Thomas Bosworth

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bosworth_thomasThomas was born in Wolverhampton in 1876, the son of James and Jane Bosworth. He was living at Court 6, 25 Salop Street, Wolverhampton in 1891, along with his parents and siblings Emma, James, Harry, Annie and Richard. Thomas was a lock key smith.

Thomas enlisted with the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 9029). He served for 21 years in the army. For fifteen months, he was presumed missing, but was then reported by the War Office to have been killed in action in France on 7 November 1914. His sister, now Emma Richards, living at 29 Salop Street, Wolverhampton. An article in the Express & Star on 19 February 1916 confirmed these details. Thomas is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

George William Bowen

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bowenGeorge was born in Shifnal on 6 January 1890, the son of George and Harriett Bowen. He was living at 142 Patshull Road, Albrighton, in 1901. He became an engine cleaner with the Great Western Railway on 9 July 1906. He left on 4 March 1910 as he was rejected by the Medical Officer. He married Alice Evans in Wolverhampton in 1910. The couple had a daughter, Norah, in 1912.

On 9 July 1910, he enlisted with the Royal Navy (service number K/7676), serving first on the Victory II. He became a Stoker First Class and served on various ships, until the HMS Hampshire. On 5 June 1916, the ship struck a German mine west of Orkney, and sank, killing all but 12 men on board. An article in the Express & Star on 14 June 1916, which gives his address as 28 Prestwood Road, Wolverhampton, states that his wife had been hoping he was one of the survivors. However, this was not to be. He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, as well as on the memorial at St Michael and All Angels Church in Tettenhall, and is presumably the G. W. Bowen on the Heath Park Memorial

John Edward Chadwick

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chadwickJohn was born on 30 September 1879 in Longton, by Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, the son of John and Eliza Annie Chadwick. By 1911, he was living with his parents at 727 Parkfield Road, Wolverhampton. John was a hotel porter. At some point he worked at Bullers Ltd in Tipton. He also served with the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment during the South African War.

When war broke out, he volunteered for service (number 9768) and was sent to France, serving from 17 December 1914. He was invalided home to Manchester Military Hospital, where he was treated for frostbite. He recovered, and after stints in Lichfield, Jersey, and Southampton, he returned to France. He succumbed to gastritis and was sent back to Leeds Military Hospital, where he died on 31 December 1915. An account of this was printed in the Express & Star on 7 January 1916. He was buried at Wolverhampton Borough Cemetery.

Ernest Arthur Cooper

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cooper_ernestErnest was born in Stourbridge in 1894, the son of William and Ellen Cooper. In 1901, they were living at 30 Terrace Street, Brierley Hill, together with Ernest’s siblings William H. and Lillian R.

There is an Ernest Cooper, apparently born in Wolverhampton in about 1893, who is with the 2nd Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment at Whittington Barracks by 1911, and this seems the most likely man. Prior to enlistment he worked at Bayliss, Jones and Bayliss, but he certainly enlisted with the South Staffordshire Regiment at some point (service number 3264).

An article appeared in the Express & Star on 14 August 1915 that a “Private A. E. Cooper”, whose home was now 69 Steelhouse Lane, Wolverhampton, had been killed in action in France on 29 July 1915. Despite the transposition of initials, this is definitely the same man. He is remembered at the Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery in Belgium.

 

John Lewis Anderton Grout

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John was born in Lye, Worcestershire, in 1889, the son of John and Mary Julie Grout. He attended Wellington College, where he was in 1901. They had moved to 10 Waterloo Road, Wolverhampton, by 1911, here his father was a physician and a surgeon. They lived there with John’s sisters Elsie Theodora, Audrey Violet and Elaine Joyce. John was a medical student.

He enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and became a Captain. On 6 April 1918, the London Gazette announced that he had been awarded the Military Cross,

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in conducting a number of stretcher squads through very heavy shell fire to the aid-posts after they had previously failed to get through. Two bearers were killed and three wounded, but by his gallant action over forty stretcher cases were got to safety. Later, he personally conducted squads to these aid-posts under similar circumstances.

A small article also appeared in the Express & Star on 9 April 1918, by which date his father’s address was given as 59 Tettenhall Road.

John survived the war, and married Mary E. Harris in Rugby in 1919. He died on 27 November 1963 at The Royal Hospital, Sheffield at the age of 74, and left items to the value of £24125.

