1918-2008: Ninety Years of Remembrance

Soldier Record

William Rose Brougham

Contributed by: valerie green, on 2008-11-14

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First Name William Rose
Surname Brougham
Year of Birth 1883
Year of Death 1916
Regiment King's Regiment (Liverpool)
Place of Wartime Residence Gorton, Greater Manchester

William Rose's Story

My grandfather William Rose had five sons and lived in a two-bedroom terrace house along with his wife. She broke the news to him that she was pregnant for the sixth time so he did the manly thing and got drunk, and while he was under the influence of drink he was offered the queenÂ’s shilling. This was a way of recruiting unsuspecting working men from the poorer towns and cities who had little money to spend on the luxuries we now take for granted. Once accepted you would be called up to do your duty for king and country.

He was given the choice of a firing squad or being sent to the front line: he chose the latter.

He was sent to a training camp and nine months later received word that his wife had given birth to a baby girl, his only daughter. He applied for compassionate leave, but was turned down so he went AWOL. He was arrested at his home and was given the choice of a firing squad or being sent to the front line: he chose the latter, and died on 9 September 1916 at the Battle of the Somme. He was 33 years old and left six children without a father.

My grandmother struggled to keep her children together and four of them went into workhouses. Eventually, they were all reunited and married. As children we enjoyed lots of happy memories with 14 cousins in all. I never met my grandfather, but I am very proud of him and the thousands who died in a terrible, wasteful war. I am proud that young people of today are beginning to realise what these men, and the many men who have died since then in battles all over the world, have sacrificed for the people of this country. I salute them and may they never be forgotten.

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