The article on George Rochell, mentioned that he had another brother, just named as “Sergeant-major Rochell”, who had been wounded but was still in the firing line. The brothers we know of are William, Alfred, Richard and Thomas Henry, and I have tracked them as follows:
- Alfred was born in Wolverhampton in 1883. There is a Waldon Alfred Rochelle, born in Wolverhampton in around 1881, who appears as a Sergeant in the 2nd Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment in 1911. It may be that this is him, and that this is the “Sergeant-major” mentioned in the article, but I have not been able to confirm further details. There is also a Captain Alfred Rochelle of the 1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers (listed on the Commonweatlh War Graves Commission as “Native of Tettenhall Wood, Wolverhampton”), who died on 14 April 1918.
- Richard was born in Wolverhampton in 1889. There is a “Reginald Richard Rochelle”, born in Tettenhall, who appears as a Private with the 4th Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment in 1911. Again, I have been unable to confirm further details.
- Thomas Henry was born in Tettenhall, Wolverhampton in 1894. According to his army pension records he was a labourer. He enlisted in the North Staffordshire Regiment (number 10400) at Uttoxeter on 14 August 1914. By 5 November 1914, he was discharged as “Not being likely to become an efficient soldier”. Rather than a slur on his character, this appears to have been a stock phrase for soldiers declared fit but who still had some difficulties, such as two left feet or shortness of breath. There is a scribbled note on another page of his records stating “Flat foot. Knock Knee. Unfit for service”, which explains the reason he was discharged.
If anybody can shed some light on this family we would love to hear more!