Wartime history at Brockhampton
Brockhampton has taken on a wartime-theme this year to commemorate the previous occupants of the estate and their direct links to war.
Brockhampton being a large farming estate would have seen many residents sent away during the First and Second World War. One of which was Albert Sprague,a young man who at just nineteen left his home on the Brockhampton Estate to volunteer in the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry to fight in the First World War. The only son of Alfred and Sarah, Albert spent his life on the estate with his father being the gamekeeper, after leaving school Albert remained on the estate, working as an agricultural labourer.
On August 6, 1915 Albert left Brockhampton and was not to return. He sadly perished in the Battle of Cambrai on 30 November 1917, by then he was a Sergeant. With no known grave he is commemorated at the Cambrai Memorial in Louverval. We celebrate Albert’s life on the estate every year on Remembrance Sunday; replicas of the equipment and uniform Albert took to war are also in display in the house. Available to be picked up and tried on, visitors can feel first-hand the weight these young men were expected to carry whilst in action.
Albert was not the only Brockhampton resident to fight in the First World War. Thirty men on the estate joined up, many to the Worcestershire Yeomanry or Herefordshire Regiment. Our records show, including Albert, five other men lost their lives to the First World War; Thomas Coombey, Robert Coombey, Charles Mason, Thomas Mason and Thomas Taylor.
The estate owner at the time Colonel John Lutley, a retired Major, returned to The Worcester Yeomanry to prepare volunteers for service. Lutley was very much a military man and was a veteran of the Boer War 1899-1902. Training volunteers was his last role in the army before his retirement. The former soldier suffered from crippling arthritis in his later years and became reliant upon his butler, Bakewell for round-the-clock care before his death in 1946.
After a year of wartime theme on the estate such as our ‘Victory tea’ themed courtyard and wartime-themed trails, we invite you to come along to experience the Showman’s Cinema on 10 and 11 November where visitors can experience a little of what life was like during those difficult years of war. Come along and see real footage from The Battle of the Somme as well as Charlie Chaplain’s ‘Soldier Arms’.
On 11 November we remember all who tragically lost their lives in the First World War. Remembering Sergeant Sprague commences from 11am onwards, a harrowing remembrance of those gone but not forgotten.