NOEL LEE – BRIGADIER GENERAL
Noel Lee was an ordinary man with an extraordinary story. He was the first Territorial to be promoted to brigadier and commanded fellow citizen soldiers at Gallipoli in 1915.
Noel was born on the 23rd December 1868 in Altrincham. His father was Sir Joseph Lee, a well-to-do man in the textile trade and a director of Tootal, Broadhurst Lee. Noel was educated at Eton and was an excellent runner and oarsman. Upon leaving school he went into the family firm and was made to start his employment at the bottom of the rung, as a mill-hand. His father refused to allow him to join the Regular Army so instead he joined the Territorial force in the Manchester regiment. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant in 1886 and was promoted to Captain in 1890.
He married Lillian Tristrom in 1896 and soon afterwards they moved to Heawood Hall, Nether Alderley where they became regular attenders at St.Mary’s Church and became very much involved in church life. By 1908, Colonel Lee was Rector’s Warden and remained in that post until 1911.
(He was promoted to Major in 1901, Lieutenant Colonel in 1906 and Colonel in 1907). Also in 1906 he was awarded the Volunteer Officers Decoration.
Here at St.Mary’s, Mrs Lee founded the married Mother’s group, was on the PCC and was involved with sick-visiting and the church flowers. They also donated the money to provide the choir stalls in the Chancel. They moved to Quarry Bank House in June 1911.
Outbreak of WW1
On the 10th of September 1914 Lord Kitchener invited the Territorials to volunteer for service abroad. Following a training camp at Hollingworth Lake they left Southampton for Egypt where they spent several months of further training. They arrived in Gallipoli on 6th May 1915.