William Edward Charles Brenchley

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Margate, Kent, England, United Kingdom

General information

Assistant Reelerman, Papermill

Army information

England, United Kingdom
British Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment place:
Sittingbourne, Kent, England, United Kingdom
 —  King's Royal Rifle Corps, 11th Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Eagle Trench - Winterstellung, Langemark, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Tyne Cot Memorial
Panel: 116A

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Corporal William Brenchley served in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps 11th Battalion, part of the 59th Brigade, of the 20th (Light) Division.
The Battalion took part in the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge (20-25 September 1917), part of the Third Battle of Passchendaele. On September 18th the Battalion moved up into the frontline. During the night of 19th and 20th September the Battalion formed up for attack in three waves along the Langemark-‘t Goed ter Vesten Farm. The assembly was carried out without a single casualty.
At 5.40 a.m. the barrage started creeping forward. Quickly followed by the first wave. When advancing on Eagle Trench, just Southwest of the village of Langemark, the men came under heavy machine gun fire and the advance was checked within 10 yards of the trench. Two attempts to storm the right side of the trench, proved unsuccessful.
On the left the first wave was more successfully. Here the German trench was less manned. They consolidated their positions in the trench and resumed their advance to within 80 yards of Chinese House, where they dug themselves into shell holes. The two following waves made similar gains. The men on the right were held up at Eagle Trench, while the troops on the left were able to cross this obstacle. However at dusk the positions on the left had become untenable, and the remaining parties had to withdraw to Eagle Trench, where they were relieved just before dawn. At 11 p.m. the King’s Royal Rifle Corps 11th Battalion was eventually ordered to withdraw to a position to the West of the Steenbeek.
The Battalion had suffered heavy casualties, while advancing on and beyond Eagle Trench. Six officers and 36 men were killed in action, while 43 men went missing. Furthermore three officers and 127 men were wounded.
Corporal William Brenchley was killed in action on the 20th of September 1917. According to the witness report of Lieutenant C.G. Webb, Corporal William Brenchley was waiting in a trench, when a shell burst close by and killed him and another man instantly. If this witness report is correct, Corporal William Brenchley was possibly killed in the left side of Eagle Trench, while waiting to resume the attack. His remains were not recovered and Corporal William Brenchley is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Sources 6

"The annals of the King 's Royal Rifle Corps", Hare S., London, John Murray, 1932, pg. 140-141.
Sources used
"The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995, pg. 80-81.
Sources used
Further reference
Sources used
The Long, Long Trail
Sources used
War Diary King's Royal Rifle Corps 11th Bn.
Further reference