Alfred Fellows


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fellows_a1Alfred was born in Ettingshall, near Bilston, on 10 August 1899. He was the son of William and Clara Fellows, and in 1901 they were living at 135 Rough Hills, Bilston, together with Alfred’s siblings Clara, Mary, William and James. By 1911 the family were at 11 Mount Pleasant, Bilston, and Alfred had a further four siblings – John Thomas, Ellen, Isaac and David.

On 9 December 1914, at the age of just 15, he enlisted in the 4th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 16395). On enlistment, his trade was given as “Bobber”. He was discharged on 14 July 1915, for “having made a mis-statement as to age on enlistment”. He had served with the South Staffordshire Regiment for just 218 days. At some point (presumably when he reached 18), he reenlisted, this time in the Yorkshire Regiment (number 48170). However, he was listed as a deserter on 14 April 1919. He escaped being court martialled and eventually received a Protecting Certificate, stating that he was no longer liable to arrest of suspicion of being a Deserter, on 26 June 1923.fellows_a2

Alfred married Emmie Hughes in Wolverhampton in 1920, and they had five children – May, Amy, William E., Frederick J. and Alfred – between 1922 and 1930. Alfred died in Wolverhampton in 1966.

The Clulow brothers


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clulowOn 29 December 1915, the Express & Star showed this photograph of the five sons of Mrs Clulow, of 8 Cockshutts Lane, Wolverhampton, who were all serving with the Colours.

  • Gunner Thomas Clulow (35) had enlisted in February 1915 in the Royal Garrison Artillery
  • Armourer Joseph Clulow (32) had already spent 12 years in the Navy and rejoined in July 1915
  • Arthur Clulow (29) had joined the Mechanical Transport in August 1915
  • Gunner James Clulow (28) had joined the Royal Field Artillery on the outbreak of war
  • Private Henry Clulow (22) had been a reserve of the 2nd South Staffordshire Regiment, and was called up at the start of the war. He had spent time in the trenches and was wounded.

These were the sons of Joseph and Mary Ann Clulow, who, in 1881, were living at 11 Waterworks Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, with daughters Una, Ann and Kate, and son Thomas (born in Tettenhall in 1878).

Thomas married Rose Lissaman in Birmingham in 1900, and by 1901 they were living at 23 Ascot Road, Northfield, together with their son, Thomas. Thomas senior was a Cycle fork filer. The couple were at 241 Upper Dawlish Road, Bournbrook, by 1911, together with an additional two sons, Ernest and Arthur. Thomas was now a Cycle Fitter.

Thomas enlisted with the Royal Garrison Artillery on 20 March 1915 (number 314417). He was discharged on 14 December 1918, and issued with a Silver War Badge (number B109379). He died in Birmingham in 1942 at the age of 64.

In 1901, the rest of the family were living at 46 Johnson Street, Tettenhall, including sons Joseph (born 27 September 1882), Arthur (born 18 November 1884), William, Frederick, George and Harry (born 1896), and daughter Jane. James Clulow (born 1887), however, was staying with his uncle, also James Clulow, at 10 Cockshutts Lane, Wolverhampton. He was an errand boy.

Joseph enlisted in the Royal Navy on 4 July 1901, serving until the 21 February 1919. There is a Joseph H. Clulow who marries Jessie A. Price in Wolverhampton in 1924, and this may be him. This couple had a daughter, Joan, in 1926.

On the 1911 census, Arthur was living at 5 Drayton Street, Wolverhampton, with “Mabel Clulow”, who was listed as his wife. The form stated that they had married less than a year ago. However, he did not marry Mabel Sproson until 4 September 1915, at Wolverhampton Registry Office. Nine days later, on 13 September 1915, Arthur signed up with the Army Service Corps (Mechanical Transport) (number 120273). He gave his address as 10 Stafford Road, Wolverhampton, and his trade as blacksmith. His son, Arthur Reginald, was born on 17 May 1917. Arthur died in Wolverhampton in 1977.

James (now “James Skidmore Clulow”) married the Canadian Frances Pitt in Wolverhampton in 1910. In 1911 they were at 57 Brown Street, Wolverhampton, and James was a Coach Finisher in the Motor Car Trade. I have not been able to confirm details of James’s military service. He died in Wolverhampton in 1965 at the age of 77.

