I thought it was time to return to the Great Wyrley fallen and the name I chose was that of EA Whitehouse. This man, I felt secure, would not be an error – after all, the Whitehouse family have been very prominent in the village over time: the farm that once stood on the Walsall Road, opposite the Swan Inn, and demolished when Brook Lane was driven through was called Whitehouse Farm and, added to this, there are the names of twelve other Whitehouse men that served and survived on the pillar plaques either side of the gates. Sadly of course, I was to be wrong.. https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/wyrley-landywood/great-wyrleys-fallen-wwi/great-wyrleys-fallen-alfred-whitehouse/
I had the good fortune, as the Archivist at the Walsall Local History Centre, to bump into Stuart Attwood a few months back. Stuart once ran a publication on Bloxwich, back in the 90s. He also wrote a few pamphlet guides on pubs – one of which covered Great Wyrley.
Stuart deposited his photographs with the Centre, those that he had accumulated regarding the publications. I was zipping through them yesterday in order to see what was in it and what to do regarding duplicates and protecting the photos etc, when I found the photos he had taken from c mid-1980s of the local pubs for Wyrley area.
Staurt allowed us to use the photos, so I have included them in my blog stories – and I have updated the Lost Pubs (for the Davy Lamp), Robin Hood and Royal Oak stories to include them. However, as they are so nice, I thought I would give them their own blog post as well.
So a big thank you to Stuart Attwood. The Davy Lamp photo shows the old outdoor and the Royal Oak shows the brickwork before the pub was rendered – clearly indicating the old frontage and where it was extended to encompass the old outdoor area. Terrific stuff. Remember to click on the photos to enlarge.
Read the updated story of Patrick Downey and how his lost Military Medal was sort of returned to him by the Harrison’s Club in Wyrley: https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/wyrley-landywood/the-harrisons-club-great-wyrley-war-memorial-history/harrisons-fallen-patrick-downey-mm-and-the-wyrley-memorial-gate-error/
A few weeks ago, Brian Holmes asked the question as to why School Lane in Little Wyrley/Norton Canes had such a name https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/other-places/the-norton-canes-endowed-school-on-school-lane-little-wyrley/
I had decided that I would take a break from the Great Wyrley fallen soldiers to cover something different; however, I then realised that it was actually approaching the centenary of one of the chaps, so I changed my mind and I am sure people appreciate why. To be honest it wasn’t just the centenary that tweaked my interest, but also the fact that a second ‘Smith’ was recorded on the fallen plaque and this ‘Smith’ puzzled me, as it was out of alphabetical order. No prizes for my regular readers in guessing where this is going, but the thought of an error in some way popped into my mind. I was to not only be proved right, but that also that these men were in fact brothers. So, not only did it seem silly to cover much of the same family background in two articles, but it felt far more fitting to tell their stories, at least what we know of them, together…click the link to read more… https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/wyrley-landywood/great-wyrleys-fallen-wwi/ben-and-george-smith-brothers-in-arms/
Read the tragic story of the elusive on-time Brownhills, Wyrley and Brummie man, Thomas James and how the attempt to get him a recognised war grave has took a giant leap forward … https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/wyrley-landywood/the-harrisons-club-great-wyrley-war-memorial-history/from-brownhills-to-brandwood-thomas-william-james-and-the-pity-of-war/
The story of Harry Withnall would leave me a little sadder than usual: not only because he turned out to be an only child, but also that both Great Wyrley and Cheslyn Hay’s memorials have his name incorrect. Wyrley’s error is a spelling one, with ‘Whithnell’ seemingly as incongruous as having John Wilkes Booth carved next to Abraham Lincoln on Mount Rushmore. Cheslyn Hay’s memorial had the correct spelling for Withnall, but the wrong christian name attached – they had him on the memorial as William Withnall. Harry as a name is problematical in that it is a name itself or a nickname for Harold or Henry for example, but surely it could not stretch to William could it?… click on the link to read more… https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/wyrley-landywood/great-wyrleys-fallen-wwi/harry-withnall-can-i-please-have-my-name-back/
For my next soldier story I decided to pick on someone that I had absolutely nothing on other than one line from the Cannock Advertiser. The soldier is on the Great Wyrley memorial gates as Robinson C, but I felt it was another error on the memorial gates as the Staffordshire Roll of Honour had a Robinson in the Great Wyrley entry, but it was an E Robinson and not a C Robinson. An E Robinson also appeared on the Cheslyn Hay list, which manifested itself on the memorial as Ernest Robinson. At the end of the day, it seemed to me that I needed to trace any ‘Robinsons’ in the locality prior to the War and then try to link them to the memorial and to Great Wyrley. While it wouldn’t be definitive, as it is still a few years before the War, a search of the 1911 census listed three Robinson families in the locale; one was to have a C Robinson and one was to have an E Robinson… click on link to read more… https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/wyrley-landywood/great-wyrleys-fallen-wwi/private-ernest-robinson-heres-to-you-mr-robinson/
Wilfred’s early life is surrounded by a little mystery. We know from his casualty record that he was born at Albrighton: which is still in Staffordshire, but just the other side of Wolverhampton to Great Wyrley. He was born on Christmas Day, 1892. Although his birth record ties him to Albrighton, everything else ties him to Bridgtown, Cheslyn Hay and Great Wyrley. His first appearance on the census at the age of 8, in 1901, has him living not with his parents, but with his grandparents in Station St, Cheslyn Hay. They were to raise him, so it is that family we shall follow… click link to read more… https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/wyrley-landywood/great-wyrleys-fallen-wwi/private-wilfred-north-finding-family/