Charles Norman Brockbank Son of Marion Annie Brockbank, of "Ulverscroft," 19, Adelaide Terrace, Waterloo, Liverpool, and the late Robert M. Henry Brockbank.
 
An extensive biography appeared in Liverpool's Scroll of Fame. His photo appeared in the biography and is reproduced here with the kind permission of Liverpool Record Office.
 
Captain CHARLES NORMAN BROCKBANK,
18th Battalion,
THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT).
 
CAPTAIN Charles Norman Brockbank was one of the first officers to be selected from the ranks of the "Pals." Like many other young patriots, he enrolled as soon as the call to arms sounded, and he was given his lieutenancy almost immediately. With him the gifts of leadership were transparent and supreme. The "Pals," moreover, demanded a specially high standard in their officers, and in this young and faithful soldier they found one who worthily honoured his calling. He helped in the training of the brigade, and he fell at the forefront of his men in that grim opening Battle of the Somme on July 1st, 1916.
   For Brockbank the future had all the promise that belongs to talent and a ripening experience. But it was characteristic of him that his choice should have been along the harder paths, and that he should dedicate to his country, when the need came, all the power and enthusiasms of youth. For five years he had been in India, and the period had given him, as it were, the spirit of Empire. He realised the heritage, not in the manner of the jingo, but in the quiet pride of a devoted son of the Motherland. From boyhood's days he had made duty his watchword, and with it were developed a spirit of fearless, manly independence. Such were the qualities his military superior recognised very speedily.
   Only thirty-two years of age when he fell, he was the only and beloved child of Mr. and Mrs. R.H. Brockbank, of Ulverscroft, Blundellsands. Early in life he went to the Merchant Taylors' School, and then to Malvern College. Subsequently, in order to study foreign languages, he travelled on the Continent, and his outlook was further evidenced by visits to Canada and the United States.
   Later, he came home to enter on a commercial career, and it was two years afterwards that he went out to India for Messrs. Forbes, Forbes Campbell & Co., a London firm of East India merchants at Karachi. Here his record was remarkable in every way. Coming back again after five years, he became a partner in his father's firm, Messrs. William Porter & Co., general brokers, and was soon a popular figure on the Liverpool Exchange. From this work he went to join the colours as soon as aggression had flung down its challenge and destroyed the world's tranquility.
   Brockbank was delicate in his early youth, and thus never became an athlete, but he was fond of rowing and riding, had cultivated musical tastes, and attracted all by the brightness and serenity of his happy disposition.
   We have already briefly given the outlines of his career in the Army. Upon the fateful 1st July he met a death worthy of the steadfast faith that had ever been his inspiration. It occurred in the very hour of victory, when he and his company, which he had so gallantly led, had reached their objective. Notwithstanding that he was twice wounded, he refused to be lifted into a shell hole, but remained lying in the open in order to cheer on his men until his strength waned and his life ebbed away.
   Colonel E.H. Trotter, who fell himself just a week later, narrated the circumstances of his death in a touching letter to the brave officer's mother, and in this there was all the pathos felt by a commander at the loss of so many young heroes whom he loved, and who had loved him, in such a wonderful way.
   The 18th King's had, in truth, behaved magnificently in the desperate assault, and on their action had depended the success of the day. Little mindful of the toll of sacrifice, they had stormed trench after trench until they took the redoubt that was their ultimate aim, and their names live for evermore in the hearts and minds of those who gave them, as husbands, or brothers, or sons, to the grand crusade of liberty.
   Charles Norman Brockbank was mourned by a very large circle of friends, and in the beautiful church of St.Nicholas, Blundellsands, is a white marble tablet that commemorates his loving and beautiful life and his heroic death.- "The soul our life's star hath elsewhere had its setting.
   Canon Armour, D.D., who was at one time Headmaster of the Merchant Taylors' School, and who had thus a share in the shaping of young Brockbank's noble character, delivered an impressive panegeric when the memorial was unveiled in May, 1918. "It was a manly life, a truly Christian life," he recalled as he spoke of one who was "always in heart and deed and profession a consistent Christian, and surely that means that he was a perfect gentleman."
  Such a Christian gentleman he assuredly was, and a pattern of valiant manhood, bending all his energies to a supreme purpose, and leaving to his fellows by his death an abiding example. He loved his men to a unique degree, and his affection was undoubtedly reciprocated; in fact, there are surely few instances of greater devotion than he had for them and they for him, and he met his end in a manner which is the wish of every true officer - at the head of his company. His life was a short one, but it has left its lesson for others, for, as the Rev. E. Hartley remarked at the memorial service, "Will the example of Captain Brockbank, and the example of many another brave man who has laid down his life at the call of duty, make any change in our lives? Those gallant boys went forth to fight and die for us; when the war is over shall we show ourselves worthy of the sacrifices made for us?" He concluded by reading the following lines of Robert Louis Stevenson, which are eminently fitting:-
 
