EVENTS This Thursday, 14th December, is our ‘Christmas Chat n Char’ so Roger invites you all to ‘Come and Spend a Penny’ with him. Starts at 10am at the Salem.
OUR SALEM BASE is open to everyone, as usual, every Tuesday from 9am – 2pm.
REQUESTS From Paul Corbett ‘I have come across details on the net from your newsletter in 2015 regarding an article on John Haycox of the Worcestershire Regiment from Cheslyn Hay. I am lucky enough to be the temporary custodian of his war medals and memorial plaque and would like to find out more about his life. Do you hold any information that you could supply which I would add to his copy of army papers that I hold?
An appreciative email comes from Derek Bullock in Canada who asks ‘My mother, Lilly Smith, was born in the cottages which stood on High Street, just above the War Memorial, in 1905. Somewhere about 1918 she left school and “went into service”, as many girls did at that time. I believe she was in the household of Mr and Mrs Reginald Smart. Mr Smart was a Colliery Manager after the war but I don’t know where, although it can’t have been too far away. He was wounded at Vimy, but obviously survived. Mrs Smart apparently had one of his tunic buttons mounted in gold as a brooch to commemorate his survival. The gold back is inscribed ‘Vimy 1917’. The pin broke off the button and Mrs Smart gave the pin-less brooch to my mother as a keepsake. I believe Mr Smart died in the 1970’s. I wonder if you can find out any more about this man, and if there are descendants who might be interested?’
Similarly, Bill Thomason emails ‘A few years ago, my brother died in New Zealand, where he lived, and his partner sent me a few things back to Blighty including John James Thomason’s (my granddad) WWI medals, his Army wallet & other bits and bobs. In the wallet was a photo of his dad, Solomon, his mam, Emma, with his brother, and a little piece of cross-stitch work spelling the word MIZPAH. Also a photograph of ‘Arthur Bradley – South Staffs Regiment, 138 Victor Street, killed’. We have no knowledge of who he is, but we know he was living at my grandparent`s address, so we assumed he was a lodger and became one of the ‘pals’. If somebody may find a connection, they are most welcome to the original photograph.
RESPONSES Following Alan Brown’s historical observations on the last 100 years, I have received a rather profound response from David Powell. ‘I was so grateful for your allusion to our European connections. On the 12 November I attended the service of reconciliation at the German War cemetery on Cannock Chase. The service remembers all, not only soldiers, who are effected by war. My niece and her Yorkshire husband live in Lorraine, the war memorial in their village, like ours, list those who died in two wars, the same family names occur in both; yet in 1914-18 Lorraine was Lothringen, in the German Empire, so they died for the Kaiserreich against France, – in 1939 of course, against Germany.’ David adds the memories of his grandfather, Frank Powell, later landlord of the Royal Oak in Norton Lane, in the first battle of Ypres.
Our Military Researcher Bob Brevitt has been able to email Glynis with details of all of her Lockley family together with the military records of both Georgeand William Henry Lockley, as well as information on the father, James Henry.
And Moss comments on the 1967 article on the parking problems in Station Street with his own memories.
ARCHIVE ADDITIONS/ARTEFACTS/DONATIONS ‘Walsall Leather Industry – The World’s Saddlers’, a book donated by John Colman.
WHAT HAPPENED THIS WEEK 100 YEARS AGO by Mike Belcher
8th December 1917 News of 2nd Lieutenant Clifford Devereux gunshot wounds in France, also of his brother, Jack.
8th December 1917 Details of a meeting of the Local Relief Committee and Red Cross Society was held in the Salem Schools on Friday evening togetherwith the efforts of the children of the Local Council Schools with Mr W J Simkin, Mrs Allen and Miss K Scragg.
8th December 1917 The funeral of the late Mr S Smith, of Littlewood, Cheslyn Hay, who was chairman of St Mark’s Church.
WHAT’S IN OUR ARCHIVES A 13 page story researched by Paul Ford on the murder of John Farnell by James Alsopp at the Nook Colliery in 1870. Mentioned in the report are John, Samuel, Elizabeth, May, John, Charles, Richard, Sarah and Peter of the Farnell family as well as James, Sarah, Caroline & Henry of the Alsopp family. Plus Elizabeth Perks, Charles Altree, Eliza Smith, Lucy & Thomas Kitchen, John Gregory, John Hubery, William Stokes, Thomas Williams, Avis Addison and PC Samuel Lindop.
CATHERINE SOULSBY (daughter of Christine & Peter WILCOX) suddenly passed away on 28th November aged only 63. Catherine grew up in Sutherland Road, was involved with the Gingham Girls and only left the village when she married. Funeral is at 12 o clock, December 20th at Stafford Crematorium. Our condolences go to her husband, Keith, and the family.