James Price

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James Price was born in 1894 in Wolverhampton, the son of John and Caroline Price (nee Baines). By 1901, his mother had been widowed, and they were living at 1 Court Bagnall Street, together with his brother Sheridan and sisters May and Matilda. By the 1911 census, James is listed together with his mother, and brothers William and Harry at House 5, No 2 Court, Montrose Street. In total, his mother had 12 children, although four of them had died by 1911.

James Priceenlisted on 31 August 1912 into the 4th South Staffordshire Regiment (number 9003). This number was later changed to 203451. By this date he was down as a news vendor. Following his training, James was posted on 8 October 1914 to serve in France. According to his service records, his next of kin are given as his mother and brothers Joseph, William, Shedran [sic], Edward, and Harry.

Due to his common name, there are a few possible marriages for him, but either way he appears to have survived the war.

 

Albert Birch

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Albert Birch

Albert Birch

An article appeared in the Express & Star on 9 March 1915, stating that Mr and Mrs Birch, of 17 Herbert Street, had been informed of the death of their son, Drummer A. Birch, of the 1st South Staffordshire Regiment, at the age of 28.
Albert Birch was born in about 1886. In 1901, he and his family were already at 17 Herbert Street, and the household consisted of Albert, his parents Harry and Ellen, his brother Harry and sisters May and Sarah. Albert was listed as a rope and twine maker. According to the newspaper article, Albert had served 12 months in the Army Service Corps and 8 years in the South Staffordshire Regiment, and he was “well-known throughout the regiment and in the music-halls of Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) as a clever comedian”.

However, I have not been able to find him listed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site, nor on the Wolverhampton War Memorials site, and he is not listed in the Wolverhampton Roll of Remembrance. Could it be that he was not killed after all? As there are two men called Albert Birch born in 1886-1887 in Wolverhampton, it is difficult to pin down which of them is this man. One of these men, Albert Harold Birch, clearly did survive the war as he married Gladys M. Cooper in 1929. If anyone is able to provide more details about this man, I would be glad to hear from you!

Ethel Beddoes

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Ethel May Beddoes was born in 1888 in Habberley, in Shropshire, and by the 1901 census she was living in Worthen, Shropshire.

She became a nurse for the Red Cross, and her permanent address is given as Ludstone Manor Farm, Claverley, near Wolverhampton. On 25 May 1915, at the age of 27, she became working at the 2nd Western General Hospital in Manchester. This was a Territorial Force General Hospital, which were usually based at existing hospitals and other large buildings. The main 2nd Western General was based at Whitworth Street, but also had more than 20 other sites in Manchester and Stockport. Ethel stayed there for two years. On 29 August 1917, she moved to the Military Hospital Bagthorpe, in Hucknall Road, Nottingham. On 21 March 1918, she moved hospitals again, this time to the 1st Southern General Hospital, which used some of the buildings of the University of Birmingham. She was discharged on 21 April 1918.

There is a second card for her, as she picked up duties as a V. A. D. again on 8 May 1918, when she was paid £20. This time she worked at the Military Hospital in Purfleet. Her duties there were terminated on 16 May 1919, by which stage she was being paid £22.

 

 

Charles Edward Caylor

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Thanks to one of our followers, Paul Webber, on Facebook, we have tracked down one of the Wolverhampton police officers who served with the army during the First World War.

Charles Edward Caylor was born in 1880 in London, with his birth being registered in St George in the East. He married Annie Eliza Fenn on 28 August 1915 in Nottingham Registry Office. He enlisted with the Royal Field Artillery (number 23264), when his residence was given as the Police Barracks in Wolverhampton. He survived the war, and died in Nottingham at the age of 86 in 1965.

David William Hobin

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David William Hobin was born in Wolverhampton in 1894. He enlisted with the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 9233) as a Private.

He was awarded the Military Medal, which was printed in the London Gazette on 4 February 1918. He survived the war, and married Pamela A. Corbett in 1919. The couple do not appear to have had any children. David Hobin died in 1953, aged 59. I have not been able to find any further details about this man, or about the circumstances surrounding his medal.

Help needed!

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In the Wolverhampton Police Chief Constable’s Report Book there is a note on 3 May 1915, that

1 Supt. and five constables Have rejoined the Army since our last Meeting.

The men are listed by surname only, and it is not clear from the list which one of them is the Superintendant:

  • Evans
  • Pearce
  • Kyte
  • Teasdale
  • Woodward
  • Caylor

Without further details it is practically impossible to trace these men. We may be able to confirm some of the less common surnames, such as “Teasdale” may be Edward Grosvenor Teasdale, born in Wolverhampton in 1897, but they may, of course have not been born locally and just moved for work. If anybody has any further information about these men, please get in touch!

James Edward Hough

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James Edward Hough was born in Wolverhampton in 1895, the son of Edward Thomas and Annie Hough of 34 Lower Stafford Street. He enlisted in the 2nd Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment (number 9975). He was unfortunately killed at the age of 19 on 2 December 1914. He is commemorated on the Bailleul Communal Cemetery in France.

William Ellam

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William Ellam was born in Wolverhampton in 1893. Coming from 8 New Street, Heath Town, he enlisted in 1912 with the C Company of the 2nd Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 9161).

At the age of 21, he was killed in action on 15 November 1914 (one hundred years ago today). An article about him and two other local men who had died appeared in the Express & Star on 22 December 1914. He is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) memorial, as well as on the Heath Town Park memorial in Wolverhampton.

John Kilcoyne

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John Kilcoyne was born in Wolverhampton in 1880, the son of John and Mary Kilcoyne (nee Moran). He first joined the army in 1900 at the age of 18, and served in South Africa. He left the colours in about 1908 as a reservist. In 1911, he married Lydia Spencer, and they went on to have three children. He worked for the Wednesfield Weldless Steel Tube Company Ltd.

In August 1914 he was recalled, and served with the 2nd Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 5921). He was killed on 13 December 1917, and is commemorated at the Etaples Military Cemetery in France. He is also named on the roll of honour of the Wednesfield company.

Helen and Olive Marjorie Adams

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Olive Marjorie Adams was born in Wolverhampton in 1894. During the First World War, she served as a nurse from 25 June 1917 right through until after the war, when she was working on the Soldiers’ Wards in the Wolverhampton General Hospital.

According to her card kept by the Red Cross, Olive Adams resided at Compton Hall, but she is not listed there in the 1901 census. By 1911, she was in Hampstead, London. During the First World War, she did a daily seven hour shift as a nurse, and had amassed 3591 hours between 1917 and 1919.

Her sister-in-law, Mrs Helen Adams, also served during this period. Her permanent address was also given as Compton Hall. Presumably as she was a married woman, she worked as part of the Red Cross Working Party No 1688 Tettenhall Wood, doing various duties, including collecting for the Red Cross, visiting soldiers’ wives & families, and making garments for the Red Cross. She served from January 1916 until December 1918. Without her maiden name, I am unable to confirm her birth and other background details.

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