The Fallen of Walsall Wood: a project

Walsall Wood’s memorial to those lost in the Great War. Image by David Evans.

Since it’s Remembrance weekend, I thought I’d share with you a project that top reader and contributor David Evans has been working on. David has gone through the roll of honour for the First World War on the Walsall Wood memorial, and listed the entries, and what he can find out about them, in spreadsheet format.

This will be of use to family historians and those seeking information about the effects and terrible toll of the conflict. It’s a live document, so it can be edited and updated as required.

David had this to say:

Hi Bob

This should give as much information as I have been able to find. Some service records were lost during a bombing raid in WW2.

I have included the major battles and their dates and location where these men would have been engaged.

It may be of some considerable use to those researching their local relatives, and especially to those whose names were missed from the list that appears in another local site.

with kind regards

David

David also noted the following:

1914, 1915 Walsall Wood War Memorial

Walsall Wood War memorial:   Killed in action

1914

William Haines, born and lived in the Vigo, miner, killed in action 26 October 1914 “France and Flanders”. 1st battalion South Staffs regiment service number 8613. Age 23

Harry Lakin, lived in King Street Walsall Wood, miner, aged 28.

1915

Ernest Cresswell, son of Noah Cresswell. Bank clerk killed 13 October 1916 (wrongly dated on cenotaph I think), “France and Flanders”  1/5th battalion South Staffs territorial Regiment service number 8975. Lived in Walsall Wood.

Thomas Chambers, lived in Shelfield, (father a miner in Walsall Wood) Aged 27.

Isaac Heath, lived in Friezland Lane, 7th battalion South Staffs Regiment. Killed in action on 9 August 1915 at Gallipoli. Service number 15156. Age 24. Coal miner at Walsall Wood.

John Lee,  7th battalion South Staffs Regiment. Died of wounds. Gallipoli. Service number 15159. He lived at Irondish, brickyard worker. Age 29.

William Mills 2nd Battalion South Staffs Regiment. Killed in action 10 March 1915 “France and Flanders”. Service number 8896.

George Pickard, Oxford and Bucks Regiment light infantry, died of wounds 1915. “France and Flanders”. Age 19,

John Reynolds. 2nd battalion South Staffs Regiment. Killed in action 24 November 1915. France and Flanders”  service number 18795. Age 19. Born and lived in the Vigo, Walsall Wood, “Coal miner underground”.

David and I request any corrections, clarifications or further information as appropriate; as befits such a piece of research, it tends to evolve as more becomes known. Please comment here or mail me at Brownhillsbob at Googlemail dot com.

Documents like this can be genuinely improved by community participation. Hopefully, we might do the same with the roll from the Second World War.

More of the village memorial. Image kindly supplied by David Evans.

The spreadsheet can be viewed in the insert below, or can be accessed from this link. I’ve not done this before, and couldn’t have sorted it without help from web wizards @Pezholio @CharlieSpotted and @TheStymaster who came to my aid. Cheers, chaps.

I will be discussing the subject of Remembrance tomorrow.

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11 Responses to The Fallen of Walsall Wood: a project

  1. 66usual says:

    Brilliant. I’m trying to do the same for the Lichfield and Chasetown fallen. I’ll follow your lead, Dave. Great work. Thanks Bob

  2. Barry Carpenter says:

    I did a project 20years ago, Droitwich and Bromsgrove doing the same sort of thing. Have a look for the local newspaper between 1914 and 1920. There will be a larger list of falled and wounded with photos if you are lucky. Village memorials don’t have all the names, because often it was the family that put the names forward to be included. The figures will be very much higher!

  3. Ray Wall says:

    In 1919/20 a written record, in book form, was published as Walsall and District Roll of Honour. but including references to those who served in the armed forces and survived the war, Entries include photos in many instances. I lost my copy on emigration to Australia in 1965, and would dearly like to know if any reader has a copy or access to one, My maternal grandfather, Christopher Silas Wood was a long-serving territorial army staff sergeant in the Royal Field Artillery (Headquartered in Worcester) and served in France from 1915 (then 33 years old) and later in the middle east, with Allenby. He never spoke of his wartime experience, but I understand he was in several of the early phase major WW1 battles. He was discharged in 1919 and settled in Brownhills, later in Walsall Wood.. In addition to his war-service medals he held the Territorial Efficiency Medal with his army number 830094. This day is a day for remembrance of the fallen of all the wars and conflicts from WW1, but at the same time we should try to imagine the great distress of the families once the inevitable telegram notifying a KIA, was delivered and the disruption caused to family lives, aware that socio-economic upheaval was already at their door.
    I am an ex-serviceman, but genuinely believe that war should be considered as a very last resort, certainly not as a political tool that in the end rarely, if ever, benefits the ordinary man and woman. Good luck with the research.

