During the First World War many locals were called up to serve in the armed forces. One such man was James Henry Slack who lived nearby at Nab End Farm. James enlisted in Buxton on the 22nd January 1916 aged 20 years old.
James ‘ descendants still have some of his archive relating to his military service, including these notes issuing him with his British War Medal Riband.
Interestingly, James signed up the day after the The Military Service Act was passed – which introduced conscription. However, this wasn’t put in practical effect until 2nd March 1916. The act was extended to married men on 25th May 1916.
James survived the war, but not all local men came home. The Alstonfield Deanery Magazine of September 1916 records:
A Memorial Service to the memory of the late Sergeant Joseph Slack, Royal Fusiliers, was held at St. Agnes’ Church, Hollinsclough, on Sunday afternoon, August 27th. A large congregation assembled. Sergt. Slack was killed during the Great Advance in the Somme Region, France, made by the Allies July 1-12. When on leave he attended Church Service on Christmas Day last, where his father and mother had been regular attenders. Sir Vauncey H. Crewe, Bart. on has given a most generous gift of £100 for the the support of the two orphan children. A letter of appreciation of the Sergt ‘s services was sent by the the General Commanding the Division, in which he said he considered him to have been the best Sergeant in the Regiment “for disciplining and rallying his men in the trenches.”
Stories and photos were collected from local people with the help of Harry Hitchen and the members of History Live.
Discover more about Hollinsclough during the First World War on the village website: