George Frederick Poole

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This story was provided by one of our volunteers, Frank Lockley, about his great uncle, who was killed on this day 100 years ago.

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George Frederick Poole was born in 1885 in Wolverhampton, the eldest son of George and Rose. He was their second child of eight. In 1891 the family is living in Leicester Terrace, Bushbury Lane, and by  1901 they are living at 80 Lower Stafford Street when George (age 16) is a railway engine cleaner and probably the main family provider as his father had died in 1897.

George enlisted with the Worcestershire Regiment on 26th September 1902. He married Louisa Barnett in 1909 and their son George Edward was born in May 1910. At this time Louisa is shown as living at 100 Coleman Street, the home of her uncle Arthur. At the time of the 1911 census George is based in Jhansi, India with the second battalion where he is a Corporal. Louisa and their son (age 10 months) are in the battalion married quarters.

At the time of the outbreak of war the 2nd battalion were based in Aldershot. They were mobilized and arrived in France on 14th August. The 2nd battalion Worcestershire regiment is renowned for their part in the significant battle for the village of Gheluvelt on 31st October 1914. They were almost the last available reserve of the British defense when they were given the order to counter attack in a desperate attempt to recapture the village that had earlier been taken by the Germans.

The attack was successful but at great cost, 34 men were killed in the action with more than 150 wounded. George Poole was one of those killed, he is commemorated at the Menin gate memorial.

There is a full account of the action at the Worcestershire Regiment’s website.

Updates

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  • On the 1911 census James Barratt was incorrectly listed at his parents’ home address (his name was crossed out). He was already a stoker in the Royal Navy and his parents John and Annie Barratt are living at 23 Hall Green Street. James was born in Daisy Bank, he had siblings Louise, Lily, Violet and William.
  • There is more information on William Doley on Ancestry. He was one of seven children of William and Jemima Doley, and in 1901 they are living at 42 Bridge Street, Heath Town (entered as Dooley). By 1911 they are living at 91 Willenhall Road, Heath Town, and William James has become a Warehouse man (age 15) at a tube factory (possibly Weldless Tube in Wednesfield?). His father William is not on the 1911 census, and there is a death for a William Doley in 1902 of the correct age registered in Burton on Trent. William James married for the first time in February 1914 to Maria Pearce, who died in September quarter 1915. (There is a birth of an Alan Thomas Doley in the same quarter of 1915 but of course impossible to tell if this is their son). William enlisted in November 1914, when his trade was given as Butcher, and his address Lower Hall Street Willenhall. He was posted to France on 5 March 1915. As well as a gun shot wound to the forearm in October 1915, his service record shows he was wounded twice more, in July 1916 and May 1917. He was discharged on 21st March 1919, as a lance sergeant, his address being 120 Bushbury Road, Heath Town, and was awarded a pension of 5/6d per week. He was awarded the Silver War Badge in September 1919.
  • It is likely that Graham Gardner was actually Dudley Henry Graham Gardner, born in 1893 in Wolverhampton. His father is Henry Gardner a Draper from Yorkshire, mother Cecelia Gardner nee Turner born Wolverhampton. They were living in Queen Street in one census then his father died. His mother remarried 1906 a lock manufacturer Harry Dews. Graham is working as a locksmith 1911.
  • Roger Goacher, who runs the Goacher (and variants) one-name study, has confirmed that John Goucher (born 1887) and Enoch Goucher (born 1891) are brothers, two of the six children of Daniel Goucher and Elizabeth Lowbridge. Their older brother, Daniel, died at the age of 10 in 1896, and other brother, Emmanuel, died in 1918. In the 1891 census, the facmily are at 2 Ash Place, Wolverhampton, and by 1911 the parents and sisters are at Court 1, Chillington Street, Wolverhampton. Both Enoch and John are in Lichfield with their regiments. John married Athalia Baker in 1913, and they had a daughter, Constance, the same year.
  • Graham Knight, who runs the Facebook page “Royal Welsh Fusiliers 1900 – 1919“, has managed to find the probate records for J. Newton Williams, which adds the following:

WILLIAMS, John Newton of Menaifron Beumaris Anglesey a cadet in H. M. Army died 19 April 1919 at the Military Hospital Blackrock county Dublin Administration (with Will) Bangor 11 July to Anne Williams widow. Effects £764 8s. 5d.

