Victor Lawley

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lawleyVictor was born in Wolverhampton in 1896, the son of Edward and Hannah Lawley. In 1901 they were living at 3 St Peter’s Square, Wolverhampton, along with Victor’s siblings Ida, Edward, William, Lucy, Alma and Edna. They were at the same address in 1911 with an additional daughter, Ena. Victor had become a telegraph boy for Wolverhampton Post Office.

Victor enlisted in the 8th Field Ambulance of the Royal Army Medical Corps (number 5891). On 16 October 1915, whilst collecting men who had fallen in battle, he was wounded himself, and died the same day. Details of his death were published in the Midland Counties Express on 30 October 1915. He is buried at the Poperinghe New Military Cemetery in Belgium. He is commemorated in St Peter’s Church.

Rowley brothers

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rowleyAccording to the Midland Counties Express of 30 October 1915, Mrs Rowley, of 1 Bankfield Cottages, Bradley, Bilston, had four sons serving in the Army:

  • William, aged 26, who had enlisted in the R.F.A. in January and was now in France
  • John, aged 28, serving with the 7th South Staffords in the Dardanelles
  • Samuel, aged 24 and serving in France with the 1/6th South Staffords
  • Thomas, aged 20, who enlisted in September 1914 with the Northumberland Fusiliers.

These were the sons of John and Emily Rowley, living at Canal Road, Lower Bradley, in 1901, along with their sisters Emily and Susan.

William was born in Middlesborough in 1889. He married Martha Short in Dudley in 1910. In 1911, he was living with his wife at 36 Hill Road, Bradley. He was a Strip Mill Worker. I have not been able to confirm details of his military service or his death, but he appears to have survived the war.

John was born in Bilston in around 1888. I have been unable to confirm further details about his life or military service.

Samuel was born in Middlesborough in 1892. On 12 October 1914, he enlisted at Bilston with the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 3247). His trade was given as steel sheet mill worker. He served in France and Egypt. On 10 August 1918, he was gassed from mustard gas. until he was demobilised on 23 June 1919, when his address was given as 50 Hatton Street, Bradley. I have not been able to confirm further details of Samuel’s life.

Thomas was born in Bradley in 1886. He was the only one of the four sons named in the article to still be living with his mother in 1911, at No 6 Slater Street, Back Salop Street, Bradley. He was a Bolter Down at an iron works. On 15 September 1914, he enlisted in the Northumberland Fusiliers (number 20185), when his trade was given as iron worker. He served in France and was promoted to Corporal and then Lance Sergeant. On 12 May 1917, he contracted trench fever, and spent some months in hospital before rejoining his unit. He later complained “of pain in left side and dizziness also pain all over body and that he cant march”. He was discharged as being “no longer physically fit for war service” on 25 December 1917. He was awarded the Silver War Badge (number 313765) on 5 January 1918. I have not been able to confirm further details of his life.

Four sons of Mrs Bullock

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marshThe Midland Counties Express on 13 November 1915 tells of the four sons of Mrs Bullock, of No 3 Court, Walsall Street, Wolverhampton, who were all serving in the army. The newspaper explained that Mrs Bullock had been married twice, hence her sons had different surnames:

  • Corporal David Marsh (top), aged 38 and single. He had 19 years’ experience in the army and reenlisted in the 6th South Staffords shortly after the outbreak of war. He was a forgeman at Walker of Walsall.
  • Private John Marsh (bottom), aged 34, had joined the Northumberland Fusiliers six months ago and was now in training. He had been a boat unloader employed by D. Baker of Willenhall
  • Samuel Bullock (right), aged 29, had been in the Remount Department for about 8 months. He had worked as a striker for Joseph James of Monmer Lane, Willenhall
  • William Marsh (left), a married 40-year-old man with eight children, living at Monmer Lane, Willenhall. He had been in the Militia previously and enlisted in the 6th South Staffordshire Regiment on the outbreak of war.

David was born in Willenhall in 1876, the son of David Marsh. In 1911, he was living with his widowed mother at 66 Monmer Lane, near Willenhall. He was a brickyard labourer. On 29 August 1914, he enlisted in the 4th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 9704). However, he was discharged on 27 October 1914 for being “not likely to become an efficient Special Reservist (Medical Grounds)”. He appears to have been undeterred, as he enlisted again on 14 November 1914 in the 6th South Staffordshire Regiment (number 3810). This time he was posted, and served for a period in France, until he was discharged on 15 July 1916 due to sickness. He was awarded the Silver War Badge (number 72709) on 22 November 1916. He died in Wolverhampton in 1928.

