‚ÄčRoyton Roll of Honour

JAMES McGIVERN
Age:23
Date of Death:21/12/1914
Rank:Corporal
Service No:1826
Regiment:Manchester Regiment
Unit:1st Bn.
Memorial:
Le Touret Memorial
Panel Ref:Panel 34

James McGivern was born in Oldham in 1891 to parents James, a native of Ireland, & Violet. Violet was to die in 1893 at the age of only 21, possibly in childbirth with Joseph who is also registered as dying at that time. James had two other siblings that had died in infancy.
In 1898 James Snr. married again, this time to Mary Maloney who had two children of her own - Willie & Maggie. They went on to have 5 more children together, Hannah, Catherine, Mary, Cecilia & Norah. In 1901 the McGiverns were living in the Waterhead district of Oldham but by 1911 had moved to Higginshaw.
James does not appear with the family on that census as he had joined the pre war regular army and was in India with the 1st Battalion of the Manchester Regiment from 1910 onwards.
After the outbreak of war James left India along with the rest of the 1st Manchesters - and two others from the Royton area shortly to die - Fred McSweeney  & Bert Lees -  in August 1914 and arrived in Marseille on September 26th.After re-equipping for the Western Front they found themselves in the front line for the first time on October 26th.
After periods in and out of the line the battalion was ordered on December 20th to meet a German advance near Gorre, their aim was to retake the village of Givenchy that had fallen into enemy hands.The Manchesters began their attack at 3pm and found the village held in unexpected strength and hand to hand fighting took place.They took the village house by house and then held it through the night. The Germans counter attacked but the battalion repelled them until the French unit on the left were forced to retreat and a flank attack by the Germans forced the Manchesters to retire.Showing great resilience the battalion attacked again and re-took the original trenches. The momentum swung once more when the arrival of fresh German troops attacking from the front and left forced them to withdraw once more, but the 1st Manchesters had held the line long enough for reinforcements to be brought up.
The 1st Battalion Manchester Regiment had fought extremely well but it came at great cost. James McGivern was dead along with the following men, including seven others from the Oldham area:

ADAM WILLIAM Lance Corporal 7463 from Dundee
ADLAND ROBERT Lance Corporal 2122 from London.Brother Albert also killed
ANDERSON THOMAS  26 Private 1119  from Glasgow
ARTUS ELIJAH Private 2341 from Manchester
ATHERTON WILLIAM Lance Corporal  1626 from Manchester
BANCROFT THOMAS Private 1727 from Manchester
BARTHOLOMEW GEORGE Private 2004 from Bermondsey
BEECH ALBERT 23 Private 1876 from Salford
BEEVER FRED 29 Private 1644 from Oldham
BESWICK  JOHN 29  Private 1486 from Longsight,Manchester
BIRCH EDWIN Private 1970 from Salford
BOURGAIZE WILFRED Private 795 from Guernsey
BRANDON  WILLIAM  27 Private 7887  from Harlesden
BUCKLEY  HEDLEY 21 Private 2237 from Heaton Norris
BYRON FRED Private 1144  from Werneth,Oldham
CHEETHAM FRED Private 32 from Shaw
CONNOLLY JAMES 32 Lance Corporal 9018 from Oldham
COSGROVE THOMAS  25 Private 1805 from Stockport
COX ERNEST Private 1923 from Manchester
CUNANE THOMAS Private 1661 from Co.Mayo
CUNLIFFE J Corporal 998    
DARLING ERNEST  Corporal 1535 from Middlesex
DEAKIN WILLIAM Private 6125 from Salford
DOLAN JOSEPH 25 Private 1422 from Ardwick,Manchester
DUFFY JOHN 21 Private 2077 from Lambeth
EYLES WILLIAM 23 Private 2162 from Woking
FIELDING JOHN Private 736 from Manchester
FISHER HENRY Private 2009 from London
FRIEND SIDNEY Private 2084 from London
GRIFFITHS WILLIAM 27 Private 2268 from Manchester
GRIMSHAW DANIEL  Private  9706 from Manchester
GRINDLAY WILLIAM 21 Private 1852 from Manchester
HALL GEORGE Private 2181 from Shipley
HANCOCK  ALFRED 24 Private 2075 from London
HANSON SAMUEL 27 Private 1034 from Salford
HEGARTY  JOHN 23  Private  2128 from Co.Kildare
HEYS HEZEKIAH 22 Private 1804 from Moss Side, Manchester
HILL HERBERT Private 761 born Ashbourne,enlisted Ashton-under-Lyne
HOPKINS  JAMES Private 1126 from Manchester
HOULAHAN CHARLES Private 2123 from Accrington
HOWARD CHARLES  Private  1078 from Battersea
HUGHES JOHN 38 Private  7313(SERVED AS QUINN).from Hamilton
JOHNSON  EDWIN 26 Private 1419 from London
JORDAN MAX 34 Serjeant 5085 from Rotherham
LONGWORTH ALFRED Private 2635 from Manchester
MAHONEY DANIEL 28 Private 1343 from Manchester
MALE GEORGE 24 Private 935 from Guernsey
MASON FRANK 22 Private 1899 from Ancoats, Manchester
MERCER WILLIAM  Private  7848 from Oldham
MOTTRAM  WILLIAM 36 Private 5578  from Hulme,Manchester.Served in Boer War
MULROONEY EDWARD Private 8981 from Bury
NEWINS GEORGE Private 1380 from Poplar
NOON MICHAEL Private 1694 from Manchester
NOVELL JOSEPH Lance Serjeant 8515 from Surrey
NUGENT GEORGE 31 Private 7926 from South Shields
PERCIVAL ERNEST 28 Corporal 7262 from Manchester,lived Blackpool
POWER JAMES Private 1021 from Co.Tipperary
POYNTER  WILLIAM Private  1356 from Surrey
RALPHS JOSEPH Private 1667 from Stockport
RANDALL JAMES Private 8748 born Hampshire,lived Toronto
RIDE HARRY 33 Corporal 5876 from London
RUSHTON  JOHN 22  Private 1687 from Bradford,Manchester
SHAW JOHN Private 1540 from Oldham
SHENNAN  CHARLES 21 Private 2418  from Camden Town
SMITH MICHAEL Private 1834 from Peckham
SMITH ROBERT Private 2239 from Salford
SPIKE THOMAS Private 1450 from London
STANLEY  ROBERT 33 CSM 5523 born Aldershot,lived Tipton.Served in Boer War
THOMAS WILLIAM 32 Private 742 from Middleton
TUITE ANTHONY 21 Private 2010 from Manchester
TURNER JOSEPH 31 Lance Serjeant   253 from Salford
WALKER JAMES 23  Private  1200 from Middleton
WALLWORK JAMES 21 Private 1929 from Salford
WATTS DANIEL Private 2173 from Manchester
WHITE EDWARD Private 1873 from Salford
WHITTLE  ABRAHAM  Private 1811 from Wigan
WILSON WILLIAM  24 Private 1771 from Manchester
WINDLE WILLIAM Private 1443 from London
WORSLEY  JOHN 27  Private  848   