Henry, or Harry, was still living with his widowed mother now at 8 Cockshutts Lane, alongside his remaining brothers William, Frederick and George, and sister Jane. He was a turner in the lock and bolt trade. On 26 June 1912, he enlisted with the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 38062). He was mobilised on 5 August 1914, and served with various Regiments, including the Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment and the Somerset Light Infantry. Apart from frost bite in January 1915 and pulmonary tuberculosis in February 1918, he served throughout the war relatively unscathed. He was discharged on 16 May 1918 as being “permanently unfit”. He married Mary Perry in Wolverhampton in 1920, and the couple had four children – Mary, Edna M., Harry and Eileen E. – between 1920 and 1936. Harry died in Coventry in 1947.


Walter Gorman


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Walter was born in Norwich in 1866, the son of William G. and Maria Gorman. By 1881 he was living with his widowed mother Maria and siblings Charlotte, Frederick and Alice at the home of George Bygrave at 5 Charles Street, Wolverhampton. Walter was an ironwork labourer. On 16 August 1891, he married Annie Bird at Ettingshall.

On 25 February 1887, he first enlisted in the Army under the name of Walter Bygrave. His Army Pension Records include a Declaration, made by Walter on 9 January 1893, stating that this name is incorrect and producing his birth certificate with his true name (although some of his service records have him listed as “Walter O’Gorman”). He served in Egypt, Hong Kong and India before being discharged.

In 1914, at the age of 42, he enlisted for General Service (number 12122). His trade was then given as “Hall Porter”, and his wife’s address was given as 21 Commercial Road, Wolverhampton. On his attestation form, he stated that he had previously served with the Shropshire Light Infantry. He was attached to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, and was promoted to Sergeant in August 1914. During the landing at Suvla Bay, in Gallipoli, in August 1915, he swam ashore and was wounded in both legs during a bayonet charge. He was taken to hospital and sent back to England in November 1915.

The Express & Star heralded his bravery on 28 February 1916. The article stated that he had spent nearly 30 years in the Army, and that he was the holder of the Royal Humane Society’s medal for life-saving after rescuing a boy from the canal at Monmore Green. He had also “performed another gallant act” at Boulter’s Lock, Maidenhead.

On 17 March 1917 he was discharged as being “no longer physically fit for War service”, as he continued to walk with difficulty due to rheumatism. He was issued with a Silver War Badge on 19 March 1917 (number 148899). He died in Rowley Regis in 1938, at the age of 71.

Harry Grimley Kimberley


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The Commandant of the Wolverhampton Volunteer Defence Force in 1916 was a Major H. G. Kimberley.

A Harry Grimley Kimberley was born in St Luke’s, Birmingham (registered in King’s Norton) in 1869. He married Lydia Crane in Solihull in 1894, and by 1901 he was living with his wife, and sons Harold Crane and Bernard H., at 2 Eagle Villas, Penn Fields, Wolverhampton. He was a cashier at a brass foundry. By 1911, the couple were at “Southfield”, Coalway Road, Penn Fields, Wolverhampton, together with children Harold Crane, Hilda Mary and Lydia Joyce. Harry had become a brassfounder’s manager.

I have not been able to find out further information about Harry’s service with the Volunteer Defence Force during the First World War. He died in Surrey on 25 August 1948, leaving behind effects to the value of £162 6s. 1d.


The Hughes brothers


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hughes-brothersAn article in the Express & Star which appeared on 4 October 1915 stated proudly that Mrs Hughes, of 4 Lime Street, Wolverhampton, had four sons serving with the colours:

  • Gunner William Hughes, who had belonged to the Old Volunteers and later the Territorials, before joining the Royal Field Artillery.
  • Sergeant Charles Hughes, who had also belonged to the Old Volunteers and later the Territorials, before joining the 1/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment
  • Corporal A. Hughes, who joined the Territorials a month before the outbreak of war, and was with the 2/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment
  • Private T. Hughes who enlisted immediately war was declared in the 1/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment

This was the family of Joseph and Sarah Hughes. In 1891 and in 1901, they were living at 3 Russell Street, Wolverhampton, with children Lavinia, Joseph H. V., James, Mary, Ruth, William (born 1883), Charles (born 1884), Alfred (born 1888), Florence M., Edith, Thomas (born around 1897) and Albert. By 1901, William was a Glass plate worker, Charles was a brass dresser and Alfred was an Art Japanner. Thomas was only 4 years old in 1901.

