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TOPIC: James Pearce Brailsford, Derbyshire Volunteers - died 9.7.1903

James Pearce Brailsford, Derbyshire Volunteers - died 9.7.1903 3 months 1 week ago #68127

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Buried at Spital Cemetery, Chesterfield. I've had to edit his photo from a group photograph which was in a newspaper.


A Popular Chesterfield Resident's Early Death.
Our readers, not in Chesterfield alone, but in the districts surrounding, will be pained to hear of the death of Mr James Pearce Brailsford, a highly-respected townsman and popular Volunteer, which happened on Thursday morning in London at the residence of his sister, at the comparatively early age of 33 years. Very sad circumstances surrounded the sorrowful event, for some weeks past it had been known to his friends and to himself that the end was not far distant. The cause of death was cancer of the glands of the neck.

The deceased was a native of Chesterfield, his parents many years ago having been the tenants of the County Hotel, in Saltergate, Chesterfield. He was educated at the Staveley Grammar School, under Lieutenant-Colonel F. A. Turner, and made his introduction to business at the Chesterfield Gas Works, where he remained during his lifetime.

His was a very unassuming nature, but in anything that his interest was aroused his active help could be counted on with certainty. Early on he joined the local corps of Volunteers, in which battalion his old schoolmaster became Lieutenant-Colonel, and he became as efficient as he was an enthusiastic member. But for some time he could not be induced to take rank, though eventually he accepted promotion as a sergeant. On the break-out of the recent war and the subsequent call for Volunteers, one of the first to respond was "Jim" Brailsford, and our readers will well remember the hearty send-off given him and his comrades that wintry day in March, 1900, when they passed out of sight of the Crooked Spire on their way to "the front." And no less dim will be the recollection of the return rejoicings in May the year following.

Mr Brailsford was also warmly interested in sports, and some years ago he was a playing member of the Chesterfield Town Club in the days when local rivalry was of greater note than now. To those associated with him at that time, and here we may mention the names of Messrs Frank Swallow and A. Rollinson, the battles royal that were fought between Chesterfield and Sheepbridge, Staveley, and other clubs will be long remembered. Latterly he had withdrawn from such active connection, though his enthusiasm for the pastime had no wise abated. Another branch of sport in which the deceased was to the fore, and than whom there was no more thorough advocate, was swimming, and at the time of his death he was president of the local club. It owed its inauguration to him. Some years ago he was the owner of Walton Mill Dam, and it was on his initiative, we believe, that arrangements were agreed upon and provision made for the Swimming Club making it their headquarters. Some time after the disposal of the dam to Messrs Robinson and Sons, Limited, Wheatbridge Mills, Chesterfield, and this brought about the disbanding of the club, but on the opening of the School Board baths in Ashgate Road, Mr Brailsford, conjointly with the old committee, took steps to reform it. Still, he was adverse to holding any prominent position, and it was only on pressure being brought to bear that he consented to accept the unanimous invitation of the club to become its president for this year. Then there is the Chesterfield and District Rifle Club, of which he was a member of committee, and a very fair marksman.

As we have said before, Mr Brailsford died of cancer of the glands of the throat. There was something peculiar in his illness. To his friends, in fact to himself, his fate came with awful suddenness, but for the past twelve months the mysterious cause of his early death had been noticeably present. Despite medical care the disease increased slowly but surely, and on the advice of his friends he consulted a specialist, and went to London shortly after Whitsuntide for that purpose. The result of this was that he was admitted into London Hospital with a view to undergoing an operation, but the doctors eventually declined to undertake the responsibility. Arrangements advanced to such a stage, however, that the deceased was bandaged and awaiting his turn before the doctors abandoned their intention. Then it was that the "grit" with which "Jim" Brailsford was so plentifully endowed, was brought into evidence. He received the intimation of his fate with stoical calm and even allowed the doctors to make a thorough examination of and lecture on his symptoms. The news that his case was hopeless was received with the most profound regret by his friends. His fortitude and calmness during the few remaining weeks of his life were characteristic of the man.

Unable to take nourishment he was yet cheerful and happy, and warmly welcomed several friends who visited him in London. In his letters, there was the same absence of depression and a quiet confidence displayed astonishing to those who were not privileged to understand his real nature under the unassuming and quiet demeanour he always evinced.

Thus he met his end, passing quietly and peacefully away early on Thursday morning at the residence of his sister, Mrs L. F. Shaw (London), and by his death Chesterfield loses one of its most unostentatious and most popular residents. Deceased was unmarried, but leaves two married sisters in London.

The funeral will take place at the Cemetery to-morrow (Sunday) afternoon, and deceased will be accorded full military honours. The cortege will arrive at the Midland Station at eight minutes past three where it will be met by the local Volunteer Company, and thence proceed to the Cemetery.

The Derbyshire Times, Saturday 11th July 1903


Military Honours Accorded.