His followers on Facebook also provided some further information, including solving the mystery of what John was doing in Wolverhampton:

John Newton Williams. Born Llaniestyn, Anglesey 14 Sept 1890, eldest son of Mr Peter Williams and Mrs Anne Williams (7 children). Father a horses & carriages proprietor: family address was 27 Castle Street, Beaumaris. Educated David Hughes Grammar School, Beaumaris 1901-06, on whose memorial he is commemorated. He became a bank clerk, latterly at the National Provincial Bank Wolverhampton. His gravestone at B’maris cemetery confirms he died at Blackrock 19 Apl 1919 aged 28. He appears under the Depot RWF accdg. to Commonwealth Wargraves, and 2/6th Battalion RWF on family gravestone. Commemorated also on the B’maris town war memorial, and the B’maris panel of the North Wales Memorial Arch in Bangor.

J. Harold Jackson

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A notice appeared in the Express & Star on 21 May 1918 asking for information about Corporal J. Harold Jackson, of the Durham Light Infantry and “formerly of the composing staff of the Express and Star“. He had been missing since 10 April, and his sister, of 185 Waterloo Road, was keen to hear news of him.

Unfortunately, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site confirms that Corporal James H. E. Jackson (number 301913) was killed on 10 April 1918. He is commemorated at Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium. As there are a few James Jacksons born in Wolverhampton, it is difficult to pin down his birth entry or his census records.

Headmaster Enlists

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An article appeared in the Express & Star on 19 May 1915, concerning Harry D. Jackson, the headmaster of Old Hall Street School and secretary of the Wolverhampton Schools’ Athletic Association. Apparently, after some thought, he had decided that “the call to military service…[was] so irresistible that he has responded by enlisting in the R. F. A.”

Harry David Jackson was born in Wolverhampton in 1873, the son of Elizabeth and Thomas Jackson. By 1901, he was listed as a schoolmaster, living with his parents and brothers Frederick and Arthur at 75 Curzon Street.

The school log book for Old Hall Street School has the following to say about Mr Jackson’s time in the forces:

Date Entry
17-May-15 The headmaster Mr H. D. Jackson has joined the R. F. Artillery. During his absence from school Mr J. R. Gledhill has been appointed to act as “acting head teacher”.
18-Jul-17  Mr H. D. Jackson – head master – called in this morning, having recovered from his gas attack
5-Nov-17  H. D. Jackson – ex Sgt. R. F. A., having been transferred to Class W(T) in H. M. Forces – recommenced work after an absence of 2 1/2 years

Margaret Boys Adams

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Margaret Boys Adams was the sister of Eunice Cecily Boys Adams, and she also served with the Voluntary Aid Detachment during the First World War. According to her card on the British Red Cross site,

  • Margaret was also living at Pendeford Hall, Wolverhampton
  • She served as a nurse at various hospitals from June 1915 to January 1919.

Her card gives more details about her periods of service at different hospitals.

Margaret was born in Wolverhampton in 1889. She doesn’t appear to have ever got married. She died in Reading aged 73 in 1962.

Norman Joseph Brindley

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Norman Joseph Brindley was born in Wolverhampton in 1898, the son of Henry Joseph and Mary Ann Brindley (nee Neale). He was not their first child; they had another son, Herbert Henry, born 7 January 1890, who unfortunately died a few months later. In the 1901 census he appeared together with his parents at 118 Dudley Road. By 1911 the family had moved to 31 Mason Street.

Norman enlisted with the 8th (City of London) Battalion (Post Office Rifles), service number 371248. He was killed on 28 April 1918, aged 20. He is buried at St Philip’s graveyard in Penn Fields, and is commemorated on the memorial at St Mary’s Church, Bushbury and on the Wolverhampton Postal Workers Memorial (indicating his pre-War employment).

Thomas Vernon Haselock

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In February 1916, the Express & Star published an appeal from a Mrs A. Smith, of 49 Cooke Street, seeking information about her son, Thomas Haselock (no 9221), C Company, 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment. He had been reported missing on 25 September 1915.