Charles married Emily Squire in 1906, and they had at least three children – Elsie May, Charles Reginald and Arthur. By 1911 they were living at 2 Drayton Street, Wolverhampton, and Charles was a metal pattern maker at a brass foundry. A widowed Sarah Hughes appears at 4 Lime Street, Wolverhampton, in 1911, together with her remaining children still living at home – James, Tom and Albert Edward. By this date, Tom has become a Tailor’s Presser. I have not been able to confirm details of William and Alfred from the 1911 census.

I have also been unable to confirm William’s or Alfred’s military service details. Information on the other two brothers:

  • Charles enlisted at Willenhall with the 1/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 790), first as a Corporal and then as a Sergeant. He served in France from 5 March 1915, but was killed in action on 13 October 1915. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, as well as on the memorial of St Chad and St Mark’s Church.
  • Thomas enlisted at Wolverhampton with the 1/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (first number 2301, and then 240286), rising to the rank of Sergeant. He served in France from 5 March 1915, but he died of wounds on 4 May 1918 in France, and is commemorated at the Etaples Military Cemetery. As is brother appears on there, he is also likely to be the “T. Hughes” listed on the memorial of St Chad and St Mark’s Church. An “A. Hughes” also appears on this memorial, so it is possible that at least three of the brothers did not survive the war.


Update on Hilda Neville Green


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After posting our appeal for further information on Hilda Neville Green, the Adjutant of the local Women’s Volunteer Reserve, we had a great response, with it being posted and shared on social media. The following suggestions were put forward:

  • staffs-advertiserShe was mentioned in the Staffordshire Advertiser on 18 November 1916 as the Volunteer Reserve and other local military units attended a special church service along with the Mayor and other civic and military dignitaries.
  • The 1917 Wolverhampton Red Book gave details of the Women’s Volunteer Reserve with Adjutant, Miss Green, apparently living at Graiseley Old Hall. In the 1911, Borough Engineer George Green and his wife Annie Constance Bantock Green were living there. George was living in Nottingham in 1891 and in St-Martins-in-the-Fields in 1901. There is no reference to Hilda at any of these addresses, although we can presume that she was related to George somehow. George married Annie C. Bantock in Wolverhampton in 1909.
  • There is a Hilda N. Green who died at the age of 80 in Leicester in the quarter of December 1968. But this lady appears to be either Hilda North Green (wife of Hubert Henry Green) or there is an error in the Death index and it is a Hilda May Green, born 1888 in Leicester. Hubert Henry Green married Hilda N. Crawford in 1915 in Lincoln and they are buried at Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire. Hilda May Green also appears in Leicester in the 1901 and 1911 censuses.
  • It was suggested she might be Hilda Murrell, who was murdered in 1984, but she is almost definitely too young.
  • Finally we had a comment on the blog that there might have been a transcription error and “Hilda Neville Green” was actually the “Hilda Mabel Green” who married Leonard Harper at St George’s Church, Bilston in October 1916. She was born 1890 (4th Q), christened 2 Jan 1895, and appears in the 1891, 1901 and 1911 censuses as the daughter of Josiah and Winifred Green, in Bilston throughout. In Leonard’s WWI pension papers (#32391 North Staffordshire (Prince of Wales’ Reg) she has been indexed as “Nelda Mabel Green”. However, the photograph we hold comes from a printed volume and is not a transcription, and the mentions in both the Staffordshire Advertiser and the Wolverhampton Red Book listed above confirm that her name was Hilda Neville Green.