John Edward was born in 1881. In 1911 he was a brickyard labourer. On 4 May 1915, he enlisted in the Northumberland Fusiliers (number 26085). He was discharged on 22 March 1917, suffering from shell shock. He was awarded the Silver War Badge (number 157928) on 4 April 1917. I have not been able to confirm whether he got married or when he died.

Samuel was born in Wolverhampton in 1885. He married Alice Rose Stonier in Wolverhampton in 1910, and the couple were living at 9 Merry Boys opening, Moseley Village, in 1911. Samuel was a gas fitting makers striker. The Army Remount Service were responsible for the purchase and training of horses for the army. I have not been able to confirm further details of Samuel’s service, however. He did survive the war, and he and Alice had eight children – Joseph (1911), Samuel (1913), George F. (1916), Rose (1921), Mary A. (1923), John H. (1924), Gwendoline (1926) and Amelia (1928). Samuel died in 1931.

William was born in about 1876. He married Eliza Cooper in 1897, and they had eight children – Eliza, Mary Ann, David, Frederick, Amy, John, Martha and Joseph. In 1911, they were living at House 7, Court 5, Monmore Lane, near Willenhall. William was a General Labourer. I have been unable to confirm details of his military service or of his death, but he, too, appears to have survived the war.

 

The Ketland brothers

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ketlandAccording to the Midland Counties Express of 4 December 1915, Mr and Mrs Ketland of 12 Frost Street, Ettingshall, had four sons in the army:

  • Edward (26), who had been in the R.F.A. for seven months
  • William (21), who had joined the R.F. A. in February
  • Arthur (18), who “was with the 6th South Staffords in their memorable action a few weeks ago, and came through without a scratch”.
  • Harold (17), who was with the 6th South Staffords but had not yet gone overseas.

It does not state in the article which photograph is of which brother. These are the sons of Thomas and Mary Agnes Ketland. In 1901 and in 1911, the family were at 6 Manor Road, Ettingshall, Wolverhampton, along with sisters Florence, Lily May and Evelyn, and a younger son, Alfred.

Edward Raymond Ketland was born in Oldbury, Worcestershire, in 1889. He was a sheet iron pickler at a galvanizing works in 1911. On 9 September 1914, he enlisted with the 4th (Service) Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers (number 16012). HIs trade was given as “galvanizer”. However, by 8 December 1914, he was discharged as “not likely to become an efficient soldier”. His address on discharge was given as 12 Frost Street, Ettingshall. There are no further details on his military service, but he clearly reenlisted with the Royal Field Artillery in around April or May 1915. He survived the war. He appears to have married twice – first to Florence Harrison in West Bromwich in 1920, and secondly to Elsie Bliss in Wednesbury in 1943. He had four children with his first wife – Florence G. (1921), Edward R. (1922), George T. (1924) and Harold C. (1925) – and two with his second wife – Maureen E. (1947) and Terence E. (1949). He died in Wednesbury in 1950.

James William R. was born in Dudley in 1894. He was a labourer in a warehouse in 1911. On 30 January 1915, he enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery (number 85307), when his address was Frost Street, Ettingshall. He became a Driver, and was posted on 6 May 1915. On 9 September 1916 he married Lily Sarah Knight(s) in Norwich, and the couple had a son, Ralph William, in Norwich in 1917. William contracted malaria in May 1918, but survived, and was discharged in January 1919. The couple had another child, Herbert A., in 1920. I have been unable to confirm details of William’s death.

Arthur Vincent was born in Dudley on 8 January 1897. In 1911 he was a labourer in a Tileries. Arthur served with the South Staffordshire Regiment as a Private (first number 5683 and later 242009). He served in France from 28 June 1915, until he was demobilised in March 1919. On 24 December 1922, he married Gladys Hogg in Hopwood, Lancashire, and the couple had two children, Beatrice and Edith. Arthur died in 1973.

Ernest Harold was born in Dudley on 11 March 1898. Like Arthur, he was a labourer in a Tileries in 1911. He served as a Corporal, first with the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 2103), then with the Hertfordshire Regiment (number 285033) and finally with the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment. Like his brothers, he also survived the war and married Janet Whitehouse in Wolverhampton in 1923. They had a daughter, Bessie J., in 1924. Harold died in 1970.

Frank Withers

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withersFrank was born in Wolverhampton in 1894, the son of Henry and Sarah Withers. They were living at Merridale Street, Wolverhampton, in 1901, along with Frank’s sisters Florence, Marion, Ada and Nelly. Frank attended Brickkiln Street Council School and “was very much liked by the teachers and his companions”, according to the Midland Counties Express dated 25 November 1916. By 1911, their address was given as 125 Merridale Street West, and Frank had entered the cabinet trade.

