George Ackerley was born in Carrington, Cheshire and worked as a box maker at the C0-operative Wholesale Society (CWS) Soap Works in Irlam.
Ackerly enlisted in the army in November 1914 as Private 13635 with the Manchester Regiment, 11th Battalion. The regiment was one of four that made up the 34th Infantry Brigade along with the Northumberland Fusiliers, 8th Battalion, the Lancashire Fusiliers, 9th Battalion and the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, 8th Battalion.
The 11th Battalion disembarked at Gallipoli on 14 July 1915. On 21 August the battalion took part in one of the last Allied Gallipoli offences of the war, the attacks on Hill 60 and the Battle of Scimitar Hill. Under heavy artillery fire, they made their way to trenches that had been vacated the previous evening by 6th East Yorks. in an attempt to recapture them. During the advance many men had become detached from their units and the covering party had a difficult job while the men tried to find their units under heavy fire during the night. On 22nd August 1915, Ackerly was unfortunately killed in action by Turkish forces. His death was notified in the Co-operative News, along with four other soldiers who died or had gone missing during the Gallipoli offensives.
Co-operative News, 9 October 1915, page 1341
WWI co-operative voices
This post is part of ‘WWI co-operative voices’ which shares the stories of co-operative workers and members during the conflict. In order to mark the centenary of the WWI, the Rochdale Pioneers Museum is staging an exhibition entitled ‘From shop floor to front line’ and the accounts of these soldiers, shop workers and conscientious objectors will run alongside it. They are tales of death, duty and of those who chose not to fight.
Through ‘WWI co-operative voices’ we will be releasing new posts about these individuals throughout the duration of the exhibition (due to open mid-May 2015 and run until May 2016). Read about the co-operative movement’s involvement in a war that shook the world by selecting a name from the column on the left. You can also follow us on social media for regular updates.
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We wish to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for supporting the ‘From shop floor to front line’ exhibition and project.