Herbert Bromley Challinor, Private 6981, 14th Bn, Australian Infantry, A.I.F.
Died of wounds 5th February 1918 in France, aged 32
Herbert Bromley Challinor was born on 15 August and baptised on 21 September 1886 at St George’s Church, Sutton, south Macclesfield, the son of Eliza and Joseph Challinor, a ‘gentleman’ of Macclesfield. He seems to have been known within the family as Bromley.
In 1891, five-year-old ‘Bromley’ was living at 101 Oxford Rd, Macclesfield with his parents, 61-year-old Joseph, a clerk (born in Macclesfield), and 46-year-old Eliza, who was born in Adelaide, Australia, and siblings George (23, also born in Australia) and Alice (22, born Macclesfield). In the 1901 census, fourteen-year-old Herbert was incorrectly listed as Hester B B Challinor, living with his parents at 339 Oxford Rd.
Herbert’s father died in 1905, and his mother died in 1915. They were buried in plot C 3230 in Macclesfield cemetery.
At some time between 1901 and 1911 Herbert emigrated to Australia, and between 1912 and 1915 he was listed in the electoral registers of South Richmond district, Yarra, Victoria as a decorator.
Herbert enlisted on 17 October 1916, giving his address as 8 Murphy St, South Yarra, Victoria and naming a sister, Mrs H Rushton of Fence Avenue, Macclesfield, as his next of kin. He stated that he was a decorator, and had served an apprenticeship in Macclesfield with Whittaker Brothers.
Two months later he was sent to the UK for training, departing from Melbourne, Australia on 16 December and arriving at Plymouth, England on 18 February 1917. After training at Codford, Wiltshire, Herbert was drafted overseas, leaving Southampton on 17 October 1917 and arriving at Le Havre the next day, eventually joining the 14th Australian Infantry in Belgium on 2 November.
On 31 January 1918 Herbert was admitted to the 13th Australian Field Ambulance with shell wounds to his ankle and chest due to a mustard gas shell. He was moved to the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station, which was then based at Trois Arbres, near Bailleul, where he later died from the effects of the gas on 5 February 1918.
Herbert’s death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 22 February 1918:
THE LATE PTE H B CHALLINOR
We publish this week a photograph of Pte H B Challinor, Australian Imperial Forces, who died in hospital in France on February 5th, from the effects of pneumonia and gas poisoning. The sad news of his death was received last week by his sister, Mrs Rushton, ‘Rostherne’, Fence Avenue, Macclesfield.
His death was also reported in the Macclesfield Courier the following day:
ROLL OF HONOUR – KILLED – PRIVATE H B CHALLINOR
Mrs Rushton, of Oxford Road, has received official notification that her brother, Private Herbert B Challinor, of the Australian Imperial Force, died in hospital in France on February 5th from the effects of pneumonia and gas poisoning. About 36 years of age, he was a son of the late Mr and Mrs Challinor, who resided at Poplar Cottage, Oxford Road. While in Macclesfield he took an active part in amateur theatricals. He was a painter and decorator, and emigrated to Australia about ten years ago. He enlisted shortly after the outbreak of war, and after a period of service in France, spent a short holiday in Macclesfield in June last year. Two sisters of the deceased reside in Macclesfield, and two brothers are in Australia.
Private Herbert Challinor is buried in Grave Ref. II. D. 18. of the Trois-Arbres Cemetery in France. His sister asked for the inscription “THY WILL BE DONE” to be added to his headstone.
In Macclesfield, Private Herbert Challinor is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael’s Church and St John’s Church war memorials. He is also named on the family gravestone at plot C 3130 in Macclesfield cemetery.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers: St George’s Church, Macclesfield
Census (England & Wales): 1891, 1901
Australia Electoral Rolls 1903-1980 (Ancestry)
WWI Australian Imperial Force Service Records (Discovering Anzacs website)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Family History Society of Cheshire: Macclesfield Area Monumental Inscriptions CD
Macclesfield Times: 22 February 1918, 23 September 1921 (photo supplement)
Macclesfield Courier: 23 February 1918