Horatio Dunn

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Horatio was born in Wolverhampton in 1876, the son of Harriet Dunn. He married Margaret Alice Edmunds in Wolverhampton in 1900, and by 1901 they were living at 104 All Saints Road. Horatio was an insurance agent. They were at 108 All Saints Road by 1911, and now had five children – Florence Clara, Eric, Cyril, Edna May and Jessie. They went on to have a further three children – George E. (1911), Frank (1913) and Colin H. (1920).

Perhaps because of his age, it does not appear as though Horatio served with the colours. However, he did become a Special Constable in Wolverhampton during the First World War. He died in Wolverhampton in 1928.

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James Cartwright

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The son of Isaac and Ann Cartwright, James was born in Wolverhampton in 1884. In 1901, the family were living at 113 Lime Street, Wolverhampton, including James’s siblings Isaac, Benjamin, Mary, George and Sidney. By then, James was a tinplate worker’s apprentice. By 1911, he was living with his sister, Mary, at 35 Bingley Street, and was a labourer.

James enlisted first in the South Staffordshire Regiment (service number 24963) and then transferred to the 3rd Battalion of the Norfolk Regiment (number 40540). However, on 30 December 1917, he died at sea. The date of his death, and the fact that he is commemorated on the Chatby Memorial in Egypt, indicates that he was presumably on the HMT Aragon when it was torpedoed, killing 610 men on board.

Henry Brown

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Henry was born in St Helens, Lancashire in about 1867, the son of William and Mary Brown. By 1871, the family had moved to 38 Dudley Street, Wolverhampton. In 1887, he married Ellen Green in Wolverhampton. By 1911, the couple were living at 26 St John’s Square, Wolverhampton, with six of their children (Bernard, Walter, Eileen, Harold, Winifred and Stephen). Henry was an unemployed barman. On previous censuses he had been a grocers assistant and a tramcar conductor.

Henry enlisted in the 5th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 9351). However, on 22 January 1915, he died in Wolverhampton at the age of 48, having completed less than 6 months’ service. He is buried at Wolverhampton Borough Cemetery.

Edward Edwards

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edwards-edwardEdward was born in Wolverhampton in 1893, the son of William and An[n]ie Edwards. In 1911, he was living with his parents at 32 Bennett’s Fold, Wolverhampton, and was working as a locksmith.

He enlisted in the 4th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 9084), and was called up on 4 August 1914. He was killed in action on 16 May 1915. His superior officer, Major Lord, wrote to his father,

With all his comrades he did very good work during the advancr on Sunday and Monday, and it is regrettable he did not live to hear the praise given by our Brigadier afterwards to the battalion.

An account of his death appeared in the Midland Counties Express on 19 June 1915. He is commemorated at the Le Touret Memorial in France.

