Researching servicemen on the Brownhills War Memorial – can you help please?

Right, now work has slackened off a bit and I’ve got on top of other things that have been burning up my blogging time, it’s long overdue I caught up with some reader requests, and here’s a couple I had over Remembrance time that are indirectly related.

Nic Meadows is looking for information on Joseph Tongue. Image kindly shared by Nic.

Both of these enquiries are for soldiers named on Brownhills St James War Memorial, which is in the churchyard in front of the parish church. 

Ex-Brownhillian now afloat, long time contributor to the blog Andy ‘Cap’n Ahab’ Dennis has been going through the names on the War Memorial one by one and trying to find their history, and is stuck on Private Clegg at the moment, and wonders if anyone can help – but at the same time I have an enquiry in from Nic Meadows for any information on her Great Grandfather Joseph Tongue. 

I’ll let them explain:

Joseph Tongue – images kindly shared by Nic Meadows.

Hi Bob

I took my boys to see the memorial of their great great grandad Joseph Tongue, and have been trying to research his history, any information would be appreciated?

Nic Meadows

Andy had this to say:

Hello Bob

Long time!  I am trying to make some progress on the fate of soldiers named on the St James’s memorial 1914-18, but it is not easy finding online records. 

At the moment I am working on Private Fred Cleg who died 20 September 1917, but information is scant.  I wonder are you in contact with any Cleggs in Brownhills who might have some idea? 

From Shire Oak days I recall a lad named Clegg, who lived along Lichfield Road, towards the Avenues.

Also, do you know if any of the local fallen died on the last day or days of the war?  The mathematics are that it is unlikely, but it was unlikely, even at Whittington, where a Pte Pratt met his end on 2 November.

Andy Dennis

If you can help with any of the points raised here I would be most grateful, as would Andy and Nic. It’s so important to put history to these names, as it brings the memorial to life in a way not possible with just a list of names. 

Thanks for any information you have – and thanks to Nic and Andy for great, thought-provoking enquiries I’m sure the blog researchers will love.

If you can help, comment here, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com, to tug my sleeve on social media. Thanks.

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11 Responses to Researching servicemen on the Brownhills War Memorial – can you help please?

  1. Brenda Antill nee Taylor says:

    My uncle lance corporal Thomas Taylor is on the memorial he died aged 23 son of James and Sarah Taylor who lived in vicarage road Brownhills

  2. Pedro says:

    October 1917

    Son of the late Mr Clegg, who was manager at the Brownhills Picture Palace until his death nearly 2 years ago, was killed in action in France between the 20th and 23rd of September. 25 years of age, he joined the colours in March, I had been on active service three months. He was previously employed on the bank Wyrley Grove Pit, and also was prominently connected with one of the local junior football Clubs.

  3. Pedro says:

    Private Joseph Tongue, whose wife resides at Church Street, Brownhills, is in hospital in France (Septmber 1917), having been wounded in the back by a bullet while serving with the West Yorks in France. He left his employment at Conduit Colliery in December last to join the Colours, and was sent to France in March. He played with the Brownhills Junior football team.


    Private Joseph Tongue who resided with his parents at Church Street, Brownhills, has been taken prisoner by the enemy (April 1918) while serving in France with his regiment, the Lancashires, which he had rejoined recently after being home on leave.

    • Andy Matthews says:

      Was the report he was captured a mistake? He was killed 21.3.1918 according to army records.

      • Pedro says:

        I came across the details some time ago while looking in the newspaper archives for any information concerning the names on the Memorial. It would probably be from the Lichfield Mercury or Tamworth Herald.

  4. Pedro says:

    Thomas Taylor

    News has been received from the War Office by Mr and Mrs James Taylor, of High Street Brownhills, of the death of their son Lance-Corporal Thomas Taylor, aged 23, who was killed between the 10th and 13th March (1915) in the battle of Neuve Chapelle. He was a young man of fine physique, and was much respected in Brownhills. Previous to his enlistment in the Guards he was in the 2nd Midland Field Territorial RE, Norton Canes. He had been out at the Front for about six months.

  5. Paul Corbett says:

    Hi Bob
    I have written an as yet unpublished book about those who served from Brownhills in the great war and have managed to locate most of the men listed on the memorials at St James church,The memo and Brownhills School. If anyone wants info I may be able to help.

  6. Eryl Powell says:

    Enoch Joseph Tongue. Age 24. D10/7/1915. Died of wounds Private 8092. 1st Btn SStaffs. Buried in St James’ professional soldier 1911 in Gibraltar parents Henry & Harriet, b Castleford, Yorks, mining family from Brownhills siblings also born in Yorks.

  7. Eryl says:

    Private Fred Clegg, 26, d20/9/17 killed in action at Ypres, private 66607, Royal Fusilliers, 26th Btn, Tyne Cot Memorial, Ypres, panel 28-30. 2Church St, Brownhills, formerly 36104 SStaffs

  8. Eryl says:

    Please ignore what I put about Enoch Joseph Tongue – I got it wrong, sorry!!

  9. Pingback: Private 47100 Joseph Tongue – Andrew's Kindred

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