air raids, Arthur Bettles, Birches Barn Road, British Red Cross, Egypt, Ettingshall, France, John Bettles, Leacroft Avenue, Merridale Street, Royal Defence Corps, South Staffordshire Regiment, Steelhouse Lane, Taylor Manufacturing Company, Wesleyan Church, Wolverhampton General Hospital
These are the sons of Arthur and Anne Bettles, living at 6 Steelhouse Lane, Wolverhampton in 1901, when the household consisted of sons Arthur Harry and John William, and daughters Florence Annie, Ethel May and Dorothy Eleanor. They were at the same address in 1911, with an additional four children – Harold Ernest, Eva Lilian, Constance Evelyn and Horace Frederick.
Arthur was born in Wolverhampton on 6 October 1892. By 1911, Arthur was working as an iron window frame maker. At some point he worked for Taylor Manufacturing Company in Wolverhampton. Arthur enlisted in the South Staffordshire Regiment as a Private (number 9379), first serving in France from 28 November 1914. He later transferred to the Number 163 Protection Company of the Royal Defence Corps (number 68152). He served in France and Egypt, receiving a gun shot wound to the left foot in November 1916, but he survived the war. Arthur married Annie C. Bannister in 1917 in Wolverhampton, and they had two daughters, Barbara (1920) and Annie M. (1922). In 1939, they were living at 7 Leacroft Avenue, Wolverhampton, with their children. Arthur was working as a storekeeper at a steelworks. He died in Wolverhampton in 1965. He was remembered as a local man who served by the Wesleyan Church in Ettingshall.
John William Edward Bettles was born on 25 February 1895. By 1911 he was a coffee mill maker. In 1916, he married Mabel P. Bannister (presumably a relation of Annie C.) in Wolverhampton, and they had two sons, Robert A. E. (1917) and Ronald H. (1928). Unlike his brother, John appears not to have done any military service but was, instead, serving with the British Red Cross at home. From February 1917 onwards, (when his address was 540 Parkfield Road, Wolverhampton), he was doing hospital work in the military wards of Wolverhampton General Hospital. He was also responsible for the transportation of wounded at Wolverhampton and Lichfield, and Air Raid duty at Merridale Street Air Raid Station in Wolverhampton. By 1939, he was living with his wife and children at 49 Birches Barn Road, and was the Managing Director of a Constructional Engineering works. John died on 16 March 1975, and the value of his effects was £6636.