THE BILLY UNSWORTH PROJECT
Billy was a brass turner by trade and worked at Glovers in Trafford Park, and was technically exempt from joining up for WW1 due to his trade skill, however, after a night in Nicky Burkes, he decided to join up. The circumstances surrounding his decision is that on his way home from work one evening, he decided to call in for a pint. His mates were inside already and had decided between them that the next man to walk through the pub doorway would join the Army, and of course, that man was our Billy.
Billy went home and the next day explained his decision to his wife, who you can imagine, was not best pleased, particularly with a young family to support, and the knowledge that he did not have to go if he chose not to. Just prior to actually going into the Army again, Billy tried to overturn his decision but was unsuccessful, so off he went with the 9th Battalion the Lancashire Fusiliers, who were made up mostly of lads from the Salford area.
Billy was made a Corporal due to his previous military experience, and at the training camps in Grantham and then Godalming, trained the young enlisted men as best possible in the short period of time he had, in basic battle skills and discipline. The troops were then issued with brand new khaki uniforms, a new style helmet, and a rifle. There was very little time before the Battalion was on it?s way to pastures unknown, and they believed that they were on their way to France as all the talk was about facing the Germans in battle.
Billy realised that he was going to war with men and boys who had no idea of what they were about to face, and that they believed they were all going on a great adventure and that they would be back with their families, as hero?s, by Christmas 1915.
As the troop ship left England, none of the soldiers knew where they were heading, and indeed, it was not until the 6th August, when they stopped off in the Mediterranean that they were told where they were actually going?????Gallipoli.
Between then and the battle at ?W? beach, which took Billy?s life, the Lancashire Fusiliers were put into battle not only against the Turk?s, but against the sheer heat, the arid rocky and sandy hills, the lack of water where men were collapsing with dehydration and disease, and worst of all, poor intelligence and tactics, which led to changes in command at the highest level, and some drastic decision making by those who were sent to take charge. Those who did take command were unproven leaders when it came to actual battle.
On the 21st August, 1915, General Ian Hamilton decided that they?re would be no mass withdrawal, rather, one further attack. Billy was wounded and died, as many others did, burnt to death in the forest fires caused by the relentless bombardment which set the scrubland alight to devastating effect.
118 Lancashire Fusiliers were also killed that very same day, and a total of around 35,000 allied troops died during the Gallipoli campaign, where at it?s end, a silent withdrawal was achieved under the very noses of the Turks
PTE BILLY UNSWORTH BOAR WAR PHOTO
GRANDSON TONY GIBBONS
Charity boys in at the deep end at Eccles baths
On Tuesday Th June, two intrepid swimmers from the Billy Unsworth Group, Tony Gibbons an incredibly young looking 73 year old and Graham Walker, modesty forbids me giving his age, completed a one mile swim at Eccles Fit City Baths to raise funds for their campaign, Graham Walker sends us this report of the swim, SEE LINK.
CHARITY EVENING Friday 2nd November
Friday 2 Nov 12 is our next Charity Event at the PARK Hotel, MONTON..............Once all details have been finalized confirmation will go out. All the Darts Teams who supported us last year are being invited back and entertainment will be on in the main room. Their will be a buffet and of course.....we are all there to FUND RAISE.....if you can assist in any way, such as Raffle Prizes, or donations, then please inbox me or contact me direct,
THE PRESENTATION TO THE QUEEN ELIZABETH HOSPITAL,
DAVE QUINN, TONY RODAWAY, ,GRAHAM WALKER ,TONY GIBBONS AND MAJOR JOHN HARKER Royal Centre for Defence Medicine
Major John Harker, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine,
presenting the certificates of appreciation to my good self
from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Charity
Given to The BILLY UNSWORTH Project from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Charity in Birmingham in recognition of our fundraising efforts for them. Well Done everyone It's a lovely piece in Gold and I can assure you they are not given out lightly.