The sons of William and Lucy Caldicott, William Francis was born in 1888, and John Henry was born in 1893. They were living at 5 George Street, Bilston, in 1901, along with their sister, Esther. By 1911, the family had moved to Ellesmere Port, living at 69 Heathfield Road. Both William and John were sheet mill workers.
On 1 September 1914, William enlisted in the 17th Battalion of the King’s (Liverpool Regiment) (service number 15962). His trade by then was given as engineer. From November 1915, he served in France. Unfortunately, in July 1916, he was reported as missing, and his death was assumed to have occured on 10 July 1916. He is remembered at the Thiepval Memorial.
Like his brother, John, too, enlisted in the 17th Battalion of the King’s (Liverpool Regiment) on 1 September 1914 (service number 15963). He was also an engineer. He served in France and became a Lance Corporal, but was in hospital in Liverpool on a number of occasions, firstly a gun shot wound to his leg in October 1917 and later his right leg had to be amputated following pneumonia. In May 1918 he was discharged home. However, John was subsequently killed in a railway accident on 30 October 1918.
He had travelled on the train from Birkenhead to Hooton and his cap had fallen on to the line. He got off the train at Spittal Station and walked towards the line to look for his cap. The stationmaster questioned what he was doing and, seeing that he only had one leg and was on crutches, he asked John to wait while he called a porter to search for his cap. The porter walked along the line and the stationmaster left John on the platform while he went to the goods yard. Shortly afterwards a fast goods train went through, and John was found, badly injured, lying on the fast line. The driver of the train had not seen anyone on the line, but John had clearly left the platform at some point and been hit by the train.
John is buried at Ellesmere Port (Christ Church) Churchyard, and both men are remembered on the Bilston Priestfield Roll of Honour.