On 8 January 1914, he enlisted with the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 9407. He was killed in action on 23 October 1914, which was announced in the Midland Counties Express on 9 January 1915. He is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.
Reginald was born in Sutton Coldfield in about 1893, the son of Charles Henry and Mary Jane Page. In 1901 they were living at 32B Wellington House, Bloxwich, together with Reginald’s siblings, Katharine, Harry A., and Doris M. On 16 April 1910, the 17-year-old Reginald sailed on the S. S. Cairnrona from London to Portland, Maine, in America. He later emigrated to Canada.
In October 1914, he “came over with the first contingent of Canadians”, enlisting on the very day that war was declared. His mother was still living at 3 Westland Road, Wolverhampton. He rost to become a Second Lieutenant in the 1st/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment. While he was “bravely leading his platoon in a charge”, he was killed in action on 1 July 1916. A letter written to his mother by his Commanding Officer stated that “He looked after his men so well, inspiring them with confidence and showing a splendid example in leadership”. This was reproduced in an article in the Midland Counties Express on 25 November 1916. A small piece also appeared in the Express & Star on 22 September 1916. He is comemmorated on the Thiepval Memorial .
The son of William and Ellen Eastelow, Ernest was born in Wolverhampton in 1890. His mother died in 1898. By 1901, he was living with his father at Court 4, Brickkiln Street, Willenhall, along with his sister Martha and brothers Andrew and John. Later that year, his father married Minnie Alice Deeming, so Ernest gained five step-siblings. Ernest became a lamp dresser.
On 14 February 1908, Ernest enlisted in the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 8294). This means that, by the 1911 census, he was serving with his regiment in Arabia, Cyprus and Gibraltar. When war broke out, Ernest disembarked on 4 October 1914. He was wounded at Ypres on 30 October 1914, and died “on the field of battle”, according to the Midland Counties Express on 2 January 1915. He is buried at the Ypres Town Cemetery Extension.
- It is possible that Laura Allott remarried, as the 1939 register seems to suggest she may also be Gibson and there is a Gibson/Auty marriage in 1969.
- Agnes Louisa Baker died in Bournemouth on 11 March 1923 and was buried on 15 March at Saint Michael and All Angels church, Tettenhall. Her husband William Pearce Baker was a son of James Baker the founder of James Baker & sons the Wolverhampton boot and shoe company.
- We have been contacted by the granddaughter of George H. Jones, brother of Isaiah Jones. Her grandfather remembered the day someone knocked at the front door, with the sad news that Isaiah had been killed in action. She doesn’t know exactly where he died, but presumes it was in the 3rd Battle of Ypres, as his grave is at Menin gate cemetery.
- This photograph of Joseph Ewart Lymn appeared in the Midland Counties Expresson 21 November 1914.
- We have been contacted by the niece of Martin O’Connor, who gave us further details about him. He was the only brother of William O’Connor. Martin left Wolverhampton to come to London to join the Grenadier Guards. He was followed later by his young brother who came to Wellington Barracks also to join the Guards as a boy soldier. William eventually became a musician as Drummer in the Guards band. Both brothers had attended St. Mary & St John’s Catholic church & school on Snow Hill, Wolverhampton. The brothers both served in France and Flanges in WW1- Martin having been transferred to be part of the development of the new Air Force-the RFC. There are records of his decorations including the award of the Meritorious Service medal and being mentioned in despatches.
The brother of Joseph, Ernest was born in Wolverhampton in 1893. By 1911, Ernest was living at Agnes Bills’ lodging house at 147 Walsall Street, Wolverhampton. Ernest was a blacksmith’s labourer at an Edge Tool Works.
Ernest enlisted in the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 23846) but was wounded in the same battle that killed his brother in October 1914.His attestation of 11 December 1915 gives his address as 116 Lower Stafford Street, Wolverhampton, and his occupation as “carter”. During the War, he served in France, Italy and Egypt. He later transferred to the Manchester Regiment (number 88547). He was demobilised on 29 October 1919.
Ernest had a son, William Atkins Green, born on 22 May 1912. In March 1915, Ernest married Lydia Jane Green in Wolverhampton, and they had a further three children – Jessie, Olive and Harry – between 1916 and 1927. Ernest died in 1957 at the age of 63.
The brother of Gerald Lees, Eustace was born in Wolverhampton in 1872. In 1891 he was living at Lower Street, Tettenhall, together with his parents, William and Rosa Mathilda, brothers Lawrence William and Gerald Oscar, sisters Janet R., Mary Eleanor Sophie, Dorothy N. and Constance G., cousin Edith M. L., and four servants – Mary Screen, Martha Allcock, Agnes S. Cartwright and Martha A. Pinney. He was lodging in Colchester in 1901, when he was a Captain in the Army Pay Department. By 1911 he was living back with his parents, in Tettenhall, along with brother Lawrence William, sister Mary Eleanor Sophie, and two servants, Catherine Mary O’Connor and Emily Meredith. Eustace had become a Secretary of the Wolverhampton Eye Hospital.
On the outbreak of war, Eustace rejoined the Royal Berkshire Regiment, and was promoted from Captain to Major. He served in France from 26 July 1915. Eustace survived the war, but does not appear to have married. He died 18 April 1955, when the value of his effects were £3134 13s.
William, was a Private, Regimental No 1474, in the 1st Battalion, Manchester Regiment. Sadly, he was killed in action on 8th March 1916 in Mesopotamia, aged 25.
William Blundell was baptised on 23rd June 1890 at St Peter’s Church, Liverpool, the son of Mary and James Christopher Blundell, a night watchman of Clayton Street, Liverpool.
