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  • Photograph was published on 8th December 1914 in the Nottingham Evening Post on 8th December 1914 and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Person Details
William Henry was the second son of Albert Brooksbank and his wife Mary Ann nee Trout. Both Albert and Mary Ann were born in Sneinton, Nottingham; Albert in 1861 (J/A/S Radford) and Mary Ann on 1 February 1862. They were married at St Saviour's church, Nottingham, on 29 March 1880 (J/F/M Nottingham) and had at least four children: Albert Brooksbank Trout b. 1879 (J/A/S Nottingham) bap. Nottingham St Peter 10 August 1879, Fanny Louisa b. 1881 (J/A/S Nottingham), William Henry b. 1884 (O/N/D Nottingham) and Elizabeth b. 1887 (J/A/S Nottingham). Albert later used the surname 'Brooksbank'. When Albert was baptised in 1879 his parents were living in Sussex Square but by 1881 Albert (19), a wood sawyer, and Mary Ann (20) a hosiery stitcher, together with their two year old son, Albert Brooksbank Trout, were living at 23 Goodhead Street, Meadows, Nottingham, with Mary Ann's mother Elizabeth and five of her sons. Elizabeth Trout (40), though married, was named as head of household. Albert died in 1887 (A/M/J Nottingham) aged 25 leaving his widow with four young children. By 1891 Mary Ann Brooksbank, a hosiery machinist, and her daughter Fanny (9) together with Samuel Trout (3) who was listed as her nephew, were lodging at Crown Street, Sneinton, Nottingham, in the household of Joseph Boyer (31), a brickyard labourer. Joseph's marital status was given as widower, but no record has yet been found of a previous marriage. Mary Ann's son William (6) was living at Valentine Place, Nottingham, with his aunt, Elizabeth Trout (nee Flinders), a lace dresser, her daughter and two lodgers. Albert (12) a scholar was a lodger at Queens Road, Nottingham, in the household of John and Elizabeth Barnet. The youngest child, Elizabeth, who would have been about four years old, has not yet been traced; she probably died later that year (1891 O/N/D Nottingham). Joseph Boyer was born in South Witham, Lincolnshire, in 1859 (O/N/D Grantham Lincs) the son of Mary Ann Boyer. In 1861 Joseph was living with his maternal grandparents, Thomas and Susannah Boyer, in South Witham. His mother Mary Ann married William Caunt in 1861 (O/N/D Grantham) and by 1871 they were living on Walker Street, Nottingham, and in 1881 at Buntings Buildings, Carlton; Joseph (21) was a farm labourer. He was using the surname 'Caunt' and described as William's son but by 1891 was recorded on the census in his birth name, Boyer. Joseph Boyer and Mary Ann Brooksbank were married at St Matthias church, Sneinton, on 20 June 1892 (A/M/J Nottingham) and had five children: John b. 24 March 1891 (A/M/J Nottingham) bap. 21 December 1892 Nottingham St John, Elsie Harriet b. 20 May 1893 (J/A/S Nottingham) and George Ernest birth registered 1897 (J/F/M Nottingham), who were both baptised on 15 September 1897 at Nottingham St John, Elizabeth b. 9 June 1903 (J/A/S Nottingham) and Ida Mary Violet birth registered 1906 (J/F/M Nottingham). Joseph and Mary Ann were living at 14 Arthur Place, Nottingham, when their children were baptised in 1892 and 1897. By 1901 Joseph (41) a gas stoker and Mary Ann (39) were living at 8 Elgin Street, Nottingham, with Mary's son, William (16) a bricklayer's labourer, and John (10), Elsie (7) and George (4). William joined the Royal Navy the following year. The 1911 Census, completed by Joseph Boyer as head of household, gave the family surname as 'Caunt'. The family was living at 8 Elgin Street, Nottingham, and in the home on the night of the census were: Joseph and Mary Ann, John (20), George (14), Elizabeth (7) and Ida (5). Elsie (Caunt) was also listed - age 17 and a lace dresser - but was also recorded on the same census as Elsie Boyer (17, lace dresser) in the home of Mary Ann Cant (also Caunt), the widow of Henry Cant (also Caunt), of 14 Lewis Square, 3 Ainsworth Terrace, Meadows. William Henry was serving in HMS Jupiter at the time of the census. The family home was probably at 36 Goodhead Street, Meadows, by 1914 when William was killed and Joseph and Mary Ann were still living there when George (Boyer) was killed in 1918. Joseph Boyer died in 1935 (J/F/M Nottingham) aged 