William Arthur Brackstone

Date of birth: 1875
Place of birth: Southampton
Rank: Stoker
Vessel: HMS Bulwark
Battalion: Royal Navy Reserve
Died: 26 November 1914, aged 39 years
Commemorated: Portsmouth Naval Memorial


William was the oldest of 3 siblings born to Charles and Elizabeth Brackstone, who married in Southampton on 23 August 1871.

Elizabeth (nee May) had 5 children prior to marrying Charles. She had married Thomas Faithfull in Stockbridge in 1855 and the couple were living in St. Mary’s (via Totton) by 1860.

Thomas died in St. Mary’s in 1871.


Elizabeth was born in Broughton in 1833 and she passed away in Southampton in 1912.

Charles was born in the city in 1839 and it not known where or when he died.


Half siblings

Sarah Jane Faithfull   b. 1856 Totton   d. 1940 Southampton   Married William Williams in Southampton in 1879.

Edward Charles Faithfull b. 1858 Totton   d. ??

Alfred John Faithfull   b. 1860 Southampton   d. 1926 Southampton   Married Angelina Stainer in Southampton in 1880. Married Sarah Elizabeth Jenkins in Southampton in 1896.

Elva KATE Faithfull   b. 1865 Southampton   d. 1928 Southampton   Married John Alfred Young in Southampton in 1887.

Thomas Faithfull   b. 1866 Southampton   d. ??

Walter May   b. 1868 Southampton   d. 1887 Great Yarmouth

Elizabeth Ellen   b. 1870 Southampton   d. 2 April 1932 Royal South Hants Hospital   Married Edward Hannam in Sholing in 1895.



William Arthur 

Anne Louise   b. 1876 Southampton   d. 1954 Southampton   Married George Henry Ford in Southampton in 1894.

George Edward   b. 1880 Southampton   d. 1951 Southampton   Married Alice Harriet Hoare in Southampton in 1901.


William married Rose Edith Maxted in Southampton in 1894. They had 1 daughter who, unfortunately, died very young.……

Phyllis May   b. 1900 Southampton   d. 1902 Southampton.

Some time between 1906 and the 1911 Census the couple adopted Phyllis Ethel People, who had been born in the city in 1906.


Rose (nee Waterman) was born on 28 April 1874 in Southampton and she had married Frederick George A. Maxted in 1891.

After William’s death, Rose married Charles A. Fricker in 1916 and she passed away in Romsey in 1951.


Bulwark was a London class battleship, which entered service with the RN in 1902. She sailed with the Mediterranean fleet until 1907 before returning to home waters.

In 1912, the vessel was refitted and immediately became part of the 5th Battle Squadron. At the outbreak of war, the Squadron was attached to the Channel Fleet, patrolling the English Channel.


On 26 November, when anchored off Sheerness, a “large internal explosion” destroyed the vessel, killing 736 men.

8 of the fourteen survivors died later in hospital, between November 1914 and January 1918.


After an exhaustive enquiry it was decided that the explosion was caused by over-heating cordite charges that had been placed adjacent to a boiler room bulkhead.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 22.10.15
Updated:  2 August 2016

If you have any more information about the above named person, or any other name listed on this website or Southampton’s Cenotaph, please email Southampton.cenotaph@hotmail.co.uk. Many thanks.