Tuesday 17 December 2013

Names on the Berkswell War memorial for those researching

I know its been a long time between our war memorial posts but this time of the year is so busy for us on our website. However, here is the names on the Berkswell war memorial for researching your family history or other research or interest. This brick built war memorial stands in the grounds of St John the Baptist Church. The village of Berkswell has a long history and once was under the ownership of the Earl of Warwick.

It is one of the most loveliest villages we have visited. Above is a photograph of the church and details below.

 The war memorial is an arched brick structure containing the names of the men who died in the First World War and also a few from the Second World War. The church yard also has a couple of graves dedicated to the fallen.

The names are as following:


Pte T Smith.
Pte A Kirby
Gnr H Smith.
2nd Lt H J Goodwin
Spr E Bailey
Cpl A J Collins
2nd Lt R T Boddington
Pte F G Skidmore
Gnr A Whinfrey
Cpl H Proctor
Pte C Chamberlain
Pte J Shirley


Pte S Worrod


L Cpl H Moseley
Lt F H Hoyle
Pte H Bauchan
Sgt E H Long DCM MM
Pte J Franklin
Cpl F Owen
Spr H Beacham
Pte J Freeman
L. Cpl J Simpson
Tp R H Barfoot
Pte P Blamire
Pte F Selfe


Lcpl C H Woodfield


Sgt H Barker
Sgt G Barker
Pte H Simmons
Pte J C Smith


Pte J Court
Pte E Franklin

1939 - 1945

Gden A J Bull
Po W D Cooper
Lt A C H Davies
Sgt C H Gold
Gnr J Hawker
Plb G F Osborne
Cpl W T Richards
Sgt W T Sibley
Lce J H Simmons
2nd Off P L Whitaker - sorry if any of the details are wrong. Our photographs were very difficult to read.


Pte W Tarvey
Pte J Timms
Lt T Weiss
Pte C Basey
QM Sct D Nicholl
Stkr C Simmons RN

In the middle of the war memorial is a shelf for the poppy wreaths and engravings of a cross and saints.

There are two graves in the churchyard for men who fell and who remembered.

A family grave for Thomas Garner Dalton, Jane Dalton and their grandson Liet Victor George Goodchild RAF. who died in France on the 31st October 1918 aged 22 years. He is not commemorated on the Berkswell War Memorial.

 A war grave dedicated to Pilot Officer W D Cooper, navigator of the Royal Air Force who died 10th October 1943 aged 24 years. He is on the Berkswell War Memorial also. 

Sunday 10 November 2013

Remembrance Sunday 2013

This Remembrance Sunday 2013 has started with a bright clear crisp day and so I would like to remember those who fought and some who died in the two World wars in mine and my husband's family.

Michael Arthur Hart 1898 - 1964 - my grandfather.


Grandad Hart enlisted in the Royal Warwick Regiment when he was just 15 in 1914. Whilst serving at Ypres he was injured in the knee by shrapnel and limped for the rest of his life. The names on the card are of the other two men in the picture. Michael Hart is seated with no hat on and lived in Small Heath, Birmingham. 

On this day I would also like to remember :- 

Thomas Patrick Cusack 1911 - 1940 who died at Dunkirk. (Small Heath, Birmingham)
Joseph Davies 1889 - 1915 who died in Belgium (Shrewsbury)
Henry Docker 1887 - 1915 in the Royal Warwick Regiment and died in France.
Lawrence Docker 1892 - 1920 Died from the effect of gas poisoning from WW1.
Harry Hands 1894 - 1939 who never recovered from the shell shock of WW1.
Joseph Hands 1888 - 1956 Labor Corps 
Charles Frederick Horrocks 1894 - 1933 Worcester Regiment 
Frederick Charles Horrocks 1897 - 1916 Died on the 1st July 1916 at the Somme. 
Raymond Frederick Horrocks 1921 - 1958 Served in the Air Fleet in WW2. Left with damaged lungs.
Sidney Horrocks 1895 -? Served in the Royal Warwick Regiment in WW1.
Henry Lightfoot 1873 - 1936 (First Peaky Blinder named in court) Served in the Royal Warwick Regiment. 
George Edward Shaw 1881 - 1918 Staffordshire Regiment Lance Corporal died in France.
William Ernest Ward 1900 -? Joined at 16 but found out and discharged. re-joined when of age and served in the West Riding Regiment. Injured wounds to left leg. 
Zephaniah Ward 1821 - 1905 Served for most of his life in the 2nd Life Guards, London. Died a pauper in a Poor House. 

