Henry Brough Till

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Gentleshaw, Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom

General information

Last known residence:
5 Newtown Road, Bedworth, Warwickshire, England, United Kingdom

Army information

England, United Kingdom
British Expeditionary Force
Lance Corporal
Service number:
Enlistment place:
Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, United Kingdom
 —  South Staffordshire Regiment, 1st Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Hamp Farm, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Tyne Cot Memorial
Panel: 90

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 4

#1 Place of birth
#2 Last known residence
#3 Enlistment place
#4 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Henry was born around 1891 in Gentleshaw, Staffordshire, the son of Thomas and Caroline Till. His father Thomas was a coalminer. Sometime between 1901 and 1911, the family moved to Bedworth, Warwickshire, where Henry worked above ground as a blacksmith. During the war, Henry enlisted in nearby Nuneaton. He was eventually taken on by the 1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment, part of the 91st Brigade, of the 7th Division.

In October 1917, the 1st South Staffords were deployed at the Battle of Passchendaele. By then, Henry had been promoted to the rank of corporal. On 26 October, as the Canadians began their advance towards Passchendaele, the 7th Division attacked the ruins of Geluveld, as a diversion for the main attack. The divisional attack was to cover the right flank of the Second Army front, which was concentrating its advance on Passchendaele Ridge. Major General Shoubridge, commander of the 7th Division, considered the attack suicidal when he was informed of the plans. The 7th Division had already tried twice to take the village, but their attempts had been in vain. Shoubridge's concerns were of no concern to the high command and the 7th Division would attack the heights of Geluveld anyway. Making sure the Germans were occupied at Geluveld to prevent them from reinforcing the Passchendaele ridge.

At zero hour, 5.40am, the attack was launched. The South Staffordshire's starting position was at Bitter Wood.
Heavy machinegun fire immediately opened on the Staffords line. However, the South Staffords reached their first objective, a hill south-west of Hamp Farm. "C" company on the left was held up in front of Berry Cottages. They were fired upon by machine guns from Berry Cottages and Lewis House, reducing the company to one officer and 20 men. The remainder of the company hid in shell holes until they were able to retreat in the dark. "D" company - in the middle - encountered strong opposition from Hamp Farm and also suffered heavy losses. Almost no progress could be made and the men fell back to the original front line. "B" Company - on the right - was more or less protected by the lay of the land and was able to attack their objective, the Mound. After heavy fighting, "B" Company managed to capture the German positions on the Mound. However, messengers were unable to inform headquarters. As a result, the Mound was shelled by Allied artillery and "B" Company was forced to retreat.

The attack was an utter failure. Only elements of the 1st South Staffords had reached their first objective, but as they moved on to Hamp Farm they were mown down by German machinegun fire. Eventually, all gains were abandoned and the artillery began shelling positions in front of the troops to prevent a German counterattack. On this occasion, the Mound, occupied by "B" Company, was heavily shelled.

Henry, 26, was one of 111 other ranks of the 1st South Staffordshire Regiment who were reported missing after the attack. He was later believed to have fallen that same day. Henry has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Files 5


Brief history of Brough’s life as researched by a surviving relative.


Report showing Brough’s ancestors and descendants.


Sources 3

1 Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment (The National Archives, Kew (TNA), WO 95/1670/2).
Sources used
Census Returns of England and Wales, 1901 (The National Archives, Kew (TNA), RG13).
Sources used
Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911 (The National Archives, Kew (TNA), RG14).
Sources used

More information 3