Alfred Drake HOOLEY
Rank: Private
Number: 8180
Unit: C Company, 17th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 1 July 1916
Age: 27
Cemetery: Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France

Alfred Hooley had been born in Cheadle Hulme, but by the time of the 1901 Census, the family was living at 22 Chapel Street, Cheadle and he was working as a newsboy. He was probably still living in the village when he enlisted but, at some point, his parents, John & Hannah, moved 39 Berlin Road, Edgeley, Stockport.

He had been employed by Messrs Barlow & Jones, 2 Portland Street, Manchester. The Company were cotton spinners and the Portland Street address was its offices and warehouse. In its entry in the Manchester City Battalions Book of Honour, it lists some 300 employees who served in the forces during the war.

In early September  1914, he went to the nearby recruiting office on Oxford Road and enlisted in the second of the Manchester "Pals" Battalions, being assigned to No. 10 Platoon in "C" Company. Some details of the Battalion's recruitment and training can be found here. He was a member of the Battalion's bugle band. When in a combat situation, members of the band would act as the stretcher bearers. Alfred was, no doubt, carrying out his duties when he was killed during the attack on the opening day of the Battle of the Somme.

A newspaper report of the time states that he died of wounds received on 1st July. If he had been wounded and managed to reach medical attention in the rear areas before he died, it is likely that his grave would have been recorded. It is more probable that he was killed outright or died on the battlefield very shortly after being wounded.

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