The Dodd family

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doddThe Midland Counties Express of 25 December 1915 shows four photographs, who are the three sons and a son-in-law of Mr Dodd, 44 East View Villas, Willenhall Road, Wolverhampton:

  • Private Jack Dodd, K. O. S. B.
  • Private Joseph Dodd, K. O. S. B.
  • Private William Dodd, D. C. L. I.
  • Harry Chapman, first-class stoker in the navy

Their mother, Clara Dodd, was at 144 Willenhall Road in 1911, together with children Arthur Moses, John, Clara, Clarence, Joe and Bill. John was a salesman for an auctioneer, Joseph was a grocer’s assistant, and William (“Bill”) was an errand boy. Their father, George, was still alive, but did not appear in the household on that night.

John was born in 1891 in Wolverhampton (although the 1911 census states he was born in Birmingham). He enlisted in the King’s Own Scottish Borderers (number 15689). He first served in France from 10 July 1915. He was discharged on 27 March 1919. I have not been able to confirm further details of his life.

Joseph was born in Birmingham in 1893. He enlisted first with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers (number 28001) and then the Highland Light Infantry (number 45170). He, too survived the war, but I have been unable to confirm further details.

William was born in around 1897 in Heath Town, Wolverhampton. There are various possibilities for his military service so I have not been able to confirm further details.

The daughter, Clara, married Harry Chapman in 1913. I have not been able to confirm further details about Harry or his service with the Navy, but the couple had two children, Marjorie C. and Harry C. W., in 1914 and 1916.

The Davies family

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davies familyThe Midland Counties Express dated 11 September 1915 talks of a “fine example of patriotism” as five sons of Mr and Mrs Davies of 65 Lowe Street, Whitmore Reans, were serving with the Army:

  • David (right), aged 22, a Lance-Corporal in the Royal Army Medical Corps, who joined in Wolverhampton at the outbreak of war, and had previously been a member of the St John Ambulance Association.
  • Thomas (middle), aged 24, was a Bombardier in the 14th Battery Royal Field Artillery. He had served for 6 years in the Army, four years in India and then in France.
  • Evan (left), aged 27, was an acting Corporal in the 15th Battalion Rifle Brigade. He had formerly been a constable in the Birmingham Police Force. He had enlisted three months earlier and was serving in France.
  • Jack (bottom), aged 20, was a private in the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment. He had been in the Army for 3 years, serving in South Africa, but had been a prisoner of war in Germany since October.
  • Harry (top), aged 18, was a gunner in the 4th Staffordshire Battery of the Royal Field Artillery, and was currently in training at home.

These were the children of Daniel and Rosamond Davies, living at 112 Lowe Street in 1901 – the children are listed as Evan, Thomas, David, John, Henry and Elizabeth. They were all born in Carmarthenshire, in Wales. The family were living at 65 Lowe Street in 1911, and the children still at home were David, John, Henry, Elizabeth Ann, Joseph and Benjamin Disraeli. David was an Issuer and John was a Messenger, both working for the railway.

David was born in around 1893, but I have not been able to confirm further details about his life or military service.

Thomas was born in about 1890. He enlisted in the 66th Battery of the Royal Field Artillery (number 58684) in Birmingham on 2 September 1909, when his trade was given as engine cleaner. He became a Serjeant. He was wounded in action on 23 April 1916, receiving a bullet wound to the head. He recovered but was wounded in action again on 4 February 1917, receiving a gun shot wound to the shoulder, and was invalided to India. Again he recovered, but was killed in action in Mesopotamia on 5 November 1917. He is commemorated on the Basra Memorial.

Evan was born in around 1889. He enlisted in the Rifle Brigade (number 10652 or 3) on 6 May 1915, when his address was given as Kenyon Street Police Station, Birmingham. He served in France, rising to the rank of Lance Corporal. He was listed as missing on or since 21 March 1918, and it was later accepted that he had died on that date. He is commemorated at the Chauny Communal Cemetery British Extension.

John (known as “Jack”) was born in around 1895. I have not been able to confirm further details of his military service, or find his prisoner of war records.

Henry (otherwise “Harry”), was born in around 1898. He enlisted as a Gunner in the “B” Battery, 186th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (number 687002) at Wolverhampton, but was killed in action in France on 13 October 1918. He is commemorated at the Naves Communal Cemetery Extension.

