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Walter George Cole was born in Bilston in 1876, the son of George and Eliza Cole. By 1901, they were living at 47 Johnson Street, Wolverhampton, and the 24-year-old Walter was a gardener. Walter married in 1902, either to Fanny Jane Anslow or to Ellen Trow.

On 31 August 1914, the Express & Star newspaper published a list of men who had signed their names up, following an appeal asking for volunteers for new Special Service Companies for Non-Manual Workers. One of these names was that of W. G. Cole, of Golden Cross, Merridale Street, Wolverhampton. I have not been able to confirm details of which regiment he eventually enlisted in, due to his common surname and the fact that he may not have used his middle name when he enlisted. Tragically, two men by the name of Walter George Cole died within days of each other, one on the 9 August 1917 of the Suffolk Regiment, and one on the 13 August 1917 of the Royal Irish Regiment. It is possible that the Bilston-born Walter was one of these men. Either way, I have not been able to find a civilian death entry for him following the First World War.

 

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