Also the rest of the men who served this country in the many conflicts that have occurred. 

Sunday 3 November 2013

Stechford War Memorial in Birmingham

Stechford War Memorial was one that I did not register was there. For years I traveled by bus (no 11 Outer Circle) to school and passed within walking distance. Then later in life I would drive by here when visiting patients as part of my Registered Nurse training. In 2007, when I first started this project my husband took me to Stechford to see this war memorial. It is in the middle of an island at the junction of Albert Rd, Lyttelton Rd, Richmond Rd and Yardley Fields Rd/Stuarts Rd. This junction is known as Five Ways. My photographs were taken in early 2007 and since then this memorial has been restored.

It is totally dedicated to the men who died from Stechford in the First World war.

 The war memorial has a total of four plaques. One that has  the dedication and three with names of a total of  52 names. Stechford was at the time of the war a rural village surrounded by fields. Houses had been built around the railway and the five ways roads had just been built in 1907. So to loose 52 men from this small community must have been devastating. Not forgetting the injured as well. At Victoria Rd, Stechford, the annex hospital called Stoneleigh was in service from 1916 treating the wounded. This 62 bed hospital treated over 1000 men.

The first dedication plaque has two sections. The top section says:

Erected by public subscription to the immortal memory of the men of Stechford who fell in the Great War 1914 - 1918.

Below that is another dedication:

They nobly responded to the call of duty and died that Britain might honour her pledged word to protect the weak and defenceless against aggression and that good faith truth and justice should prevail amongst the nations.

The names on the first plaque are as following:

Frank Barratt
Walter Harold Benbow
George William Bex
William Binnie
Robert Bowman
Frederick Hubert Brown
Reginald Lancelot Castle
John Howard Chaplin
Reginald C Clayton
Charles Clements
Harry Francis Colligott
George Thomas Davies
George Thomas Deeley
Oscar Alfred Edson
Robert Freer
George Horace Freer
George Henry Gilbert

On the second plaque are the names of more men:

William George Hall
Arnold H Hawkins
Raylis N Hawkins
Alfred Garnet Heyes
Ernest Henry Ingram
John Herbert Ivens
Charles James
Frederick Wigan Jones
Thomas Jordan
Stuart Keogan
Albert Mantoon
Donald Magadie
Francis McGarthy
Cyril McGarthy
Bernard Metcalfe
George Edward Newman
Cyril Elmore pells

The third and last plaque has 18 names on and are as following:

Frank Oriel Perry
Hubert William Phipps
George Henry Porter
Southwell Ricson
Albert Ernest Roads
Horace James Saunders
Stanley Shuttleworth
Wilfred James Slade
William Frederick Summers
Thomas Tams
Stanley Thomas
John Radford Thrower
Albert Tonks
Gilbert Westwood
Cyril Willday
Charles Bernard Willetts
Harold Young
Sidney Young.

I always undertake a little research on a few men and it always amazes me to the fact that the men or their family may not be as local as assumed. Alfred garnet Hayes is one such young man. He died at 19 years of age on the 15th July 1916. A private in the Royal Army Medical Corps for the 1st South Midlands Field Ambulances. He is buried in France after dying from his wounds. Alfred's parents were Arthur Henry and Flora Heyes who lived in Torquay Devon at 33 Shirburn Rd.

Harold Young was just 20 when he died on the 4th March 1917. He was in the Worcestershire Regiment as a private. His parents W J and Mary Young lived at 55 Victoria Rd, Stechford. He is buried in France.

George William Bex was a private in the Royal Army Medical Corps for the South Midlands, Field Ambulance Regiment. His parents were Oliver Graham and Isabella Bex of 119 Albert Rd, Stechford. He died of wounds at 23 years of age on the 25th July 1916. His family were originally from Liverpool and from a quick research, he was the only son of Oliver and William who had two daughters as well. A clerk by trade.

Whilst researching this memorial it was very evident that is still commemorated in the community, who have strong community values.

