Charles Hazlehurst


Charles Hazlehurst was first cousin to another Hoylake soldier who died on the Somme – Edward Grisdale. They shared a grandfather – Jonathan Grisdale, who was born in Whitehaven in 1822 and died in Hoylake in 1874. Jonathan’s son, John Lowther Grisdale (1850-1909), was Edward Grisdale’s father. His sister, Mary Caroline Grisdale (1853-1921), married George Hazlehurst (1847-1899) in 1878. In 1901, the widowed Mary Caroline Hazlehurst was living with her family at 94 Market Street, Hoylake. Two of her sisters, Hannah and Eleanor Watson Grisdale, aged 53 and 43 respectively, and both living on their own means were living just off Market Street in the next property. Both of them were spinsters. By 1911 Charles and his family were living in a seven-roomed house on Sycamore Grove in Hoylake. His widowed mother was described as being a blacksmith, as were his brothers, John Thomas and Sidney. His eldest brother George was a painter and Charles himself was a butcher.

RMS Aquitania

RMS Aquitania

The Deeside Advertiser of 10th May 1918 said that he had been a seaman for about six years and had done several voyages on the giant Cunarder, the RMS Aquitania (pictured above), a beautiful vessel which was launched in 1913, was scrapped in 1950 and was, therefore, the longest serving passenger ship of the 20thC.

Deeside Advertiser 10th May 1918

Deeside Advertiser 10th May 1918

The above-mentioned edition of the Deeside Advertiser gives us a few details about Charles’s military career: he joined an unnamed battalion of the Cheshire Regiment in Chester in about March 1917 and was at the front by June of that year. At some point, he was transferred to the Inniskilling Fusiliers. The 7th and 8th battalions had been amalgamated on 23rd August 1917 and were part of 49th Brigade, 16th (Irish) Division. Charles died on the first day of the German Spring Offensive; he was killed at Gouzeaucourt in the Somme sector. In fact, his unit experienced so many losses that it was reduced to cadre strength on 22 April 1918 and surplus troops were transferred to 2nd Royal Irish Regiment.

Charles’s mother had to cope not only with the news of his death, but also the news that another son, Jack had been wounded for a second time and that Sidney, whom nobody had seen for four years, was suffering from enteric fever in India. Her eldest son, George, was also serving. Following Mary’s death on 30th December 1921 at 10 Shaw Street, Hoylake, her estate, worth £825 19s 6d, passed to her sons Jonathan Watson Hazlehurst, blacksmith and George Hazlehurst, printer. This healthy sum of money is testament to the family’s hard work, cohesion and perseverance, despite the appalling stresses and bereavements of the Great War.

Birth: c.1891 in Hoylake
Death: 21st March 1918, killed in action aged 27
Addresses: 94 Market Street, Hoylake (01), Sycamore Grove, Hoylake (11-18)
Occupations: Butcher (11), Seaman (c.1911-1917)
Units: Cheshire Regiment and 7th/8th Bn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
Number and Rank: 62348 41919 Private
Medals: British War and Victory
Commemorated and Buried: GH, H. France: Somme, Templeux-Le-Guerard British Cemetery II. D. 21.
Sources: BR, CWGC, SDGW, MC, DA, GB, FT, Census: 01, 11





4 thoughts on “Charles Hazlehurst

  1. you may be interested but the statue on your website can also be found in Melbourne Australia…look for the wipers statue which is another name for ypres

  2. I’m the 90 year old grandson of William & Helen Heal, parents of Reginald Heal. The Berman family (spelt the way they spelled it) came from Kiev, Ukraine and settled in Liverpool where Helen was born. I never heard any suggestion they might have been German. She foresook her Jewish family and the children where all baptized in the Anglican church which I belive caused a rupture with the rest of the Berman family. Winnifred (Mrs. Albert Brown, he was a winner of the Military Medal) who resided at 3 Broxton Avenue, was the eldest child, followed by Reginald, Sydney who was killed at the battle of Monastir-Doiren on the Salonika front in 1918, at age 22 (b. 1996) and Percy, (b 1900). My book “The House that Percy Built” a family history is being donated three copies that are on their way to the Wirral Libraries, with my request that one copy be a permanent addition to WK Library, as the Heals were very much a WK family

  3. Thank you very much Sydney. These details are very interesting and quite humbling: they have made me re-read the above biography and, in consequence, I have realised that Reginald’s biography is much too short and lacking in detail and that it should have been published along with his brother’s. I will rewrite it during the summer holidays and publish it along with his brother Sydney’s biography, as a separate post. I now have access to far more sources relating the Reginald’s battalions and about the Cheshire Bantams. It would also be good to read your book. Is it in West Kirby Library yet? If it is, I will be able to consult it during the last week of July when I hope to be in the area.

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