Search results for Burslem.

Just because it’s official doesn’t mean it’s right

/world-war-i-articles/just-because-it-s-official-doesn-t-mean-it-s-right/

'It’s an ill wind …  ' The pandemic has certainly limited options, but at the same time it has focused minds. In my case and that of my collaborator Mick Rowson it concentrated our minds on some of the ‘problem cases’ we had failed to resolve on our roll of honour of Burslem men who were killed in the Great War. Burslem, the Mother Town of the Sta…


Friendly Fire: The Life and Death of Frank Downes

/world-war-i-articles/friendly-fire-the-life-and-death-of-frank-downes/

Paul Brant, who has done splendid work in recording and preserving memory of the Great War in North Staffordshire, recently sent me a photograph of the stained-glass windows war memorial of Longport Methodist Church in Stoke-on-Trent. While Paul was taking the photographs he spotted another memorial stone that had apparently been placed in the chur…


‘A Worthless Scamp’: The Great War of Vincent Riley by John Bourne

/world-war-i-articles/a-worthless-scamp-the-great-war-of-vincent-riley-by-john-bourne/

During the Great War Centenaries, Stoke-on-Trent’s local newspaper, the Sentinel, published many good and interesting features, often in its popular nostalgia section, ‘The Way We Were’.  But one recurring story annoyed me. The theme was summed up in a headline on 28 July 2018,‘Great War horrors turned brave soldier into the town drunk’.  The ‘town…


'Grandad’s War' by Prof. John Bourne

/world-war-i-articles/grandad-s-war-by-prof-john-bourne/

Both my grandfathers were born in 1880, both were coal miners and both had large families. My paternal grandfather (and namesake) John Bourne was, according to my father, a very decent man, but I have rarely shown any curiosity about him. My maternal grandfather, Jesse Sheldon, has always been the most intriguing absence in my life. I think my inte…


A Family at War

/world-war-i-articles/a-family-at-war/

One of the most persistent and annoying heresies about the past is that it was much simpler than the present. We, the people of now, live complex, challenging lives; they, the people of then, lived simple, uncomplicated lives. There is a word to describe this, but I do not wish to bring the WFA into disrepute by placing it in print.  Perhaps I may …


The Search for Daniel Lightfoot

/world-war-i-articles/the-search-for-daniel-lightfoot/

The search began with the war memorial on the wall of a former pub, the Dog & Partridge, 5 Hot Lane, Burslem, which was opposite my primary school and at the back of the brickworks where my father worked.  I have known it virtually all my life. Only when my friend Mick Rowson and I decided to compile a Great War Roll of Honour for Burslem did I…


"Danny's Story " by Levinson Wood Snr

/branches/united-kingdom/staffs-north-cheshire-south/events/dannys-story-by-levinson-wood-snr/

"Danny's Story" is both a reflective and personal story of an unknown brother of Lev's maternal grandfather, Grenadier Guardsman Daniel Daniels, who became the first recorded Burslem soldier to lose his life during the first World War. This became a personal voyage of discovery and pilgimage for Lev and his wife, Janice, to follow in Daniel's fo…


The Short, Sad Military Career of Thomas Adams by John Bourne

/world-war-i-articles/the-short-sad-military-career-of-thomas-adams-by-john-bourne/

My collaborator in compiling a Roll of Honour for Burslem, Mick Rowson, was recently attempting to maintain his sanity in these strange times by doing some ‘tidying up’ of our database.  His eye fell upon the name of Thomas Adams.  Our basic resource in compiling the roll of honour was Soldiers Died in the Great War [SDGW]. Above: The Cover of P…


The Even Shorter, Sadder Military Career of Thomas Beech

/world-war-i-articles/the-even-shorter-sadder-military-career-of-thomas-beech/

Thomas Beech’s military service in the Great War lasted officially for thirty-five days. He attested on 5 January 1915 and killed himself on 1 February while home on leave.(1) He never served abroad. Thomas was born on 25 January 1885 at 16 High Street, Burslem, the so-called Mother Town of the Staffordshire Potteries.(2) His mother, Emily (née Fo…