Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Private Norman Bracher 358365

Norman Bracher


There was only one entry for an N Bracher in the CWGC database and this soldier was from Liverpool so I am confident that it is the right person.

Family Information

Norman Bracher was born in Liverpool on 2nd June 1898 (as shown on his baptism record) He was baptised 10th July the same year in the Church of St Margaret, Toxteth Park. His parents were John Edward and Elizabeth Alma of 62 Egerton St and John Edward's occupation was racquet maker.

The 1901 census return shows they were still living at 62 Egerton St with a total of 8 children, two were listed as John’s step-sons so it would appear that Elizabeth had been married before. John Edward (who was born in London) was now employed as a 'Club Hall Porter'

In the 1911 census the family were living at 86 Berkley St, Elizabeth Alma was listed as Alma Elizabeth and Norman was aged 12 and at school, we know that he attended Granby Street School. John Edward was working as a Hall Porter in a Racquet Club

Norman Bracher was a keen cricketer, he represented his school in three ‘A’ Division cricket finals and in three baseball finals. He was also a skilled footballer.  The sports section of the Liverpool Echo shows an N Bracher playing cricket for St James Lorretonians.

[The Racquet Club opened in 1877 at 102 Upper Parliament Street, it differed from other Gentlemen's Clubs in that it provided sports facilities as well as the usual social club.  It had two Racquets Courts and an American Bowling Alley, a dining room and billiards room. All available for an annual subscription of 5 Guineas. Between 1894 and 1896, the dining room was enlarged again; a new private room was added, new kitchens and electric lighting. At the same time the Bowling Alley was converted into two fives courts - one Eton and one Rugby but by the turn of the century the Rugby Fives court was being used as a squash court. A covered lawn tennis court with sprung wooden floor was added in 1913. The Racquet Club continued here until the building was destroyed by fire in the riots of 1981]

Military Information

Norman Bracher's medal card shows that he was a private in the Liverpool Regiment with the regimental number 358365. He received the victory medal and the British War Medal, the other sections of the card are blank.

His entry in UK SOLDIERS DIED IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1919 gives the following information:
Norman Bracher
Birth Place:
Death Date:
15 Jul 1917
Death Location:
France & Flanders
Enlistment Location:
King's (Liverpool Regiment)
10th Battalion
Type of Casualty:
Died of wounds
Theatre of War:
Western European Theatre

The 10th battalion were the Liverpool Scottish but at the time of his death, Norman Bracher was attached to the 6th Camerons. The battalion history for the Cameron Highlanders shows that on the night of the 12/13th July, the Germans launched 1000 shells of mustard gas into Ypres. Some of the shells hit a convent where “C” company of 6th Camerons was billeted. Almost 200 men were affected, one officer and 36 men later died. It seems very likely that Norman was one of the men affected by the gas who died at a nearby clearing station.  The 4th, 47th and 21st casualty clearing stations were near Poperinghe, site of the gas attack.


Norman’s name was inscribed on the Granby St School Memorial (currently not on display) and on the St James memorial (stolen and destroyed). In 2012 the St James War Memorial Project had his name added to the Liverpool Town Hall, Hall of Remembrance.

Norman’s family placed the following notices in the Echo:

27th , 28th and 30th July 1917
BRACHER – July 1915, died of gas poisoning in casualty clearing station, aged 19 years, Private Norman (Norrie) Bracher, K.L.R. (attached Camerons) dearly-beloved youngest son of John and Alma Bracher, 86, Berkley-street. “His duty nobly done”.

15th July 1918
BRACHER – In sad but loving memory of our dear son Norman (Norrie), K.L.R., attached Camerons, who died of wounds in France, July 15th 1917. – Never forgotten by his loving Mother, Father, Sisters and Brothers, also Jack, George and Alick serving with the colours – 86, Berkley-street, Liverpool. Duty nobly done.

Norman Bracher is buried in Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium in grave I.C.18
Dozinghem Military Cemetery (copyright CWGC)

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