Sunday 8 September 2013

Hampton in Arden war memorial, West Midlands

Driving through the small village of Hampton in Arden on the outskirts of Solihull. You can not fail to see the tall Hampton in Arden war memorial at the side of the road. However saying that when we attended the Summer fair in early summer of this year, it was covered up. It has been renovated apparently and the names re-carved. So please stop and take time out just to look.The photographs were taken in early 2007 and are not my best. It was a little difficult in picking out the names, so I apologies before hand.

It is dedicated to both the fallen of World War One and Two.  There are apparently all but one from the 1914 - 1918 war and one name from the 1939 - 1945 war.
The names are as following:

C Bailey
R Baker
R Blamire
H Blizzard
A Borley
S Cockaigne
C Cull
Hubert Draper
G A Dutton.
W Gascoigne
W D Henderson
L Hill

C C Jenkins
J Jones
C V Jones
T P Jones
E King
P Pool
L Radmore
P Shirley
J Savage
W Savage
W Woodward


I will hopefully be able to retake this War Memorial photographs now that it has been restored and show them below. Quite difficult to research these people and after a quick look I am afraid I could find nothing out about these brave men. I do know that some research has been carried out and it is in a book about Hampton in Arden. But the pixies have been in to our house and for the life of me. I can not find the book. Yes we do have lots of local history books on our bookcase and we do tend to add regularly to them.

Although so far the war memorial covered were originally researched and photographed in 2007 with more to come. The gape of a few years was because my legs went AWOl, and I have only just been able to walk unaided without my trusty walking stick. This year my husband and I have covered another dozen or more locally and across the UK. We have also taken time to explore the local churches and cemeteries and photograph the War Memorial gravestones looked after by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Also I have tried to photograph other graves that have men fallen in war conflict. In fact anything of interest to someone undertaking family history or local history research. Our biggest undertaking so far has been Yardley cemetery in Birmingham. It is massive and so far we have covered just 5 sections, but I will blog more about that later.         

Monday 12 August 2013

Scouts Memorial Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham

Before leaving Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham, have a look at the Scouts Memorial. Its tucked away at the far end of the car park in a small corner all by itself. There are no names on this war memorial. which was erected in honor of the men from the Scouts that enlisted and died in World War One and Two.

The photographs of the Scouts War Memorial in Cannon Hill were taken in early 2007.

The dedication on the front says the following:

To the Scouts who fell in the Great War and the World War.

A short and simple dedication but to the point. On the reverse is the Scouts emblem and also the words Pro Patria 1914 - 1918 and 1939 - 1945 (I think).


So when visiting Cannon Hill Park take a look at both the War Memorials and enjoy this little piece of tranquility in the heart of Birmingham City.

To end this blog here are a few old postcards of Cannon Hill park from my own collection.

Thursday 8 August 2013

Hockley Heath War Memorial, Solihull, West Midlands

Just along the Old Warwick Road in Hockley Heath Solihull is the tall Hockley Heath War Memorial of cream stone. It has both the World War names on from 1914 to 1919 and 1939 to 1945. The brave mens names are listed in alphabetical order. Though its not clear on which are from the First World War and which are from the Second World War, I am assuming that the names on the top part of each column are from the first and those listed below are from the second.

The dedication on the front says:
In honoured memory of the men of this district.
Who gave their lives for their king and country
In the Great War 
1914 - 1919
& in the World War
1939 - 1945

The names listed are as following:

F Aldington
A Birkett Barker
H Birkett Barker
F Baulcombe
G Bellamy
T Bellamy
C Bishop
H Buckley
A Callaghan
S Capewell
G H Catler
C H Cranmer
O Cranmer
S Dawes
F J Doughty
T C Cranmer

J T Bennett
A E Bristow
J G Dodd
L N Eden
R G Featherstone

 The next panel has these names on:

C H Dwyer
A Edgar
O Foreshaw
T Freeman
E C frost
R Gilman
G A Griffin
W C E Hadland
L T Hammond
J B Harris
H Harrison
G Hawkins
F G Herbert
T Hicken
F Hollis

E G England
C H Hodges
C E Jones
J T Jones

On the next panel are the names of these soldiers:

V G Houghton
C Hutchings
J James
C Jones
H J Keel
F Kirby
A Knibb
J Lloyd
J O Muntz
A Paget
F J Palmer
F Pardington
T Parkes
W R Parry
T Perkins

