Here’s a great one from reader Peter Gibbs who’s making a rather wonderful enquiry relating to an incident in Chasetown/Burntwood in 1917 which seems to have been the talk of the area!
I’ll let Peter explain. This is, genuinely wonderful and I’ve not seen anything like this before. Peter raises some great questions aside from the final showstopper, so any help at all would be welcome.
Hello Brownhills Bob
Chris Graddon suggested you might be able to help.
I have recently become a member of the Burntwood Family History Group (BFHG) in order to trace the history of my father’s family who came from a line of Walsall and Chasetown miners. After his father, Albert John (Jack) Gibbs 1865-1940, had three sons and two daughters however, all three boys became headmasters. I have been interested to learn how, at a time when boys of twelve went routinely into the mines, my grandparents were willing and able to support the boys through their education.
The first of Jack’s sons, my Uncle Fred (b.1894), became a WW1 ‘flying ace’ and was awarded the Military Cross as noted in a Wikipedia page for FJ Gibbs. A story handed down in the family told of the time Fred landed his plane in a field, possibly the ‘Rec’, in Burntwood. A crowd quickly gathered to see the new flying contraption at close quarters. The story has it that Fred picked up my Grandmother and took her for a ‘spin’ over Chasetown.
Chris found a short report in the Lichfield Mercury of Friday 14th September 1917 describing a plane landing in Burntwood but no name, no picture. He wondered if you might have any ideas? If so I’d be grateful for any help – or for any other scraps of info on the Gibbs family.
Thanks to Peter for a fascinating enquiry: If you have anything to add, please do – either comment here, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com or tug my coat on social media.
How fantastic is this?