James Harold Bennett

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James was born in Dudley in 1882. In 1901, he was staying with his uncle, Ambrose H. Smith, in Leicester. James was an ironmoulder. On 11 February 1907 he married Alice Brown at Dudley Registry Office, and they went on to have three children – James Harold (1907), Lilian (1908) and Mary (1910).

On 16 January 1915 he enlisted as a Gunner in the Royal Regiment of Artillery (service number 82621), by which date his address was given as 10 Evans Street, Cinder Hill, Bilston. His trade was slag breaker. He served in France, until he received a gun shot wound in his left thigh and left arm in August 1917. On 6 August 1918 he was discharged as being physically unfit. On 29 July 1918, he was awarded the Silver War Badge (number 430074). I have not been able to confirm further details of his life.

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James Thomas Ralph

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ralphJames was born in 1878 in Wolverhampton, the son of Mary Ann and Thomas Ralph. His father died in 1887, and his mother remarried to a Henry Hilton in 1889. His siblings were Letitia, Eliza and Matthew Ralph, and step-brothers Henry and William Hilton. In around 1900, James enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery as a Sergeant (service number 14219). This means that in 1901 he was situated at the Camps Shrapnel Barracks in Woolwich, London.

In around 1910 he married a lady called Monica, probably in Ireland, as by 1911 he was living with his wife and daughter Doris Lattitea in Hospital Street, Kildare. The couple went on to have another child.

James was killed in action on 17 May 1915 in France. This was announced in the Express & Star on 8 June 1915. A similar article appeared in the Midland Counties Express on 12 June 1915. By this date, his relatives were living at 19 St Stephen’s Gate, off Pountney Street, Wolverhampton, while his wife and children were in Dundalk, Ireland. He is buried at the Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy, France, and is remembered on the St John’s Church war memorial.

 

Harold Samuel I. Griffiths

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Harold was born in Wolverhampton in 1881, the son of Samuel and Helen J. Griffiths. In 1901 they were living at Parkside, Albert Road, Wolverhampton, along with Harold’s sister Ethel and grandmother Annie Lewis and aunt Mary Lewis. The 19-year-old Harold was a hosier’s apprentice. They were at the same address in 1911, by which date Harold had become a hosier and glover.

Harold enlisted first in the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 25543) and then joined the 1st/5th Battalion of the Prince of Wales’s Volunteers (South Lancashire) Regiment (number 31333). He participated in the Battle of Cambrai, but was killed in action on 30 November 1917. The value of his effects was £1666. He is remembered at the Cambrai memorial. He is also commemorated on the Roll of Honour in the Lady Chapel in St Peter’s Church.

John Lloyd

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The son of the late John Lloyd and Matilda Lloyd, John was born in Wolverhampton in 1895. By 1901, he was living with his widowed mother at 13 Albion Street, Wolverhampton, along with his siblings Maud, Martha, George and Elizabeth.

John enlisted with the 2nd Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (service number 32131). He fought in the Battle of Cambrai, and was killed in action on 30 November 1917. He is remembered on the Cambrai Memorial at Louverval, as well as on the memorial of Monmoor & Victoria Works, where he must have worked at some point.

John Emery

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John was born in Wolverhampton in 1878, the son of Horace V. and Caroline or Kate Emery. He was baptised in Wednesfield on 13 October 1878. By 1901 they were living at 102 Wolverhampton Road, Heath Town, together with John’s brothers Horace and Austin and sister Louisa. John was a baker and bread maker. In 1908, he married Martha Maria Jane Griffiths in Wolverhampton. By 1911, they lived at 190 Wolverhampton Road, Heath Town (although his wife was listed as “Jennie”), and they had three daughters – Joyce, Marcia and Mavis.

John enlisted in the 4th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment (number 203758). He was killed in action during the Battle of Cambrai on 6 December 1917. Unfortunately, his wife was to have a further daughter, Hazel, whose birth was registered in the December quarter of 1917, so it is possible that he never met her. John is remembered at the Cambrai memorial in Louverval, as well as on the memorial in Heath Park.

