William Boddis

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William was born in Wolverhampton on 1 September 1885, the son of Solomon and Patience Boddis. They were living at 92 Wednesfield Road, Wolverhampton, in 1901, along with William’s sister, Hannah. William was working as a commercial clerk. They were at 13 Springfield Road, Wolverhampton, by 1911, and William was a tailor and dealer. Later that year, he married Gertrude G. Blakemore in Wolverhampton, and the couple had four children – twins Mary and Maud (1912), William A. J. (1923) and Arthur B. (1924).

William does not appear to have done any military service during the First World War, but served as a special constable locally in Wolverhampton. By 1939, he was living with his wife and family in Blackpool, working as an engineer gauge maker and coach booking clerk. Gertrude died in 1940, and William remarried, to a Mabel Hallam, in Blackpool in 1953. William himself died in Blackpool on 15 November 1954. The value of his effects was £561 12s. 11d.

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Deborah Burton

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The daughter of Tom and Deborah Westwood, Deborah was born in Wolverhampton on 5 November 1889. In 1901, she was living with her parents at 29 Wednesfield Road, Wolverhampton, along with her siblings Tom William, Dennis, Ina and Lizzie. They were at 153 Wednesfield Road by 1911, with an additional child, Eileen. Deborah was now working as an elementary school teacher.

From Jun 1917 onwards, Deborah (whose address was now 60 Wednesfield Road), served as a nurse with the British Red Cross. She also helped out by sewing at the Soldiers Wards at the Wolverhampton General Hospital.

Deborah married Joseph W. Burton in Wolverhampton in 1918. The couple had four children – Dennis W. (1920), Sheila D. (1923), Michael J. (1931) and Mary P. (1935). By 1939, the family were living at 19 Oxbarn Avenue, Wolverhampton. Deborah died in Wolverhampton in 1962.

William Henry Barnsley

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The son of Jonathan and Harriet Barnsley, William was born in around 1885. They were living at 11 Free Street, Bilston, in 1901, along with William’s siblings Harry and Matilda. William was an iron worker and assistant solder. They were living at No 7B, 11 Greencroft, The Square, Bilston, by 1911, and William was working as a packer.

William enlisted in the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 6484). He was killed in action on 31 August 1916. He is buried at Delville Wood Cemetery in France, and remembered on the Bilston Town Hall Ward Roll of Honour.

James Thomas Rabone

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James (later mainly known as Thomas) was born in Wolverhampton in 1877, the son of James and Margaret Rabone. They were living at 38 Heath Street, Heath Town, Wolverhampton, in 1901, along with Thomas’s siblings Florence, William, Mary, Lucy and Martha. Thomas was working as a maltster. He married Agnes Welch in Wolverhampton in 1902, and by 1911 they were living at 20 Heath Street with their three children – Florence, Thomas and Agnes.

Thomas enlisted in the 7th Service Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 40166). He was wounded, and died of these wounds on 25 May 1918 in Belgium. He is buried at the Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, in France, and remembered on the memorial at Heath Park.

Percival Harold S. Cadman

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The brother of George, Percival was born in Wolverhampton in 1893.

On 10 April 1916, he enlisted as a Gunner with the Royal Field Artillery (number 13451), when his trade was given as Side Car Fitter, and his addres was 22 Trysull Road, Bradmore, Wolverhampton. He served in France, but was wounded in action through gas on 4 August 1917. He later suffered from malaria. He was demobilised on 19 December 1919.

Percy married Annie Wildman in Wolverhampton in 1927.  He died in Wolverhampton in 1957.

Charles Henry Weaver

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weaver-charlesCharles was born in Wolverhampton in 1886, the son of William and Jane Weaver. By 1911, they were living at 32 Powlett Street, Wolverhampton, along with Charles’s siblings Josiah, Albert Edward and Gertrude Alice. Charles was working as a coal merchant’s clerk.

In February 1916, Charles enlisted with the “B” Company of the 1st/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 241705). In June 1916 he was sent to the battlefront. He was killed in action on 29 September 1918 in France. The Midland Counties Express carried an article about him on 26 October 1918. Charles was buried in the Bellicourt British Cemetery in France, and is remembered on the memorial of Wolverhampton Higher Grade School, which he presumably attended.

