, Herbert was a student.

19-year-old Private Giles 14443547, 2nd Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, was most likely killed in action on 1 October 1944 when fighting in the woods around Valkenswaard, the first town to be liberated in the Netherlands.

Private Giles is buried in Valkenswaard War Cemetery, grave No II C 15 and is remembered on Milnrow and St Thomas War Memorials.

Lance Serjeant Leonard Leach

Leonard was born in Rochdale on 4 July 1920, the son of Leonard and Jemima Leach (nee Chadderton) of 3a Hough Fold, Newhey. His brother Jack was born in 1923.

Prior to joining the Army on 12 October 1944, Leonard was employed by J Wilson Butchers of Newhey and was a member of Newhey Parish Church and Conservative Club.

24-year-old Lance Serjeant Leach, 1091925. 2nd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery was killed on 12 October 1944 and is buried in Assisi War Cemetery, Grave No I D 7 and is remembered on Milnrow and St Thomas War Memorials.

The Rochdale Observer of 4 November provided details on Leonard, as well as advising that his brother Jack was serving in the Royal Navy. The edition on 11 November outlined the memorial service held in Newhey Parish Church.

Private George Leonard Price

George was born in Ludlow late 1919, the son of John Thomas Price and Henrietta (nee Corbett) who had 5 other children, John H, Irene E, Dorothy E, Ernest J and Margaret C, all of whom were born in Ludlow, Shropshire.

George married Doris Price, of 8 Hurstead Road, Milnrow at St James Church, Milnrow on 30 October 1943.

Less than 12 months later, 25-year-old Private Price, 4105468, 1st Bn. The Herefordshire Regiment, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry was killed whilst liberating the town of Venray in the Netherlands and is buried in Venray War Cemetery grave No I F 10 and is remembered on Milnrow and St James War Memorials.

Lance Corporal Fred Barlow

Fred was born in Rochdale on 18 October 1910, the son of Joseph Edward and Sarah Barlow (nee Hoyle) who also had four other children, Mary, Lillie, Minnie and Joseph. At the time of the 1911 Census, the family lived at 9 Miller Street, Rochdale with the father being a cotton mule minder.

Fred joined the army in 1930 serving with the Border Regiment and Lancers before joining the Military Police. Fred wasn’t at home (64 Bellshill Cres) at the time the 1939 register was compiled, but his parents and Mary, Joseph and Edward were. His future wife lived at 7 Tudor Street, Rochdale.

L/Cpl Barlow went to France with the BEF and was evacuated from Dunkirk in 1940 and later married Norah Taylor at St Martin Church, Castleton Moor on 20 December 1941.

35-year-old Lance/Cpl Barlow, 3443386, Corps of Military Police died on 28 October 1944 from yellow fever in hospital Alexandria and is buried in Alexandria (Chatby) War Cemetery, grave number O 93 and is remembered on St Anns War Memorial.

The Rochdale Observer of 18 November 1944 provided details of Fred’s army career and advised that his wife and son lived at 22 Farm Walk, Belfield.


Milnrow War Memorial
Milnrow War Memorial


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