Ezra MORTON
Rank: Private
Number: 3449
Unit: 1/6th Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 26 September 1916
Age: 30
Cemetery: Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France

Ezra had been born in Stockport and, by the time of the 1901 Census, was working as a general labourer. Later he married and lived with his wife and three children at 9 Chatham Street. At the time he enlisted, in mid 1915, he was working at the Chestergate Hat Manufacturing Ltd.

On 26 September, as support for a major attack on the Thiepval Ridge (in the heart of the Somme battlefield), the Cheshires were ordered to conduct a raid on the enemy trench opposite their position at Beaumont-Hamel.

The Regimental History records that "Under cover of a barrage, they crossed no man's land at 9pm and rushed the enemy trenches. A fierce fight ensued. While the covering party on the enemy parapet kept the enemy at bay in face of heavy machine gun fire, another party attempted to clear the enemy trenches. The trenches were found to be blocked with "knife rests" and loose wire. All the German garrison were killed or driven off and our men withdrew with some difficulty with a loss of 12 men."

An officer later wrote "He was on the front of his party who forced their way over the enemy trenches where they were subjected to very heavy machine gun fire and it was a bullet from one of these guns that hit him and killed him instantly. Your husband was a brave man and his coolness in danger was a great encouragement to the other men. The Regiment has lost a fine soldier."

Ezra will have been buried by the German Army but, after the war, his grave could not be found and he is commemorated on the nearby Memorial to the Missing.

   
           
   
     
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