But the most plausible and likely lead has come from one of our volunteers, who found the following entry in the Baptism registers of St Michael, Highgate, Middlesex, London:

Born Baptised Child’s Christian Name Parents’ Christian Names Parents’ Surname Abode Quality, Trade Or Profession
21 Mar 1892 5 Jun 1892 Hilda Mary George William Frederick Neville & Margaret Green 10 Winchester Place Insurance Agent

There is a Hilda Mary Green whose birth is registered in Edmonton, Middlesex, in June 1892, and she appears with her widowed mother, Margaret, and sister, also Margaret, at 77 Montpelier Road, Brighton, Sussex, in 1911. By this date she has become a part-time student, and her birthplace is given as Highgate. I have not been able to confirm details of her father’s death, or what the links are to the George Green who was later at Graiseley Old Hall. At some point, Hilda clearly adopted one of her father’s names to become Hilda Neville Green, but much of her life still remains a mystery. If anybody can  dig out further information on Hilda, we would love to receive it!

Samuel Martin


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This blog post has been prepared by one of our work experience students, Matthew Lucas.


martin_samuelSamuel was born in Wolverhampton in 1887, the son of Henry and Mary Martin. His baptism was registered 26 April 1888 at St Paul’s Church. In 1901 they were living at 10 Hallets Row, Wolverhampton along with Samuel’s brother James. By 1911, he was living at 12 Cleveland Passage, Wolverhampton with his wife Gertrude and children Samuel Alfred and Annie Gertrude. At this time, Samuel was working as an “Iron Sand Blaster” in a foundry. An article from the Express & Star on 25th February 1916 confirmed that he worked for Patent Axelbox Works, Wednesfield.

In June 1915, Samuel enlisted in the 9th Service Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 15822). He would have landed at Boulogne on 24 August 1915 and was killed in action on 25 January 1916. He is buried at the Ration Farm Military Cemetery in La Chapelle D’armentieres in France.


Additional information about Samuel:

  • His baptism record stated that he was living at Graisley Passage, Wolverhampton at the time of his birth
  • He had three other siblings – Charles, Hannah and Mary
  • Samuels’ father, Henry, died between 1891 and 1901.
  • In 1901 at the age of 14 he was working as a “Cabinet & Locksmith Brass”.
  • Samuel married his wife, Gertrude Lewin (or Florence Gertrude on some records) in Wolverhampton in 1906, and the couple had four children – Samuel Alfred (1908), Annie Gertrude (1911), Ellen (1913) and Ada W. (1914).


Thomas Matthew Cooper: A local Wolverhampton Lad in far-off Australia


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cooper2Tony Moon, who lives in Korumburra, a small town in the state of Victoria in Australia, emailed us in July 2016 about Thomas Mathew Cooper. Thomas was born in Wolverhampton in 1894, and served with the 58th Infantry Battalion, 5th Division 1st AIF. Tony Moon is a member of the Korumburra Local Returned Service League (RSL). In recognition of the Centenary of WWI the RSL has been researching their local Cenotaph over the last 4 years. 13 soldiers, including Thomas Cooper, who were not originally listed on the memorial, have been identified and their names added.

According to Wikipedia,

The 1st AIF was the First Australian Imperial Force, the main expeditionary force of the Australian Army during WWI. It was formed on 15 August 1914 following Britain’s declaration of war on Germany. The infantry division fought at Gallipoli. After being evacuated to Egypt the AIF was expanded and fought in France and Belgium on the Western Front in March 1916. Two mounted divisions remained in the Middle East to fight against Turkish forces in the Sinai and Palestine. An all volunteer force, the AIF gained a reputation as a well-trained and highly effective military force, playing a significant role in the final Allied victory. However, this reputation came at a heavy cost with a casualty rate among the highest of any belligerent for the war.

cooper1Tony Moon tells that Thomas’ brother Frederick Cooper was listed as his next of kin, and that by 1915 Frederick was living at no 33 Liscombe Street, Newport, Monmouthshire. He was apparently still living there in the early 1930s. Tony also tells us that, although Thomas Cooper’s time in Korumburra may have been brief, he did refer to the town as “his place of association” and that at the time of his enlistment (26 July 1915) he was working on one of the local farms.

