Ernest Brocklehurst was born on 16th November 1896, the youngest child of Mary Ann and Joseph Brocklehurst, a night watchman for the Macclesfield Corporation, of Blackshaw Street, Macclesfield. In 1901, 4 year old Ernest was living at 16 Blackshaw Street with his parents and siblings Fanny (15), Frederick (13), Annie (10), and John William (8).; ten years later they were living at 13 Blackshaw St.
Ernest was educated at St George's (London Road) school, being first admitted on 3rd November 1903. After leaving school, he found employment as a telegraph messenger for the General Post Office.
Ernest attested at Macclesfield, joining the 7th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment.
Following a period of training in various locations in the south of England, the 7th Cheshires, as part of 159th Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division, received orders to equip for service in an undisclosed location in the Mediterranean. In July 1915 they sailed from Devonport to Alexandria in Egypt, then on to the island of Lemnos on the 4th August.
On the evening of 8th August, the Battalion arrived off the coast of Gallipoli and the following day landed at “C” Beach, Suvla Bay. Having landed, they came under shell fire at about 8.30am and so moved north along the edge of the bay; they then received orders to attack in the direction of a dip in the hills behind Anafarta Saghir.
At 8am on 10th August the Battalion was ordered to attack Hill 70. This was unsuccessful and the Battalion suffered severe losses. A second unsuccesssful attack took place at 5pm. By the end of the day, Ernest Brocklehurst was missing and he was assumed to have died on 10th August 1915.
Private Ernest Brocklehurst has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel Ref. 75 to 77 on the Helles Memorial in Turkey. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Ernest Brocklehurst, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
In Macclesfield, Private Ernest Brocklehurst is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall, St John’s Church Roll of Honour, and the G. H. Heath & Co Ltd war memorials.
Ernest was the younger brother of Fred Brocklehurst, who served as Gunner 115497 with the Machine Gun Corps, and John William Brocklehurst, who served as Private 48103 with the Lancashire Fusiliers and was taken prisoner at Kemmel on 25th April 1918. Both survived the war.
Thanks to Ann, and to James for their assistance in compiling this information.
Research by Rosie Rowley, Macclesfield.