Reginald Brocklehurst, Private 53081, 1st/5th Bn. Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 28th March 1918 in France, aged 24
Son of Mrs S E Brocklehurst, of 35 Chapel St, Macclesfield, Cheshire.
Reginald joined the 4th Cheshire Regiment on 18 November 1915 with service number 5411. On 2 June 1917 he was transferred to the Labour Corps and drafted overseas on 26 June 1917. Three months later, on 21 September 1917, Reginald was transferred back to the Cheshire Regiment, this time with the 5th Battalion. According to his service records, he was allocated a new number, 53001.
Reginald’s death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 12 April 1918:
News has come to hand of the death in action in France on March 28th of Pte Reginald Brocklehurst, Ches Regt, son of Mr and Mrs Brocklehurst, 35 Chapel St, Macclesfield. Born in Macclesfield twenty-four years ago, he was educated at London Road Branch School and attended Park Street United Methodist Chapel and Lord Street Sunday School. He was employed at Ingersley Vale Bleachworks, Bollington. Pte Brocklehurst had been in France ten months, having enlisted about a year previously. Two brothers are serving – Pte Walter, Royal Defence Corps (stationed at Doncaster); and Driver William, Army Service Corps (in Salonika, where he has been three years). Another brother has been discharged from the Army on account of wounds. Five cousins, the sons of Mr T Hammond, Robin Hood Farm, Sutton, are on active service.
Private Reginald Brocklehurst is buried in Roclincourt Military Cemetery, Grave Ref. V. B. 11. His mother asked for the inscription “BLESSED ARE THE PEACE MAKERS” to be added to his headstone. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Reginald Brocklehurst, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Brother of Walter Brocklehurst, who served as Private 53289 with the Royal Defence Corps; William Brocklehurst, who served as Driver T4/042559 with the Army Service Corps and was discharged and awarded a silver war badge due to sickness in January 1919; and Thomas Henry Brocklehurst, who was living with his wife Francis in Canada when war broke out and enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 21 August 1915 with service number 172349. In November 1916 Thomas was accidentally wounded in both legs by a shell, which fractured his right leg; he was repatriated to England and treated at Hurdsfield House Hospital, then transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital in Epsom on 26 June 1917. He was discharged from the Canadian Army as unfit for further overseas service in November 1917.
After the war, Thomas and Walter lived in Toronto, Canada.
WWI British Army Service Records 1914-1920 (Find My Past)
WWI Britain Absent Voters’ Lists (Find My Past)
WWI Silver War Badge Records (Ancestry)
Canadian Service Records
Lives of the First World War website
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Macclesfield Times: 12 April 1918, 23 September 1921 (photo supplement)