Friday, 7 April 2017

Two who died in the Great War ....... remembered in Brooklands Cemetery

Now when you start on a search for the story of one person’s life you are never quite sure where it will take you.

I knew from the inscription on the family gravestone that Willy Whipp had been born in 1890 and was killed in the September of 1916 just months after his elder brother also died while serving with the Royal Flying Corps.

I cannot begin to imagine how their parents coped with the double tragedy.

But with the detachment that comes with being a century away from their loss I was curious about the two young men.

Willy was serving with the Canadian Expeditionary Force and had enlisted in the October of 1914.*

He was a farmer and had been in Canada since 1909 and that is about all we know but more will come to light.

His father had been the managing director of company specializing in leather and the family moved from Ardwick via Hulme to Ashton-on-Mersey.

Given his father’s status and falling into the trap of making gross assumptions I had assumed that Willy’s brother would have been a pilot, but not so he was an Air Mechanic.

Now before any one bridles at my assumption I am fully aware of the importance of air mechanics, this was the profession of my uncle when he joined the RAF in 1938 and without them the planes stay on the ground.

What puzzles me slightly is that he is buried in Sale suggesting either he died in hospital of wounds or while on leave.

But that is a bit of research for another time.

Location; Brooklands Cemetry

Picture; the family gravestone of Mr and Mrs Whipp, 2017, from the collection of Antony Mills

*Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada,

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