Thomas Elwall of Ettingshall, Sedgley

Thomas Elwall, yeoman of Ettingshall, died in early 1716 leaving a will written in 1712. Here he lists his four children as Thomas Elwall, Edward Elwall, Elizabeth Gibbens and Mary Elwall. The following sequence of baptisms can be found in the All Saints, Sedgley Parish register viz. Thomas (bap 21 Aug 1673), Edward (bap 9 Nov 1676), Elizabeth (No Baptism found), Mary (bap 22 Oct 1670) Continue reading →
Last updated on 28 March 2019 by JJ Morgan

John Shaw of Kingswinford, 1606-1674

This article is designed to disambiguate some of the ‘John Shaws’ alive in Dudley and the surrounding areas in the early Seventeenth Century. It focuses on the John Shaw, who Richard Shaw describes as his ‘natural son’ in his 1657 will and is also described as his ‘natural brother’ in the 1646 will of Richard Shaw, the younger. His position amongst Richard Shaw’s children is a little enigmatic. Continue reading →
Last updated on 14 March 2019 by JJ Morgan

Chester Racecard, 1766

This early Racecard comes from the archive of the Evans family, later of the Red Lion Inn, Wolverhampton. It may have belonged to John Evans. It is evidence of an early interest in horses and a foretaste for the extensive stable kept by the Evans family in Wolverhampton. Later the family were certainly keen sportsmen, but they also required the stable for the major Coaching Inn running the stages from Wednesbury to the Red Lion and on out to Albrighton. Continue reading →
Last updated on 5 February 2019 by E Morgan

Joyce Rugeley of Moor Hall

Joyce Rugeley must have been born about 1480 and was descended from the Rugeley family of Dunton in Warwickshire. The Rugeley ancestry is somewhat erratically recorded in the contemporary Heraldic Visitations of Warwickshire of 1619 and it is not altogether clear exactly where she fits in. She died and left a will in 1553.  Importantly she married twice and was widowed twice. Her two husbands were wealthy and extremely well connected. This kind of widowhood was in reality the only way a woman in Tudor times could gain important independent social status. Continue reading →
Last updated on 31 January 2019 by JJ Morgan

Molly uncovers the news of her brother’s death

Captain Charles Wilmot Evans of the 6th South Staffordshires was killed on 1 Jul 1916 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. At the time, his sister Molly Evans was working at the No 2 General hospital in Le Havre. Below are extracts from her diary that chronicle how she found out the news and how it affected those around her. It contrasts with the account of this very same episode narrated in Alan MacDonald’s Book, “Lack of Offensive Spirit” which is based on the records of her letters to the War Office. Continue reading →
Last updated on 28 January 2019 by JJ Morgan

Marriage proposal in Boulogne, 17 Mar 1918

Molly Evans had been working in the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Dunkirk from Sep 1917 and had returned to England on 28 Feb 1918 for two weeks leave to her parents in Hagley, Worcestershire. According to her diary, the two weeks after her return to France, were the most memorable experiences of her life. Molly writes extensively about the bombardment and evacuation of the hospital on the night of 23 Mar 1918, but the whole week of her return to the hospital covered the full range and intensity of experiences of being in a war. Continue reading →
Last updated on 8 January 2019 by JJ Morgan

The Grosvenor Family of Broome House

George William Grosvenor, the head of Woodward Grosvenor & Co, Kidderminster Carpet Manufacturers, and his family lived in Broome House in Broome to the West of Hagley from about 1875 to 1899. He was a JP, Deputy Lieutenant and in 1897 High Sheriff of Worcestershire. Broome House was sold in 1904 for £6500 and the family then moved first to Elmley House in Blakedown and finally to Park House, Hagley, where he died in 1923. The four children feature in some of the photos and correspondence held by the Downing and Evans family of Hagley. Continue reading →
Last updated on 8 January 2019 by JJ Morgan

The Hatton Family of Hagley House

The family of George Hatton moved into Hagley House in about 1912. Hagley House was a large Georgian building on the corner of the Birmingham and Stourbridge Roads. The previous occupant recorded in the 1911 census was Henrietta Moore, the grandmother of Hal Barlow. Henrietta’s husband Joseph Moore, a brick manufacturer, had died there in 1901. Continue reading →
Last updated on 8 January 2019 by JJ Morgan

Hospital Evacuation under Fire, Dunkirk, Mar 1918

The following is a narrative account from the diary of Molly Evans, a VAD nurse in the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Dunkirk. She had returned from leave on 17 Mar and the three days from 20 to 23 March 1918 were the worst experienced so far. She wrote up a special piece in the diary to describe it, starting on the evening of 20 Mar 1918. Continue reading →
Last updated on 7 March 2019 by JJ Morgan

Rachel Eveline Wilson

Rachel Wilson was born on 19 Dec 1894 to a wealthy Quaker family in Kidderminster. After the outbreak of the First World War, she trained as a nurse and eventually joined the Queen Alexandra Hospital run by the Friends’ Ambulance Unit (FAU) in Dunkirk in 1917. She became a close friend of Molly Evans. Continue reading →
Last updated on 3 December 2018 by JJ Morgan