75. His widow Mary Ann was still living at 36 Goodhead Street, Meadows, at the time of the 1939 England & Wales Register. Also in the household were: Gertrude Priestley (amended to Roome) b. 16 Mary 1921 single, laundress; George Dennis Firth b. 12 October 1929; John Boyer (divorced) a brass fettler; Fanny Louisa Spick b. 24 July 1914 (nee Boyer b. J/A/S Nottingham/Spencer, d. 1997) and her husband Herbert Spick (b, 25 May 1915) a gauge maker (married 1936 J/A/S Nottingham). Mary Ann Boyer probably died in 1959 (J/A/S Nottingham) aged 98. If this information is correct then she outlived her four children by Albert Brooksbank and five children by Joseph Boyer. Of William Henry's surviving siblings: Albert Brooksbank was living at 4 Peas Hill Road, St Ann's, with his married sister Fanny Mills in 1901 and also recorded as a visitor in their home at 39 Kings Meadow Road on the night of the 1911 Census. He was a cobbler 'on his own account/at home'. Albert had married Lilian (Lily) Jane Hart in 1910 (J/F/M Basford) and their daughter, Amelia was born the same year (1910 O/N/D Nottingham). Lily (24), a lace hand, and her daughter Amelia (7 months) were recorded in her parents' home at 7 Belvior Terrace, Bunbury Street, Meadows, on the night of the 1911 Census. Amelia died aged 22 in 1933 (J/F/M Nottingham). Albert died in 1935 (O/N/D Nottingham) aged 56. Fanny Louisa Brooksbank married William Emmanuel Mills on 28 February 1901 at Nottingham St Peter. In 1901 they were living at 4 Peas Hill Road, St Ann's; William (25) was a hairdresser and Fanny (20) a lace joiner. Also in the household were her brother Albert Brooksbank (21) and Elizabeth Restall (65) who may have been one of William's relations. According to the 1911 Census, William and Fanny had six children of whom only two survived; the following registration of births (Mills) all gave the mother's maiden as Brooksbank: William Albert b. 1901 (O/N/D Nottingham), Edward b. 1903 (O/N/D Nottingham d. 1904, Henry and Joseph b. 1905 (J/A/S Nottingham) both d. 1905 (J/A/S Nottingham, Robert Boyd birth registered 1907 (J/F/M Nottingham) d. 1908 (O/N/D Nottingham) and Joseph Henry b. 1908 (O/N/D Nottingham, prob. 19 September 1908, d. 1998). In 1911 William Emmanuel and his son William (9) were living at 39 Kings Meadow Road, Meadows; his brother-in-law Albert Brooksbank (31) was a visitor in the home on the night of the census. The second surviving child (possibly Joseph Henry, aged 2 years) has not yet been traced. Fanny Louisa (28) was a patient in the Isolation Hospital, Bulwell Forest in 1911; she died aged 29 in 1911 (A/M/J Nottingham), buried 29 April. Her husband died aged 56 in 1932 (A/M/J Nottingham). John Boyer married Martha Cooper in 1917 (O/N/D Nottingham). In 1939 he was divorced and living with his widowed mother at 36 Goodhead Street, Meadows. He died on 2 March 1951. The probate record gave his address as 9 Crocus Cottages, Goodhead Street, although he died at 6 Sherwood Cottages, Goodhead Street; Administration of his will was awarded to Fanny Louisa Spick 'married woman'. Elsie Harriet Boyer married Joseph Rood (b. 1 May 1891) in 1918 (A/M/J Nottingham. They had at least four children: John R. and George Henry b. 18 September 1919 (J/A/S Nottingham), Ida MV b. 6 November 1920 (O/N/D Nottingham) and Arthur b. 1923 (A/M/J Nottingham). In 1939 they were living at 2 Parkers Terrace, Nottingham; Joseph was a permanent way relayer. Also in the household was their daughter Ida MV Rood, a telephone worker (married Ronald Lempard 1940 O/N/D Nottingham). Elsie died aged 49 in 1942 (J/A/S Nottingham), buried 28 September 1942. George Ernest Boyer served in the 9th Bn Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) and was killed in action in France on 12 October 1918; he was 21 years old. (See record on this ROH) Elizabeth Boyer probably married Lawrence (also Laurence) H Daft in 1921 (A/M/J Nottingham) and in 1939 they were living in Nottingham. Elizabeth was a lace dresser and Lawrence (b. 19 November 1893) a brass fettler. Also in the household were Audrey M. Daft (later Easom, b. 13 April 1932) and Josephine H Daft (later Kennard, b. 13 July 1937). Elizabeth Daft died aged 46 on 23 November 1949 (O/N/D Nottingham), buried 26 November. Ida Mary Violet Boyer died aged 16 in 1922 (J/A/S Nottingham).
