Donald FERGUSON
Rank: Private
Number: 2915
Unit: 1/6th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 1 October 1915
Age: 21
Cemetery: East Mudros Military Cemetery, Lemnos, Greece

John and Ellen Ferguson had married in the Manchester area in the early 1890s and their two children, Marianne and Donald, had been born in the city. They had moved to 3 Lea Road, Heaton Moor by 1901, when a Census was taken. John was a senior clerk with the shipping department of a Manchester firm of cotton manufacturers. His income allowed the family a comfortable middle class lifestyle, including the employment of a live-in servant - 19 year old Jane Wilson.

Donald attended Stockport Grammar School and finished his education in Switzerland. He was also connected with the Sunday School of the Heaton Moor Congregationalist Church. He worked for Tootal, Broadhurst, Lee & Co in Manchester and is included in the Company's entry in the Manchester City Battalions Book of Honour. In his spare time, Donald was a member of Heaton Moor's Tennis Club.

In September 1914, he enlisted into the newly formed second line Territorial Battalion and trained with them at Southport and Crowborough. The 2/6th Battalion provided trained troops for the 1/6th Battalion which had gone to Egypt in September 1914. In May, the 1/6th  went into action at Gallipoli and Donald is understood to have joined it in July as one of a draft of replacements for casualties. He will have taken part in the failed attack which became known as the Battle of the Vineyard on 7 August.

One of the characteristics of the Gallipoli campaign was the closeness of the opposing trenches. It meant that if a man was killed in No Man's Land, it was unlikely that it would be safe enough to recover the body for burial. It is all but impossible to imagine the conditions but the combination of the heat and the decomposing corpses were a recipe for vermin and the consequent disease amongst the men. As with many of his comrades, Donald contracted dysentery in the middle of September. He was evacuated away from the peninsula to a military hospital on a nearby Greek island but he died some 10 days later.

   
           
   
     
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