William Clark

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William was born in Wolverhampton in around 1895, the son of George and Agnes Clark. They were living at 43 Drayton Street, Wolverhampton, in 1901. By 1911, they had moved to 67 Hall Street, Blakenhall, Wolverhampton, and William had gained a brother (Albert Edward) and sister (Nellie). By this date, William was a labourer in the iron trade.

William enlisted as a Private in the 1st Battalion of the Grenadier Guards (number 25342). William was involved in the Battle of Cambrai, and was killed in action on 1 December 1917. He is remembered on the Cambrai Memorial in France, as well as on the roll of honour of St Chad and St Mark’s Church. By the date of his death, his parents were living at 1 House, 23 Block, Thompson Avenue, Wolverhampton.

Thomas Appleby

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Thomas was originally born in Northumberland in around 1880, the son of Thomas and Margaret Appleby. By 1911, he was a border in the home of Sarah Ann Thurman at 40 Thornley Street, Wolverhampton. He appears to have been a “Kinematograph Bill Inspector”. In 1914, he married Sophia A. Taylor in Wolverhampton. The couple had three children – Iris, Thomas A. and Vera – between 1914 and 1918.

Thomas enlisted as a Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery (service number 147898). He died in hospital on 22 April 1918 in Alexandria, Egypt. His address when he died was 107 Alma Street, Heath Town. The value of his effects was £370 8s. 10d. He is buried at Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery.

William Norman Lowe

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William was born in Wolverhampton in 1890, the son of Thomas Enoch and Ellen J. Lowe. His father had been a Lieutenant Colonel in the 6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment. In 1901, he was living with his parents at 139 Paget Road, Wolverhampton, along with brothers Francis H., Clement P., Theodore Linley and Arthur J. By 1911, he had become a bank clerk and was boarding at the home of Ambrose Skinner in East Molesey, Surrey.

William enlisted in the 14th Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry, and as a Captain was attached to the 13th East Surrey Regiment. On the outbreak of war, he was in China, where (according to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission information) he received his commission from the Governor of Hong Kong. He returned to England and joined the 10th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment, travelling to France in 1915. William was killed in action on 24 November 1917 during the Battle of Cambrai. By this date his home address was 23 Parkdale, Wolverhampton. The value of his effects was £326 11s. 10d. William is remembered on the Cambrai memorial in France, as well as on the roll of honour in the Lady Chapel at St Peter’s Church.

Albert Elliott

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Albert was born in Wolverhampton in 1892. He was a pauper in the Wolverhampton Cottage Homes in Wednesfield in 1901, so it is unclear who his parents were. However, his entry on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site lists his next of kin as his brother, George. By 1911, George was at 35 Rosebery Street, Wolverhampton, together with his wife, Mary Ann Harriett. This is the address given on the CWGC site, so this is definitely Albert’s brother. An earlier (1891) census lists George’s (and therefore presumably Albert’s) parents as Samuel and Louisa.

Albert enlisted at Wolverhampton as a Rifleman in the 12th Battalion of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps (number R/16356). He fought in the Battle of Cambrai, but was killed in action on 20 November 1917. He is remembered at the Cambrai Memorial in Louverval.

Walter Sidney Spencer

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Walter was born in Wolverhampton in 1899, the son of William and Edith Spencer. In 1901 they were living at 8 Graiseley Street, Wolverhampton, along with Walter’s siblings William H., Lillian M., Ernest, Frederick and Edith. The family were living at 15 Peel Street in 1911, and Walter had gained three more siblings – Charlie, Florence and May.

Walter enlisted as a Private in the West Yorkshire Regiment (number 53339). On 27 March 1918, he was reported as missing. However, by 29 May 1918, the Express & Star were able to report that he had written home to state he was a prisoner in Germany. His address by this date was 62 Great Brickkiln Street, Wolverhampton. He was taken prisoner at Rosiers, and was held at the Quesnoy camp. He had only been on active service a fortnight when he was taken prisoner.

Walter survived the war, and in 1920 he married Doris E. Robbins in Wolverhamtpon. They had a daughter, Edna M. (1921) and a son, Geoffrey W. (1926). Walter died in Wolverhampton in 1978