Rank: Private
Number: 352517
Unit: 2/9th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 9 October 1917
Age: 19
Cemetery: Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium

In the late 1880s, John Oldham and Violetta Bruckshaw married at St Thomas' Church, Stockport. They would have at least four children together - the 1901 Census records two daughters and two sons. They cannot have imagined that news of the deaths of both sons would come within days of each other. John Willie was their eldest child and he died of wounds at a field hospital in Belgium on 27 September.

He probably never knew that his younger brother was just arriving in the same area with his Battalion, which had just moved from the sector adjoining the Channel coast near the town of Nieuport. Sam joined the army at Stockport, almost certainly as a conscript when he became 18. His service number suggests he was an original member of the 2/9th Battalion which first went overseas on active service in March 1917. He was killed a few months later in this attack.

Sam was posted as being missing after the attack and it is probable it was a little time before John and Violetta received any official news. Certainly they had time to insert an "In Memoriam" notice for John Willie in the local paper which noted that Sam was "somewhere in France" on service.

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