At the time of Tom’s death his Battalion was fighting at Fromelles. This battle proved to be a disaster for the 5th Division and the men of the 58th and 59th Battalion suffered many losses. Korumburra lost 3 other men on that day. Tom was seen to be carrying ammunition to support that Battalion’s advance on the evening of the 19 July 1916, and was killed with his mate, Jack Colwell. The Korumburra RSL did not know if news of Tom’s loss, or the circumstances around it, ever made it back to his home town. So on the anniversary of his death they decided it would be a nice to send a message to Wolverhampton that Tom has not been forgotten. They hoped that the message would filter down to his family, to say that his name now takes pride of place with the other 231 “locals” they have lost over the years. His efforts on 19 July 1916 are well remembered in a far of corner in a small town in Australia.

Information which we have managed to trace at Wolverhampton Archives follows:

The entry on the CWGC :-





Australian Infantry, A.I.F. Australian 14.



A FreeBMD search turned up the birth of Thomas Matthew Cooper registered at Wolverhampton in the quarter ended December 1894. Thomas Cooper appears on the 1901 census, age 6, living at 17 Moore Street with his father William, age 43,  Occupation Bricklayer, born Gateshead; mother Mary age 39,born Ireland and brothers James age 17 Stamper of Saucepans, William age 15 Heater of Edge Tools, and Fred age 12 and sister Mary age 9. The death of William J Cooper was registered at Wolverhampton in the first quarter of 1910. The 1911 Census has Thomas Cooper age 16, Occupation Moulder’s Helper in the Brass Casting Trade, living at 17 Moore Street, Willenhall Road, Wolverhampton with his brother Fred Cooper age 22, Occupation Setter, Edge Tool Makers and his sister Mary Cooper age 20 Occupation Plater’s Helper, Cycle Plater’s Trade.   Records were traced of a Thomas Cooper age 19 travelling to Brisbane in 1913 but this is unlikely to  be the same man as he was accompanied by Elsie and Hilda Cooper and travelled to Brisbane,  a city far distant from Korumburra.

Walter Fletcher


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fletcherWalter was born in Wolverhampton in 1878, the son of George and Ann Fletcher. In 1881, they were living at 50 Peel Street, Wolverhampton, with Walter’s siblings Frances H., George T. and Alfred. Walter married Elizabeth Lawton in Wolverhampton in 1903. By 1911, they were living at 123 Lime Street, Wolverhampton, together with three children – Frances E., Florence E. and Lilian. Walter had become an Insurance Agent. The couple had a further two children between 1912 and 1914.

Walter served with the South Staffordshire Regiment during the Boer War, “which he came through without a scratch”. As a Reservist, he was called up on 23 August 1914 (number 9986). He first served in France from 17 December 1914. He was killed in action on 18 May 1915, and this was published in the Express & Star on 2 July 1915. He is commemorated at the Le Touret Memorial. He may also appear on the St Chad and St Mark’s Church War Memorial.

Arthur Page


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pageArthur was born in Wolverhampton on 7 January 1884, the son of Job and Laura Page. In 1891 they were living at 34 Gordon Street, Wolverhampton, with his siblings William Samuel, John, Job, Samuel and Sarah Louisa. Arthur was with his parents and brother Samuel at 5 East Street in 1901. Arthur had a son (Arthur Page Parton) with Olive Parton on 28 July 1905, and he married Olive in 1907. By 1911, they were living in Newport, Wales, and Arthur was an iron worker at a sheet mills.

On 13 October 1914, Arthur enlisted with the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 2557), by which date his address was given as 58 Dale Street, Wolverhampton. He was attached to the North Midland Field Ambulance (number 421329), but was killed in action in France on 25 September 1917. This was reported in the Midland Counties Express on 27 October 1917. Mrs Page received a letter from the Lieutenant-Colonel in command, who stated that Arthur was with six others when a shell fell, killing six men including Arthur. He had “many friends in the unit [who were] greatly upset…they have lost a loyal comrade…I have always valued and appreciated his work in the unit.”

Arthur’s service records state that his widow was granted a pension of 18/9 a week, and again these state that he had one child. Arthur’s identity disk was the only possession that was returned to his widow, on 22 February 1918. The British War and Victory Medals were sent on to his widow in April 1922. Arthur is commemorated at the Bridge House Cemetery in Belgium, as well as on the Royal Army Medical Corps memorial in St Peter’s Church.