Victor Joseph Edward Craddock


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Some of the research for this blog posting has been done by Susan Martin, who is one of the volunteers currently working on the Queen Street project:


Victor was born in Wolverhampton in 1897, the youngest son of Frederick William and Mary Ann Amy Craddock. Frederick Craddock was a merchant’s metal buyer. He married Mary Ann Amy Smith in 1886 and Victor had two older brothers William George and Percy Frederick and two sisters Ida Theodora and Amy Maud. They lived at “Silverdale” 10 Oaklands Road, Wolverhampton. This was the house which Victor grew up in, and where his father died in 1947 (and possibly his mother who died in 1952).

Victor enlisted as a Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery (number 1042), before transferring to the “A” Battalion of the Tank Corps (number 200014). He was killed in Action  on 20 November 1917 at the age of 20 and is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, the Queen Street Congregational Church roll of honour in Tettenhall Wood URC, and the St Paul’s Church war memorial.


Eric Sydney William Thomas


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Eric was born in Wolverhampton on 27 October 1894, and was baptised at St Mark’s Church on 16 November that year. The son of George James and Victoria Annie Thomas, Eric was living with his parents at 17 Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton in 1911, along with siblings Eileen Maud, Winifred May, William Richard, Lialia Victoria, Daisy Nora and Marie Louise. Eric was an insurance clerk.

Eric’s name was listed in the Express & Star on 30 October 1914 as one of the men willing to serve with the local regiments. He joined up with the South Staffordshire Regiment (initially number 2870 then 240537), rising to become a Lieutenant. He first entered the War on 25 June 1915.

He survived the War, and married Kathleen E. Buchanan or Morgan in Marylebone in 1928. Eric died in Poole, in Dorset in 1973.

Frederick Eddowes


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Frederick was born in 1894, the son of James and Mary A. Eddowes. In 1901, they were living at 64 Pearson Street, Wolverhampton, together with Frederick’s siblings Albert, Flower, James, Elizabeth and Bernard.

Frederick enlisted in the 9th Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers (number 4940), serving in France from 28 July 1915. He died of wounds in “France or Belgium” on 18 October 1917. He is remembered at the Dozinghem Military Cemetery in Belgium.

John Brotherton Annan


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John was born in Wolverhampton in 1876, the son of John and Elizabeth Annan. By 1901, he was living with his widowed mother at 22 Haden Hill, Wolverhampton, along with his uncle John E. Brotherton, and brother Alexander. John married Emma Brunt in 1903. On 9 November 1907, John was initiated in the Freemasons, in the Victoria Lodge, Wolverhampton. By 1911, he was living with his wife at 191 Lea Road, Wolverhampton, together with their daughter Margaret Elizabeth, son John Alexander, and a servant, Clara Ethel May Garbett. John was an Incorporated Insurance Broker, Estate Agent and Company Secretary.

Presumably because of his age (he was 38 in 1914 when war broke out), and the fact that he was married, he did not enlist for military service. However, he served at home as a Special Constable, and his name is listed in the illumated book we hold at Wolverhampton Archives.

John died on 2 October 1931 when his address was Corner House, Tettenhall. The value of his effects were £28147 5s. 7d.

Emmanuel Bailey


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Emmanuel was born in Wolverhampton in 1880, the son of William and Eliza Bailey. In 1891, he was living with his parents at 48 Bilston Road, Wolverhampton, along with his step-sisters Sarah and Elizabeth Hunt, brothers Samuel and John, and sister Frances. I have not been able to confirm his whereabouts on the 1901 or 1911 censuses, although there is an Emmanuel Bailey born 1880 in Staffordshire living with his sister and brother-in-law Elizabeth and Joseph Mitchell at Newport in Wales in 1901, so this is presumably him.

