A child of merit


Image kindly supplied by David Evans.

A bit of a tease: the young David Evans has been ferreting out the local history again, and has found a pretty remarkable, self contained history to share with readers of the blog.

I’m not going to say anything more at this stage, but there’s some good stuff to come – please stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy these stunning Certificates of Merit, and marvel at the fact they’re around 120 years old.

A real piece of local history.

David wrote:

Isaiah Callier, a child of merit.

I have recently been shown these wonderfully illuminated certificates of merit. They give us a brief, but precious glimpse back to school life in Brownhills pre-1900, and in their way they reveal so much. The quality of printing in these card-mounted certificates and the number of school sessions per year (one day is two sessions), The Headmaster who was, I believe, a well-known and important man in Brownhills in those days, the name and status of the village school, and lastly, Isaiah Collier, the pupil.

He was born in Brownhills in 1887 and when he left school he became a coal miner. I believe in later life he was also the parish church sextant.

Isiah’s pocket diary for 1917 reveals an amazing year’s military service for Isaiah. But that’s another story.


Image kindly supplied by David Evans.


Image kindly supplied by David Evans.


Image kindly supplied by David Evans.

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3 Responses to A child of merit

  1. Andy Dennis says:

    What a great find! The last is some work of art, worth framing.

    I wonder if Isaiah could recite any of QE’s famous speech? You know, “I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England, too …”

    Hyla John Holland has been covered before, but I didn’t realise he was head teacher.

  2. ivor230240 says:

    I attended St James’ Parish church when I was a child in the 40s and early 50s and I remember Mr Callier sitting at the back of the church, he had a distinguishable gravelly voice when He sang the hymns and it fascinated me

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