Gerald Fortescue Ibbs

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Gerald was born in Hartlepool on 22 November 1897, the son of William and Eliza Jane Ibbs. By 1911, they were living at Andover Villa, Oxley Bank, Bushbury, along with Gerald’s siblings Arthur, Lilian, Richard and Geoffrey.

On 13 January 1914, Gerald joined the Royal Navy (number J29218), first serving on the HMS Impregnable. Gerald served on various ships throughout the war, until August 1919.

He married Harriet Emily Walters in Wolverhampton in 1925, and the couple had three children – Donald F. (1928), Cathleen H. E. (1930) and David R. (1933). Gerald died on 13 November 1960 at Four Ashes, Penkridge, by which date his address was 18 Market Lane, Lower Penn, Wolverhampton, The value of his effects was £465 10s. 8d.

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William Nathaniel Hill

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William was born in Wolverhampton in 1876, the son of Herbert and Elizabeth HIll. In 1901 he was living at 20 Little Brickkiln Street, along with his parents and younger siblings Benjamin, Rose, John and Lily. William had become a latheman, working on steel cycle parts. William does not appear to have married.

William enlisted in the South Staffordshire Regiment (service number SS/19978), and later transferred to the Labour Corps (number 404214). He returned to Wolverhampton, but died on 15 December 1918. He is buried at Wolverhampton Borough Cemetery, and his gravestone includes an inscription to his father, Herbert, who died on 7 October 1923. William is also remembered on the memorial for St Paul’s Church, that now appears in St John’s Church.

 

William Henry Kelly

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William was born in Wolverhampton in 1899, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Kelly. In 1901, they were living at 68 Salop Street, Bilston, along with William’s siblings Richard, Hannah, Thomas and Charles.

William enlisted as a Private with the 2nd/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 43638). He was killed in action on 15 April 1918. He is remembered at the Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium, and on the Bilston New Town Ward Roll of Honour.

Samuel Henry Adams

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Samuel was born in Darlaston in 1895, the son of Mary Ann Adams. In 1901, he was living with his mother and sister Clara at 7 Stone Street, Portobello. By 1911, Samuel and his mother were boarding in the home of William Bratt at 41 High Street, Portobello. Samuel had become a labourer.

In their Annual reports during the First World War, the Bilston District Provident Society included a list of some local men who were serving. Samuel’s name was included in this list, but I have not been able to confirm details of his service. He does, however, appear to have survived the war. He died in Wolverhampton in 1923.

Alexander Roden Pace

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Alexander was born in Willenhall in 1887, the son of Richard and Eliza Pace. His father died in 1900, so by 1901 he was living with his widowed mother and brother Charles at 62 York Street, Wolverhampton. They were at the same address in 1911, but his brother was no longer living with them, and they were joined by a boarder, Louisa Smith. Alexander was now an Edge Tool Bobber for an edge tool manufacturer.

Alexander enlisted with the 4th Special Reserve Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (service number 9796), and rose to become a Lance Corporal. He first served in the Balkans from 21 July 1915.  However, he was killed in action on 26 April 1918 in France or Belgium. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

David Onions

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The son of Thomas and Sarah Ann Onions, David was born in Bilston in 1897. In 1901, the three of them were living at Chapel Buildings, Temple Street, Bilston. David’s father died in 1910. In 1911, David was living with his widowed mother and siblings Sarah and Harry at 24 Court 8 House, Temple Street, Bilston. In 1913, his mother remarried, to a James Alcock.

David enlisted in the South Staffordshire Regiment (service number Ss/49495), before transferring to the 2nd Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment (service number 44394). He was killed in action on 8 October 1918. David is buried at the Naves Communal Cemetery Extension in France, and is remembered on the Bilston New Town Ward Roll of Honour.

Arthur Percy Naylor

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Arthur was born in Bilston in 1897, the son of Thomas J. and Phoebe Naylor. In 1901, they were living at 57 High Street, Bilston, together with Arthur’s siblings Phoebe and Thomas Henry. They were at the same address in 1911, and Arthur had a younger brother, Albert Edward.

Arthur initially enlisted in the South Staffordshire Regiment (service number 36300), before transferring to the 7th Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment (service number 40759). He was killed in action on 10 August 1917. He is remembered at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, as well as on the Bilston High Town Ward Roll of Honour.

Robert Henry Maggs

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Robert was born in Wolverhampton in 1892, the son of Thomas and Sarah Maggs. In 1901 they were living at 30 Dartmouth Street, Wolverhampton, with Robert’s sister, Lily. Robert was living at the same address in 1911, but by now it was in the possession of his step-brother, James Ray. Robert was an Edge Tool Bobber at an edge tool works. He married Elizabeth Palmer in Wolverhampton in 1915, and they had a son, Robert, in 1917.

Robert enlisted initially with the South Staffordshire Regiment (service number 36314), before transferring to the 7th Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment (number 40754). He was killed in action on 22 March 1918. He is remembered at the Pozieres Memorial in France.

Victor Lack

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Victor was born in Bilston in 1897, the son of James and Alice Lack. They were living at 62 Mount Pleasant, Bilston, in 1901, together with Victor’s siblings Walter, Hannah, James, Ernest, Roland, Harold and Eva. The family were at 22 Mount Pleasant in 1911, and Victor had an additional sister, May.

Victor enlisted with the 65th Field Ambulance of the Royal Army Medical Corps (service number 12190), first serving in France from 11 September 1915. Victor died from disease on 1 September 1916, and is buried at St Pol Communal Cemetery Extension in France. He is remembered on the Bilston Town Hall Ward Roll of Honour.

Thomas Kearns

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Thomas was born in Wolverhampton in 1879, the son of John Kearns. I have not been able to track his life further until he joined the army.

He enlisted with the 2nd Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (service number 9943), first serving in France from 27 December 1914. He died in hospital in Dunkirk on 7 April 1919. He is buried at Dunkirk Town Cemetery, and is remembered on the war memorial of St Paul’s Church, now in the church of St John.