Lieutenant Arthur Dell Brodbelt and Lieutenant Guy Brodbelt

Arthur Dell Brodbelt and Guy Brodbelt were two of four children born to Thomas Bryde Brodbelt and Lucy Brodbelt who lived in the village of Tattenhall. Thomas Bryde Brodbelt was a Mechanical Engineer and Timber Merchant who originated from Liverpool and his wife, Lucy, daughter of William Dell Littlewood, who was four years his junior, originated from Islington in London.

At the time of the 1881 Census Thomas and Lucy were newly married and were resident at ‘Fairfield House’ on Burwardsley Road and by the 1891 Census they had moved to the sumptuous ‘Brook Hall’ on Chester Road. Their young family comprised Muriel Lucy Brodbelt (born November 1881), Thomas Warbrick Bryde Brodbelt (born July 1884), Arthur Dell Brodbelt (born February 1886) and Guy Brodbelt (born September 1888). Birth announcements appeared in the national and provincial press, including the London Standard, Cheshire Observer, Liverpool Echo and Liverpool Mercury to name but a few and all four children were baptised at St Alban’s Church, Tattenhall by the Reverend Arthur Phidias Holme MA who was Rector between 1870-92.

‘Brook Hall’, home to the Brodbelt family in the 1890s

The substantial burial plot in St Alban’s Churchyard which is shown below and with its railings long since gone (melted down for the war effort during 1939-45), though in a poor state, allows an understanding of the grief which touched just one local Tattenhall family and which Lucy Brodbelt faced alone, her husband having died in 1898 at the age of 44.

The Brodbelt family plot in St Alban’s Churchyard. The tomb was constructed (to hold six) on 1 May 1873. Details of the Brodbelt boys who died in The Great War can be read around the base/plinth.

With her husband dead, the family moved back to Liverpool but by April 1918 and with the end of The Great War not yet in sight, two of Lucy Brodbelt’s three serving sons, native to Tattenhall, were also dead.

Lucy’s youngest son, Guy Brodbelt, entered Merchant Taylors’ School on 2nd May 1899 but left the school after just one year with an entrance scholarship for Christ’s Hospital. He trained as a Chartered Accountant. The image below illustrates that Guy was by 1911 a member of the Association of Chartered Accountants – the silver cigarette box having been presented to him and making reference to his chosen career path.

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Silver Cigarette Box presented to Guy Brodbelt in 1911 by the Liverpool Chartered Accountants Golf Club

At the outbreak of the Great War, Guy joined the 9th Battalion King’s Liverpool Regiment. He went to France in April 1915 and was involved in engagements at Festubert (9 May) and Loos (25 September) as well as in a successful counter attack in the same region on 14 October.

He is recorded as KIA (Killed in Action) on 14 April 1916 having been shot in the head by a sniper while temporarily commanding a company. He was 28 years old. The date, 14 April, was particularly poignant because it marked the anniversary of the day on which Guy Brodbelt crossed to France. Guy Brodbelt was a 2nd Lieutenant (Temporary Lieutenant) and is remembered on the Christ’s Hospital Roll of Honour, in the Merchant Taylors’ School Archive and on the family grave in St Alban’s Churchyard. Lieutenant Guy Brodbelt is buried in Douchy-les-Ayette, France.

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Obituary to Lieutenant Guy Brodbelt as reported in The Times, 25 April 1916. This cutting was found within the Brodbelt ‘Family Bible’.

 

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A further obituary to Lieutentant Guy Brodbelt which appeared in ‘The Court Journal 5 May 1916′ – this cutting was also housed within the Brodbelt ‘Family Bible’

 

The base of the Brodbelt family headstone in St Alban’s Churchyard records the war service of Lieutenant Arthur Dell Brodbelt and Lieutenant Guy Brodbelt.

 

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Douchy-les-Ayette British Cemetery, 13kms south of Arras. It is here that Lieutenant Guy Brodbelt is buried.

Lucy’s second youngest son, Arthur Dell Brodbelt, also attended Merchant Taylors’ School. He was to spend 4 years at the school before pursuing a career as an Insurance Inspector based in Gosforth, Newcastle-on-Tyne and also at the Liverpool and London Globe Insurance Company Limited. 