Updates

  • Charles Barratt was born on 14 November 1892. From 1899 onwards, he attended St Michael’s Church of England Junior School. He died in 1960 in Bilston at the age of 67.
  • Victor Craddock was born on 29 May 1894. He first attested on 7/12/1915 and was mobilised on 20/12/1916. He was 5ft 5ins and wore glasses to correct astigmatism. At the time he was working in Liverpool as deputy superintendent at the Board of Trade mercantile Marine Office, and living at 27 Alvestone Road, Egremont, Cheshire. He went into the 2nd Battalion Rifles OTC D Company and on his application form said he wished to be commissioned in the South Staffordshires, Royal Warwickshires or Worcestershires. On 23/5/1917 he was recommended for the 5th Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment as a 2nd Lieutenant. After his death (of wounds received in action) on 11 October 1918, at no 141 field ambulance, Victor was initially buried at Magny La Fosse British Cemetery. On 26/4/1920 his father was informed he had been re-interned at Bellicourt British cemetery north of St Quentin.
  • Notice of the award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal to Arthur Edwards is also mentioned in the Midland Counties Express on 14 August 1915. His service number was 8954. He was appointed paid Lance Corporal in May 1914, and then promoted to Corporal in September 1914. In February 1915, he was tried and sentenced to be reduced to the ranks for refusing to obey a lawful command given by his superior officer. In February 1918 he sprained his knee during training and although the swelling went down, it did cause him problems with walking. He was discharged on 23 August 1918, and was awarded the Silver War Badge (number B4128) on 7 September 1918
  • Wilfred/Wilfrid Hampson is listed on the 1939 Register as Cyril W Hampson, with a date of birth of 31 Jan 1890 and occupation Unemployed – Assistance Board (Civil Servant) living at 24 Richmond Road, Nuneaton M.B., Warwickshire, with the Caswell family. It is noted that he is divorced. There is a possible marriage for him in 1938 to Louise Hayward, listed in 1939 in Blackpool as divorced. She later married a Stanley Yates in 1941 in Blackpool. There is also a possible death for him in 1956 in Pontypool, Monmouthshire.
  • Brothers Charles and William Northall were mentioned in the Midland Counties Express on 30 October 1915. Before the war, Charles (here known as “Charlie”), had been a clerk in the Wolverhampton Corporation Borough Accountant’s department. The photograph shows the two brothers (right and centre) along with Percy Waddams.  All three men were from Blakenhall and worked for Wolverhampton Council. The article confirmed that Charlie had been killed in action, William had been wounded in the right foot and left thigh and was now in hospital in Manchester and Waddams had been wounded in the left arm. Charlie had also been a member of the Wolverhampton Amateur Comedy Society and belonged to St Peter’s Church.northall and waddams

More mentions of men already featured have been picked up in the Midlands Counties Express:

Alfred Charles Bratt

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The son of George Henry and Elizabeth Jane Bratt, Alfred was born in Wolverhampton in 1887, when his address was 20 Mander Street. He was baptised at St Mark’s Church on 4 September 1887. Alfred’s father, George, died in 1894, so by 1901, the widowed Elizabeth was living at 21 Mander Street with two sons (William G. and Herbert H.) and three daughters (Gertrude F., Edith F. and Elsie L.), but Alfred was not with them. By 1911, he was a boarder in the home of Katherine Mary Barr at 18 College Green, Bristol. Alfred was a shop assistant for a draper’s shop.

Alfred enlisted in the Gloucestershire Regiment and later in the 5th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (service number 2895). He was first a Lance Corporal, then became a Captain. He first entered the war in Western Europe on 31 March 1915. On 4 October 1917, he was killed in action. He is buried at Tyne Cot Cemetery, in Belgium, and remembered on the war memorial of St Chad and St Mark’s Church. There is a note on his medal roll index card that his sister, now Mrs E. F. Matthews had applied for his 1914-15 Star on 24 February 1920. The National Probate Calendar has his death date as 5 October 1917. His address by the date of his death was given as 111 Lord Street, Wolverhampton, the value of his effects was £144 4s. 3d., and his executor was his sister, Edith Francis Matthews (wife of William Matthews). Alfred is the relative of a recent intern with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and she visited his grave earlier this month to mark the centenary of his death.

Edward Charles Bowyer

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Edward was born in Wolverhampton on 16 May 1896, the son of Jane Bowyer. In 1906, his mother, Jane, married Albert Brooks in Wolverhampton. In 1911, he was living with his mother and step-father, at 6 House, 3 Court, High Street, Wednesfield. Edward was working as a coal miner and “Engine driver below ground” at a colliery. He later worked for the Weldless Steel Tube Company Ltd.

During the war, Edward served as a Private with the Army Service Corps (number 340992). He appears to have survived the war. I have not been able to confirm further details of his life, but he died in Wolverhampton in 1975. His name is listed on the Roll of Honour of the Weldless Steel Tube Company Ltd as one of their employees who served and survived.

William Howard Gilbert

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William was born in Dudley in 1898, the son of Arthur and Jane Gilbert. By 1901, they were living at 54 Retreat Street, Wolverhampton, along with William’s sister Elsie M. Gilbert. They were at 70 Curzon Street in 1911, and William had an additional four siblings – Edward, Alice, Florence and Frederick.

