2nd Lieutenant Wallace McQUINN


Regiment/Service:
Manchester Regiment
Unit:
16th (1st City) Battalion
Service Number:
(Formerly: S/Sgt. 35074 R.A.M.C.)
Date of Death:
6 August 1918 - Died (Prisoner of War)
Age:
35
Cemetery / Memorial:
Grave Number:
XIX. C. 2.
Awards:
Military Cross.


Personal History:

Wallace was born in Runcorn, Cheshire on 31st August 1882 the son of Andrew (Boot maker) and Jane (née Hough) McQuinn, later of 202 Waterloo Road, Runcorn. He had one older brother and one older sister, James T. and Eliza J, and three younger siblings, Ellen S., Elizabeth and Andrew. In the September quarter 1896 Andrew McQuinn died and in 1901 the family were living at 571 Fifth Street, Stretford, Manchester. Wallace was employed as a "Gentleman's Servant" (1901 Census RG 13/3664).
In the June quarter 1902, in Chorlton, Wallace married Gertrude Sarah Chappell (born 16th May 1879 at 10 South Street, Buxton) and they had one son, Wallace Stewart. In 1911 the family lived at 21 Victoria Street, Hulme (Census RG 14/23900). At that time Wallace was employed as a "Rubber worker". After the War Gertrude returned to Buxton to live at 7 Bennett Street, most likely to live with, or be near, her parents, Jeremiah and Ann, or her siblings, Emily, Elsie, Harry and Nellie.

Military History:
Wallace volunteered for Service at the outbreak of the War and enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps on 30th
August 1914. De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour gives his date of entering France as January 1915, however, his Medal
Index Card gives the date as 25th August 1915. The Roll of Honour states that he took part: ".. in many engagements". 

A stiff card pad, in the possession of the family, contains 21 pages of musings and pastel drawing by Cpl. J. H. Walter
of the 69th Field Ambulance Company, R.A.M.C., drawn whilst based at Tweseldown in 1915 (Tweseldown Camp,
Farnham, Hampshire). The book is entitled "McQuinn of the 69th" - clearly suggesting this was Wallace's Company.
The 69th Company, R.A.M.C., was attached to the 23rd Division, which landed in Boulogne between 21 and 26 August
1915 and proceeded to concentrate near Tilques. (This correlates with Wallace's MIC rather than the De Ruvigny's
notation.

On the 5th September 1915 the Division was attached to III Corps and moved to the Merris-Vieux Berquin area, taking responsibility for a front line sector for the first time nine days later, between Ferme Grande Flamengrie to the Armentieres-Wez Macquart road. During 1916 Wallace's Division was engaged in many actions associated with the Battle of the Somme, particularly The Battle of Albert, in which the Division played a part in the capture of Contalmaison; The Battle of Bazentin Ridge; The Battle of Pozieres; The Battle of Flers-Courcelette; The Battle of Morval and The Battle of Le Transloy, in which the Division played a part in the capture of Le Sars.

Wallace returned home to train for a Commission in March 1917 and he was Gazetted 2nd/Lieutenant, 16th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, on 31st July 1917. He joined his Battalion in France shortly afterwards and was wounded near St Quentin and taken prisoner on 21st March 1918.

The 16th Battalion had been placed under command of the 90th Brigade in 30th Division and originally sent to France on the 6th November 1915. The Battle of St Quentin, 21st - 23rd March 1918, marked the opening of the 'Kaiserschlacht'  - the first day of the German Spring Offensive. This was the day Wallace was wounded and captured. He subsequently died of his wounds at Wittenberg prisoner-of-war camp on 6th August 1918 and was buried there.

In 1922-23 it was decided that the graves of Commonwealth servicemen who had died all over Germany should be brought together into four permanent cemeteries. Berlin South-Western was one of those chosen and in 1924-25, graves were brought into the cemetery from 146 burial grounds in eastern Germany, including Wittenberg.

Wallace was awarded the Military Cross for digging out men from a collapsed post when Battalion HQ
took a direct hit in an attack. (London Gazette 15 February 1918

The full citation, as printed in The Gazette (London Gazette, 18 July 1918) is shown on the right.


Sources:
· I am grateful to Grant Tobin for the photo of Wallace's grave
· De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour. Vol 5, p. 117
· The Manchester Regiment Group Forum
· I am grateful to Aidan Hornett, Wallace's grandson, for the personal photos of Lt. Mc Quinn.

Link to CWGC Record
St Mark's Church, Worsley
The Military Cross
2/Lt McQuinn's MC citation
Lt. Wallace McQuinn
Front of drawing book
poppy