Tom Henry Walters

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waltersTom was born in Wolverhampton in 1891, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Walters. He first attended the Wesleyan Schools, then moved to the Higher Grade and later the local Centre School, before attending the Wesleyan Training College in Westminster, London. They were living at 2 Alexandra Street, Wolverhampton, in 1901, along with Tom’s sisters, Florence, Gertrude, Elsie and Ruby. They had moved to Dalton Street by 1911, and Tom had an additional two sisters, Nelly and Dorothy. Tom passed his examination, and became a teacher at Dudley Road Schools under the Wolverhampton Education Committee.

Along with about 25 fellow teachers, Tom enlisted in the armt, joining the 1st/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 2820). He first served in France on 25 June 1915. He was wounded in battle and was sent home to recuperate, but was drafted for service again on 16 March 1916. He was wounded again, but died of these wounds on 2 July 1916. An article about his death appeared in the Midland Counties Express on 16 December 1916. He is buried at the Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery, Saulty, France, and is remembered on the Higher Grade School memorial

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Bertram Cartwright

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cartwright_bertramThe brother of Horace, Bertram was born in Wolverhampton in 1891, the son of Edward B. and Elizabeth Cartwright. Bertram attended the Higher Grade School, and by 1911, he had become a tailor.

On 5 August 1914, he enlisted with the 9th Battalion of the Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) (service number 1852). By this date, his trade was given as Salesman (draper), and he was living at 14 Rose Street, Edinburgh. According to the Midland Counties Express of 16 December 1916, he had “a very thrilling time in the fighting”. On 3 July 1916, he was killed by a shell while sleeping. He is remembered at the Arras Memorial

Harold Vincent Yates

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yatesHarold was born in Wolverhampton in 1887 to Adam and Ellen Elizabeth Yates. The family were living at 9 Clarendon Street, Wolverhampton in 1901, and consisted of Harold, his parents, and siblings Edith W., Lucy E., Hilda J., Edward C., John D., James L., and Robert H. Harold attended the Higher Grade School in Wolverhampton.

Harold enlisted first with the Territorial Regiment, before becoming Clerk-Corporal in the 20th Hussars (service number 2911). He was killed in action at the age of 25 on 30 October 1914. His address when he died was Shirley, Fallings Park. He was featured in the Midland Counties Express on 16 December 1916, and is listed on the Roll of Honour of the Higher Grade School.  He is remembered at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, as well as on the memorial at Heath Park.

Bernard Stewart Atkinson

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atkinsonBernard was born in Wolverhampton in 1893, the son of Herbert Llewellyn and Ethelred St Barbe Atkinson. In 1901, they were living at 263 Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton, together with Bernard’s siblings Muriel St Barbe, Emily E. and John St Barbe. Bernard attended Cranmore House School and Denstone College. His father died in 1907, so Bernard was at the same address in 1911 together with his widowed mother, brother Theodore St Barbe, and sisters Muriel St Barbe and Ursula St Barbe. Bernard was a solicitors’ articled clerk, working at Wilkinson & Co. in Walsall. He passed his lower final in 1914. He was a captian of Wolverhampton Rugby Club, as well as being a keen tennis player.

Bernard joined the Inns Court Officers’ Training Corps and was appointed adjutant to the School of Musketry at Berkhamstead, and was made a Captain in March 1916. From 25 February 1917, he served with the 2nd/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment, but was killed in action in France on 30 November 1917. His death was featured in the Midland Counties Express on 8 December 1917. The value of his effects was £677 6s. 11d. He is buried at Orival Wood Cemetery, Flesquieres, and is remembered in the Lady Chapel of St Peter’s Church, as well as on the memorial at St Jude’s Church, Tettenhall.

Vicar of Penn Killed at the Front – Oswald Addenbrooke Holden

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holdenOswald was born in Stourbridge in 1874, the son of Oswald Mangin and Henrietta Holden. He attended Rossall School in Bromsgrove, and later Balliol College, Oxford. He married Ella Mary Beresford in Christchurch in 1900. The couple were living in Stoke on Trent in 1901. In November 1907, he successed the Reverend W. J. Heald as Vicar of St Bartholomew’s Church, Penn. During this time he was also appointed Rural Dean of Trysull and a Diocesan Inspector of Schools. The couple had three children – Hyla B. (1912), Oswald John B. (1914) and David Charles Beresford (1915). Unfortunately, Hyla died later in 1912 so did not survive beyond infancy.

From January 1916 onwards, Oswald officiated as a chaplain to the troops at the front, attached to the 60th Infantry Brigade. In November 1917, he came home on a fortnight’s leave, but was killed near Villers Plouich in France not long after his return there on 1 December 1917. The value of his effects was £2190 0s. 9d. Oswald is buried at the Fifteen Ravine British Cemetery in Villers-Plouich, and is remembered on the roll of honour in St Bartholomew’s Church, Penn. He was featured in the Midland Counties Express on 8 December 1917.

Arthur Samuel Lewis

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lewisArthur was born in Market Drayton on 28 April 1893, the son of Robert Fisher and Sarah Ann Lewis. In both 1901 and 1911, he was living in the households of his uncles, John P. Ibbs and John Birchall, first in Shropshire and then in Cheshire. By 1911, Arthur was a joiner. His father, Robert, died in November 1901, which is presumably why Arthur attended the Royal Orphanage, Penn Road, Wolverhampton, for a period.