D H C Lambart
M S Morris
J Walton
F Wells

 The last panel has the following soldiers names:

W Perkins
F V Perks
A S Pope
W J Reynolds
A Smith
H Smith
H Taylor
G Terheege
J Tonks
A Wale
E A Walker
W Webb
A White
R Woods
G Bullivant

A White
F J Williams
A D Wimbush
Grace Zender

Once again this war memorial contains a women's name from the Second World War. Grace Zender (Edith Grace Zender) She was only 18 when she died at Hockerill Training College, Bishops Storford on the 11th October 1940. Hockerill Training College was a teacher training college for women who were lay Christian preachers as well. On the fatal night of the 10th October 1940, a German Luftwaffe discharged its three bombs that were thought to have been targeted for more likely a major British city. However the Germans discharged their deadly cargo on the next likely target on their way home after meeting resistance from the ground air defences. The college was not probably the target but the local railway lines. Three bombs exploded over Bishops Storford, with one being a direct hit on Menet House. This was the accommodation of the teachers and students. Unfortunately it killed three students straight away and buried seven other students and a lecturer, who were eventually rescued. Grace Zender was the daughter of Alfred and Edith Zender of Flower Knott, Hockley Heath.

George William Terheege was killed during the First World War on the 7th November 1918. He is burried in Umberslade Baptist Burial Ground. At 34 he was a private in the Devonshire Regiment and Labour Corps. His parents lived in Meriden and his wife Emily Terheege lived on the Stratford Rd, Hockley and he died at home. George was married to Emily in 1907 in Solihull, and she was then Emily Ann Dutton.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Castle Bromwich War Memorial

Not far from Castle Bromwich Hall on the Green is the Castle Bromwich War Memorial. My photographs were taken in early 2007; and since then this war memorial has had a further plaque added for those killed in action from the area since 1945.

The main memorial is divided into the left part dedicated to the First World War and the right part to the Second World War.
Names are as following:

The Great War 1914 - 1918

S Andrews
H Betts
E Birch
R O B Bridgeman
G Brotherton
R E Bullows
J T Churchill
F Crofts
A Eden
R Eden
R D Evans

A Hancox
J Harvey
A Hemmings
G Holtham
B T Harris
E Irons
G Irons
W J Leake
W S Morgan
G Neville

S G Ravenhall
H E Rhodes
J T Rowley
H Rudd
H Rushton
S Smith
C Stone
H J Watlington
A W Watton
J Woolley
F Wyatt

The middle plaque with a cross above has the thought provoking paragraph:

At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.

The World War 1939 - 1945
Names are as following:

W Adams
O G Baker
T Collins
A Cooke
J Cook
G Cox
R Crawford
D R Davis
E Davis
R Dawes
M Dunn

F Forbes
G E Gostling
E Hall
B Johnson
E Jones
A M Henry
A Milner
G Palmer
T Sale
T Savage
J Snowball

N Stocker
L Thomas
R Thompson
A Tonks
B Walker
J Winkley
B Winning
G Winning
F Wynn
Mary W Green

From the names of the soldiers who died in the First World War there is R O B Bridgeman who was Commander Richard Orlando Bridgeman DSO. He was the second son of the 4th Earl of Bradford and Ida Frances Anabella Lumley of Castle Bromwich Hall. He died in 1917 aged 37 when his plane got into difficulty over Africa.
The only name that appears to be female is on the Second World War section and is that of Mary W Green. This is Mary Winifred Green, Chief Volunteer of the Auxiliary Territorial Services who died in 1940. She was the oldest daughter of John and Ethel Green of Castle Bromwich. She is buried in Perry Barr Cemetery in Birmingham.  

Saturday 6 July 2013

War memorial in St Peter's Church, by Coughton Court, Alcester

A short walk from Coughton Court in Alcester is the church of St Peter's. Inside is a wall plaque with the names and information of the men who died in the First World War. This grade1 listed building might be missed on a trip to the house but well worth taking time out to view. The war memorial plaque is easy to read (thank goodness) being in white with black wording. So my older eyes were able to transcribe this one without much difficulty.

Underneath the black cross is the wording:

To the glory of God and in memory of those who went forth from this parish and fell in the Great War 1914 - 1918.