On 10 December 1915, Frank enlisted with the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 23634) and trained with them, before being draft to the 7th Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment (number 31236). His address on enlistment was given as 77 Great Brickkiln Street, Wolverhampton, and his trade was carpenter and joiner. On 4 September 1916, he was sent to France. He received gun shot wounds in both legs on 5 October. Despite his left leg being amputated, he died of these wounds at the 11th Stationary Hospital in Rouen on 30 October 1916. His British War and Victory Medals were later sent to his father. He was buried at the St Sever Cemetery Extension in Rouen, and is remembered on the St Paul’s Church war memorial in St John’s Church.

William Thomas Shakespeare

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shakespeareWilliam was born in Wolverhampton in around 1890, the son of William Henry and Mary Elizabeth (also known as “Dollie”) Shakespeare. William attended Bewdley and Wolverley Grammar Schools, and he was a boarder at the latter in 1901. In 1911, they were living at 11 Clifton Street, along with William’s sister, Beatrice. William was a clerk in an iron works in Birmingham. He was a golfer, being a member of both the Penn and Oxley Golf Clubs.

When the First World War broke out, William enlisted with the 1st/6th South Staffordshire Regiment (number 2974), and was promoted to become a Sergeant. He was killed in action in France on 24 June 1916. The value of his effects was £126 4s. 9d. He is honoured at the Foncquevillers Military Cemetery , as well as on the memorial in St Peter’s Church. He was featured in the Midland Counties Express on 25 November 1916.

George Hayward

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George was born in Wolverhampton in 1885, the son of Henry or Harry and Jane Hayward. They moved first to Dudley, and then to Wednesbury, where they were in 1901, along with George’s siblings Charles, William, Sarah and Herbert. George had become a butcher like his father. George married Lucy Taylor in West Bromwich in 1906, and by 1911 they were living in Darlaston with their two sons, Norman and Desmond.

George enlisted in the 2nd Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 31947), and rose to become Lance Corporal. He died of wounds in France on 7 January 1918. He is remembered at the St Sever Cemetery Extension in Rouen, and is also featured on the Darlaston Remembers blog.

Norman St Claire or Sinclair Everett

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Norman was born in Osmaston, Derbyshire in 1897, the son of Shadrach C. and Caroline Everett. They were still in Osmaston in 1901, together with Norman’s siblings Alfred, Bertrand, Elsie and Victoria. Norman’s family were at 29 Thorne Street, Ettingshall, by 1911, but I have been unable to track down Norman himself.

On 2 June 1915, he enlisted in the 3rd/6th South Staffordshire Regiment (service number 241174). His address by this date was 29 Thorne Street, Ettingshall, Wolverhampton. He was promoted to Lance Corporal and later Corporal. He served in France from 12 May 1916. His service record includes a statement from Norman, dated 14 April 1918, which tells of an incident when a Lewis Gun limber ran over his foot. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, as printed in the London Gazette on 3 June 1919 with the citation appearing 11 March 1920, as follows:

Near Bellenglise, on 29th September, 1918, he took command of his platoon at a critical stage of the attack, .and led them to the final objective. With his Lewis gun he successfully engaged an enemy machine gun, and himself killed and captured a large number of the enemy.

Norman was demobilised in March 1919. There is a Norman S. Everitt who married Elsie M. Kibble in Wolverhampton in 1924, which may be the same man. This couple had two children, Roma S. (1925) and Patricia M. (1929) in Wolverhampton. Norman died in Bilston in 1950.

Thomas Davies

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Thomas was born in Carmarthen, although I have been unable to confirm details of his birth. At some point he moved to Wolverhampton, as his mother, Rosamond Davies was later living at 65 Lowe Street, Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton.

Thomas enlisted at Birmingham in the 66th Battery of the Royal Field Artillery (number 58684). He became a Sergeant, but was killed in action in Mesopotamia on 5 November 1917. He is remembered on the Basra memorial.

Hugh Thomas Cartwright

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Hugh was born on 5 June 1900 in Wolverhampton, the son of Edith Mary Cartwright. He was christened at Tettenhall on 25 June. Both in 1901 and in 1911, he was living with his grandparents Thomas and Mary Ann Cartwright at 2 Finchfield Road, Finchfield. He later became a plumber.

Just after he turned 18 (he was 18 years old and 12 days, to be precise), he enlisted in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (number 222048). He served at home from 17 June 1918 until 8 February 1919, stationed at Brocton Camp.

Hugh married Gladys Faulkner in Wolverhampton in 1926. The couple had two children – Barbara G. and Olive M. – in 1928 and 1930. Hugh died in Wolverhampton on 9 September 1974 (by which date his address was 40 Finchfield Hill). The value of his effects was £5446.