October 1915 – January 1916: The Dark Side of the Cannock Chase Camps (part 2)

Posted: August 9, 2017 in Soldiers, WWI

The Newtown Bridge (Bloxwich) over the Stafford Rd has long since gone, the line of the canal, where William was found, can still be made out though towards Fishley. 2017.

This part covers the stories of Private Davill (Walsall) and Private Greenwood (Leeds), whose differing experiences open the dark side of the Cannock Chase camps in January 1916…

  1. Pedro says:

    “Davill was called a ‘disgrace to his regiment’ by the Mayor of Walsall (S M Slater, who would lose his wife in the Zeppelin attack a few months later), who summed-up his disappointment in him by saying ‘I am sorry you are a Walsall man’.”

    Of course it would take quite a man to surpass Samuel Mills Slater in worth to Walsall. He was born around 1875, which unfortunately made him too old to go on active service. His father, James Slater of Bescot Hall, made him a partner in Slater and Co, Solicitors, Darlaston and on his death in 1902 his father left around 62K, and Samuel was given the opportunity of buying the house he lived in for 2K.

    Samuel was educated at Oxford and as expected of his class would become a Councillor for Pleck in 1906, become a JP, and also on to Lord Mayor. He would very graciously agree to carry on as Mayor for a second term during the War.

    But in 1923 came his shock resignation from the Council siting his business engagements making it impossible to attend regularly. He would of course keep his place on a few prestigious “committees.” The Deputy Mayor of the time regretted his resignation “when the Town needed the best brains to govern it.”

    Samuel must have been a busy man as he was Chairman of James Russell and Sons, Crown Tube Works, FW Cotterill ltd (nuts and bolts), Carrington and Sons (Stampers), as well as Director at Harper and Co (Ironfounders)

    Samuel died in 1942 at the age of 77 and was living at Oakwood, Little Aston.

    Sassoon……”Two bleeding years I fought in France, for Squire:
    I suffered anguish that he’s never guessed….”

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