William enlisted in the South Staffordshire Regiment (first number 4453 and later 241259), becoming a Captain. He was awarded the Military Medal, which was announced in the London Gazette on 21 October 1918. He later served in the Norfolk Regiment (number 205666).

William survived the war although I have not been able to confirm further details of his life.

John Thomas Cox

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coxJohn was born in Hanford, Staffordshire, in about 1894, the son of George and Elizabeth Cox. By 1901, they were living at 174 Limes Road, Tettenhall, and the household consisted of John, his parents, and siblings William, Elizabeth, Nellie, George, Lillian and Frederick Arthur. In 1911, the family had moved to 6 Byrne Road, Blakenhall, Wolverhampton, and John and his parents were joined by his remaining siblings Nellie, Lillian and Frederick Arthur. By this date, John was an iron moulder.

On 20 August 1914, John enlisted in the 3rd Battalion of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps (number Y/1100). He landed in France on 7 March 1915, but was killed in action on 9 May 1915. On 25 October 1915, his personal effects, consisting of 2 coins, a pendant, a bag, letters, a photo and a pocket book, were returned to his mother, Elizabeth. Both the Express & Star (5 June 1915) and the Midland Counties Express (12 June 1915) carried news of his death. The former newspaper also mentioned that one of John’s elder brothers was a prisoner of war in Germany. John’s service records states that both William and Frederick were serving in France and Germany respectively, so presumably this refers to William as Frederick was younger. John is remembered at the Ypres (Menin Gate) memorial.

Richard Scorer Molyneux Harrison

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harrisonRichard was born in Stratford on 20 March 1883, the son of the Reverend Albert Richard and Alice Maria Harrison. His father being a vicar meant that the family moved around to different parishes, so they were living in Castle Church, Staffordshire, in 1891. In 1901 Richard was a pupil at Clifton College in Bristol, but his parents were at Tettenhall, where his father was now vicar. Richard was later educated at Sandhurst. In 1911, Albert was staying in Kent with his brother-in-law, Frederick Scorer, but Richard did not appear.

By this date, he had enlisted as a Captain of the 51st Sikhs (Frontier Force) based in Peshawar, India. He took his Royal Aero Club Aviators’ Certificate at Brooklands in a Bristol Biplane on 14 November 1911.

When war broke out, Richard was on leave in England, but he immediately offered his services. He was attached for special service to the 7th Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers known as “The Young Toughs”. The battalion went to the Dardanelles in July 1915, and Richard was gazetted major.

He was killed on 16 August 1915 at Gallipoli. An article in the Midland Counties Express on 28 August 1915 announced his death, but also stated that his sister, Mildred Harrison, was nursing wounded French soldiers in hospital in France. A follow-up article in the same newspaper on 4 September 1915 included extracts from letters from fellow soldiers concerning Richard’s gallantry in the field:

Colonel Downing in a letter to his wife

We fought from early morning to dark, and the 7th R.D.F. made a great name for itself…I got a message from the General during one of the hottest times of the attack that it was imperative that Hill 53 should be taken before sundown…We captured it just as it was getting dark, and the Turks fled from it and we gained the front line of trenches. Major Harrison led the final attack and capture, and I came after with the reserve

Captain Poole H. Hickman, killed on the same day as the Major, in an account for the Irish Times

Major Harrison was in command of the fist line, and was marvellously good

A private in a letter to the Irish Times

The officers are splendid fellows, and we fell every confidence in them. Major Harrison is the hero of the week’s battle, and led us through the eventful Saturday

Major Harrison in a letter to his mother, written the day before his death

I have been in and safely through my first battle. It was the capture of a hill…about two miles from the shore. My company was largely responsible for its taking, and you will be pleased to hear that my name has gone forward for gallantry and coolness in the field.

A well-known Dublin doctor in a letter of sympathy to Mr and Mrs Harrison

[Major Harrison] was held by all here with feelings of very affectionate regard. What my son, Captain ____________, who met his death on the same day, knew of military work he learned from your son.

The value of Richard’s effects was £353. He is remembered on the Helles memorial in Turkey, as well as the war memorial at St Michael and All Angel’s Church, Tettenhall.