John Thomas Parkes


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parkesThe son of Samuel and Leah Rachel, John was born in 1892 in Gornal. They were living in Tipton in 1901 and by 1911 they were at 19 Park Street South, Wolverhampton. John and his parents were joined by his siblings Frederick Howard, Samuel, Gladys Maud, Dora Lydia, Reuben, Clara, Ernest, Florence Beryl and Leonard. John was working as a whitesmith, a metal worker who deals in tin, light metals and white enamelled goods. In 1913, he married Nellie Eagle in Wolverhampton, and the couple had two children – Irene N. (1913) and John T. (1915). Unfortunately, Irene died in 1915, not long before the birth of her younger brother. At some point, John worked for Messrs Green and Russell of Thomas Street, Wolverhampton, and the family lived at 10 Green Lane, Wolverhampton.

In April 1915, he enlisted in the 2nd/3rd North Midland Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery (first number 1997, later number 810321). On 10 August 1917, he became a Corporal. He was awarded the Military Medal for bravery, which was announced in the London Gazette on 28 September 1917. This was also announced in the Express & Star on 3 November 1917. However, he was killed in action on 30 September 1917. The Midland Counties Express of 10 November 1917 quoted a letter that had been sent home to his wife, which stated that:

His loss was a big blow to the battery, for his kindly and cheerful spirit had made him popular with all ranks. His place will be a difficult one to fill. On behalf of the battery, may I offer you my heartfelt sympathy in your great loss.

The Express & Star of 3 November 1917 carried the same article. John is buried at the Belgian Battery Corner Cemetery, and is remembered on the war memorial of St Luke’s Church, Blakenhall, although he appears to be listed as “J. L. Parkes” on there.


Percy Hall Bentham


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Percy was born in Stockton, Durham, on 2 October 1876, the son of John Thomas and Amelia Bentham. By 1901, they were living at 22 Bilston Street, Wolverhampton, along with Percy’s siblings Richard Hall, Sybil Hall, and Frederick Hall. Percy was working as a commercial clerk. They were at 14 Drummond Street, Wolverhampton, by 1911, when Percy was an enquiry agent.

Possibly because of his age, Percy does not appear to have enlisted in the armed forces during the First World War. However, he did assist as a Special Constable for Wolverhampton Borough Council.

Percy does not appear to have ever married. In 1939 he was living with his brother, Frederick, at 10 Bhylls Lane, Compton, and was working as a trade reporter. He died in Rowley Regis in 1956.

Amelia Bailey


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Amelia Bailey (nee Wright), was born in Salisbury on 26 March 1868, the daughter of Charles and Ann Wright. She married William Robert K. Bailey in Romsey in 1900, and the couple were living in Frimley, Surrey, in 1901. They had moved to Wood House Gardens, Tettenhall, by 1911, where they were living with Amelia’s widowed father.

From 15 May 1915 until March 1919 Amelia served as a nurse with the British Red Cross at the V.A.D. Hospital in Tettenhall. Working part-time she served for 3176 hours during that period.

By 1939, Amelia, now a widow, was living on her own at 93 Limes Road, Tettenhall. She died in Bilston in 1952.

Arthur James Nourse Johnson


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The son of James Nourse and Sarah Ann Johnson, Arthur was born in Hednesford, Cannock, Staffordshire, on 13 March 1897. In 1901 and 1911 the family were still living in Hednesford. On 18 July 1911, he was taken on by the London and North Western Railway as an extra apprentice at Wolverhampton Station. He became a regular member of staff on 1 August 1913.

Arthur enlisted first in the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 39859), and later moved to the 4th Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment (number 41731). He was wounded, and sent back to the UK, where he died of his wounds on 9 August 1918 in a Military Hospital in Tooting. He is buried at Hednesford (St Peter) Churchyard Extension, and remembered on the memorial at Wolverhampton Railway Station.

Herbert Mellor Lockett


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Herbert was born in Cannock in 1883, the son of John Herbert and Mary Jane Lockett. By 1901, they were living at 52 Bilston Street, Wolverhampton, along with Herbert’s siblings Tom Clark, Matilda Grace, Harry Wallace, Lilian Hilda, Winifred May and Elsie Janet. Herbert was a house painter and decorator. They were at the same address in 1911.

Herbert enlisted as a Sapper in the Inland Water Transport section of the Royal Engineers (number 197052), but died in the No 7 British General Hospital, Basrah, Mesopotamia on 12 July 1917. He is buried at Basra War Cemetery. The value of his effects was £277 4s. 2d.

