Walsall Imperial Volunteers return from the Boer War in 1901

August 24, 2017 § Leave a comment


Anyone that knows this site will have seen the digitised versions of my Walsall Lives calendars and this post alludes to the August page in the first calendar I produced back in 2002.

On 10th March 1900 the Volunteer Service Company, which was only formed weeks earlier, set sail for South Africa. The Company consisted of three Volunteer Battalions of the South Staffordshire Regiment, the 1st Handsworth, 2nd Walsall and the 3rd Wolverhampton.

One of the photographers who recorded the Volunteers return was Arthur Farrington who was probably assisted by his brother Frank, another keen photographer. I have three photographs of the event and the first is shown below showing the large crowd waiting for the soldiers to appear. Note the men and women standing on the small balcony above the main entrance to the George Hotel.:FG3 « Read the rest of this entry »

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“What did you do in the war Dad?”

January 19, 2017 § 2 Comments


Thousands of youngsters growing up in the late 1940s and early 50s regularly asked the question, “what did you do in the war dad?”, I know I did, on a regular basis too, but answers were few and far between in those days!

My dad, Wanford Griffiths, yes, that’s right Wanford, a name dad hated, in consequence of that he told everyone his name was Wal’, short for Walter or so they thought. At his funeral in 1988 several members of the congregation thought they were at the wrong funeral when the vicar began talking about Wanford as they all knew him as Wal’. He was born at 52 Lord Street, Palfrey in June 1918, the youngest of four children of Frank Hubert and Elizabeth Griffiths. When he joined up in 1939 it was his intention to join the Navy…….so where did he finish up for the next six years……..the RAF!RAF waller 3

The battered RAF wallet that dad carried throughout WW2 and contains the pictures of the two women in his life, one just a dream and the other a reality! On the right is my mom, Hilda Millicent (nee Moseley) and the other was his favourite Hollywood film star, Deanna Durbin. « Read the rest of this entry »

Flight Sergeant Edward Berwick

June 10, 2014 § 2 Comments


Flight Sergeant Edward Berwick, 1218149, RAF Volunteer Reserve. Wireless Operator and Airgunner.

Flight Sergeant Edward Berwick, 1218149, RAF Volunteer Reserve. Wireless Operator and Airgunner.

Edward standing in the front garden of his parents house at 230 West Bromwich Road.

Edward standing in the front garden of his parents house at 230 West Bromwich Road.

Edward Berwick died on his 22nd birthday, 13th July 1944, a long, long way from his home at 230 West Bromwich Road, Walsall. Edward, who was the eldest son of Edward senior and Sarah Berwick, volunteered¬† for the RAF in February 1940 and was called up in August of that year. A year after joining he won his wings as a wireless operator and airgunner. In 1942 he went out to Kenya and subsequently served in the Middle East, Sicily and Italy. At the time of his death he was on his second tour of operations. As a child he attended Palfrey Schools and was a prominent member of St. Matthew’s troop of Boy Scouts, serving for a short time as a scoutmaster as well as being a member of the ATC (Air Training Corp). On leaving school he was employed as an engraver by F. H. Reckless & Sons Limited of Bridge Street. A memorial service for Edward was held at St. Matthew’s Church on Saturday 25th October 1944. « Read the rest of this entry »

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