William Brooksbank was a labourer for J Fields, builder, of Meadow Lane, Nottingham, when he attested in the Militia in April 1901. He gave his occupation as bricklayer's labourer when he joined the Royal Navy in 1902
26 Nov 1914
2870727 - CWGC Website
Stoker 1st Class
HMS Bulwark Royal Navy
William attested in the Militia (4th Derbyshire Regiment) on 17 April 1901 at the age of 17 years and 2 months; this would match the date of birth on his RN record of 9 February 1884. He was discharged on joining the Royal Navy in 1902. William joined the Royal Navy on a 12 year continuous service engagement on 14 October 1902. His service record gives his date of birth as 9 February 1884 although the registration of his birth was made in the last quarter of that year; he may have changed his month of birth so that he was 18 years old when he joined ensuring he did not serve 'Boy' time before the start of his 12 year continuous service engagement. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: Duke of Wellington, 14 October 1902-31 March 1903 (Stoker 2nd Class, HMS Nelson, 1 April 1903-17 April 1903; HMS Duke of Wellington, 18 April 1903-12 May 1903; HMS Callipe, 13 May 1903-8 July 1903; HMS Duke of Wellington, 9 July 1903-30 September 1903; Firequeen II, 1 October 1903-26 October 1903; (12 days cells), 8 November 1903-18 November 1903; HMS Hawke, 19 November 1903-17 May 1904 (Stoker, 21 April 1904); HMS Exmouth, 18 May 1904-18 August 1905, (10 days cells), 29 August 1905-18 December 1905, (5 days cells), 24 December 1905-31 December 1905, (7 days cells)’ 8 January 1906-10 January 1906; Vivid II, 11 January 1906-14 April 1906; HMS Exmouth, 15 April 1906 -5 April 1907; Victory II, 6 April 1907-11 April 1907; HMS Diadem, 12 April 1907-15 September 1907, (6 days cells), 22 September 1907-15 November 1907; HMS Hawke, 16 November 1907-31 December 1907; HMS King Alfred, 1 January 1908-25 June 1908 (90 days hard labour using (-) language to superior officer), 8 October 1908-23 April 1909, (5 days cells), 29 April 1909-24 May 1909, (7 days cells), 1 June 1909-24 May 1910; Victory II, 25 May 1910-10 July1910, (7 days cells), 18 July 1910-28 October 1910; HMS Jupiter, 29 October 1910-5 June 1911; Victory I, 6 June 1911-3 July 1911; HMS Hercules, 4 July 1911-22 October 1911, (5 days cells), 28 October 1911-15 January 1912 (42 days cells – break out), 16 February 1912-31 March 1912, (28 days cells - absence), 26 April 1912-17 June 1913, (25 days detention – absence), 13 July 1913-1 September 1913; Victory II, 2 September 1913-30 September 1913; HMS Vindictive, 1 October 1913-7 April 1914; (sentenced to 6 months hard labour by Court Martial of 8 April 1914 for striking a superior officer), 13 August 1914; HMS Bulwark, 14 August 1914-25 August 1914, (7 days cells), 2 September 1914-26 November 1914. Service record annotated ‘NP15291 of 11 August 1914, (-) from (-) gaol to rejoin Navy’ and ‘NP3063/14. DD [Discharged Dead] 26 October 1914. Lost when Bulwark was sunk In 1911 William Brooksbank was a stoker on board H.M.S. "Jupiter," a pre-dreadnought battleship attached to Portsmouth. On 26 November 1914 HMS Bulwark was loading ammunition at Sheerness when the ship blew up. There were only twelve survivors. William's body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
His half-brother, George Ernest Boyer, served in the 9th Bn Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment), 307058 Private, and was killed in action in France aged 21 on 12 October 1918 (Montay-Neuvilly Road Cemetery). See record on this ROH. Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 26 November 1915: ‘Brooksbank. In loving memory of our dear brother, William Henry Brooksbank, who lost his life on HMS Bulwark, November 26th, 1914. No one knows how much we miss him, none but aching hearts can tell. Brother Jack [John], Martha [wife], niece.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post,’Roll of Honour’, 26 November 1918: ‘Boyer. In loving memory of Pte. George Boyer, 36, Goodhead-street, killed in action October 12th, 1918; also brother of the above, William Henry Brooksbank, perished on HMS Bulwark, November 26th, 1914. Hearts and home left desolate. Reunited. From broken-hearted mother, father, brothers Albert and Jack [John], sisters Elsie, Lizzie [Elizabeth], Ida, brother-in-law, sisters-in-law, sorrowing fiancee of above George, Fanny.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 26 November 1919: ‘Boyer. In loving memory of our dear sons and brothers, William Henry Brooksbank, killed on HMS Bulward November 26th, 1914; also George, killed in action October 12th, 1918. Silently mourned. Mother, father, brothers, sisters, sisters-in-law Lily [Albert's wife], Martha [John's wife], brothers-in-law William [William E Mills], Joe [Joseph Rood]’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on


  • Photograph was published on 8th December 1914 in the Nottingham Evening Post on 8th December 1914 and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
    William Henry Brooksbank - Photograph was published on 8th December 1914 in the Nottingham Evening Post on 8th December 1914 and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918