Ashland Street, Battle of Mons, Dudley Road Council School, Francis Gandy, Glasgow, King Street, Midland Counties Express, postman, Quarter Sessions, reformatory school, Silver War Badge, theft, Worcestershire Regiment, Yorkshire
Following yesterday’s post, the second brother to feature in the Midland Counties Express is Francis Gandy. The article states that he was a former postman who was married, was serving with the 3rd Worcestershire Regiment and had been wounded at Mons.
Francis was born in Glasgow on 29 January 1884. When the family moved back to Wolverhampton, he attended Dudley Road Board School. On 20 October 1899, he was convicted at Wolverhampton Borough Quarter Sessions of “feloniously stealing two gold rings” to the value of 30 shillings from a shop belonging to John Valentine Player, a watch-maker and jeweller at 5 King Street. One of the depositions at the trial came from a pawnbroker by the name of Robert Westworth, where Francis’s associate, George Williams, had tried to pawn one of the rings. When Francis was arrested in possession of the rings, he claimed he had found them in the Park. After hearing the depositions, he asked to be tried and “give me a good birching”. Because of his three previous convictions for theft between 1898 and 1899 (his character was described as “Bad. An associate of reputed thieves”), he was instead sent to East Moor Community Home School, a reformatory school in Yorkshire, until he reached the age of 19.
He became a postman in June 1909, and by 1911 he was living at 10 Ashland Street, Wolverhampton, together with his wife, Elizabeth (whom he married in 1910) and son Maurice. He served in the Worcestershire Regiment (number 8134) from 12 August 1914. He became sick, and was discharged on 20 October 1916, being awarded the Silver War Badge (number 24865) on 7 February 1917. He died in Wolverhampton in 1958.