Ashton children paid their respects at a special act of remembrance to commemorate Armistice day. Students laid a wreath in Hurst Cemetery followed by the reading of the Kohima epitaph as the site of a very unique grave.
Students were joined by members of the Royal British Legion to remember the three Manchester regiment soldiers who tragically died in Ireland. The Irish Times newspaper reported on three young musicians who ‘broke out’ of their barracks in Cork and were kidnapped and killed by the IRA. The three soldiers were killed on the 5th of June 1921 at Kilcrea County Cork.
- Boy Carson was 18
- Boy Chapman 17
- Boy J Cooper 16
- They were in uniform and were walking away from the Ballincollig Barracks
- They were picked up by the IRA at Srelane Cross, near Ovens
- Then taken across country and held in an empty house near Aherlea
- They were believed by the IRA to be planted by the British and were shot at this place
- Their Bodied are buried in a yard attached to the house
- 15 Aug 1923 the bodies were exhumed and reburied in Bandon Workhouse grounds
- Eventually they were exhumed again and all are now buried in Ashton-under-Lyne.
Student Engagement Management, Paul Lomas, said “The unusual and sad circumstances surrounding the three boys’ deaths really captivated the students, the fact that these boys were just a couple of years older than the students and were relatively local, had an impact. The students now want to highlight the boy’s story and are planning a project to find as much information about them as possible.”