Thomas Vernon Haselock was born in Wolverhampton in 1893. His father (Abram or Abraham) died in 1897, and his mother, Alice Maud M. Haselock, remarried to Frederick Henry Smith in 1903.

Unfortunately, according to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Haselock was killed on 25 September 1915. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial in France, as well as on the St John’s Church memorial in Wolverhampton.

John Leonard Beavon

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Wolverhampton Hero: Young Hussar Mentioned in Despatches

Wolverhampton Hero: Young Hussar Mentioned in Despatches

John Leonard Beavon was born in 1889 and lived at 35 Merridale Street West. Beavon enlisted in the 20th Hussars in 1907 (number 1806). At the outbreak of the war, John Beavon was a Sergeant and serving with his regiment at Colchester. The 20th Hussars embarked for service with 5th (Independent) Cavalry Brigade on 17 August 1914. During the early states of the fighting, Sergeant Beavon was Mentioned in Despatches, news of which was reported as follows in the Express & Star on 20 Oct 1914:

It was very pleasant reading to many Wolverhampton residents on Monday to find the name of Sergeant John Leonard Beavon, of the 20th Hussars, in the list in the despatches issued by Sir John French for conspicious bravery in the battlefield in France.

Sergeant Beavon is the youngest son of Mr and Mrs Thomas Beavon, of 35 Merridale Street West, and he has been in the Army seven years. The young hussar was barely 18 when he enlisted, and it speaks well for the grit and ability of Beavon that after four years’ service he rose to the rank of sergeant. It is a further compliment to his intelligence and pluck that he should have earned so brilliant a distinction as to be mentioned in despatches when only 25 years of age.

The above photograph was taken when the popular young sergeant was 19 years of age. An excellent photo of Beavon at 24 years of age adorns one of the walls of the dining room at his home.

The proud father and mother informed an Express and Star representative this (Tuesday) morning that they had eight sons, two of whom (including Leonard) are at the front, and one is an ex-soldier who has seen foreign service. Their one hope, naturally, is that their two boys in the fighting line will survive the shot and shell to enjoy the distinction they have earned.

The other son in France, they explained, is a member of the R.A.M.C. and is 32 years of age. He served for four years, and then joined the Reserve, being called up in August.

John Beavon was later commissioned as a Second-Lieutenant in the Northumberland Fusiliers, being posted to the 26th Battalion. Unfortunately he was killed leading his platoon on 1 July 1916 during the fighting near La Boisselle. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. John Beavon is also named on the roll of honour inside St Chad and St Mark Church at Penn Fields, as well as on the St. Paul’s Church War Memorial.

Enoch Goucher

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Enoch Goucher was born in 1891, the son of Daniel Goucher. I have been unable to find him in the 1901 census at all, although Daniel Goucher appears at 43 Bilston Road, but by 1911 Enoch is living in Lichfield. He does not appear to have got married.

Enoch enlisted with the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 8934). He was killed on 7 November 1914, aged just 23, and he is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) memorial.

Eunice Cicely Boys Adams

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The British Red Cross has recently launched a new website providing access to the First World War service records of members of the Voluntary Aid Detachment, including ambulance drivers, nurses, stretcher bearers, etc. The first tranche of 30,000 records (surnames A and B) is now available (www.redcross.org.uk/ww1), and I did a search to see if I could find people from Wolverhampton.

The first person who came up (alphabetically) was Eunice Cicely Boys Adams. Information on her record included the following:

  • Her address was Pendeford Hall, Wolverhampton
  • She had served from January 1916 until November 1918
  • She worked as a V.A.D. nurse in Christ Church Hospital, Beckenham
  • She was deceased.

Using the information, I was able to do a bit more research. Eunice was born in Wolverhampton in 1895, the daughter of Charles Lemesh Adams and Margaret Maria S. Boys. I have not been able to find her on the 1901 census, but we have a file of papers relating to a C. L. Adams selling the fixtures of Pendeford Hall in 1903 to an L.B. Moreton, so presumably this is Eunice’s father.

Unfortunately Eunice died in 1919, aged just 24. We do not appear to have any further details about the circumstances surrounding her untimely death. If anybody is able to find out more, please get in touch.

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