Private Henry Stephen BRUNT


Regiment/Service:
York and Lancaster Regiment
Unit:
1st Battalion
Service Number:
27722
Date of Death:
12 August 1917 - Died (Salonika)
Age:
32
Cemetery / Memorial:
Cemetery Reference:
III. E. 15

Personal History:
Henry was born in the March quarter 1885, the son of William and Annie (née Snow) Brunt. He had a younger sister, Elsie Fanny, and in 1891 they lived at 3 Albion Street, in Stoke-on-Trent. Henry's mother, Annie, died in 1894.

By 1901 (Census RG 13/3270) Henry had moved to Buxton, working as a live-in "Page" at The Union Club, St John's Road. Henry's father, William, remarried, Ellen Butcher, in the March quarter 1902.
Henry's Service Papers name two other brothers, Percy and 'J.W.'. [See 'Footnote' below] On the 18th January 1909 Henry married Miriam Hayward and in 1911 (Census RG 14/27747) they were living at 101 Forres Street, Crookes, Sheffield. Henry was employed as a "Library Assistant" at the University Library of Sheffield [see below]. They had no children. On his enlistment in 1915 he gave his occupation as "Shell Checker". He was 5 ft. 4¾ ins. (1.65 m.) tall.

Military History:
Henry enlisted in the York and Lancaster Regiment at Sheffield on 4th December 1915 and went straight to the Army Reserve. On the 15th June 1916 he was mobilized and the next day posted to the 3rd Battalion. On 28th October 1916 he was transferred to the 1st Battalion and posted to the 'Mediterranean' theatre.

The 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment was formed at Pontefract in August 1914 as a depot/training unit. On mobilisation it moved to Cleadon and in January 1915 went on to Sunderland. The Battalion moved again in August 1915 to Durham but returned to Sunderland in February 1916 where it remained as part of the Tyne Garrison.

Maybe, with little prospect of serving overseas, Henry asked for a transfer to the 1st Battalion, which had been in Jubbulpore in India at the  outbreak of the War. It returned to England on 23rd December 1914, moving to Hursley Park and joining the 83rd Brigade in the 28th Division. On the 17th January 1915 the Battalion was posted to France, landing at Le Havre. They were posted again to Egypt in October 1915 and from there on to Salonika, arriving in early December.

When Henry joined the Battalion it was fighting the Bulgarians and was in occupation of Mazirko, but on the 31st October 1916 had taken a part in the capture of Barakli Jum'a. On the 15th May 1917 Henry's Brigade was engaged in the capture of Ferdie and Essex Trenches (near Barakli Jum'a).

As the CWGC reference to Henry states: "Died" (i.e. as opposed to 'Died of wounds' etc.) it is probably safe to assume that whilst stationed in the area he succumbed to one of the many illnesses or diseases rife at that time.

Henry is buried in The Lahana Military Cemetery which was begun in July 1916 for burials from the 27th Casualty Clearing Station, to which sick and wounded men were brought from the Struma front. The cemetery was also used from June to August 1917 by the 18th Stationary Hospital. After the Armistice, 41 of the graves in Plots II and III were brought in from the two front line cemeteries at Paprat (about 12 km north-west of Lahana) and from other small burial grounds. This may have included Henry who lies in Grave III.E.15.

Footnotes:
· Henry had two brothers also serving, Percy Brunt "serving in India" (possibly: Gnr. 95409 R.G.A.) and
  Pt. 46130 John W. Brunt, York and Lancs. Regiment.

Sources:
· I am grateful to The War Graves Photographic Project for the photo of Henry's grave and Lahana Cemetery

Commemorated on:
"H.S. Brunt, University Library of Sheffield" is also commemorated on the Memorial to
   'British Librarians' in the British Library. [see photo right]
   [Another Buxton man - George Mitchell - is commemorated on the same Memorial.]

Link to CWGC Record
The Lahana Cemetery
Pt Henry Brunt's grave
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