Yet, O stricken heart remember, O remember,
How of human days he lived the better part;
April came to bloom and never dim, December
Breathed its killing chills upon the head and heart.
 
Doomed to know not winter, only spring, a being
Trod the flowery April blithely for a while,
Took his fill of music, joy of thought and seeing,
Came and stayed, and went, nor ever ceased to smile.
 
Came and stayed, and went, and now when all is finished,
You alone have crossed the melancholy stream,
Yours the pang, but his, O his, the undiminished,
Undecaying gladness, undeparted dream.
 
All that life contains of torture, toil, and treason,
Shame, dishonour, death, to him were but a name.
Here, a boy, he dwelt through all the singing season,
And ere the day of sorrow departed as he came.
 
 
A report on his death appeared in the Liverpool Echo on the 7th July 1916.
 
LOVED BY HIS MEN.
   Captain Charles Norman Brockbank, of the Liverpool "Pals," has been killed in action.
   He was a partner in the firm of W. Porter and Co., African produce merchants, of Liverpool. Joining the "Pals" at an early period, he put in  a lot of hard military training, and quickly distinguished himself as a keen end efficient soldier. He rapidly rose through all grades to be senior captain, although he was only 28 years of age.
   He was with the "Pals" at Knowsley, Hooton, Grantham, and Salisbury Plain, whence he crossed to France. He was a favourite with all ranks, and his men were devotedly attached to a very capable officer.
   Educated at Malvern, he spent five years in India in commercial undertakings, returning afterwards to Liverpool, where he was well known in business circles.
 
See also Liverpool Exchange Newsroom War Memorial
 
Probate of his estate was obtained at Liverpool on the 30th January 1917 by Robert Henry Brockbank, produce broker.. His effects were valued at £1142 16s 5d (almost £50,000 at current values.)
 
A death notice appeared in the Evening Express
 
Newspaper (date) Evening Express (08-Jul-16)
Rank, Forename(s), Surname Captain Charles Norman Brockbank
Regiment, Regimental No, medals Kings Liverpool Regiment
Cause and date of death, age Killed in Action 01-Jul-16 aged 31 years
Information contained in notice Only son of Mr and Mrs R H Brockbank address Blundellsands
 
 
He is remembered on the family gravestone at St Helen's C.of E. graveyard, Sefton.
 
 
IHS
To the beloved memory of Robert Henry Brockbank of Ulverscroft Blundellsands died June 15th 1923 Aged 73 years
“I am the resurrection and the life”
Also Marion Annie, wife of the above died April 13th 1936 Aged 70 years
Also of our son Capt C. Norman Brockbank 18 Kings Liverpool Regiment Killed in Battle July 1st 1916 Aged 32 years
“He died that we might live”
 
 
He is also commemorated on a memorial at St. Nicholas' C.of E. Church, Blundellsands.
 
MEMORIAL TO CROSBY OFFICER.
   A memorial tablet in memory of the late Captain Charles Norman Brockbank, 18th Battalion the King's (Liverpool Regiment), was unveiled by the Rev. Canon S.C. Armour, D.D., at St. Nicholas' Church, Blundellsands, on Wednesday evening.

Bootle Times 13th May 1918