St. Columba's Church

The memorial is situated in the Church, Castlecroft Road, Finchfield, Wolverhampton WV3 8BZ

This memorial was originally sited in Merridale Road Presbyterian Church which stood on the corner of Merridale Road and Lord Street, Chapel Ash. The idea of a memorial to commemorate those who lost their lives in the Great War was first mooted in the church council on 11th December 1918 and it was subsequently decided that appeals would be made from the pulpit.
Although the memorial clearly indicates that those commemorated once worshiped at the church, none of the men who died in the Great War are recorded in the church communion records, several had relatives who were church members but curiously five of them have surnames which are not mentioned in these records.
It maybe that they were related to members on their mother’s side but perhaps stranger still is the fact that Captain Percy Rogers who was killed on 27th May 1918 is not on the memorial yet the church elders saw fit to issue a letter of condolence to his parents who were members.

First World War Memorial


Anderson James Baillie Private 17899
9th Bn. Cameronians (Scottish Rifles).
James was born in 1874 in Colmonell in Ayrshire, the son of Hugh and Maggie Anderson. He attended Creebridge Public School in Newton Stewart in Scotland.
In 1901 he married Sarah Anne Teal in Warrington. By 1911 they were living at 3A Merridale Crescent in Wolverhampton with their four daughters Dorothy Mary, Agnes Teal, Margery, and Maggie; James was employed as a tailor and draper.
Killed in action 25th February 1916 aged 42.
L. 6. Gunners Farm Military Cemetery, Belgium.

Banting Frederick Charles Private 3736
2nd/6th Bn South Staffordshire Regiment.
Frederick was born 25th September 1897 in Wolverhampton the son of Robert and Elizabeth Banting. He was baptised in St Andrew’s Church 22nd December 1898.
In 1901, Frederick was living at 77 Gorsebrook Road, along with his parents and older siblings Clara, Thomas, Rose, Gertrude, Arthur, and Edith.
By 1911 the family had moved to 265 Dunstall Road, Frderick was living with his parents and older siblings Arthur and Alice and younger siblings Elizabeth, John, and Evelyn.
From 5th January 1914 to 1st June 1914 Frederick was employed as a cleaner with the Great Western Railway. At the time of his enlistment, he was working at the Monmoor & Victoria Works, Cable Street, Wolverhampton as he remembered on their war memorial.
Killed in Ireland during the 'Easter Rising’ 29th April 1916.
CE. 612. Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin.

Boswell Charles Gordon Driver 27615
103 Howitzer Battery, 3rd A.F.A. Bde. Australian Field Artillery.
Charles was born in April 1890 in Wolverhampton son of James and Isabella Boswell. In 1891 he and his parents along with his older siblings Hugh, John, George, Robert, Major, Norman, and Helen along with two domestic servants Kate Leech and Elizabeth Kensey were living at 12 Dunstall Road, Wolverhampton; James was employed as a draper.
By 1901 the family had moved to 59 Dunstall Road the family were now joined by Charles' sister-in-law Sarah and niece Marion.
At some point Charles emigrated to Australia living in Litchfield in the State of Victoria and employed as a farmer.
Charles joined the Australian Imperial Force 5th May 1916 leaving Melbourne Australia 20th October 1916 aboard HMAT A30 Borda a troopship, arriving at Portsmouth 9th January 1917. He proceeded to France with his unit 2nd May 1917.
Charles died of wounds 14th September 1918 aged 28 at the 3rd Australian Field Ambulance.
V. E. 23. Tincourt New British Cemetery, France.

Copland John - unable to identify him.

Graham Thomas Eric Second Lieutenant
2nd Bn. Cameronians (Scottish Rifles).
Born September 1898 in Wolverhampton son of John Douglas Graham and Clarice Adeline Graham, grandson of Thomas Graham the founder of the Express & Star. In 1901 Thomas is living with his father and younger sister Beatrice and three servants at 'the Poplar' Compton Road, Wolverhampton. Thomas' father is employed as a journalist and author.
By 1911 Thomas is living with his parents at Mathan Lodge, Stockwell End, Tettenhall, along with his younger siblings Beatrice, Clarice, Mary, and Barbara along with three servants. His father is now a newspaper owner and manager.
Thomas was awarded the Military Cross for an action near Frelinghem, three miles northeast of Armentieres 1st October, 1917. The citation reads for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When sent out on a patrol with three men to examine a river, he found a footbridge, crossed it, and made a thorough reconnaissance. On returning, the enemy made an unsuccessful attempt to cut him off, and he withdrew his patrol under fire without a casualty. On the following night when on patrol he was instrumental in the discovery of a second footbridge and owing to his good leadership his patrol gained most valuable information. On both occasions he showed great determination and sound judgment.
Killed in action 24th March 1918 aged 20.
XVII. K. 17. Serre Road Cemetery No.2, Somme, France.

