Battle of Gommecourt, Birmingham Morning Post, France, George Adams, Goldthorn Hill, Lichfield, Lincolnshire, Mars Steelworks, Penn, Queen Street Congregational Church, Shrewsbury School, South Staffordshire Regiment, Summerfield
Susan Martin, one of the volunteers currently working on the Queen Street project, has found out more information about George Norman Adams:
George Norman Adams was born on 11 December 1888 in Wolverhampton, the son of George North Adams and Fanny Cadman Adams (nee Harris).
His father had started as a clerk in an iron foundry (Hope House, Bilston) and by 1881 was an ironmaster living Kilston House, Goldthorn Hill, Penn. He described himself as a manufacturer and galvinizer of sheet metal on the 1911 census living at 8 Summerfield, Wolverhampton. This was the Mars Steelworks. In 1888 he had become a member of the Congregational Church, Queen Street, Wolverhampton and became one of the leaders of the Church. He died 23 November 1921 aged 67. From his obituary in the 1922 Church Manual
no matter in what circle one heard of him, in business dealings; with his employees; amongst colleagues in public work and in private enterprise: in the work of the church or intimacy of private friendship and the home, the impression was always the same. Uprightness, honour, diligence, integrity and consideration for others …Later life brought much sorrow and physical pain.
By then he was living Bromley, Penn, and left an estate of of £4359 17s 7d. The death of his son George Norman would have been much of the sorrow.
George Norman had a brother Percy John who became a civil engineer, and sisters Violet and Elsie May. George Norman attended Shrewsbury School. He was a stock keeper and Iron Mill Manager on the 1911 census, living with his parents. He joined the 6th Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment and went to France on 21/5/1915. In around September or early October he was in hospital in Lichfield for an unidentified reason (an attack of…), given leave from 5/10/19115 until 24/11/1915 when it was assessed that he had fully recovered. On the 1 July 1916 the battalion was involved in the Battle of Gommecourt and George suffered a gun shot wound to the right knee. He returned to England on the hospital ship Galena on 20/7/1916 and leave was granted from then until 4/11/1916.
George’s war was, in reality, finished. His knee swelled up after an eight mile march and he couldn’t fully extend it. An abcess had formed after the wounding. On the 14/11/1916 he was deemed unfit for both general and home service, and given three more months leave to be followed by light duties at home. On 6/3/1917 he was passed fit for home service and a month later fit for garrison service abroad, labour battalion abroad or home service. The same on 25/10/1917. He was never sent overseas and appears to have been sent to the 5th Battalion South Staffordshires in Lincolnshire. From there he was admitted on the 8/10/1918 to the 4th Northern General Hospital with scabies and here he died on the 20/10/1918 from pneumonia, according to the death announcement in the Birmingham Morning Post. He had made his will on the 3 May 1918. Probate was granted to his executors, his father and his uncle Tom Bryon Adams, also an ironmaster. His estate amounted to £4608 19 s. 2d. His father received £236 2s 5d from the army. George is commemorated on the Queen Street Congregational Church Roll of Honour.