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This blog posting has been prepared by one of our volunteers, Ann Eales.


In the Bilston Urban District Council Minutes of 26th July 1917 is a report that Mr Colley of the Clerk’s Department had joined the Navy.

Lives of the First World War helped identify Mr Colley, with this entry

Aubrey James Colley, Date of Birth: 30/09/1897. Date of Death: not yet known Royal Navy Service #M26807 Aubrey James Colley was born in Stafford, Staffordshire, United Kingdom in 1897.”

Aubrey James Colley’s birth was registered at Wolverhampton in the 4th quarter of 1897. Unfortunately, details of his time in the Navy could not be traced. We know he survived the War, marrying Violet Fulford Harris at Aston, Birmingham in 1921, but died at the age of 25, his death being registered at Wolverhampton in the quarter ended March 1923.

At the time of the 1901 Census Mr Colley’s family were living at 151 Wellington Road, Bilston, his father William J Colley was age 31 and his occupation was Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages and Vaccination Officer, his mother Sarah J Colley was age 34 and there were two children Aubrey who was age 3, and his sister Kathleen W., who was 1 year old, and there was also a 16 year old servant, Lily Wilde, who, like Mrs Colley, was born at Sedgley.

By the time of the 1911 census the family lived at Caerleon, Dover Street, Bilston, and William Josiah now age 41 was Registrar of Births and Vaccination Officer for Wolverhampton Board of Guardians. Also resident at Caerleon were William’s wife Sarah Jane Colley now age 44, Aubrey James age 13, Kathleen Winifred age 11, and the youngest child Hilda Beatrice, age 6. Edith Jeffs age 25 was living with the family as General Servant (Domestic), and born, like Mrs Colley, at Coseley.