The Cox family

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An article in the Express & Star on 9 January 1915 stated that a Mr Cox, of 4 house, 1 court, Brickkiln Croft, Wolverhampton, was proud that six of his sons were serving in the Army:

  • George, in the 2nd South Staffords
  • Harry, 1st North Staffords
  • Arthur, Royal Field Artillery
  • John, Kitchener’s Army
  • Edwin, Territorials
  • Frank, Kitchener’s Army

He himself had served in the old 2nd Staffords for 8 years and in the Volunteers for a similar period and stated that, despite being 63 years old, he was still willing to serve if called up.

The Cox family, born in Stafford, were living at 6 Busbys Buildings, Stafford, in 1901. Parents George and Louisa were joined by sons George (born 1882 and a shoe laster), Harry (born 1884 and a shoe finisher), John (born 1885 and a shoe finisher), Edwin (born 1887), Arthur (born 1889), Walter (born 1891) and Frank (born 1895). By 1911, George and Louisa had moved to Wolverhampton, at 10 Graisley Street, but they only had Walter and Frank still living with them. Walter was a locksmith and Frank was an errand boy for a grocer.

The son, George, was a shoemaker, boarding at the home of John Ray in 12 Fancy Walk, Stafford. George enlisted at Lichfield with the 2nd Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 6443). He disembarked on 30 August 1914, but was killed in action on 6 August 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

In around 1907, Harry appears to have married Florence Launchbury, although I have not been able to confirm details of their marriage. They had two children, Harry Thomas and Clara Louisa. By 1911, he was living with his father-in-law Thomas Launchbury at 53 Spon Lane, West Smethwick. Harry was a labourer. He enlisted in the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 6708), becoming a Lance Corporal. He disembarked on 10 September 1914. He later transferred to the Lincolnshire Regiment (number 20205). He appears to have survived the war, but I have been unable to confirm further details about him.

In 1911, Edwin was working as a mental nurse at Coton Hill Asylum in Stafford. I have not been able to confirm further details about him.

By 1911, Arthur was a boarder in the home of Edward Litton at 11 Fancy Walk, Stafford, next-door to his brother, George. Arthur was a labourer in Stubbs salt works. In January 1912, Arthur enlisted in the 6th Battalion of the North Staffordshire Regiment (number 851), before transferring to the 6th Battery of the Royal Field Artillery. He was re-engaged on 20 June 1917  (number 676931), by which date his trade was given as “shoemaker”. He served in France and India. He had a sprained ankle in May 1917, and suffered from trench nephritis in April 1918, but he survived the war. He was disembodied on 15 January 1920.

Walter married Beatrice Holliday in Wolverhampton in 1916. He does not appear to have served in the Army, but I have not been able to confirm further details about him.

I have not been able to confirm further details of the whereabouts of John or Frank Cox.

Samuel Thacker

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thackerSamuel was born in Wolverhampton in 1888, the son of Samuel and Elizabeth Thacker. In 1901, he was living with his parents, sister Fanny and brother Ernest, at 5 Middle Cross Street, Wolverhampton. In 1906, Samuel enlisted with the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 7833). His mother died in 1909 at the age of 51. By 1911, his sister was married to a Frederick Harris, and they had a son, Frederick Earnest. All three were still living with Samuel, his brother Ernest and his widowed father at 5 Middle Cross Street. By this date, Samuel was now listed as a private soldier in the Army.

When war broke out, Samuel was in South Africa. He transferred to France and Flanders, disembarking on 4 October 1914. However, he was killed in action on 29 October 1914. The Midland Counties Express of 7 August 1915 stated that his parents had been officially notified of his death. He is commemorated at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

John Hughes

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hughes-johnJohn was born in Wolverhampton in about 1890, the son of John and Eliza Hughes. In 1901, he was living with his now-widowed mother on Lower Horseley Fields, Wolverhampton, together with his sister Mary and brother Thomas. His mother remarried in Wolverhampton in 1907 to Addison Cocking. The same year, John enlisted with the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 7731), and was serving in Arabia, Cyprus and Gibraltar in 1911.

When war was declared in 1914, he was serving in South Africa. He transferred to France and Flanders, disembarking on 4 October 1914. But he was killed in action on 7 November 1914. On 7 August 1915, the Midland Counties Express, stated that his mother, now living at 72 Matthew Street, Lower Horseley Fields, had received official notification of his death. He is buried at the Railway Dugouts Burial Ground (Transport Farm) in Belgium.