Bradmore, caricature, drawing, George Street, Harry Poulson, Lower Villiers Street, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, sketching, Somerset, South Staffordshire Regiment, South Wales Borderers, Star Street, Unilever
These sketches were printed in the Express & Star on 14 May 1915. They are the work of Private H. F. Poulson, of D Company, 1/6th South Staffordshire Regiment, a son of Mr and Mrs Harry Poulson of George Street, Wolverhampton. He had been a compositor before the war, and was always “dextrous with his pencil”. Apparently he was “popular among his comrades, who often persuade him to caricature certain individuals in the regiment.” As a battalion scout, Private Poulson had climbed onto the roof of one of the dilapidated cottages with his captain to sketch the German trenches and positions. His drawings were produced while the 1/6th South Staffords were in the front line near Wulverghem, holding positions that crossed the Wulverghem-Messines Road.
Harry was born in Wolverhampton on 15 October 1893, the son of Harry and Elizabeth Poulson. In 1901 they were living at Lower Villiers Street. By 1911 they were living at 39 Star Street, Bradmore, Wolverhampton, together with Harry’s siblings Constance Maude, Emma Elizabeth, Bertha Mary, Frank and Albert Clarborough. Harry was listed as an apprentice compositor for a printer.
He enlisted in the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 3030 and later 240608), first entering the war on 5 Mar 1915. On 15 January 1917 he became a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and later a Lieutenant in the South Wales Borderers. Harry survived the war.
He married Helena Margaret Daniels on 19 Dec 1919 in Wolverhampton, and the couple had three children – Richard Harcourt (1921), Frederick Rofer (1922) and Audrey Margaret (1927). After the war, Harry joined Lever Bros, working at Port Sunlight. He became a Director of Unilever in 1937, and retired in 1958. He died on 2 Mar 1986 at Taunton, Somerset.
Many thanks to Harry’s granddaughter who provided some of the information for this blog post.