Fallen heroes added to war memorial at least

The names of two First World War heroes have been added to a Black Country war memorial more than 90 years after they died, along with those of two more servicemen who paid the ultimate sacrifice in 20th century conflicts.

Fallen heroes added to war memorial at least

The names of two First World War heroes have been added to a Black Country war memorial more than 90 years after they died, along with those of two more servicemen who paid the ultimate sacrifice in 20th century conflicts.

The four, including a 'Dad's Army' style soldier killed in an exercise near Hagley in the Second World War and a victim of the Gulf War, have at last been recognised in the roll of honour on the Hagley War Memorial.

Historian Don Freeth carried out extensive research to ensure their sacrifice was recognised. Harry George Evans, killed in active service on May 3 1917, aged just 19, was born and lived in West Bromwich but his parents moved to live in Middlefield Lane, Hagley.

George Alfred Mills, also 19, from Chapel Street, Hagley, was killed on March 23 1918, and is buried at Bapaume in France.

Kieran Duffy, whose parents kept the Lyttelton Arms pub in Hagley, died aged 24 in the Gulf War in 1991 and is buried at St John the Baptist Church.

Thomas Owen Woodhouse, a gardener, aged 50, of Bromsgrove Road, Hagley, died in an accident while on Home Guard manoeuvres near the village in 1942.

Mr Freeth, of the Hagley Historical Society, came across the four men in local records and asked Hagley Parish Council for permission to add them to the 38 names on the memorial.

"I don't know why they hadn't already been put on but, in the case of Thomas Owen Woodhouse, it may have been because he was not regarded as having died on active service" said Mr Freeth, of Oldfields, Hagley.

"He was marching from Broome to Hagley when a car crashed into the back of the parade, killing him."

On Saturday, two great grandsons of Mr Woodhouse will ring a peal of bells forall men on the memorial, at St John the Baptist Church.

Owen Woodhouse was a keen bell ringer at the church and his granddaughter, Sally Munnings, aged 57, of Ipswich, said: "It's touching and we thank Don."

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