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Macclesfield Cemetery and Crematorium: Military Burials

This week, I continue the series of posts on Macclesfield Cemetery by honouring two local military heroes 
George Eardley VC

George Harold Eardley VC MM (6 May 1912 - 11 September 1991) was an Acting Sergeant of the 4th battalion, King's Shropshire Light Infantry, and recipient of the Military Medal, when he risked his life in the face of the enemy in October 1944. At the time, Eardley was just 32 years old and serving east of Overloon in the Netherlands. 

His platoon was ordered to clear enemy opposition from orchards, thus clearing the way for the Allied tanks to advance. However, 80 yards from their objective, automatic machine gun fire swiftly halted their advance. Eardley dodged heavy fire to get close enough to one machine gun post to kill the enemy officer with a grenade, and then went on to destroy two more posts single-handed. His actions enabled his platoon to complete their objective and ensured the success of their whole attack. As a result, Acting Sergeant Eardley was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry in the face of the enemy.

He was buried in Macclesfield Cemetery in September 1991. His Victoria Cross is on display at the Imperial War Museum, London. In 2004, a statue was erected in his honour in his home town of Congleton.
Macclesfield Cemetery
Also buried in the cemetery is First World War hero, Private Harold Whalley (1895-1918) of 21st Manchester Regiment. He had enlisted in the Cheshire Regiment. This son of Harry and Eleanor Whalley, of 10, Eastgate, Macclesfield, Private Whalley was awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous bravery, carrying messages under heavy shell fire. 

Tragically, Private Whalley died in hospital in Camberwell, London, as a result of injuries received in France. His date of death was 9 October 1918 - just a month before the Armistice. He was 23 years old. His body was transported to Macclesfield, where he was buried on 15 October. He shares his grave with his father, shoemaker Harry Whalley, who had died in the local workhouse in 1911, aged just 39. 
Macclesfield Cemetery register entry for Harold Whalley MM
We're really pleased that so many of you have found ancestors in our Macclesfield Cemetery records (as part of the Cheshire East Collection). Do let us know via our Twitter or Facebook pages if you have visited the cemetery or have anything you would like to share about family members who are buried there.  

This is photograph B 13371 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums., Public Domain,


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