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The Express & Star of 23 January 1915 told of a curious coincidence. Two men, Albert Hayward and Frederick Horace Evans had long been “fast friends, having both married into the same family. Both men had enlisted with the South Staffordshire Regiment on 3 August 1914 and their absence had led both wives to return to their parents’ home at 31 Raglan Street. On Christmas Day 1914, both wives gave birth, Mrs Hayward to a girl and Mrs Evans to a boy. Coincidentally, around the same time as the children were born, it later transpired that the two husbands, who had been parted for some time, met in the same trench in Belgium.

Albert Hayward was born in about 1893, the son Joseph and Charlotte Hayward, of 19, Coven Street, Cannock Road. He married May M. Carter in 1914. Their daughter was Christina M. Haywayd. Frederick Horace Evans was born in Wolverhampton in 1891, and married Rose E. Carter in 1912. Their son was Christoper F. Evans.

The Express & Star article quotes Mrs Carter as saying “It was a lively Christmas for us, I can assure you,” while she shows off the two babies. Her husband casts his mind to the two men at the Front, hoping that “they may live to enjoy their Chrismas presents.” Unfortunately, this was not to be. Albert Hayward was killed on 28 March 1917 at the age of 24. He is commemorated at the Arras Memorial in France. Frederick Evans, however, appears to have survived the war.

 

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