Broadhurst, William C

William Charles Broadhurst, Chief Motor Mechanic MB/939, (Motor Boat Reserve) H.M.M.L. “No. 545.”
Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve

Died of pneumonia 26th June 1918 in Gibraltar, aged 25

 

EARLY LIFE

William Charles Broadhurst was born on 21 April and baptised on 16 September 1893 at the Parish Church, Newton Moor, Mottram-in-Longdendale, the son of Sarah Elizabeth and John Broadhurst, a coachman born in Prestbury, who lived at 197 Brick Lane, Dukinfield.

By 1901, seven-year-old William was living at Wood End, Styal with his parents and siblings Frank (16), John (12) and Doris (1). Ten years later in 1911, the family, which included another son, eight-year-old Bertie, had moved to 6 St Michael’s Terrace in Macclesfield; eighteen-year-old William, who filled out the census form on behalf of his parents, was employed as a motor driver.

 

MILITARY SERVICE

The death of CMM William Broadhurst was reported in the Macclesfield Courier on 27 July 1918:

DIED – C.M. MECHANIC W C BROADHURST – Mrs Broadhurst, of 42 Brunswick Hill, has received several letters from officers, the Chaplain, etc, stating that her son, Chief Motor Mechanic William Charles Broadhurst died in the Gibraltar Hospital on June 25th.

The Chaplain, in a letter, says, “He got an attack of influenza which developed into pneumonia. He held his own for a time, but gradually grew worse. On the afternoon before he died he wandered a great deal with lucid intervals when he was quite sensible, and during one of these he spoke to me a lot about his home in Cheshire. Next morning he was quite unconscious and never regained consciousness. He passed away quite peacefully at 1pm. The following afternoon we buried him in the Gibraltar cemetery with full naval honours.” His commanding officer said, “He was a splendid workman, never once in these six months has he let me down. In his dealings with his officers he had that uncommon combination – ease and frankness of manner combined with perfect courtesy.”

C.M. Mechanic Broadhurst was 25 years of age and joined the Royal Volunteer Naval reserve three years ago, being sent out to Gibraltar with H.M. Launch two years ago. He had had a large experience with motors, his last situation being with the Macclesfield Equitable Provident Society, Limited. He attended the Parish Church, but when young attended St Paul’s Sunday School, receiving his education at that Day School. He was to have come home on leave in August, and all the arrangements were completed for his marriage to Miss Wright, of Bosley. One of his sisters, Miss Ada Broadhurst, is on active service in France with the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. A brother, Sergeant Frank Broadhurst, is in France with the Army Veterinary Corps, attached to the Royal Field Artillery. Another brother, Corporal John Broadhurst, is in Salonica.

 

COMMEMORATION

CMM William Broadhurst is buried at Gibraltar (North Front) Cemetery, in grave ref. C. 3924. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for CMM William Broadhurst, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.

In Macclesfield, CMM William Broadhurst is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall and St Michael’s Church war memorials.

 

NOTES

Brother of Ada Sarah Broadhurst, who served with the WAAC (service number 42105) as a cook in France, and was discharged on 19 December 1918 as unfit for further service due to D.A.H. (disordered action of the heart); Frank Broadhurst, who served as Sergeant SE/11376 with the Army Veterinary Corps in France, attached to the Royal Field Artillery; and John Broadhurst, who served as Lance-Corporal TS/7396 with the Army Service Corps in Salonica.

 

SOURCES

GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers: 
Newton in Mottram, Cheshire
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
WWI Britain Absent Voters’ Lists (Find My Past)
Lives of the First World War website

Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Macclesfield Times: 30 September 1921
Macclesfield Courier: 27 July 1918

 


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