In May 1911, Arthur joined the Royal Engineers (service number 21571) as a Sapper. After a year’s training, he was sent to Roberts’ Heights, in South Africa. When war broke out he was drafted in to the front in October 1914 with the 55th Field Company. He rose to become Lance Corporal, but was killed in action on 11 September 1916. He was featured in the Midland Counties Express on 3 February 1917, and is remembered at the Thiepval Memorial

George Percy Lane

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laneThe son of Harry and Margaret Lane, George was born in Dudley on 20 December 1893. His father died in 1903, so George attended the Royal Orphanage in Penn Road, Wolverhampton. By 1911, he was back in Dudley with his widowed mother and brothers Harry and John. George became a woollen merchant’s assistant.

On the outbreak of the war, George enlisted with the 1st Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment (number 17789), and became a Lance Corporal. He took part in what the Midland Counties Express called “one of the fiercest fights on the West front”, and was killed in action on 13 March 1915. The newspaper featured him on 3 February 1917. He is remembered at the Le Touret Memorial in France.

Randolph Townsend Delany

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delanyRandolph was born in Bilston in 1886, the son of Walter Hugh and Annie Maria Delany. Randolph attended the Higher Grade School. In 1901 they were living at 94 Church Street, Bilston, along with Randolph’s siblings Alice Blanche Constance, Hugh Douglas, Walter Harry, Margery Mansell, Dorothy Philomena and Kathleen Mary. Randolph was a commercial clerk. In about 1904 he enlisted with the South Staffordshire Regiment (service number 6746), being promoted to Lance Corporal after three weeks. He served twice in South Africa. He became a sergeant-major. By 1911, the family were living at 94 Market Place, Church Street, Bilston, and Randolph was a merchant in the motor trade.

When war broke out, he volunteered and rejoined his regiment, in the 2nd Battalion, first entering the war on 12 August 1914. He took part in at least 16 engagements. In the course of these, he participated in hand-to-hand combat with the bayonet, and on one occasion a bullet went through his hat and another through his sleeve. He survived all unscathed. However, on 10 March 1915, he was killed in action at Givenchy. He was featured in the Midland Counties Express on 16 December 1916. He is remembered at the memorial at Le Touret, and appears on the Bilston Town Hall Ward Roll of Honour, as well as on the Roll of Honour for the Higher Grade School.

Updates

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  • ecclestoneEbor Ecclestone attended the Wolverhampton Grammar School from 1908 until Easter 1911, when he went into banking. He worked at Lloyd’s Bank in Wolverhampton, and became a member of the Bankers’ Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers. On 4 August 1916, he was involved in a successful attack upon a German trench, and “was seen to fall upon the field”. Initially he was reported as wounded and missing, but his body was found a few days later and buried near the scene of the fight. He appeared in the Midland Counties Express on 23 December 1916.
  • hallettAlbert Hallett was featured in the Midland Counties Express on 24 March 1917. He attended St Andrew’s School and was a member of the Church Lads’ Brigade until 1910, when he joined the Tettenhall Territorials. He later worked as an assistant to Mr H. Howard, an optician in Darlington Street, Wolverhampton. The article stated that he went to the front in March 1915, and before doing so, passed as a first-class Instructor in Musketry.
  • hurdmanCyril Hurdman was living at 48 Paget Road, Wolverhampton in 1911. He won a scholarship for the Wolverhampton Grammar School in January 1907, and left in July 1915 in order to take up a mathematical scholarship at St John’s College, Cambridge. He was head boy and senior prefect in his last year at the Grammar School, as well as being librarian and editor of the Wulfrunian, secretary and chairman of the Debating Society, and secretary of the Games Committee. He captained the school at cricket and football, as well as being one of the Running VIII. He also attained the rank of lance-corporal in the Officer Training Corps. When he was last seen he was engaged in a night attack on a German parapet 30 yards in advance of his own line. He was featured in the Midland Counties Express on 23 December 1916.
  • pughPresumably following the death of his father in 1900, Ernest Pugh attended the Royal Orphanage in Penn Road, and appeared in the Midland Counties Express on 3 February 1917 as one of its Old Boys. The article states that he “took part in much very hard campaigning and endured faithfully to the end”.
  • whoodsGeorge Whoods was featured in the Midland Counties Express on 12 May 1917. He attended High Street School, Bilston, and had sung in various church choirs, including Ettingshall Wesleyan and Queen Street Congregational Church. He was actively involved in forming a Male Voice Choir in Wolverhampton, and was a member of the Wolverhampton Musical Society and the Apollo Glee Singers. He had attested under Lord Derby’s scheme in November 1915, by which date he was working for the woollen merchant W. J. Foster, in Lichfield Street, Wolverhampton.

John Critchley

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critchleyThe son of William and Mary Ellen Critchley, John was born in Lancashire in about 1895. In 1901 he was living with his parents and siblings William and Mary Ellen in Burtonwood, Lancashire. John’s father died, so he became a pupil at the Wolverhampton Royal Orphanage in Penn Road. In 1910 he was head boy and very well in his examinations. By 1911 he was back home with his widowed mother, working as a farm labourer, but returned to the Royal Orphanage as an Assistant Master in 1912.

On the outbreak of war, he joined the South Staffordshire Regiment (service number 2968), but was then granted a commission as Second Lieutenant in the 11th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He first served from 5 March 1915. He was killed in action on 11 July 1916, and is remembered at the Thiepval Memorial. Articles about him appeared in the Express & Star on 18 July 1916 and 22 September 1916, and in the Midland Counties Express on 22 July 1916 and 3 February 1917.