A pictorial record

Readers may well recall the awful and largely forgotten story surrounding Colenal James Kilian, and his cruelty and subsequent disgrace following the mistreatment of soldiers at the U.S. Army base stationed at Whittington, near Lichfield, duringWorld War Two – it’s a subject we’ve touched on occasionally and is little known about here in the UK, but somewhat notorious in the USA.

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And whose army?

Oh boy, is this a cracker – this wonderful enquiry came in yesterday from Derek Broadhurst, who’s found a very curious postcard which may shed light on the derivation of the name ‘Barracks Lane’, which is the road that funs from the A461 Lichfield Road at Sandhills, right over to the A5 Watling Street, east of Newtown.

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World War Two Event and Vintage, Craft and Curio Fair – two day event this weekend!

Friend of the blog and top Pelsall bloke Chris Hill has asked me to point out a two day event this weekend that’s happening at the Staffordshire Regiment Museum, at the former Whittington Barracks, on the A51 between Lichfield and Whittington.
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Missing from home: Charlie the cat

Here’s an urgent appeal for a lost cat that’s come in from reader Chris Wharton, who lives at the bottom of Sandhills on the Lichfield Road near Shore Oak – his beloved ginger and white puss Charlie went out this morning and hasn’t come home.

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Hey, Sally Anne…

Another research project for those so inclined came in this week, again via Twitter – Rob Kinnon-Brettle contacted me on Wednesday evening looking for information about the Salvation Army in Brownhills.
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Ain’t nobody here but us chickens

A great spot here yesterday from top Walsall Wood Mon, history wonk and local author Clive Roberts, who’s been as intrigued over the years as I have by the history of Crestacre, the former ‘lost’ isolation hospital in Barracks Lane, Brownhills.
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On the Crestacre

Readers will no doubt recall that one of my earliest obsessions on the blog four years ago was the ‘lost’ isolation hospital, owned by Brownhills Urban District Council, and marked on early maps in Barracks Lane, just atop Springhill, on the Brownhills/Ogley Hay border.

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In the soup

Walsall Council, unwanted silver tableware and a disgraced, abusive US Army Colonel – Walsall hasn’t recently become mad, it’s always been a bit bonkers.

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Diamonds and dust

With local history, it’s all a bit winding and interleaved. Sometimes, you start researching one thing, and follow a straight line; and then, all of a sudden, things you never expected crop up, and you end up researching something utterly different.

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When darkness loomed

While looking for interesting stuff for the weekly pictures from the past feature, I happened upon a wonderful selection of pictures taken in or around Cannock Chase during either the Great War or Second World War. The Chase back then bore little relationship to the site of outstanding national beauty we know today; it was…

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