GILES, Abraham. R.N.

Posted: September 22, 2014 in WW II NAVY
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GILES, Abraham, P/JX 196565, Able Seaman.

HMS Victory.

He was born in Darlaston in 1909 the son of Thomas James and Sarah (Sally) Giles.

He married Lavinia Fellows in the summer of 1932.

He died on the 4th August 1944, his death was registered at Bilston, Staffs.

He is buried in Bentley Cemetery, Darlaston.

1 Giles, A


HMS Victory was Lord Nelson’s ship. Abraham did not serve on her, Sailors living in barracks at Portsmouth were registered on her crew.


DRURY, Valentine, T/4039388, Driver.

648 Armoured Divisional Transport Company, Royal Army Service Corps.

He was born in 1912 at Darlaston, he was the son of Valentine and Mary Alice Drury (nee Bayley).

Valentine Drury married Harriet Farnell at Wednesbury in 1936.

He was killed in action, in Normandy, on the 12th July 1944 aged 32.

He is buried in Plot IV. F. 4. Ranville War Cemetery, France.



At the time of his death Harriet was living at Willenhall, Staffs.


Posted: September 21, 2014 in WW II ARMY



This name is on the Second World War plaque of Darlaston War Memorial.


Nothing else is known.


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EVANS, Edwin Eli, 4037551, Lance/Sergeant.

4th Battalion King’s Shropshire Light Infantry.

He was born in 1916 at Darlaston, the son of Edwin Eli and Louisa Evans (nee Hadley)

He was killed in action in Normandy, on the 3rd August 1944, he was 28 years old.

He is buried in Plot I. G. 4. St Charles de Percy War Cemetery, France.

St Charles de percy

GOUGH, John, R.N.

Posted: September 20, 2014 in WW II NAVY
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GOUGH, John, C/MX 76833, Engine Room Artificer 4th Class.
H.M. Submarine Utmost.

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Born in Darlaston in 1921 John was the son of John and Fanny Maud Gough.

He died on 25th November 1942, aged 21.

H.M. Submarine Utmost was launched on the 17th of August 1940 and spent most of her war in the Mediterranean. By the time she was sunk by the Italian patrol boat Goppo on the 25th November 1942 she had accounted for the sinking of two German merchant vessels and damaged another. She had also destroyed six Italian merchant vessels, damaged two others and damaged the Italian cruiser Trieste.

300px-HMS_Utmost All 32 of the crew, including the Captain of H.M.S. Utmost, Lt. J.W.D. Coombe, were lost.

John Gough has no known grave but the sea, he is commemorated on Chatham Naval Memorial.



HARRIS, Benjamin, 90054, Farrier Staff Sergeant.

Royal Field Artillery.

He was the son of Benjamin Harris.

Benjamin Harris married Louisa

His first posting was to France on the 9th September 1915.

He died ‘of sickness’ on the 22nd June 1920 aged 43.

He was buried on the 26th June 1920 in Plot Q. 40. James Bridge Cemetery, Darlaston.

jb Harris B FSS

Benjamin was entitled to the 1914-15 Star, War medal and Victory Medal.



It is likely that he was still serving in the Royal artillery at the time of his death as it is recorded at Woolwich, London, home of the Woolwich Arsenal.

At the time of his death the family home was 8, Walsall St, Darlaston.

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HARTSHORNE, Albert, 11912, Pte.

1st Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment.

He was born at Darlaston in 1884 the son of John and Keziah Hartshorne.

Albert Hartshorne married Florence Baker in 1905.

He enlisted at Wolverhampton and after undergoing training he was deployed to France, arriving on the 17th December 1914.

He died of wounds on the 10th February 1915 aged 34.

He is buried in Plot III. B. 88. Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France.

boulogne E

Albert was entitled to the 1914-15 Star, War Medal and Victory Medal.



In the 1911 census we find the family living at, 56, Foundry St, Darlaston.

Albert Hartshorne. H (27) Toolmaker at bolt works.

Florence Hartshorne. W (25)

Florence Hartshorne. D (5)

Rose Hartshorne. D (3)

John Hartshorne. S (11 months)

By the time of his death the family home was at 10, Park Rd, Darlaston.

‘Soldiers Died’ lists him as ‘Died at sea’ this would seem to be wrong.

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JEFFS, John Mason, P/JX315046, Ordinary Seaman.
HMS Foresight.

Son of William Henry and Agnes Helen Jeffs.

The family home was 2, Pensarn Villas, Victoria Rd, Darlaston.

Towards the end of April 1942 Foresight was part of the escort group for a convoy to the Russian Port of Murmansk. On the 2nd May 1942 they were attacked by three German Destroyers, HMS Forester was sunk and Foresight was damaged, 35 men were killed in the action, one of them was John. He was buried at sea a few miles off Murmansk, he was just 20.


He has no grave but the sea; he is remembered on Portsmouth Naval Memorial.



In his will John left £182 11s. 10d.

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HARTSHORNE, Thomas, 40664, Private.

7th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.

He was born in 1897 at Bilston, Staffs, the son of Thomas and Sarah Hartshorne.

He enlisted at Bilston, Staffs originally he was 2465 South Staffordshire Regiment.

He was killed in action on the 31st November 1917 aged 29.

He has no known grave and is remembered on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, France.


The Cambrai Memorial commemorates more than 7,000 servicemen of the United Kingdom and South Africa who died in the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917 and whose graves are not known.

Thomas was entitled to the War Medal and Victory Medal.

mutt n jeff


The census and his military records show him as Hartshorn.


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HAWKINS, George, 3490, Pte.

1st/6th (TF) Battalion, South Staffordshire regiment.

He was born in 1882 at Darlaston the eldest son of George and Maria Hawkins.

George Hawkins married Gladys Viola Meadows in late 1912.

He enlisted at Darlaston

He landed in France on the 28th June 1915

He died of wounds on the 4th July 1916 aged 34.

He is buried in Plot I. F. 1. Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery, Saulty, France.

warlincourt halte

His widow had the following inscribed on his headstone;



George was entitled to the 1914-15 Star, War Medal and Victory Medal.



At the time of the 1911 census the family home was at 2hse, 2ct, Cock St Darlaston.

George Hawkins. H (54)

Maria Hawkins. W (53)

George Hawkins. S (28) Ironworker at nut & bolt works.

Alfred Hawkins. S (20)

William Hawkins. S (18)

Mercy Hawkins. D (16)

By the early 1920’s his widow was Gladys Viola Butler (formerly Hawkins), of 259, Darlaston Rd., Pleck, Walsall.