Francis and Emma Brenton had five sons: John Henry, born 1893; William Francis, born 1894; Arthur, born 1896; Ralph, born 1897; and Samuel, born 1899.
In the 1901 Census, they are all living in Tregonetha, their father Francis is a blacksmith.
The 1911 Census shows John Henry and William Francis on their aunt and uncle’s William and Annie Chapman Pawton Springs Farm. Arthur is a servant and general farm work on James and Fanny Rowe’s Reterth Farm. Ralph and Samuel are still at school and living with their mother and father in Tregonetha.
With regards to their military service, William Francis enlists into the Royal Garrison Artillery but sadly dies of wounds received during the Battle of Passchendaele in October 1917. William is commemorated on the St Wenn War Memorial.
Both Arthur and John Henry at least served some time in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Arthur in the 8/DCLI and 3/6168. The 8th Battalion served in the Salonika
Campaign. Records show that Arthur served first in the 8th and then in the 3rd Battalion which was a reserve battalion.There are no service dates in the records but his regimental number is an early one.
John Henry served both in the 1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment, no. 27614 and in the DCLI no. 01612. Again there are no dates of service but his regimental numbers appear to be early ones. The 1st Battalion served in France until November 1917 when they were sent to Italy. This battalion returned to France in April 1918 soon after the German Army launched their spring offensive.
Ralph was a Private in the Machine Gun Corps, no. 108211. The MGC records do not show which unit he was in but the records do suggest that Ralph might have been transferred from the Dorset Regiment to the MGC on the 1 August 1917.
Samuel was the youngest brother and was probably too young to serve. As he is not mentioned on the Celebration List, it is assumed he did not join the services. I think the Brentons had done more than enough with four brothers serving in the forces.
Arthur married Ellen B Martyn in 1922. They had two children Frank, born 1924 and Cyril, born 1932. The 1939 Register shows Arthur in Tregonetha and a farmer. He died in 1966.
John Henry married Elsie Cleave in 1920. They had no children. The 1939 Register shows John and Elsie farming Beacon Farm. John died in 1965.
Ralph married Lottie Maud Chapman in 1929. They had at least one child William, born 1933. The 1939 Register shows Ralph and his family farming at Knowle, Upton Cross. Maud died in 1945 and Ralph in 1959.
To complete the family, Samuel married Violet Olivia Whitford , Truro 1931. They had a son Reginald, born 1935 but died the same day. Two further sons followed, Clarence, born June 1935 and Anthony, born October 1937. They were farming at Pawton Springs in 1939. Samuel died in October 1979.