Fighting at 15 – Young Thornton Hough Patriot

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Probably the youngest soldier in the British Army to-day is Pte. J. Brassey of the 9th Battalion Cheshire Regt., who joined that regiment 12 months ago at the age of 15 years. He is the son of Gunner J. Brassey, Lanc. And Ches. R.G.A. who lives at Manor Road, Thornton Hough.

Pte. Brassey has been in France since June, and has been through the battles of Loos and Lens, and up to the present has escaped injury.


Private Richard Joseph Brassey “died of wounds” in France on 26th December, 1915, and is buried at Merville Communal Cemetery.

According to the Civil Registration Birth Index he was born between April and June 1899, being baptised on the 2nd July of that same year in Thornton-Hough, Cheshire. Listed as present at the baptism are both his father and mother, Joseph and Emily Lizzie.

He would have been 16 years old at the time of his death.

Although named J. Brassey in the above article, and as Joseph Brassey in the Cheshire Roll, further research has revealed that his full name was likely Richard Joseph Brassey, his middle name taken after his father, Joseph Brassey, who himself served in the war as part of the Army Ordnance Corps.

Joseph Brassey (senior) was discharged from service on 29th March, 1920, and received disability pension due to chronic otitis media (inflamation of the inner ear). 

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