On 3 September 1904, Emmanuel enlisted with the Cheshire Regiment (number 7719), when his trade was given as “baker”. He served continuously until 24 October 1912, when he was transferred to the Army Reserve. He was mobilised at Chester on 5 August 1914. He was reported missing on 24 August 1914, and the International Red Cross Committee communicated to the Foreign Office on 30 October that he had been taken as a Prisoner of War at Thulin. He was sent to the Berlin camp Alexanderinnenstr. By August 1915 he was being held at the camp Doeberitz. The address of his next of kin was given as 37 Francis Street, Cheadle, Cheshire. The Express & Star printed a letter from him. which stated the following:

Dear Sir, – Many thanks for your parcels and postcard, dated 12th and 19th July, which I received quite safely. I am very sorry I did not answer before, but I was short of postcards. Please thank all subscribers to the fund for me, for you do not know what comfort it brings to us in the place. Hoping that we are not too much trouble to you, yous sincerely,

PTE. E. BAILEY, 7719, 1st Cheshire R.

Emmanuel was repatriated on 12 January 1919, and was listed in the “Programme for dinner and entertainments (“Peace Dinner”) to returned prisoners of war at the Baths Assembly Rooms, Wolverhampton, Mar 1919″, organised by the Express & Star. However, here his regiment was given as the Northumberland Fusiliers. His address was given as 95 Granville Street, Wolverhampton. There is also an “E. Bailey” listed on the roll of honour of the Weldless Steel Tube Company Ltd, so this may be the same man. There is a note on his service record from the Guardians of the Poor of the Dudley Union, stating that Emmanuel had been in their employment before 4 August 1914, and they were prepared to offer him employment as an attendant on mental patients once he returned to civil life.

Bertram Oborn Darby


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Bertram was born in Wolverhampton on 2 March 1885, the son of William John and Mary Darby. He was baptised at St Mark’s Church, Wolverhampton 0n 19 April 1885, when his address was given as 7 Yew Street. On 16 June 1899, Bertram started work as an apprentice for the London and North Western Railway, in the Commercial Handling Department. On 1 May 1901, he transferred to being an Extra Clerk to the Wolverhampton Manager, becoming a “Regular” on 1 December 1904. By 1911, he was living with his parents at 37 Humber Street, Wolverhampton, together with his brothers Cecil William and Leonard Henry. Bertram was still a clerk working for the railway.

Bertram’s name was printed in the Express & Star on 30 October 1914 as one of the men willing to enlist with the local companies. In his case, he enlisted with the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 2959). His first medal rolls index card has the incorrect middle initial of “C”, but a note that says “Correct initial B. O. See # @ 18A”, and a second medal rolls index card with the correct initial. He first served in France from 3 March 1915.

He survived the war, and in 1918, he married Blanche Alford Andrews in Reading. Bertram died in Wolverhampton on 21 February 1961, when his address was given as 30 Dunkley Street, Wolverhampton. The value of his effects was £1741 19s. 5d.

Special Police Women


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Because of the numbers of police officers serving overseas with their regiments during the First World War, the Wolverhampton Chief Constable increasingly relied on Special Constables to make up the numbers. This included bringing back older Constables from retirement and even, on 2 July 1917, asks the Watch Committee “for power to employ women patrols on the streets, or to do any other duty such as visiting Public Parks, Theatres, and particularly work among their own sex and juveniles.”

DX-1008 Special Police WomenWolverhampton Archives has a volume, beautifully illuminated and written by Violet Clinton, of the Wolverhampton School of Art, which lists the names of all the men and women who served as Special Constables during the period 1916-1919. The full list of women is available here, with the list of men here, but the first name solves a particular mystery: Hilda Hutchinson Smith. You may remember that I was looking for information on a Captain Hilda Neville Green, the Adjutant of the Women’s Volunteer Reserve in 1916. One of our volunteers found the baptism of a Hilda Mary Green, born 21 March 1892, in Highgate, the daughter of George William Frederick Neville Green, and it would appear that at some point she adopted one of her father’s names. In 1918, a Hilda M. N. Green married a Kenneth Hutchinson Smith on the Isle of Wight, so I believe this is the same lady, who obviously served as a Special Constable in Wolverhampton as well as serving with the Women’s Volunteer Reserve.

