In the winter of 1890, labourer George Brocklehurst married Hannah Wright at St Paul's Church, Portwood. Whilst living in the area, they had two children, Sarah and William. Towards the end of the decade, the family ,moved to Hazel Grove, living at 3 Back Chapel Street, where Edward was born in about 1900. The family later, moved back to Portwood and lived at 20 Newbridge Lane.
William travelled to Chester to enlist into the Cheshire Regiment. He must have had a clear intent to join a particular Battalion as he could have enlisted in Stockport just as easily. His service number, 36051, indicates he joined up in early 1916. The National Archives holds Williams medal entitlement records and these confirm that he served abroad with the Cheshires and was transferred to the Fusiliers at some later date. This may have been after recovering from wounds or a long period of illness. A number of battalions were disbanded in February and March of 1918 with the men being transferred to other units and this may have included William.
The British Army had been steadily advancing for since 31 October and spent the night of 7 August 1918 at Dourlers. At 7.30am the next day, the attack continued. "B" Company was on the left and "A" on the right. "D" Company had been despatched to work round the entrenched German positions from the right flank. The fourth Company, "C", remained in support. The men immediately came under heavy fire from German artillery and machine guns as well as from the rifles of their infantry but, by 8.05, they had captured their objective. They immediately pushed out advanced posts in front of the Maureuge - Avesnes Road. There was considerable fire from machine guns in houses in Mont Dourlers but these were "mopped up" by "D" Company by 8.30.
Throughout the morning there was considerable enemy artillery fire and the Germans attempted to counter attack on more than one occasion but these failed to even reach the advanced posts. At 16.00, the Battalion was relieved back to billets at St Remy Chausee. William and John Phillips were among the ten killed during the day. The War ended three days later. They nearly made it safely through.