John Harold Ashworth


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John (mainly known as Harold) was born in Wolverhampton in 1897, the son of John and Ethel Ann Ashworth. In 1901, he was living with his parents and sister Molly at 132-134 Penn Road, Wolverhampton.

On 3 March 1914, Harold enlisted in the 4th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (service number 1238) at the age of only 16. Across the top of his pension records is written “To be a Trumpeter (Colonel’s Request)”. He was transferred as a Trumpeter to the Ammunition Column of the 3rd North Midland Field Ambulance. By 2 January 1915, a letter in his records states that he was “suffering from Cardiac weakness, and is of bad physique”. He was declared unfit for military service and recommended that he be discharged. He never served overseas. I have not been able to confirm further details of Harold’s life, but he is remembered on the Roll of Honour of the United Reform Church in Lea Road.

Frederick “Freddie” John Barratt


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The uncle of the Barratt brothers previously featured on this blog, Freddie was born on 25 October 1878, when his home address was Waterworks Lane, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton. He was the son of George and Phoebe Barratt. By 1901, they were living at Limes Road, Tettenhall, along with Freddie’s siblings Charles Henry and Jeanie. On 3 March 1904, Freddie married Alice Cooper at Wolverhampton Registry Office. They had six children – Jeanie (20 Jun 1904), George (10 Nov 1905), Edward (30 Dec 1909), Jessie (20 Dec 1906), William (14 Jun 1912), and Frederick (16 Jun 1914).

On 12 December 1914, Freddie enlisted as a Sapper with the Royal Engineers (service number 32444). His address by that date was 11 Manor Street, Tettenhall, and his trade was given as carpenter (skilled). From 6 May 1915 onwards, he served in France and later Basra, Iraq, serving with the 7th (Meerut) Cavalry Brigade and 7th Indian Cavalry Brigade. Freddie survived the war, and died on 28 August 1970 in Tettenhall.

Thanks to George Clegg for sharing these details about his ancestor.

Horace Leonard Rowley


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rowley-horaceHorace was born in Wolverhampton in 1894, the son of George and Elizabeth Rowley. In 1901, he was living at 10 Fawdry Street, Wolverhampton, together with his parents and siblings Harold Ernest, George James, Lillian May, Albert Edward and Eveline. They had moved to 2 Alexandra Street, Wolverhampton, by 1911, with an additional three children – Augustus or Gustavus Charles, Harry and Olive. Horace was working as a hairdresser’s assistant, and he later became a barber. Horace’s father died in 1912.

In August 1914, Horace enlisted in the 7th Battalion of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps (service number A/3007). Unfortunately he was wounded. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission and his military service records state that he was killed in action on 30 July 1915. However, an article in the Midland Counties Express on 18 September 1915 state that he was wounded on that date, and died from his wounds on 9 August. He is remembered at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

George Thomas Barnett


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George was born in Wolverhampton in 1884, the son of George and Emma Barnett. In 1901 he was living with his parents and brother Francis C. at 60 Temple Street, Wolverhampton. He was working as a factor’s junior clerk. He married Lilian May Phillips in Wolverhampton in 1909. By 1911 he was living with his wife at 61 Court Road, Wolverhampton. He was working as a clerk for a hardware merchant. The couple had two children – George R. (1915) and Gwendoline M. (1917).

George does not appear to have done any military service during the First World War. However, he served locally as a Special Constable for Wolverhampton Borough Council, and survived the war.

By 1939, they were living at 68 Lea Road, Wolverhampton, and George was the manager of an oddwork manufacturing company. He died in Wolverhampton in 1946.

Ida Beatrice Adams


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Ida Adams (nee Greenwood) was born in Halifax, Yorkshire, on 8 April 1881. She was the daughter of Richard Oates and Sarah Ann Greenwood. She married Percy John Adams in Halifax in 1902, and by 1911 they were living at 231 Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton, along with their two children – Beatrice Joan and Richard George.

From 10 January 1918 until 1 February 1919, she worked part-time in the British Red Cross Society Workrooms in Stafford. Her address then was given as Bakers Buildings, Tettenhall Road. Her husband, Percy, died in 1932, and by 1939 she was living with her now married daughter and husband at 19 Riley Crescent, Wolverhampton. Ida died in Wolverhampton in 1971.