Private John DANIELS

Manchester Regiment
2nd Battalion
Service Number:
Date of Death:
28 March 1915
Cemetery / Memorial:
Grave Number:
I. A. 12.

In his excellent book "Buxton .... REMEMBERED" Keith Taylor identifies "J. Daniels" on the Buxton Memorial as the brother of James Esplie Daniels. This Author's research - as outlined below - finds it difficult to reconcile this conclusion.

Readers need to consider the evidence and decide for themselves.

Personal History:
John (the brother of James Esplie Daniels) was born in the September quarter 1879, the son of William (Coach Proprietor) and Emily Frances (nee Esplie) Daniels of 55 Park Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester. He had two older siblings, James Esplie (see Footnote below) and Frances M., and three younger siblings, Emily H., Edith H. and Eva G. (1881 Census RG 11/3922 and 1891 Census RG 12/3236). In 1891 the family lived at 14 Grove Street, Manchester.

In the June quarter 1899 John married Ellen Chaloner and by 1901 (Census RG 13/3675) John and Ellen were living at 22 Kirkstall Street, Ardwick, Manchetser, and he was employed as a "Waiter - Luncheon Bar". Ten years later (1911 Census RG 14/23778) John had still the same occupation, but the family, now with children, John Leonard (aged 8), William Clifford (aged 6) and Sydney Richard (aged 1), had moved to 16 Swallow Street, Longsight, Manchester.

The 1939 Register shows John W. living at 90 Parsonage Road, Manchester, with his wife Ellen. Living with them is his son, William C(lifford), born in 1909 (see above) and his wife, Edith. John's occupation is listed as "Assistant Manager - Restaurant", similar to the line of work in earlier Censuses. It is quite clear, therefore, that the person named on the Buxton Memorial is NOT the brother of James Daniels.

John William died at 90 Parsonage Road, Withington, Manchester on 3 October 1959. Probate Records show he left 1993 to his son, William Clifford Daniels, Optician. [This would equate to about 42,000 today - 2017.] He might have visited his brother's family in Buxton during his lifetime, but almost certainly never lived there.

The More Likely Possibility - is a John Daniels, who married Elizabeth Henderson at Christ Church, Salford, on 7 September 1901 and in 1911 (Census RG 14/23902) they were living at 9 Stone Street, Hulme, Manchester, with two children, Ralph, aged 8, and 6 year old Doris. John was employed as a "Carter General Carrier". Their Marriage Certificate names John's father as "John Daniels", a "Boatman", clearly not "William Daniels", "Coach Proprietor" of Census Returns relating to the Buxton family.

This was John, oldest child of John and Catherine (nee Bates) Daniels, born in 1880 at 6 Manor Street, Manchester (1881 Census RG 11/3990). He had seen younger siblings, Walter, Emma, Eliza Ann, William, Samuel, Harry and Ethel. Just before his marriage (1901 Census RG 13/3700) John was working as a 'Labourer', still living at his parents' home at 52 River Street, Hulme, Manchester.

Military History:
John enlisted in Manchester in 1914 into the Manchester Regiment being posted to the 2nd Battalion. The Battalion was engaged in heavy fighting in November 1914, but he would have still been undergoing training. After more serious casualties in January 1915 and many replacements, which might have included John, were sent out shortly afterwards. e.g. on 4 January 2 Officers and 125 men joined the 2nd Battalion and a further 95 on the 20th.

The Battalion was stationed near Wulvergham, south of Ypres, and occupied a trench line around La Petite Douvre Farm. February and March 1915 was fairly quiet, being occupied with strengthening and reinforcing the line. However, the casualty list continued to rise and during one tour of duty in late March the Battalion lost 8 men killed and 2 Officers and 27 O.R.s wounded.

One of those killed on 28 March 1915 was John Daniels and he was interred in La Laiterie Military Cemetery. It is his Grave pictured above - however, his effects were returned to father and mother, Richard and Marion !

Clearly more work needs to be done on this page before the identity of Buxton Memorial's "J Daniels" is confirmed.


· The suggested brother named above, 2/Cpl James Esplie DANIELS, died at home on the 4th January 1919 and is buried in
   Fairfield Churchyard, Buxton.

· James' son, Rfl. 60681 Andrew King DANIELS, was killed in France on the 20 July 1918 and is commemorated on the
  Soissons Memorial.


· I am grateful to "The War Graves Photographic Project" for the picture of John's grave

Commemorated on:
Link to CWGC Record