Enormous Gathering.
Amid the most remarkable manifestations of sympathy and regret, the remains of Mr James Pearce Brailsford, whose sad end we recorded last week, were laid to rest in the picturesque cemetery at Chesterfield on Sunday afternoon. It was by his express wish that the interment was made in his native town, and for that purpose the body was conveyed from London, where death happened, on Sunday afternoon.

The popularity of "Jim" Brailsford, everyone knew, was universal in the district, and great would have been the regret had the funeral taken place in London; but probably no one was prepared for the sight presented during the afternoon. Not only had his Chesterfield friends attended, but those from afar, and the route from the Station to the Cemetery was lined by a gathering of no less than 12,000. Such a scene had never before been experienced in Chesterfield.

As befitting such a case, the burial was accorded full military honours. The deceased, it will be remembered, had practically had a life-long connection with the Chesterfield Volunteers, and could claim nearly two years' service in the late Boer War, and it was but fitting that such honour should be his. All public bodies, with which deceased had ever had any connection, were represented, and friends from near and far, made a point of being present out of respect to his memory.

The body arrived at the Midland Railway Station on Sunday afternoon at eight minutes past three, and was met by the local companies of the 2nd Notts and Derbyshire Regiment, whose ranks were augmented by comrades from the district companies of the same battalion, and also members of other corps. There have been many military funerals in Chesterfield, but for the first time the remains were borne on a gun carriage, which, in this instance, was supplied by the 4th West Yorks Volunteer Artillery. The coffin was reverently transferred from the railway van by eight of deceased's brother non-commissioned officers: Colour-Sergts Hall and Harrison, Sergts Wardle, Walker, Exford, Radforth, Stewart, and Heane, and fixed to the 12-pounder gun carriage drawn by four black horses. It was covered with the Union Jack, and resting on top were deceased's helmet, belt, and bayonet, and two lovely tributes: a wreath from the N.C.O.'s of the Chesterfield Volunteers and a cross from his sisters "Nellie and May."

The procession was led by the Volunteer Band, who played the Dead March in "Saul." The gun party in charge of Sergt. Anthony, an old Chesterfield volunteer, followed, and immediately after came a landau containing some of the choicest wreaths. There came next half-a-dozen carriages containing the principal mourners, and behind was a long procession of representative townsmen, in front of whom were Ald. Johnson Pearson (chairman of the Gas and Water Board), and the ex-Mayor (Coun. Wm. Spooner). Other carriages containing parties of friends from a distance joined the procession as the immense crowd permitted. The volunteers and police brought up the rear.

The funeral obsequies were performed by the Rev. J. F. Morley, curate at the Parish Church, at deceased's personal request. The service was very impressive and at the close a firing party in charge of Sergt. Mason, one of deceased's South African chums, fired three volleys, and the "Last Post" was sounded by the buglers.

The volunteers were under the command of Capt. Clayton, Capt. Robinson, Lieuts. Shea and Hopkins, and Sergt.-Major Wells.

The arrangements in Chesterfield were undertaken by Mr C. Rollinson, junr, and Mr C. Fisher provided the mourning coaches.

On Sunday evening a muffled peal was rung from the Parish Churtch bells, and at the evening service the Dead March in "Saul" was played by the organist, Mr H. N. Biggin.
Subjoined is a list of those present, with other details, The mourners were: -
1st Carriage: Mr and Mrs Shaw, Mr and Mrs Hemsley.
2nd Carriage: Mr John Hopkinson and family.
3rd Carriage: Mr and Mrs Fred Hopkinson.
4th Carriage: Messrs Fred Swallow, Frank Swallow, and J. Frith.
5th Carriage: Messrs George E. Carline, M. Ditchburn, Wm. Howe, and Tom H. Furness.
6th Carriage: Messrs W. Frith and Alison Clark.

Those who followed were: Ald. Johnson Pearson (chairman of the Gas and Water Board), Councillors W. Spooner, W. Rhodes, and W. Wrigley, Messrs J. E. Crofts, J. W. B. Simpson, W. T. Buckland, C. Boldry, W. Hartley, A. Clarke, H. Rollinson, H. Simpson, R. Pearce, C. Wilson, W. Hinchley, G. Kingham, G. W. Bemrose, H. Granby, D. Loveridge, S. Major, W. Kingham, J. H. Walker, T. Boot, G. Hollis, W. Britchfield, R. Backhouse, J. Kingham, G. Lenthall, S. Newman, A. Brown, A. Garratt, T. Blake, H. Wood, J. Beeton, J. Trickett, F. Steger, J. Booth, C. Dixon, W. Webber, C. Nixon, W. Holian, and F. Taylor, representing the Gas and Water Board and employees.

Messrs S. E. Short (churchwarden), W. Crossley, Connor and Parke (sidesmen), Messrs G. J. Edmunds, Head Constable Kilpatrick, F. W. Hewitt, O. Taylor, R. W. Proctor, junr, J. Allen, - Bradfield, representing the Chesterfield Rifle Club; Messrs H. G. Marsden, Cade, W. C. Jackson, J. Robinson, G. Carline, and R. E. Taylor.

The Derbyshire Times, Saturday 18th July 1903


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