Two young soldiers from Brimington - who were best friends - died together in one of the bloodiest episodes of the First World War, research has revealed. Sally and Stuart Mullins, who have worked tirelessly to create a record of Brimington's war heroes, visited Belgium last week to mark the centenary of the start of the Battle of Passchendaele. Volunteer soldiers from Brimington pictured in 1914. At least two were killed at Passchendaele. The couple laid a wreath in memory of the village's 15 men who died in the campaign, including Private Charles Hurst and Private Fredrick Hobson. Sally, 64, explained: "They were best friends. "Our research shows they played sport together, they joined the forces together in March 1917, and they died together in the Battle of Passchendaele on October 17, 1917. "Pte Hurst, of Queen Street, was 22 and Pte Hobson, of South Moor Road, was 23. Pte Hobson was married just five days before he enlisted to fight the Germans. "Their bodies have never been found."
An estimated 320,000 Allied troops died in the Battle of Passchendaele, which started in the West Flanders region of northern Belgium on July 31, 1917, and ended on November 10, 1917. Ferocious bombardments and torrential rain turned the battlefield into a massive quagmire of liquid mud in which men and horses drowned. In 1998, Sally and Stuart set out to build a comprehensive body of work about the First World War and Brimington's servicemen and fallen soldiers. Two of Stuart's relatives died in both World Wars.
After years of painstaking research and visits to scores of cemeteries, the pair produced www.brimington-memorial.co.uk The website features names and stories of many Brimington soldiers, including Corporal Sidney Baker, of Station Road, who was killed aged 24 in Ypres, and Pte Horace Stott, also of Station Road, who was the village's youngest soldier to die at 17-years-old. Survivors - including Killamarsh-born Sergeant Fred Greaves who received a Victoria Cross medal and lived and died in Brimington in 1973 - are also mentioned on the remarkable website.
Sally said " It is difficult to accurately calculate how many Brimington men signed up to fight in the First World War. Some figures show around 700 enlistments from the village, others far greater numbers " The actual number of village men who lost their lives between 1914 and 1918 has not been accurately recorded. "120 names are inscribed on Brimington Memorial Gates - but we found more during our extensive research". Almost every road in Brimington was affected by the First World War. Sally said : " It is so important we remember those incredible brave Brimington lads who made the ultimate sacrifice"
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