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Souvenir Book of the Coronation of Edward VII 1902, the inside cover of which shows Arthur Dell Brodbelt’s name (see image below)

 

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Arthur Dell Brodbelt joined the Royal Garrison Artillery (Special Reserve). When war broke out he volunteered as a Dispatch Rider and in May 1915 he joined the Inns of Court OTC, obtaining his Commission in September 1915. He went to Malta in March 1916 and from there volunteered for France, coming home in April 1917. He went to France in September 1917 and took part in the closing stages of the Flanders Offensive. During the German Offensive in March 1918 his battery was moved to support the Amiens Sector and he was mortally wounded on 18 April 1918 (7 months before the end of the conflict). He was, therefore, the second member of the family to die in this conflict. Arthur Dell Brodbelt who died at the age of 32 is remembered in the Merchant Taylors’ School Archive, on the family grave in St Alban’s Churchyard and he is buried in Chocques Military Cemetery, France.

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Arthur Dell Brodbelt’s Medals, including ‘Memorial Plaque’. Plaques such as these were issued to the next-of-kin after The Great War, were cast in bronze gunmetal and were known as the ‘Dead Man’s Penny’ or ‘Widow’s Penny’. Over 1.3m Plaques were issued, using a total of 450 tonnes of bronze. The Plaque includes Britannia, classically robed and helmeted, supporting a trident by her right side and her right arm. In Britannia’s left outstretched hand is a laurel wreath crown above a rectangular tablet on which appears the name of the deceased. No rank is shown since there was to be no distinction in death. The words ‘HE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR’ appear around the edge of the Plaque. In the foreground a male lion stands facing right, originally described as ‘striding forward in a menacing attitude’. Two dolphins encircle Britannia, representative of British sea-power. In symbolic confrontation, a further lion pounces on an eagle; a reference to the desired destruction of Germany. The designer was ‘E Carter Preston’ and his initials were also embossed on the Plaque.

 

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Obituary to Arthur Dell Brodbelt, The Times, 18 June 1918 – this cutting was also contained within The Brodbelt ‘Family Bible’.

 

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Chocques Military Cemetery, 4kms north west of Bethune. It is here that Lieutenant Arthur Dell Brodbelt is buried.

Neither boy, though native to Tattenhall, is remembered on the Tattenhall War Memorial.

The third brother, Lieutenant Thomas Warbrick Bryde Brodbelt (image below) like his two younger brothers Arthur and Guy, also served in The Great War. He served for a period of over three years, 18 months of which was on the Western Front in Belgium and France. He was Captain and Adjutant and with the Royal Garrison Artillery (Special Reserve) as Lieutenant. Lieutenant Thomas Warbrick Bryde Brodbelt, also native to Tattenhall, survived The Great War, married late in life at the age of 54 and had three children, Thomas, Robert and Mary (Thomas died quite recently).

Remaining BrotherOn 2 July 2013, the surviving children of Thomas Warbrick Bryde Brodbelt, Robert Brodbelt and Mary Allen (nee Brodbelt), visited Tattenhall, keen to learn more of their family’s life and involvement in the village of Tattenhall.

The two brothers, Arthur and Guy Brodbelt who were killed in The Great War, would have been uncles to Robert and Mary. 

The story of the Brodbelt family and their considerable involvement in the life of the village is to be found under ‘Brodbelt Family – Brook Hall’ (this Webpage is currently under construction). Robert and Mary are also keen that the Brodbelt family grave be restored and we are currently in dialogue with the relevant parties in this respect. Robert (far left) and Mary (far right) are shown, together with other family members, below.

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Particular thanks to Robert, Nicola, Felicity, Liz and Mary (above) who have been invaluable in the preparation of this Webpage. Thanks also to Angela Brodbelt, wife of the late ‘Thomas Brodbelt’, who visited Tattenhall in August 2013 and who has been equally invaluable in providing many of the artefacts contained within this Webpage.

To coincide with the start of the Great War, the Brodbelt family commissioned a complete restoration of the Brodbelt family grave, on which are the stories of the Brodbelt brothers, Arthur Dell and Guy, both of whom died in the conflict. The family attended our ‘Tattenhall Remembers’ centenary commemorations and we thank them all for supporting our work in such a positive and generous fashion. An image of the restored grave is below and by clicking on ‘Tattenhall Remembers’ you can read more of our centenary event.

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The restored Brodbelt family grave 2014

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‘Tattenhall Remembers’ – Arthur Dell Brodbelt and Guy Brodbelt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

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