A heartbreaking suicide pact taken in 1915 between a soldier and his wife so they could avoid the horrors of the First World War has been discovered in archives.

Shadrach Critchley, 35, and his wife Annie, 45, were found lying side by side on a mattress at their home in Leigh, Greater Manchester, on Monday May 24, 1915 - shortly after Mr Critchley was recruited to the Cheshire Regiment. A newspaper cutting from the time reveals that alongside the couple were two handwritten notes, expressing their wish 'never to be parted'.

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