George Hill

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hillGeorge Hill was born in Wolverhampton in 1898, the son of George and Ann E. Hill. In 1901 they were living at 15 Prosser Street, Heath Town, together with George’s sisters Beatrice and Eliza, and brother Joseph W. George attended St Mary’s School and later worked at Knight’s in Cable Street.

On 9 August 1915, he enlisted as a Private in the Sherwood Foresters (number 70837). He served at the front for eleven months, before dying from wounds on 20 July 1917 at the age of 19. He was featured in the Midland Counties Express on 25 August 1917. He is commemorated at the Essex Farm Cemetery in Belgium, and may possibly appear on the war memorial of St Paul’s Church.

Frederick Joseph Highfield

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Frederick Joseph Highfield was born in Lambeth on 6 May 1888, the son of Edward and May Highfield. The family moved back to Edward’s home town of Wolverhampton, and by 1901 were living at 27 Brunswick Street, together with Frederick’s brothers, Arthur and Edward.

He became a Corporal in the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 7744), but was taken prisoner on 26 October 1914 in Krusecke, and kept at Gottingen, in the province of Hanover. He wrote a letter to his mother, now living at 129 Green Lane, part of which was reproduced in the Express & Star on 10 November 1914. He stated:

There are a good few of our battalion here. I don’t know how long I shall be here, but I will write as long as it is possible to do so. I think I am allowed to receive plain letters from you, but don’t send anything else unless I tell you.

He later moved to a camp at Wittenberg. He arrived in Holland on 30 April 1918. He was repatriated and arrived back in Hull on the S. S. “Arbroath” on the 10 November 1918.

He married Kate Hayward in 1920 and they had two children, Frederick A. and Kate L., born in 1921 and 1922. Frederick’s wife, Kate, died at the age of 25 in 1922, possibly in childbirth as the registration month is the same as that of her daughter, Kate L. Frederick remarried to a Gladys Matthews in 1927, and they had two further children, Ronald H. and Eileen M., between 1930 and 1934. Frederick himself died at the age of 70 in 1940.

Harold Edwin Turner

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turnerhHarold Turner was born in Wolverhampton in 1894, the son of William and Sarah Ellen Turner. In 1901, they were living at 127 Dunstall Street, together with Harold’s brothers Christopher S. and Horace M., his sister Beatrice A., his grandmother Mary Barratt, and a boarder, Louisa A. Ashworth.

Harold enlisted with the 6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 2603). On 20 May 1915, he was on sentry duty in a support trench when a bullet struck him in the head. He never regained consciousness. The Captain of A Company, a J. H. Thursfield, wrote to Harold’s mother, stating that “I have lost an excellent soldier, and we can ill spare such men in the serious work which lies before us.” This was reported in the Express & Star on 31 May 1915. He is commemorated at the St Quentin Cabaret Military Cemetery. There are also “H. Turners” on both the Dudley Town War Memorial and the St John’s Church War Memorial, but these are not necessarily the same man.

William Turner, Harold’s father himself died in 1916, and his mother, Sarah, remarried an Arthur G. Riley in September 1917.

Albert Victor Hallett

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Albert Victor Hallett was born in Wolverhampton in 1894, the son of Alfred and Ellen Hallett, and the brother of Walter Hallett, featured earlier this week.

He enlisted in the 1st/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 1294) and became a Sergeant. He died on 29 July 1915, and is commemorated at the Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery in Belgium.

Isaiah Westwood

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Isaiah Westwood was born in Wolverhampton in 1893, the son of Isaiah and Martha Elizabeth Westwood. In 1901 they were living at 44 Gordon Street, together with Isaiah’s sisters Clara, Eliza and Margaret, and brothers George, Harry, and John.

Isaiah enlisted as a Sapper with the 7th Field Company of Royal Engineers (23360). Unfortunately he was killed in action on 22 April 1917, which was reported in the Express & Star on 24 May 1917. He is commemorated at the London Cemetery, Neuville-Vitasse.

Alfred Thomas Fowles

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fowlesAlfred Thomas Fowles was born in Wolverhampton on 2 December 1894, the son of Edward and Agnes Fowles. In 1901, they were living at 1ct Warwick Street, together with Alfred’s sister, Ellen, and brother, Frederick. Alfred attended St Paul’s School, in Merridale Street, and later the Council School at Graiseley Hill. He later worked for Gibbons’s of Church Lane.

In 1913 he joined the 15th Hussars (number 9681). While in the trenches, he was hit by a bomb from a trench mortar. Although the bomb did not explode, it caught Alfred between the shoulders. Despite the pain, he walked over a walked from the trenches to the dressing station. He died in hospital on 1 February 1916 from shock. Articles about this brave soldier appeared in the Express & Star on 25 February 1916 and in the Midland Counties Express on 6 January 1917. He is buried at the Chocques Military Cemetery in France.

