You ancestors role in the Great War?

Following the sadness of the weekend, it’s hard but I guess the show has to go on – and since it’s coming up to Remembrance, particularly with it also being the centenary of the end of the Great War, here’s a wonderful offer from reader Nick Pilley that will be of great help to many researching their family history.

Nick, you’ll remember, was the reader who asked here about his great grandfather Alfred Merrick, a debate that in the end ranged far and wide and really caught the researchers attention.

Well, Nick has this remarkable and historic book: The Walsall and District Roll of the Great War.

Nick Pilley has made a wonderful offer to blog readers

…And he’s kindly offered to look up any name from the index, and share the entry with you. All you have to do is state the name you’re looking for.

To help you, the index has been scanned and I’ve presented each page in gallery view at the foot of this post. If you wash to study a page, just click to zoom in; pages are in alphabetical order. Alternatively, you can download a PDF file of the index by clicking here.

Nick said:

Hi Bob,

Attached is the name index from a book I have which lists all (most?) from Walsall area who were involved in the Great War.

Each entry has a very brief paragraph about their service and injuries etc. A (very) few have photos with them.

As you can see, the index shows surname, initials, local area and the page on which the entry appears.  There’s far too much to scan the entire book but if anyone finds family mentioned and would like to know what it says I would be happy to provide a scan of that paragraph. They can just email me the details on that entry.

I’ll try to respond quickly but I guess it’ll depends if I’m overwhelmed with requests. In which case it’ll be ‘as soon as possible’.

Thanks for everyone’s help with my research, this is a small return.


Nick has included a typical entry below as an example of what can be found in the Roll of Honour.

That’s a remarkable set of injuries to return to service from. Image kindly supplied by Nick Pilley.

I’d like to thank Nick here and now for this very kind and thoughtful offer, and if there’s a name you’d like Nick to look up, please do comment here, email me on BrownhillsBob at googlemmil dot com or give me a shout on social media. 

Remembrance is very important to me and the blog and this is a wonderful opportunity to find out about what your relatives might have been doing in the First World War. 

This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to You ancestors role in the Great War?

  1. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob

    a big thank you to Nick for this generous offer. The books are very interesting, but, perhaps two words of guidance may help readers.

    I would recommend using the information as a starting point only, then perhaps when ancestry and other companies offer free access, going in to the official military records to find accurate and complete information.

    Not every family wanted to pay the fee to have information included in these books.

    .and at least, in several cases in this local book’s entries have proved to be, shall we say, generous , and factually inaccurate i…hence the need to cross check with the official military records

    I think one of the ancestors/past etc sites does give this guidance

    Sadly, some of the official military records for the First World War were destroyed during the air raids in the Second World War!

    But, all this being said, it is an extremely generous offer Nick, and is appreciated

    kind regards


  2. Glynis Edwards says:

    This is brilliant and for a moment I was very excited to learn more about my grandfather who served and survived WW1, serving in Salonika etc. Sadly his name is not on this list which is disappointing for me. Thank you for doing this though – I am sure it will be of great use to those who are interested in finding out about these brave men.

  3. Val Naughton says:

    Hi Nick. Could you let let me have the entry for my uncle S.T. Bird of Walsall Wood. Entry is on page 30. Many thanks. The family have visited his grave at Arras Memorial for the last 3 years. The entry for his brother Arthur Bird is missing, we have also visited his grave. Thanks for the lovely research.

  4. Lynn says:

    Hi Nick Thank you for your offer of help in looking up our ancestors who fought in the Great War. My Grandad’s brother is mentioned EH Richards from Bloxwich page 13 it would would lovely to see his entry. Also I’m unsure of other names which might be family members D Benton Pelsall page 84, E Benton Bloxwich page 38, and J Benton Great Wyrley page 94. The Bentons were a large farming family from Pelsall over 20 children. Thank you again. Kind regards Lynn

  5. Keith Shaw says:

    Hello Nick, I would be very pleased to have the details being shown for Shaw H R on page 28 he was my Uncle. Sadly, another Uncle Shaw W of Aldridge is surprisingly not listed though he was in the Army in Europe when hostilities ended,
    Very many thanks Keith Shaw

  6. ANN says:

    Hi this looks really interesting and I noticed the name Seedhouse is on the list I would be so interested to see any entry

  7. Ray Wall says:

    Hi Nick Many thanks for your hard work in making these scans available to the community. When the first deluge of enquiries subsides would you please forward the details of my grandfather : Wood. C. Brownhills Page 53. Many thanks and kind regards. Ray Wall, Sydney Aust.(

  8. Trevor Wood says:

    Hi Nick I also have a copy of this book. If you get inundated with requests or I can help in any please get in touch

  9. Terry Gnosill says:

    Hi Nick could not see my uncles name anywhere Clare John Enock killed in action age 22 France and Flanders 6/7/1917 service no 40088 from Walsall his name is on the Menim Gate

  10. Wendy White says:

    Hi Nick, would you be able to provide details on the following please, F Anker – Brownhills (Page 42), H Birch – Sheffield (Page 24) and H Horton – Brownhills (Page 48) please as I believe they are all Grandparents of myself and other family members. Thanks very much. Regards Wendy White (nee Anker)

  11. ANN says:

    Thanks for sending me the 2 Seedhouse entries very much appreciated m and so interesting .

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.