Stephen Thomas HURST
Rank: Gunner
Number: 102716
Date of Death: 25 May 1917
Age: 24
Cemetery: Lebucquiere Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas de Calais, France

Thomas Hurst and Ellen Davies had married in 1890 at St Matthew’s Church, Stockport. Over the years they would have at six children together and Steve was their second. Thomas worked as an inspector for a life assurance company and, when the census was taken in 1901, the family was living at 13 Cunliffe Street, Stockport.

When Steve left school, he went to work for Burgess, Ledward & Co, 22 Dickinson Street, Manchester. The company manufactured cotton goods but these premises are almost certain to have been offices and warehousing. He enlisted into the army in June 1916, leaving the family home which was now at 22 Huntley Road, Cheadle Heath.

23rd Siege Battery had been on active service since the summer of 1915 and Steve will have joined as a replacement for casualties. The Battery was equipped with four 6” howitzers – some of the heaviest weapons in the British arsenal – which could throw a 54kg shell a distance of over 10 kilometres. Few records remain of these units and it has not been possible to establish the circumstances under which Steve Hurst was killed in action.

His older brother was reported to have enlisted on the day War was declared and was served aboard a hospital ship, presumably with the Royal Army Medical Corps. He is believed to have survived and returned to the family home which, in the early 1920s, was 15 Crowthorn Road, Ashton under Lyne.

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