Albrighton, Belgium, Boer War, Chapel Street, Charter Street, Derby, Dudley Road Council School, France, Geroge Harper, Handsworth, Harry Harper, Labour Corps, London Gazette, Midland Counties Express, Military Medal, Monmore Green, Newport, Oxford Street, Royal Field Artillery, Royal Humane Society, South Staffordshire Regiment, Thomas Harper, Walsall Street Council School, William Whitmore
The sons of George and Emily Harper, George was born in Wolverhampton in 1882, Harry was born in 1887 and Thomas was born in 1888. By 1911, the widowed Emily was living with George and Thomas and daughter Kate at No 2, 5 Court, Oxford Street, Wolverhampton.
George attended the Dudley Road School and at the age of 11 received a certificate from the Royal Humane Society for saving the life of William Whitmore of Chapel Street from drowning in the canal at Monmore Green. By 1901, he was already serving with the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 6090), being based at the Lichfield barracks at Whittington, and he served in the Boer War. George married Margaret McIvor in West Derby in 1911. On 30 August 1914, George disembarked with the 2nd Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment. On 10 March 1915 he was reported missing, but later his death in action was confirmed. He is commemorated at the Le Touret Memorial in France, and his death was reported in the Midland Counties Express on 6 January 1917.
By 1901, Harry was living with relative Thomas Harper at 1 Charter Street, Wolverhampton, and working as a general labourer. By 1911, he was living in Handsworth with his wife Marie Louisa (I have not been able to find a record of their marriage), and baby son Harry. Harry was working as a brass worker (turner) for gas and steam fittings. On 24 January 1917, Harry enlisted with the Labour Corps (number 265642). However, for about ten years previously, he suffered from an inflammation of the stomach, and vomited every morning before breakfast. He had a constant pain in the pit of his stomach. He was discharged on 19 January 1918. Harry died on 11 August 1939, by which date he was living in Albrighton. The value of his effects was £452 4s. 5d.
Thomas attended Walsall Street Council School. In 1901, Thomas was living with his now widowed mother and sisters Mary Ann and Sarah Kate at No 6, 3 Court, Oxford Street, Wolverhampton. By 1911, he was working as an iron worker in a puddling furnace. Thomas married Eliza Smith in Newport in 1912, and they had a daughter, Emily, in 1913. He enlisted with the 6th Battery, 40th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery (number 39025), rising to the rank of Bombardier. He went out with the first British Expeditionary Force in August 1914. He was awarded the Military Medal for bravery and devotion to duty on the field, as announced in the London Gazette on 28 January 1918. Unfortunately, he had been killed in action on 9 October 1917. He is buried at White House Cemetery, St. Jean-les-Ypres, in Belgium. His death was reported in the Midland Counties Express on 18 May 1918.