Her husband, who appears to have been Canadian, died at Oaken near Wolverhampton on 7 September 1945. The only further entry I have found for her is in the National Probate Calendar for 1980, which has the following entry:

SMITH, Hilda Mary otherwise Hilda Mary Hutchinson of Cherry Tree Cottage Hinton Bank Farm Whitchurch Salop died 14 April 1980 Probate Birmingham 17 July £26141


Percy Samuel Coss


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Percy was born in Wolverhampton in 1894, and was baptised at St Mark’s Church, Wolverhampton, on 26 April 1894. He was the son of Samuel and Jane Coss, living at 53 Merridale Street at the time of his birth. They were at 93 Oak Street in 1901, living with Percy’s brothers Harry, Horace and Harold. By 1911 the family were at 239 Merridale Street West, together with brothers Horace and Albert, and sister Doris. Percy was a bottler in the mineral water industry.

On 30 October 1914, Percy’s name was listed in the Express & Star as one of the men who had indicated their willingness to fight. He was also listed in the Midland Counties Express on 5 September 1914 in a similar list. His address at this point was still 239 Merridale Street West. However, I have not been able to confirm details of his military service.

Percy survived the war, and married Minnie E. Weaver in Wolverhampton in 1922. The couple do not appear to have had any children. Percy died in Wolverhampton in 1950.

Adrian Winter


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Adrian was born in Wolverhampton in 1888, the son of Walter Henry Trimnell and Alice S. D. Winter. In 1901, they were living at 9 Compton Road, together with his sister Katherine and brother Geoffrey. Adrian attended Wolverhampton Grammar School and then Oaklands, Rugby. At some point, Adrian held a commission in the Royal Field Artillery. He became an engineer, but in 1911 he moved to New Zealand to take up farming. In 1913 he started managing a sawmill.

When war broke out, he and 180 of his pals marched into Wellington and all enlisted together, serving with the Wellington Regiment of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (number 10/541). He soon received promotion to sergeant and later Lance Corporal, and served in the trenches during the Turkish raid on Egypt. An article appeared in the Midland Counties Express on 19 June 1915 stating that his parents had received official intimation that he had been killed in Turkey, on 29 April 1915. The article gave a lot of details about Adrian’s life, stating that he was “a good shot and rider,…and especially expert was he with the axe, and it was said that no one for miles around could fell trees with so much facility.” The article also told of his exploits whilst at Wolverhampton Grammar School:

As a boy he evinced the same spirit of adventure. On one occasion, along with a few other Grammar School boys, he made hundreds of snowballs, and, standing on the roof of his father’s fine old house, held up the traffic in Compton-road. The Chief Constable was one of those who were pelted, and had to wait until the lads wanted their tea before he could get past.

Adrian is remembered on the Lone Pine Memorial in Turkey, as well as in the Lady Chapel in St Peter’s Church, Wolverhampton, and on the memorial in St Peter’s Church.

Lyons William Careless


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Lyons was born in Wolverhampton in 1893, the son of John and Martha Careless. He was baptised at St Mark’s Church, Wolverhampton on 10 September 1893, when the family were living at 42 Ash Street. In 1901 they were at 59 Kimberley Street, Wolverhampton, along with Lyons’ sisters Alice M., Martha M. and Lillian, and brothers Thomas H., Joseph M. and Stacey. By 1911, he was living with his parents at 87a Great Brickkiln Street, Wolverhampton, along with brothers Henery [sic], Joseph, and Stacey, and sisters May and Lillian. Lyons was a cabinet maker.

Lyons enlisted at Wolverhampton in the 6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 241525). On 28 May 1917, his name was printed in the Express & Star as “Missing believed killed”. It was later confirmed that he had been killed in action on 11 April 1917. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.