Alfred Edward Banks

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Alfred was born in Wellington, Shropshire, on 24 September 1860, the son of James and Mary Ann Banks. Alfred married Christiana Readdy in Madeley, in 1890, and by 1891 they were living at 131 Horsley Fields, Wolverhampton, along with Christiana’s sons Christopher Charles and John Walter Readdy, and their baby son James Alfred Banks (who unfortunately died in 1892). Alfred was working as a grocer. By 1901, they were at The Croft, Newhampton Road, Wolverhampton along with their children, Christiana Annie and William Edward. Alfred was working as a butcher. In 1911, they were living at 57 Sherwood Street, Wolverhampton, and Alfred was a meat salesman.

Alfred would have been in his 50s by the time war broke out, so he does not appear to have enlisted with the armed forces. However, he served with the special constables in Wolverhampton during the war. He died in 1941 in Bilston.

 

William Bevon and William Armistead

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Bevon Envelope-smallIn December 2017, we featured the story of William Victor Bevon, the son of the headmaster of Graiseley School, who died of cardiac failure following illness on 17 November 1917. William’s descendant had been in touch to tell the story of her ancestor, and had been to Merridale Cemetery where he is buried in November 2017 to mark the centenary of his death.

In a strange coincidence, we received two letters, transferred to us by Gwynedd Archives Service, which were written to William Bevon by his friend, William Armistead, while Bevon was in hospital in Ipswich.

William Armistead was born in Manchester in 1865, but was living in Rupert Street, Wolverhampton, by 1891, a boarder in the home of G. Hurdman. He was working as an electrician. In 1897 he married Nellie Beatrice Wheeldon in Manchester Cathedral, and they were living with their children at Hill Crest, Oaken, Codsall, near Wolverhampton, in 1901. He was listed as a Manager, Electrical Works, and by 1911 (at the same address) was Engineer and Director at an Electrical and Hydraulic Works. As a Director of the Rees Roturbo Manufacturing Company Limited, he was also involved in Thomas Parker Ltd.

 

 

We do not know how the two men became acquainted – possibly it was their interest in engineering, as Bevon had graduated from the University of Birmingham with an engineering degree. The letters are dated 12 October and 6 November 1917, so not long before Bevon died. Along with the first letter, Armistead sent a copy of Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford. He talks of the company’s General Meeting being delayed and says that “the shares a[re] going skywards like one of your aeroplanes.” In both letters, Armistead wishes him well and hopes that he is “striving to get your boat into the clear stream of Health!”

Unfortunately, Bevon did not survive, but these letters are a lovely addition to the story. They have been shared with his descendant, who was thrilled to see them.

 

 

Arthur John Handy

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Arthur was born in Wolverhampton in 1899, the son of Alfred Edward and Catherine Jane Handy. He was christened in Tettenhall on 25 September 1899. In 1901, they were living at Mount Hill, Tettenhall, along with Arthur’s siblings Edith L., Elsie K., Lottie E., Walter E., and Winnifred M. They were at 75 Mount Road, Tettenhall Wood, by 1911, along with additional children Alfred, Doris, Leonard and Amelia.

Arthur enlisted with the Notts and Derby Regiment (number 98248), before joining the 17th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers (number 57374). He was killed in action on 10 September 1918. He is buried at Perth Cemetery (China Wall) in Belgium, and remembered on the memorial of St Michael & All Angels Church in Tettenhall.

James Walter Bould

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James was born in Wolverhampton in 1890, the son of George and Annie Elizabeth Bould. In 1901, they were living on 22 Coleman Street, Wolverhampton, along with James’s siblings Mary A., Susan, Eliza J., John G., Roshannah G., Lillian, and Ada L. They were at 137 North Street, Wolverhampton, by 1911, with an additional child, Frederick. James was working as a grocery manager. In 1913, James married a Miss Walters.

James does not appear to have enlisted with the armed forces during the First World War, but did serve as a special constable in Wolverhampton. James died in Wolverhampton in 1961.