Maurice Robert HOLLIDAY
Rank: Private
Number: 19767
Unit: 21st Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 6 December 1916
Age: 24
Cemetery: Willow Grove Cemetery, Stockport

Although Maurice is buried in Stockport and enlisted into the army at Manchester, his connection with the area is unknown. All of his family links appear to be with the South East of England. He had been born in Camberwell in the first quarter of 1892, the son of Clifford and Elizabeth. He was the third of their five children listed on the 1901 Census. The family was then living at 25 Avondale Road, Tottenham and later moved to 414 Walton Road, West Molesey.

Regimental records published after the War indicate that Maurice was living in Sydenham, Surrey when he joined up. Perhaps this was the location of the family home at the time. Perhaps Maurice's job had brought him to the Stockport area and he was living in the town temporarily. Recruitment for the 21st Battalion started on 13 November. It is known that Maurice was assigned to No. 3 Platoon in "A" Company, so it can be assumed that perhaps only 70 men joined the Battalion before he did.

Maurice went overseas at the end of 1915 and will have seen action at the Battle of the Somme. At some point during this time, he was badly wounded. It cannot be known when this was but he will have received treatment at a field hospital and, probably, then been evacuated to more permanent military hospital facilities on the Channel coast. Once his condition had sufficiently stabilised for further travel, he would have been further evacuated to the UK.

It is not known where he was when he died but was, almost certainly, still in hospital. The death of a man who is almost certainly this soldier was registered at Lambeth in the December quarter of 1916. If he died in that area, then his body was brought to Stockport for burial at the family's own expense. The army would only pay for local burials. This suggests that, perhaps, his parents had also moved to Stockport during this time, before returning to live in the south. The circumstances remain a puzzle.

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