Charles Edward HOLMES
Rank: Private
Number: 47866
Unit: 16th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 23 April 1917
Cemetery: Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France

The name of  C E Holmes appears on the Stockport War Memorial amongst those who served with the Manchester Regiment. He is thought to be the above man who came from Dukinfield and is also commemorated on the War Memorial there. However, nothing has been discovered which directly links Charles Holmes with the Stockport area although he is the only man with those initials recorded as having died whilst serving with Regiment.

On the day he died, Charles' Battalion was part of a scheduled attack at Cherisy, approximately 15 kilometres south east of Arras. The lead troops would be the 17th Manchesters and the 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers. The 16th would act in support of the assault battalions, providing mopping-up parties and consolidating a line of strong-points. The advance started at 4.30am and was met by heavy machine gun fire. Men of all three battalions were now scattered and had taken cover in shell holes in No Man's Land. By mid morning, the reserve platoons of the 16th  were ordered to make a flanking attack on the German positions to relieve the pressure on the troops who were pinned down. However, the situation became even more critical and these men were now diverted to take up a defensive position. Throughout the day, there continued to be strong German resistance, very little ground had been captured and this at a high loss of life. 57 members of the Battalion had been killed during the failed attack, including another local man, Richard Stonehewer. Most, like Charles  and Richard, have no known grave.

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