According to the Midland Counties Express of 4 December 1915, Mr and Mrs Ketland of 12 Frost Street, Ettingshall, had four sons in the army:
- Edward (26), who had been in the R.F.A. for seven months
- William (21), who had joined the R.F. A. in February
- Arthur (18), who “was with the 6th South Staffords in their memorable action a few weeks ago, and came through without a scratch”.
- Harold (17), who was with the 6th South Staffords but had not yet gone overseas.
It does not state in the article which photograph is of which brother. These are the sons of Thomas and Mary Agnes Ketland. In 1901 and in 1911, the family were at 6 Manor Road, Ettingshall, Wolverhampton, along with sisters Florence, Lily May and Evelyn, and a younger son, Alfred.
Edward Raymond Ketland was born in Oldbury, Worcestershire, in 1889. He was a sheet iron pickler at a galvanizing works in 1911. On 9 September 1914, he enlisted with the 4th (Service) Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers (number 16012). HIs trade was given as “galvanizer”. However, by 8 December 1914, he was discharged as “not likely to become an efficient soldier”. His address on discharge was given as 12 Frost Street, Ettingshall. There are no further details on his military service, but he clearly reenlisted with the Royal Field Artillery in around April or May 1915. He survived the war. He appears to have married twice – first to Florence Harrison in West Bromwich in 1920, and secondly to Elsie Bliss in Wednesbury in 1943. He had four children with his first wife – Florence G. (1921), Edward R. (1922), George T. (1924) and Harold C. (1925) – and two with his second wife – Maureen E. (1947) and Terence E. (1949). He died in Wednesbury in 1950.
James William R. was born in Dudley in 1894. He was a labourer in a warehouse in 1911. On 30 January 1915, he enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery (number 85307), when his address was Frost Street, Ettingshall. He became a Driver, and was posted on 6 May 1915. On 9 September 1916 he married Lily Sarah Knight(s) in Norwich, and the couple had a son, Ralph William, in Norwich in 1917. William contracted malaria in May 1918, but survived, and was discharged in January 1919. The couple had another child, Herbert A., in 1920. I have been unable to confirm details of William’s death.
Arthur Vincent was born in Dudley on 8 January 1897. In 1911 he was a labourer in a Tileries. Arthur served with the South Staffordshire Regiment as a Private (first number 5683 and later 242009). He served in France from 28 June 1915, until he was demobilised in March 1919. On 24 December 1922, he married Gladys Hogg in Hopwood, Lancashire, and the couple had two children, Beatrice and Edith. Arthur died in 1973.
Ernest Harold was born in Dudley on 11 March 1898. Like Arthur, he was a labourer in a Tileries in 1911. He served as a Corporal, first with the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 2103), then with the Hertfordshire Regiment (number 285033) and finally with the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment. Like his brothers, he also survived the war and married Janet Whitehouse in Wolverhampton in 1923. They had a daughter, Bessie J., in 1924. Harold died in 1970.