This image appeared in the Midland Counties Express on 11 December 1915, showing three sons of Mr and Mrs Lees of 122 Aldersley Road, Tettenhall, along with a son-in-law and “a young man who resides with the family”:
- Private Bert Lees, 27 years old, serving with the 1st/6th South Staffords, was wounded in France and was in hospital in Norwich
- Private James Lees (aged 21) and Private Arthur Lees (aged 19), both in the Staffordshire Yeomanry
- Private William Mears, who lived with the family, in the 2nd/6th South Staffordshire Regiment
- Driver George Green (son-in-law), was in France with the Transport section.
These were the sons of Thomas and Mary Ann Lees, who were already at 122 Aldersley Road in 1911, with children William, Thomas, Bert, Florence, James, Harold, Arthur and Freddie.
Bertie was born in Wolverhampton in 1886. He was an errand boy in 1901 and an unemployed general labourer in 1911. On 8 October 1914, he enlisted with the 6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 3181), by which trade his occupation was given as barman. He attained the rank of Corporal but was admonished and later reverted to the ranks for two instances of absenteeism from Himley in January 1915. In 1917 he married Hilda Addison in Wolverhampton, and the couple had seven children – Hilda M. (1918), Rose (1919), Alber H. (1921), Florence (1923), Ada (1926), Violet (1928) and Frederick (1929). Bertie survived the war.
James was born in Wolverhampton in 1892. He was a billiard marker at a public house in 1911. He enlisted first with the Staffordshire Yeomanry (number 3234), and served in Egypt from 10 November 1915. He later transferred to the Corps of Hussars (number 300519), before he was disembodied on 10 April 1919. I have been unable to confirm further details of his life.
Arthur was born on 12 July 1895, and was a gardener at an iron foundry in 1911. Like his brother James, he served with the Staffordshire Yeomary (number 3238) in Egypt from 10 November 1915 and later transferred to the Corps of Hussars (number 300523). He was disembodied on 3 July 1919. He died in Wolverhampton in 1976, but I have been unable to confirm further details of his life.
I am able to confirm that William Thomas Mears served with the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 9265), but I am unable to confirm further details about him. He certainly was not living with the family in 1911.
It was initially tricky to find out which of the Lees daughters George Green married. However, it appears that Kate Lees married William Anslow in Wolverhampton in 1904. Her husband died in Walsall in 1906 at the age of 24, and she remarried, to George Green, on 24 November 1906 at Wolverhampton Registry Office. The couple were living at 92 Aldersley Road in 1911, with their two children, George Leslie and John William. They had a daughter, Katie Elizabeth, in 1913. George Green enlisted with the Army Service Corps (number 144254) on 25 October 1915, by which date he was a horse driver. He served in France, until he was demobilisted on 25 May 1919.