from Manchester Evening News 24 October 2001
Street of Courage
by Paul Broster
THEY were friends and neighbours who marched off to war and were called "the bravest street in Britain" by their King.
Chapel Street in Altrincham had only 60 terrace houses but supplied more than 160 volunteers to fight in the hellish trench conditions of World War One.
The poorly-paid workers, including labourers and builders, were saluted by George V for answering the call to arms in the country’s time of need. Twenty-nine were killed in action and several died from injuries soon after returning home in 1918.
The houses — with gas lamps outside and toilets in backyards —were later demolished to make way for a car park, leaving no trace of the brave community.
But now town leaders are to honour the men, who served in regiments including the Cheshli-es, by unveiling a special plaque on Armistice Day.
Builder Hugh Hennerley was one of the brave group who survived gas attacks and dodged bullets in freezing trenches in France.
But his brother William, also from Chapel Street, was killed in action in Egypt as families were ripped apart.
Hugh’s 65-year-old grandson Peter Hennerley, a retired joiner from Cheadle, today welcomed the moves to remember the men.
"In those days people were intensely loyal to King and country and they had no hesitation in going," he said.
"They were ordinary working men who did not have much money but they gave so much. Their response was incredible."
Many tenants in the street were of Irish origin and were packed into lodging houses.
No other street was known to have supplied so many front line troops.
British Legion standard bearer Peter Arrowsmith, a driving force behind the tribute, said: "Even at a time when Britain was making so many sacrifices the commitment of the residents of Chapel Street was an inspiration to the nation. They supplied nearly three people per house." The memorial bears the words: "In memory of the 160 men who volunteered and fought in the Great War 1914-18 and the 29 who gave their lives."
Mr Arrowsmith added: "It’s a little piece of history that we should not forget about. A little street that made a big impression at a time when Its country really needed it."