MANCHESTER BANTAMS The Story of a Pals Battalion and a City at War 23rd (Service) Battalion the Manchester Regiment (8th City)


The 23rd Battalion was originally formed as a ‘Bantam’ unit, made up of men who were below the Army’s minimum height requirement of 5 feet 3 inches.It first saw combat near Bethune in March 1916, then fought again near Neuve Chapelle in April and May. The 23rd Battalion served in the Somme Offensive between July and November 1916, seeing combat at Guillemont, Trones Wood and Morlancourt. They also fought around Arras during October. During 1917 they served in Ribecourt and Ponttruet before moving to Belgium and taking part in the Passchendaele Offensive that October. The 23rd Battalion was disbanded in February 1918

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