Book Review – ‘Brindle & Hoghton Pals’

Brindle & Hoghton Pals book cover

Brindle & Hoghton Pals book cover

The book records over 320 men from or with a connection to Brindle and Hoghton who fought in the First World War.

Men from the two villages served in every campaign – from the first battle on the Marne in 1914, Loos (1915), the Gallipoli campaign (1915) and on the first day of the Somme (1st July 1916); also at Arras (1917) and the Battle of Passchendaele in the autumn of that year, as well as in Mesopotamia and Salonica.

Written by Brindle Historical Secretary, Steve Williams it took some six years to research using the Internet, three trips to the National Archives at Kew in London, numerous visits to local Libraries and Museums as well as visits to WW1 battlefields in France, Belgium and Turkey.

Capt. Vere De Hoghton who was killed at Loos in 1915

Capt. Vere De Hoghton who was killed at Loos in 1915

The book is A4 sized, containing 140 pages and over 350 photographs. Its 29 chapters cover everything from seven ‘Pals’ from Brindle who joined up together in January 1915, to 30 men from Bournes Row and Brindle Mill (all of whom survived the conflict). There are chapters about local the men who built Brindle Parish Institute, Publicans, Clergy and farm workers – cousins, brothers and a father and son. Officers from the De Hoghton and Hartley families are featured, as well as workers from the Hoghton and Brindle Estates.

Many stories and photographs came from families of local men who fought in the War. Details came locally and as far south as Hampshire, with contributions further afield from Northern Ireland, Canada, South Africa and France. The New Zealand Ministry of Defence supplied records of two Brindle men who emigrated in 1915, only to join up and lose their lives in the War.

Brindle St James' school photograph from c1905 with nine lads who fought in WW1

Brindle St James’ school photograph from c1905 with nine lads who fought in WW1

All the memorials that contain Brindle and Hoghton men are featured – Brindle St. James’ Church, Brindle St. Joseph’s R.C. Church, Hoghton War Memorial, Higher Walton War Memorial and Withnell Fold Paper Mill War Memorial. There are list of Absent Voters in 1918 for both villages, as well as the full Electoral Roll for Brindle from 1918.

The book highlights that the memorial in Brindle Parish Church is for parishioners only – at least four men who worshipped at two local churches, and were killed in the war, are not on it. The Parish Institute (opened in 1923) seemingly being set up as a memorial to all the men who fought in the war.

The A4 size book ‘Brindle & Hoghton Pals’, written by local historian Steve Williams has 140 pages and over 300 pictures. It is available direct from the Society at £10.00 (free delivery locally) or £12.95 if posted in the UK. Contact Us for more details and to order your copy.