Eric Barton Hurst


Eric’s paternal grandparents were James Hurst and Charlotte Brooke. James was born about 1843 in Manchester and Charlotte about the same year in Lincoln. They married on 27 December 1864 at St Michael-on-the-Mount, Lincoln. In 1871 they lived at 198 South St, Gorton. James was a stationer employing 2 men, 3 boys and 2 girls. They had 2 children, Charles Alfred (Eric’s father), aged 4, and Walter, aged 1. At the time of the census only Walter was at home. In 1881 they lived at 23 Park St, Chorlton-on-Medlock and James was a commercial traveller. By 1893 James had died. The maternal grandparents were Edmund Wrigley Barton and his wife, Mary. Edmund was born about 1830 in Manchester and Mary about 1834 in St Pancras, London.

In 1871 they lived at 36 Tamworth St, Stretford, with their 3 children, Ada Mary, born about 1863, Minnie (Eric’s mother), born in 1864 and Edmund Horatio, born about 1866. Edmund Snr was a traveller and clerk in minerals, plaster and cement. In 1881 Mary, now a widow, lived at 230 Brunswick St, Chorlton-on-Medlock with Minnie and Edmund Jnr. In 1891 Mary was at the same address, running a lodging house. Minnie and Edmund were still at home. One of the 3 lodgers was Achilles Michaelides, a shipper of Cypriot origin.


Charles Alfred Hurst was born in Manchester about 1866 and baptised at St Silas’ church, Ardwick, on 22 May 1866. His parents’ address at that time was 176 Radnor St, Moss Side. He became a commercial traveller in paper and at the age of 24 in 1891 was boarding with James and Frances Barrow at 215 Brunswick St.

Minnie Barton was born on 15 December 1864 and baptised at the cathedral in Manchester on 26 May 1865. Her family lived in Moss Side at that time.

Charles and Minnie married at All Saints’ church, Chorlton-on-Medlock, on 4 April 1893. Their address was 50 Booth St East and Charles was described as a traveller. One of the witnesses was Ada Barton. In 1901 Charles and Minnie lived at 22 Northen Grove and Charles was a shipper’s manager. By this time they had 2 children, Eric and Norman Brooke. Only Norman was present for the 1901 census, aged 2. They had a servant. By 1911 the couple appear to have separated. Minnie was a lodging house keeper, living with Norman at 87 Lansdowne Rd, West Didsbury. Charles, now an agent for paper makers, was lodging at 504 Moss Lane East, Rusholme.

Norman Brooke Hurst (Eric’s brother) was born on 23 March 1899 and baptised at Christ Church, Blackpool, on 16 July 1899. He married at Christ Church, West Didsbury, on 16 June 1927, the service taken by Richard Lavers Kemp (father of Norman Kemp, also on our memorial). Norman was a salesman and his wife was May Jureidini whose family were from Syria and whose father was a shipping merchant. Norman died in 1972.


Eric Barton Hurst was born in Manchester on 14 February 1896. He was baptised at St Thomas’ church, Heaton Norris, on 11 April 1896. In the 1901 census he appears as a visitor with the Hughes family in Rhoslan, Llandrillo, Colwyn Bay. He was only 5 at the time. The other 3 visitors were Achilles and Chrysanthos Michaelides, both British Cypriots, and Demosthenes Michaelides, born in Romania. In 1911 Eric, 15, was living at 114 Burton Rd with his aunt Ada (housekeeper) and Chrysanthos Michaelides, a shipper.

In 1910 Eric was admitted to William Hulme’s Grammar School. His aunt, Ada Barton, was his guardian. He played lacrosse for Heywood House. He apparently gave an account of the King’s Rally at Windsor in 1911. This probably refers to a rally of 35000 Boy Scouts in Windsor Great Park on 4 July 1911. Baden-Powell was present and the rally was visited by the King, Queen Mary, Princess May and the Prince of Wales. Eric left school in 1912.


Eric enlisted with the Honourable Artillery Company (founded by Henry VIII) on 2 June 1915 at Armoury House, Finsbury. His address was 10 The Grove, Blackheath. He apparently gave his age as 21 but he was actually 19. His service number was 3681. He left England on 21 July 1916, joining No 6 Entrenching Battalion on 29 July. On 25 November 1916 he was among 183 men posted to A Company, 1st Battalion at Nouvion en Ponthieu near Abbeville. The battalion was at rest. On Christmas Day 1916 Eric and 42 others were transferred to the Tank Corps but on 14 January 1917 he was admitted to the 12th Stationary Hospital at St Pol with bronchitis. He died from bronchopneumonia on 29 January 1917, aged 21. He is buried in the St Pol Communal Cemetery Extension, reference D. 5. He is commemorated on the Old Hulmeians War Memorial.

Interestingly, although his mother was named as next of kin, his personal effects were sent to his father but not until 11 October 1918. They were listed as letters, card, ring, purse, cigarette case, wallet, photos, wrist watch (broken), pipe, safety razor in tin, diary, testament, initial, belt, compass, card case and bag.