The above men died with James on December 21st. The below fell in the initial fighting on December 20th:

ALLEN FREDERICK  Private 2008 from Manchester
BATES WILLIAM Private 1619 born Pendleton
BEGLEY STEPHEN 22 Private 1577 from Salford
CONROY EDWARD Private 2762 from Manchester
COOKE SAMUEL Private 2825 from Manchester
CRAWFORD EDWARD Private 1059 from Bury
CREAGH LEO 36 Captain from Burton-on-Trent.15 years service
DUNNING  ARTHUR Private 1946 from Manchester
DURHAM JAMES 21 Private  2387 from Peterborough
EASTWOOD WILLIAM Private 8863 from Salford
FILDES ROBERT Private 2530 from Oldham
GERAGHTY W Private 1378  from Stalybridge
GUYMER FREDERICK 24 Private 1374 from Hammersmith
HARRISON FRED Private 1777 from Manchester
JAMES HENRY Private 1518 from London
JOHNSON  CHARLES  32 Private 9041 from Warrington
KEARSLEY GEORGE  Private 2345 from Eccles
LAMB ROBERT 30 Serjeant  256 from Manchester
MADDEN PETER 25 Private  1719 from Eccles
MAGEE THOMAS Private 1681 from Manchester
MAGILL JAMES 27 Private 522 born Belfast.Lived Calgary,Canada
MARLOR FRANK 21  Private 2364 from Manchester
MASSEY ALFRED 21 Private 1753 from Manchester
MURPHY SAMUEL 30 Private 6988 from Salford
O'DONNELL WILLIAM Private 9210  from Ashton-under-Lyne
POWER WILLIAM Lance Corporal 2600 from Manchester
ROBINSON FREDERICK Private 1007    
TOMLINSON JOHN 30 Private 2324 from Manchester
WILLIAMS LORD 21 Private 1324 from London

After leaving the front line the battalion received a visit from the Brigade,Divisional and Corps commanders to congratulate them on their achievments. Lieutenant-General Watkis said:
"It gives me great pleasure to come and speak to you this morning. I want to tell you how very pleased I am with the work you did on the 20th and 21st. Yours was the Battalion detailed to carry out the attack on the village of Givenchy, and from all accounts I hear that it was a magnificent piece of work. I have not heard this from your own Officers, but from others, and all the time you were doing your duty I was receiving wires telling of the splendid way you were behaving, and in my reports to higher authorities I could only use the term ' Gallant Manchesters.'
You went into the attack steadily, you carried the village, also the trenches, and held them all night in the rain and mud. Next day you were subjected to a hell of a bombardment, still you hung on, and when you had to retire you did so in the same way that you advanced. When you were called upon to go back, by God, men, you went back. Perhaps you do not know exactly what you did, but I may tell you that at that particular period, the village of Givenchy was the most important point, not only in your Brigade or Division or Corps, but of the whole British line, and had you given way God only knows what would have happened. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are a very brave set of men
".