    • Ronald Richards says:

      Hi Ray, I have a copy of the book, left to me by my Dad. If I can help with anything just ask. My copy is a bit battered and my Dad endorsed ownership by writing his name and address on the inside cover. There are also a few marks (pen and crayon/felt) on some pages but everything within it is perfectly “readable”

      • Raymond Wall says:

        Hello Ron, So kind of you to contact me about the Roll of Honour book. I would dearly like to have a copy of the page that has my grandad’s WW1 service record and if I remember correctly, his photograph in army uniform. Not sure if he used his middle name (Silas) but I know he didn’t on the Census Records – Christopher Wood. He was a Wheeler Sergeant in the Royal Field Artillery. If it is possible to scan the page and email his information to me, I should be most grateful. If by other means and some expense is incurred, naturally I would reimburse the cost. Another thought is that one of my brothers or sisters-in-law (Brownhills and Clayhanger) could assist. Wishing you a pleasant Spring weekend, from a sunny, but rather cool Sydney. Thank you Brownhills Blog for making this possible.

        • Ronald Richards says:

          Hi Ray, my copy does not have a photo. I have photographed the entry and of course will scan when I can for more clarity. The entry is on page 53 of my book and reads;

          WOOD, C, Sergt.
          Royal Field Artillery
          Joined Aug 1914. Discharged April, 1920
          Holds 1914-15 Star, General Service and Victory Medals.
          One wound stripe. Sent to France February 1915, was engaged in active service on the Somme, Ypres also at Arras and Baupame, where he received wounds in the face fom gunshot. On recovery he rejoined his unit where he saw further active service. Later was gassed and also contracted trench fever, was sent to England for treatment and on recover despatched to Egypt where he remained until discharged.
          Private Address-Pelsall Road, Brownhills.

          I really hope this helps. This book is full of tragic stories Ray. Quite upsetting in parts.

          Ron

          • Ray says:

            Hello Ron, Thank you for sending me the information requested about my grandfather’s service in WW1. His experience was perhaps no differene from thousands of others, but when you think that over 70,000 were killed and incapacitated in the Somme battles, you would perhaps thank your lucky stars to come through it alive, wounded or not. I have my grandad’s service medals and his Territorial Efficiency medal and to me they will be looked at with pride now that my memory has been refreshed by the info you you have given me on this blog. Thanks again Ron.

  4. Roger Jones says:

    This new website launched today will be of interest to those who have read and enjoyed the above. http://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/

  5. Pingback: A corner of a foreign field | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  6. Andrew Thornton says:

    Excellent article. Here are some details of a local soldier killed in Northern Ireland which you may want to research as part of your project:

    24224441 Gunner Joseph Ronald Stephen Brookes
    156 (Inkerman) Battery, 94 Locating Regiment, Royal Artillery.

    Joseph Brookes was born on 25 November 1953. He was killed with another soldier from 156 Battery in an IRA ambush in the Bogside district of Londonderry on 25 November 1973. Both gunners were guarding the entrance to the Rossville Flats Observation Post at the time of the attack. He is buried at the New Cemetery in Walsall Wood.

  7. Paul Anslow says:

    On your list is George Bough (Gunner George Richard Bough) without any other detail other than year. I have researched and found the following;
    Service Number: 76908
    His Regiment Details were: “D” Bty. 110th Bde. Royal Field Artillery
    Date of Death: 26 July 1917 aged 24
    Location: Killed during preparations for the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele)
    Cemetery: Brandhoek New Military Cemetery
    Notes: Husband of A. Bough (Annie Cresswell), of Barnetts Buildings, Shire Oak Hill, Walsall Wood, Staffs. Annie remarried Thomas Anslow and is my Great Grandmother.

    You may recognize me from my request about the location of the Barnetts Buildings.

    Regards,
    (The other) Paul Anslow
    Sydney Australia

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