Killin Thomas Claude Private PS/6915
19th Bn. Royal Fusiliers
Thomas was born September 1894 in Wolverhampton the son of James and Sarah Ann Killin. In 1901 they were living at 9 Compton Road, Wolverhampton along with older siblings Elizabeth, Janet, James, George, Allen and Madeline and younger sister Phyllis. James senior was employed as a travelling draper.
By 1911 Thomas was living with his parents at 244 Newhampton Road, together with Elizabeth, Janet, George, Allen, Madeline and Phyllis, Thomas was employed as a clerk with the London and North Western Railway.
Thomas died of his wounds 11th November 1916 in King George’s Hospital, Stamford Street, Lambeth. He left £6 10 shillings to his father in his will.
Thomas is buried in Merridale Cemetery, Wolverhampton.
Thomas' name is missing from the official Commonwealth War Graves Commission list of casualties from the First World War. I am submitting evidence to the CWGC to ensure his due recognition.

Malet Frank Louis Lieutenant
12th Royal Warwickshire Regiment attached to 2nd Hampshire Regiment
Frank was born March 1893 in Wolverhampton, baptised 8th March 1893, son of Dr. Henry and Helen Kate Malet. In 1901 they were living at 14 Waterloo Road, Wolverhampton along with Franks older sisters Dorothy and Helen and younger brother Henry along with three servants. Dr. Henry was employed as a consultant physician.
By 1911 the family were living at 20 Waterloo Road along with a cook and a domestic servant, Dr. Henry was now the medical health officer for Wolverhampton alongside his job as consultant physician.
Frank attended Wolverhampton Grammar School, gaining two scholarships. He later moved to study at Worcester College, Oxford, where he was when War broke out.
Frank received a commission in the 12th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment in November 1914.
Killed in action 4th June 1915 aged 22.
Panel 36 to 38. Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey.

Martin Sidney Bert Private 59213
16th Bn. Manchester Regiment
Born April 1897 in Wolverhampton son of William and Agnes Martin, in 1901 they were living at 11 Rayleigh Road, Wolverhampton along with Sidney's older brothers William and Ernest and younger sister Florence.
By 1911 the family were living at 157 Owen Road, Wolverhampton and were joined by Sidney's younger brother Howard.
Killed in action 21st March 1918 aged 20.
Panel 64 to 67. Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France.

Pearman James O’Hara Second Lieutenant
13th Bn. Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
James was born 29th December 1881 in Shifinal son of Reverend William and Florinda Pearman baptised 12th February 1882 in Beckbury, Shropshire. Sometime between 1882 and 1884 the family moved to Jamaica, where James' sisters Constance and Alice and brother Walter were born.
James' was educated at a school in Jamaica where his father was a headmaster, James returned to England to study at Caius College, Cambridge. James' father died in Jamaica 26th May 1907 aged 61.
In 1911 James was living as a boarder at 16 Wheathouse Road, Birkby Huddersfield and was employed as a schoolmaster for Huddersfield Council.
When war broke out, he enlisted as a Private in the Royal Fusiliers, later becoming a Second Lieutenant, at the time of his death he was living at 2 Richmond Road, Wolverhampton, with his widowed mother, he left her £1044 in his will.
Killed in action 25th January 1917.
XIX. K. 12. Amara War Cemetery, Iraq.

Shaw Edward Arthur Private 15970
1st Bn. Grenadier Guards.
Edward was born in 1891 in Wolverhampton the son of Mary Ann and William Shaw; Edward's father died December 1900 aged 48. In 1901 Edward was living with his mother and older siblings William and Florence and a boarder Edward Weaver at 116 Great Brickkiln Street, Wolverhampton, Edward's mother owned a greengrocers shop.
In 1911 the family and the boarder remained living at 116 Great Brickkiln Street, and Edward was employed by his mother as a shop assistant. Edward became a professional soldier and had joined the army before the outbreak of war.
Killed in action 29th October 1914 during the first battle of Ypres the 1st Bn having landed at Zeebrugge, Belgium 7th October 1914. Edward left £10 18 shillings to his mother in his will.
Panel 9. Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.

Shepherd Herbert - unable to identify him.

Smith Thomas - unable to identify him.

Second World War Memorial

Thomas, James - unable to identify him.

Warner, Stanley Douglas Pilot Officer 117810
151 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, transfered to No.1 R.A.F. Depot, Uxbridge.
Born 31th July 1911 at Shrewsbury son of Stanley William Phelps and Lucy Isabella Warner. Stanley married Winifred Wentwort Herbertson July 1935 at Bilston. In 1939 Stanley and Winifred were living at 1-2 Courtenay Park Newton Abbot Devon and Stanley being employed as a Rubber Estate Agent. By 1942 they were living in Tettenhall.
Stanley was killed on the ground 25th October 1942 during an attack by 2 FW190's on the RAF hospital at the Palace Hotel Torquay.
Tettenhall Regis (St. Michael) Churchyard.

Wilkie, Arthur Digby, Lieutenant 113423
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
Arthur was born in December 1908 in Wolverhampton son of Mein and Winifred Tesse Ellen Wilkie, Mein was born in Scotland which may be a reason why Arthur joined a Scottish regiment.
In 1911 they were living at 'Ellerslie' Upper Penn, Wolverhampton with Arthur's older siblings Mein, Winifred and Mary, along with two domestic nurses, a cook and two maids. Mein senior was employed as a chartered accountant.
At the time of his death Arthur was living at 'The Medleys', Pattingham he left £243 in his will to his brother Mein. Arthur is also remembered on the Scottish National War Memorial.
Died 14 February 1942, aged 33.
Grave Reference 27. B. 17. Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore.


Pictures kindly provided by Roy Evans ©