William’s father died in 1898, and in 1901 William and his brother James were living in Liverpool’s Mount Pleasant orphanage. Ten years later in 1911, William was a private in the 3rd Manchester Regiment, stationed at the Hutment Barracks at Fleetwood.
William must have completed his usual seven years term of service with the army between 1911 and 1914, as he lived with his sister in Macclesfield prior to the outbreak of war, and was employed at Crewe railway works.
William was mobilised as a reservist soon after the outbreak of war and entered France with his regiment on 1st January 1915. He was reported wounded on 12th April 1915, but must have recovered and rejoined his regiment. The 1st Manchester Regiment left France on 10th December 1915 and moved to Mesopotamia, landing at Basra on 8th January 1916. William was reported missing on 8th March 1916 and in November 1917 he was officially assumed to have died on that date. His death was reported in the Macclesfield Times of 23rd November 1917.
Private William Blundell has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel Ref. 31 and 64 of the Basra Memorial, Iraq. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private William Blundell. Private William Blundell is also commemorated on the Wolverhampton Roll of Remembrance.
This information was received via the website http://macclesfieldreflects.org.uk/1916/03/08/blundell-william/ where you can find further details.
We have traced additional details, as follows:
The marriage of William Blundell to Esther A Ford was registered at Wolverhampton in the 3rd Quarter of 1911, and have also traced the marriage of William Blundell, Labourer, age 21, of Stowheath Lane, father James C Blundell deceased, to Esther Ann Ford, on 7 August 1911, in transcriptions of the Parish Register of St Stephen’s Church Willenhall. Esther Ann Ford age was also 21 at the time of her marriage on 7 Aug 1911. Her father, William Ford, is recorded as being a soldier.
I checked 1911 Census records for Stowheath Lane, but could find no mention of William Blundell, nor of Esther Ann Ford or William her father. I understand that the address may have been used to enable the banns to be read at the St Stephens, the local church.
The couple appear to have had two children, as the birth of Mary Jo Blundell, mother’s maiden name Ford, was registered at Wolverhampton in the 4th quarter of 1911, and in the 3rd quarter of 1916, the birth of Thomas E Blundell, mother’s maiden name Ford, was also registered at Wolverhampton.
Esther A Blundell remarried in 1918, to Thomas H Matthews. The marriage was registered in Wolverhampton in the first quarter of 1918. My search on the FreeBMD website did not locate any children of this marriage being registered at Wolverhampton.
Esther’s death, age 69, was registered at Wolverhampton in the first quarter of 1959.
Our volunteers have been busy transcribing some other rolls of honour that we hold within the archives, so the following have today been added to the site:
- 3rd North Midland Field Ambulances Memorial
- Bilston Methodist Church
- S. J. & E. Fellows Ltd, Vulcan Works
- Wesleyan Church Ettingshall
- Wesleyan Methodist Afterwar Committee
If you would like to assist with further transcriptions of this site, which can be done remotely as many have been scanned, please get in touch!
Wolverhampton Chronicle, South Staffordshire Regiment, Gerald Smith, Godfrey Ricketts, Cyril Adey, Reginald Piper, William Astle, Lawrence Vitty, Edwin Arkinstall, Albert Lee, Percy Morgan, Harry Heath
- A report in the Wolverhampton Chronicle dated 20 October 1915 lists Leslie Astle as one of the local men reported as wounded. It was only later confirmed that he had been killed.
- I have recently discovered the excellent “Black County Territorials” website, featuring men from the 6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment. This includes further biographical information on Harry Arkinstall, Cyril Adey, Albert Lee, Godfrey Ricketts, Gerald Howard Smith and Lawrence Vitty
- An article on Richard Bosworth, which includes the attached photograph, appears in the Midland Counties Express on 25 November 1916. This states that he in fact had four children, and that he himself had attended St John’s School. According to letters from his officers, he was “buried in a separate grave in the presence of his officer and some of his comrades.” His wife’s father was also at the front, and her brother in the Navy.
- There was a further letter from Harry Heath published in the Express & Star in August 1915. This time it was writing in response to a list of missing men, stating that it had been posted up in the prisoner of war camp, but nobody had any information regarding those men.
- Percy James Morgan’s pilot on the fateful day when his plane crashed has his own Facebook page.
- The Wolverhampton Chronicle on 20 October 1915 reports a narrow escape for Lieutenant Reginald Piper, when a bullet struck a metal chocolate tin in his pocket.
- There is a small entry in the Wolverhampton Chronicle on 20 October 1915 about Howard Smith. This states that he had been wounded slightly for the second time, and was a member of the firm of Messrs Underhill, Thorneycroft and Smith, as well as being captain of the first team of the Wolverhampton Cricket Club.
An article appeared in the Express & Star on 19 May 1915, concerning Harry D. Jackson, the headmaster of Old Hall Street School and secretary of the Wolverhampton Schools’ Athletic Association. Apparently, after some thought, he had decided that “the call to military service…[was] so irresistible that he has responded by enlisting in the R. F. A.”
Harry David Jackson was born in Wolverhampton in 1873, the son of Elizabeth and Thomas Jackson. By 1901, he was listed as a schoolmaster, living with his parents and brothers Frederick and Arthur at 75 Curzon Street.
The school log book for Old Hall Street School has the following to say about Mr Jackson’s time in the forces:
|17-May-15||The headmaster Mr H. D. Jackson has joined the R. F. Artillery. During his absence from school Mr J. R. Gledhill has been appointed to act as “acting head teacher”.|
|18-Jul-17||Mr H. D. Jackson – head master – called in this morning, having recovered from his gas attack|
|5-Nov-17||H. D. Jackson – ex Sgt. R. F. A., having been transferred to Class W(T) in H. M. Forces – recommenced work after an absence of 2 1/2 years|