David Percival Tempest

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tempestDavid Percival Tempest was born in West Derby in 1880. His family moved to Wolverhampton, and he attended both St Peter’s and the Higher Grade Schools. In the 1901 census he was living with his mother, Harriett, his sisters Nellie and Stella, and a visitor (Alfred Jones), a boarder (H. Ryeland Leigh) and a servant (Elizabeth Smith) at 39 Melbourne Street. By this date he was a warehouse clerk, and he worked for 14 years for Meynell and Sons, Montrose Street. He married Lily Ann Fowler in 1910, and they went on to have a daughter, Marjorie, in 1911.

David served as a Company Quartermaster-Sergeant with the South Staffordshire Regiment. He served in Ireland and was killed in Dublin during the Irish Rebellion on 29 April 1916. An article on him appeared in the Midland Counties Express on 6 January 1917. He is buried at the Grangegorman Military Cemetery in Ireland, and commemorated on the Higher Grade School Roll of Honour.

Walter Edward Hallett

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hallettWalter Edward Hallett was born in Wolverhampton in 1888, the son of Alfred and Ellen C. Hallett. In 1901 they were living at 39 Jameson Street, together with Walter’s brothers Albert V. and William A., and sisters Elsie S., Ethel M. and Lilian M. Walter attended St Andrew’s School and joined the Church Lads’ Brigade. On leaving school, he got a job at the Electric Construction Company in Bushbury, and worked there for five years.

In 1907, he joined the South Staffordshire Regiment (having previously served with the Volunteer Force). He rose to become a Sergeant in the 9th Battalion (number 8095). As well as serving with the army, he was a keen boxer, being the champion middleweight of his battalion. On 23 August 1916, his name was published in the London Gazette as a recipient of the Military Medal. On 10 July 1917, he was killed in action. He was honoured in the Midland Counties Express on 11 August 1917, and is commemorated at the Railway Dugouts Burial Ground (Transport Farm) in Belgium.

Further updates

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  • Walter James Armstrong is featured in the Midland Counties Express on 6 January 1917, although there is little further information on him.
  • astleThere is a report on William Leslie Astle in the Midland Counties Express on 6 January 1917, including this photograph. This has the additional information that he attended St John’s School for eight years without a single late or absent mark recorded against him. He had worked for the Midland Counties Express as well as for the Express & Star for two years. He then decided to become a teacher and was articled to the Wolverhampton Education Committee, getting a job as assistant master at Walsall Street Council School. A well-known footballer, he was at one time captain of the Old Church Club in Wolverhampton.
  • There is an article on William Johnson Barnett in the Midland Counties Express on 6 January 1917. This includes the additional information that he enlisted in the King’s Own Scottish Borderers on 26 January 1915, and that he had only just gained his stripe two days before he was killed. He was educated at Red Cross Street Schools, and later worked at the offices of the Pearl Life Assurance Company in Princess Street for 14 years.
  • Archibald Darby’s prisoner of war records show that he was captured on 10 April 1918 at Messines, when he was wounded on his left leg. His date of birth was given as 14 September 1895, in Wolverhampton
  • daviesHoward Raymond Davies’ address in 1911 was 39 Tettenhall Road, together with his parents, Frank and Bertha, brother Frank Conrad and sister Norah Gwendoline. Among his military records at the National Archives are his flying certificate, taken on a Maurice Farman Biplane at Military School, Ruislip on 29 July 1916, and this accompanying photograph
  • An article on Joseph T. Glaze appeared in the Midland Counties Express on 6 January 1917. This includes the additional information that his father had been killed in an accident at Wolverhampton Gas Works nearly twenty years earlier. He attended St Andrew’s School and later became a shop assistant at various branches of the Maypole Company and Masons.
  • Frank Lineker, of 101 Willenhall Road, appeared in the Express & Star on 9 September 1914 among a list of men who had signified their willingness to join the army.
  • The UK Army Registers of Soldiers Effects gives William Smith’s widow’s first name as Blanche. The 1911 census lists William as single, but there are no William Smith marriages to a Blanche in Wolverhampton between 1911 and his death in 1917. However, there is a marriage to a Blanche L. A. Payne in Walsall registered in June 1914, so this is probably the most likely option.

Joseph Fern (1887)

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fernJoseph Fern was born in Wolverhampton in 1887, the son of Timothy and Selina Fern. On the 1901 census he appears at 172 Old Heath, Heath Town, with his parents, his brothers Alfred, James, Thomas and William, and sister Mary. The 13-year-old Joseph’s occupation is given as “Grinds shovels”. Later he became an edge-tool polisher at Chillington Tool Works. He married Hilda Tyrer in 1910 and the couple went on to have one child.

Soon after the outbreak of war, he enlisted with the 6th Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment (number 9121) . In August 1915 he transferred to a vacancy in the 4th Battalion in France, but had not been there long before he was posted as missing. Early the following year, it was confirmed to Mrs Fern that her husband had died, on 6 August 1915. An article appeared in the Wolverhampton Chronicle on 8 March 1916. He is commemorated at the Helles Memorial in Turkey.

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