Lieut Col Throckmorton, Royal Welch Fusiliers, April 9th 1916, Sanna Y Yat.
Major C E C Eagles DSO, Royal Marine Light Infantry, April 23rd 1918, Zeebrugge.
Sec Liet Percival A Chambers, Royal Warwickshire Regt, April 26th 1916, Mesopotamia.
L/Cpl F Mason MM, Royal Warwickshire Regt, August 9th 1917, France.
Frank Ainge, Gloucestershire Regt, Dec 2nd 1917, France.
Charles Baylis, Royal Garrison Artillery, Dec 1916, France.
Dennis Bolt, Worcestershire Regt, March 4th 1917, France.
Ernest Ford, Labour Brigade, August 8th 1917, France.
Leslie Horton, Worcestershire Regt, Oct 20th 1916, France.
Edward P Johnson, Worcestershire Regt, Dec 1st 1917, France.
John Parker, Royal Warwickshire Regt, July 10th 1917, Mesopotamia.
Arthur Perks, Royal West Kent Regt, Sept 24th 1918, France.
Frederick Pinfold, Dorsetshire Regt, Oct 2nd 1916.
W Harry Smith, Royal Warwickshire Regt, July 30th 1916, France.
Arthur Wheeler, Post Office Rifles, Dec 1916, France.

Information about St Peter's Church Alcester and Coughton Court.

Lieutenant Corporal Richard Courtney Brabazon Throckmorton was just 49 (born 1866) when he died. Already a veteran of the Boer War and heir to the Coughton Estate.

Arthur John Wheeler was 26 when he died in France. Previously a rural postman living in River Cottage, Alcester, Warwickshire in 1911.He was in the 8th City Of London Battalion, Post Office Rifles. Interestingly other resources says that he died on the 7th October 1916.

More memorials to come in and around Solihull and Birmingham. 

Wednesday 3 July 2013

Photographs from a 1940s wedding in Acocks Green, Birmingham

Don't you love a mystery? So when this small book of wedding photographs from the 1940s was auctioned on Ebay, I couldn't resist. There are no names of the happy couple or any details other than the photographer was a Stanley Hewitt, Studio 85, Warwick Road, Olton, Birmingham 27. Can you help name them and so that I can hopefully return this book to the family that ended up in Exeter.

Just a few of the photographs are going to be shown and the first is of the happy bride and groom. Who are they? When the photographs arrived the church was a mystery but there are some clues.

Groom with his best man waiting by the church door before the wedding. Quite a distinct carved entrance that reminded me of the church that my mother was married in. So out came her photographs but none showed the carved head above, but the stone work looked very similar.

Three lovely bridesmaids with glorious bouquets in their hands. Its a pity the photographs then were not in colour. Would love to know the colour of their dresses.  Wonder how long it took them to curl their hair just right ready for the big day. Curlers in over night and a hot curling iron warmed on the fire to finish of the tight curls maybe. 
Now as we were transcribing war memorials and visiting churches. I visited the St Mary, the virgin church in Acocks Green, Birmingham to look for a match and it so happens to be the church that my parents got married in during the late 1950s.

We found that the door and entrance matched these mid to late 1940s wedding photographs.

Hence this radiant bride and her beaming groom were married in St Mary, the virgin church in Acocks Green on the Warwick road.
Here are them with the main family. I love the way that the mothers were sat down. Probably because their shoes were hurting by this time or because it was a correct etiquette thing to do. I am not quite sure. 

The whole wedding party photograph seems to have been taken elsewhere. Can not name this building as yet?  It looks like the reception was at a hall somewhere. Maybe this was the church hall or one of the working mens clubs in the area. It was usually quite close in those days, as many people did not have a car, so would have been walking or catching the bus. How we take things for granted nowadays on distance.

Do you recognize anyone. My mom lived in Acocks Green as a young girl and she couldn't, but some one might.
Here is a photograph inside with the wedding cake. Love the tiered cakes that were traditionally decorated. One part was put away for the first christening with the icing and marzipan removed first.

Then lastly the going away car and happy couple or wedding car with loads of paper confetti. No clues to the street from this photograph. It could either be outside the St Marys church or the wedding reception. See the little boy in the background scooping up the confetti from the floor. Kids don't change do they! He would be in his 60s or 70s now.

So can you help? Just email us via our website or post a comment to the bottom of this blog. We do look at them before publishing and would not publish anything with an email or phone number on - because of the spam that follows!