The Stapleton-Bretherton Family
Rainhill Hall, now known as Loyola Hall, was occupied by the Stapleton-Bretherton family between 1884 and 1919. In the first half of the 19th century their ancestor, Bartholomew Bretherton who was a successful coach proprietor, built ‘The Hall’ and acquired much land in the area. Bartholomew also established St Bartholomew’s Church and School in Rainhill. The family were staunch Roman Catholics.
Frederick Annesley Stapleton-Bretherton (1841-1919) inherited ‘The Hall’ and the Rainhill Estate from his father’s cousin, Mary Stapleton-Bretherton. She was the daughter of Bartholomew Bretherton. Frederick was married to Hon Isabella Petre and they had 13 children. Rainhill was the family seat, but Frederick and Isabella also had a house at Fareham near Southampton.
During the Great War the whole family was caught up by the events happening in Europe. Many of the daughters married military or naval officers and the sons volunteered to fight for their country.
Two sons Edmund and Vincent fought in WW1 and survived. A daughter, Evelyn, married a Prussian prince and spent the years 1914-1918 interned in Berlin. Edith married a career soldier, Roland Feilding, who spent most of the war years fighting in France. Winifred married Edward Charlton and Ethel married John Anthony Throckmorton – both naval officers. The youngest daughter, Gertrude, married Kenneth Dewar who served in the navy during WW1. Another daughter, Monica, spent the war years doing canteen work and working as a VAD nurse.
Frederick Annesley and Isabella’s eldest son, Frederick Bartholomew
Stapleton-Bretherton fought in the South African War during 1901. His brother, Lt. Robert Stapleton-Bretherton was killed in the Boer War in 1902 aged 26. Major Frederick Stapleton-Bretherton was also on active service during the First World War. Sadly his son, Lt. Osmund Stapleton-Bretherton was killed in action in France, aged 19, and a younger brother, Capt. Wilfrid Stapleton-Bretherton, was also killed in action in Belgium aged 28.
Acknowledgement: Philena Bruce (descendant of Edith Stapleton-Bretherton) for valuable insights into the history of the family.
Frederick Annesley Stapleton-Bretherton (1841-1919) married Hon. Isabella Petre (1845-1919) in 1869.
They had thirteen children – see below
Frederick Bartholomew Joseph
Robert Charles Lucius
Prince Gebhard Blucher
Col. Rowland Feilding
Sir Edward Charlton
Betty Heron Maxwell
Lt. Col. James Dorgan
Captain Kenneth Dewar
1910 at Rainhill
1914 at Rainhill
Fought in WW1. Son Osmund killed in WW1 - 1918
Became a Nun
Exiled in Germany during WW!. Evelyn wrote a memoir 'An English Wife in Berlin'
Cared for her parents during WW1
Rowland fought in WW1. He wrote 'War Letters to a Wife'
Edward served in the Navy during WW1
Edmund fought in WW1
Herbert served in WW1
Killed in WW1
James served in the RAMC during WW1. Monica served as a V.A.D. nurse
Fought in WW1
Kenneth served in the Navy during WW1 He wrote 'The Navy from Within'
Killed in South African War
Commemor-ated on Menin Gate
NB St.Bart's is St. Bartholomew's R.C. Church in Rainhill
Acknowledgement: John Atherton for information regarding the graves of the family in St Bartholomew's churchyard