Bertie was born in Brecon in 1886 to George and Elwyna Waterloo Eldred. His father, George, was a chimney sweep. There were four children at home around this time. Bertie had an elder sister, Grace Alice, a brother George Harold and a younger sister Lilian. All the children were born in Brecon. The family lived at 2, John Street, The Watton. There were three older brothers who did not survive childhood and all died in 1883.
George, Bertie's father, had previously served in the army. He married Elwyna in Brecon in 1872.
Bt 1901 the family were still in The Watton but now lived in the Old Turnpike near to Watton Villa. All four children are still at home with Grace now working as a dressmaker. George and Bertie are working as labourers.
The family later moved again and in 1911 lived at 18, The Watton, Brecon. Bertie is still a general labourer and Harold is now working on a farm. Grace had got married in 1905 and left the family home for 54, The Watton, Brecon. Her husband, William Howcroft was a brother
and this may suggest that he was shore based.
On August 10th, 1914 William, aged 36, enlisted in the British Army at Portsmouth, joining the Army Service Corps as a private. His occupation on enlistment is listed as fitter, having served an apprenticeship in Builth.
He served in the UK until September 1915 when he left for France, embarking at Southampton on the SS King Edward for Rouen. He spent over two years in France, mainly at the Motor Transport Depot. He came back in July 1917 for ten days leave. Later in November 1917 he was transferred back to England as he had been selected for service in the Navy, although it seems nothing came of this.
William is recommended for discharge from the army in May 1918 with chronic bronchitis, originating during his service in France, and sent to a discharge unit in Ripon. After examination there he is recommended to be released to ship building and went to work in Newcastle Upon Tyne for some years before later obtaining an important post at the nickel plate works at Clydach in the Swansea valley.
His chest appears to have been a continuing problem and he died of pneumonia at Clydach in 1919.
Private Bert Eldred
South Lancashire Regiment, 3rd Battalion, service no. 48757