25th January 1915

Private George Brotherton was one of 86 men from the Coldstream Guards to die on 25th January 1915, 68 of whom (including George) are commemorated at Le Touret Memorial, between Bethune and Armentieres in the Pas de Calais, France.

According to Soldiers Died in the Great War, George served with the 1st Battalion and was born in Evesham, lived in Castle Bromwich, and enlisted in Birmingham. It looks as if he must have moved to Castle Bromwich between 1911 and 1915, as he appears on the 1911 census living at 55 Warren Road, Washwood Heath, Saltley with his parents, Samuel and Martha, and his six siblings. He was listed as aged 18, and recorded as being a soldier in the Coldstream Guards. His medal index card shows that he entered a Theatre of War on 13th August 1914.

In 1911, his father, Samuel, was listed on the census as being a worker at the municipal gas works. Presumably, this was Saltley Gas Works, which was the largest in Europe at its height. In 1901, the family was living in Bordesley, with Samuel (listed as John S. Brotherton) working as a bricklayer’s labourer. On previous censuses, Samuel was recorded as being a market gardener in Evesham.

Information from research carried out by Terrie Knibb and Castle Bromwich Youth & Community Partnership is that George married Elizabeth Hancox in 1914. Elizabeth was the daughter of William Hancox and Ann Ray and hailed from Hodge Hill, Castle Bromwich. George appears to have lived with his in-laws before setting off for war. Elizabeth gave birth to a daughter, also Elizabeth, on 27th February 1915. After the war, she married George’s brother, Sam, in 1915. Sam also served in the war. They had a son, Arthur in 1920.

If you have any further information, please let us know.

Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
Tel.: 0121 704 6977
email: heritage@solihull.gov.uk

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