Ronald Hardy SLATER
Rank: Private
Number: 12205
Unit: 19th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 23 May 1916
Age: 22
Cemetery: Carnoy Military Cemetery, Somme, France

Ronald was a Yorkshireman by birth. When the Census was taken in 1910, he was living with his parents, Ronald and Florence, and younger sister, Beatrice, at 6 Buckingham Mount, Headingley, Leeds. Ronald, senior, was a sanitary engineer and his income provided well for the family, including the employment of a live-in general servant, 34 year old Hannah Jones.

Sometime between 1901 and 1914, the family moved to the Stockport area and took up residence at 11 Howard Avenue, Heaton Chapel. Ronald worked in Manchester at the Market Street shop of Hope Brothers Ltd. The shop was a well known firm selling men's clothes. In early September 1914, with the War just over a month old, Ronald went to the nearby recruiting office and joined the fourth of the "Pals Battalions" being formed by the Manchester Regiment. He was assigned to No. 12 Platoon, "C" Company. Details of the Battalion's recruitment and training can be found here.

In November 1915, the Battalion was deemed ready for overseas service and Ronald and his comrades left for France. The following months were relatively quiet for the men. They alternated tours of duty in the trenches with periods in reserve where they undertook fatigue parties in preparation for the forthcoming "Big Push".

On 21 May, they started another tour in the trenches near the French village of Carnoy. Although Ronald is officially recorded as having been killed in action on the 23rd, an examination of the Battalion's War Diary, written at the time, suggests it was the day previous. Whilst no casualties are recorded for the 23rd, the Diary entry for the 22nd includes "One man killed by RG". This has to be Ronald as there were no other fatalities either day. He had been killed by a Rifle Grenade.

When the War Graves Commission collated its casualty information in the early 1920s, the Slaters had returned to Yorkshire and were living at 41 Norwood Road, Shipley.

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