Rowley, John Thomas

Advertiser 18 Dec 1915 Advertiser 25 Dec 1915 BRIERLEY HILL SOLDIER’S DEATH. On Tuesday Private John Thomas Rowley, 1/5 S. Staffords, died in the Military Hospital, Wordsley, from diabetes. He was the son of Mr T Rowley, 37, Albion Street, Brierley Hill. The funeral is today at Brierley Hill Church. County Express 18 December 1915 • Read More »

Brierley Hill WW1 hero’s story which inspired painting

Last year it was revealed that Dudley Council had lost the historic painting of Sg William Jordan’s act of heroism in saving a wounded colleague. The painting was by Francis Gibbons, an artist of some renown who had exhibited at the Royal Academy and had also started the Gibbons and Hinton tile works at Buckpool. Now a trawl through Dudley archives have a revealed and article in The Advertiser of 21st August 1915 in which Sgt Jordan told of the exploits which were to inspire the painting.

Brierley Hill on the day war broke out and the departing of the first troops

On the day war broke out the men of the Brierley Hill Territorial force were summoned by bugle to the Drill Hall in Pearson Street. Now ASDA car park. Crowds gathered at Five Ways and at the corner of Pearson Street and High Street – singing patriotic songs. This blog posting describes the events and contains the Country Express article from 1914. I found the section headed “The Departure” incredibly moving.

Council in hunt for ‘priceless’ lost WW1 painting of Brierley Hill hero

A painting of Brierley Hill war hero Sgt William Jordan rescuing a wounded colleague has gone missing from Brierley Hill library. Sgt Jordan lived in Campbell Street, Brockmoor, an area of which he was hugely proud. He killed on the opening day of the Battle of Loos on 25th September 1915 and the painting, by award winning artist Francis Gibbons, was presented to Brierley Hill Council in 1917. Archivists in Dudley are now being asked to help find the irreplaceable work of art.

How Stanley Harley won his DCM in 1917

On being honoured by Brierley Hill District Council in September 1917, Lance Corporal Stanley Harley modestly accepted a gift of a watch. He didn’t give a full story of his achievements though – this would have been a breech of duty given the secretive nature of war. A regimental history filled in the missing details.

Stanley Harley – the man on top of Brierley Hill War Memorial – a town honours its hero

Following the end of World War One residents in Brierley Hill wished to erect a war memorial. A design was chosen and the ex-servicemen’s association was asked who should model for photographs from which the sculpture was designed. They chose Stanley Harvey, the first Brierley Hill man to win the Distinguished Conduct Medal in the • Read More »

Brierley Hill war memorial: a seismograph of war

Mapping the numbers of deaths against dates produces a graph which reminded me of a seismograph: highlighting some of the most awful days and an awful awful war. Two days in particular stand out – 21st March 1918, the start of the Spring Offensive and 13th October 1915. Both of these battles took a terrible toll of life. There is also a tale of a Brierley Hill hero.