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A small excerpt in the Express & Star on 30 April 1918, details the following:

Official intimation has been received that Corporal J. Tranter (33) of Peascroft-lane, Bilston, has been killed in action. The deceased soldier was in a trench mortar battery of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers. He joined up soon after the outbreak of war, and had been on active service some considerable time. He leaves a widow and four children.

Express & Star, 30 Apr 1918

Express & Star, 30 Apr 1918

Finding this man is slightly more tricky, however. I have not been able to find any entries on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission that match these facts, as above. The closest match is that of a Corporal F. Tranter (Number 242524) of the 1st/6th Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment, who was killed in action on 21 March 1918. His first name, according to the medal card, is Frank, and it would not be a huge stretch for an “F” initial to appear as a “J” or vice versa. However, I have not been able to tie this man in with a suitable birth or marriage record, or find the records of the four children.

The National Archives also holds the medal card of a James Tranter of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers (no 19143), who was a Private and an Acting Corporal. This man appears to fit the facts better, but there is no record of his death. Possibly he was simply missing and then resurfaced after the War? There was a James Tranter born in Wolverhampton in 1884. Doing a search on Freebmd for Tranter children born in Wolverhampton in the early part of the twentieth century revealed a group of four children whose mother’s maiden name was Williams (Frances – 1912, Elizabeth M. – 1913, Sarah – 1915 and James S. – 1916), and as there was a James Tranter who married an Alice Williams in West Bromwich in 1903, this seems like it might be the right family.

If anyone else has any further information to corroborate or contradict any of this, please get in touch!

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