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From Jenni Dobson 14aug2014
Dear John Palmer,
I may have been in touch with you before, but owing to a disastrous hard drive failure I lost my former e-addressbook & so I can't tell.
I've done some research into one of the soldiers on the Wirksworth war memorial & on Monday this week we went to look for his grave. Thanks to a helpful local council assistant we found it immediately, and not least because it has an Imperial War Graves headstone.
The soldier is Joseph Statham & he is gt-grandfather to my stepson, which is why I researched him.
I wondered if you might like to have a copy of my most recent summary of Joseph's story and maybe also a photo of the headstone, whether to add to your comprehensive website or purely for your own interest.
Born 1888, reg. at Bakewell district, Derbyshire but on army attestation papers says he was born at Starkholmes, Matlock.
17 May 1907 joined the Notts & Derby Regiment, army no. 10346, (a Territorial force), where he gave his former occupation as railway labourer, later recorded as ‘plate layer’. He signed his name.
Served 76 days until 1 Aug 1907, when discharged on payment of £10 within 3 months of attestation (Para 1805(v) Kings Regs). Discharge money provided by Mr Statham, Middleton by Wirksworth, Derbys, ( believed by me to be father).
Married Clara Else 31 Aug 1907, Wirksworth.`
Son Alfred Statham born 19 Nov 1907, Wirksworth, baptised 29 Jan 1908, Wirksworth.
27 May 1908 joined York & Lancaster Regiment, army no 9197: answers “No” to the question ‘Are you married?’
16 Dec 1908 posted to India`
appointed L. Cpl. 9 Aug 1910, later same month demoted;`
1911 census, a Private serving at Hyderabad, India with York & Lancasters:`
appointed L. Cpl. 25 Jun 1912`
appointed paid L. Cpl 8 Jan 1914`
18 Nov 1914, returned to ‘Home’ service`
appointed Cpl. 26 12 1914`
15 Jan 1915, to Expeditionary Force, France `
appointed Sgt. 17 Jun 1915`
Sep 1915, Battle of Loos`
24 Oct 1915, to Expeditionary Force, Mediterranean, till 25 Jan 1916`
26 Jan 1916 to 29 Mar 1916 posted ‘Home’ (having served a total of 7 yrs 308 days, incl. 5 yrs 338 days in India.)
15 Mar 1916, Western General Hospital, Manchester, Royal Army Medical Corps. T.F.
Medical Board records show his disability to be ‘Vascular disease of heart, aortic & mitral disease’; Date of disability: Sept 1915; Place of origin of disability: Loos
‘Had severe rheumatism (rheumatic fever) & dyspnoea but worked till Dec 1915 when admitted to hospital at Salonica’
Board declares him ‘Discharge’, ‘unfit for war service or home service, unfit for light duty at home’
Discharge proceedings state Intended place of residence 57 Cromford Rd, Wirksworth. Military character ‘Very good’; Reference: ‘a clean, hardworking and reliable man’.
Army pension: 16s 6d/week plus 1s 3d/week for one child; for 6 months, conditional on Board.
Medical Board 17 Jul 1916 note ‘Prevents ½’ ; Invalid Board note ‘Srgt earning 28/-
Dies 18 Oct 1916, Wirksworth, aged 28 years; buried 21 Oct 1916, Wirksworth: Imperial War Grave stone erected on grave at subsequent date.
In case it's of interest, you may also like confirmation that Joseph had only the one child, Alfred,
who subsequently married a local girl from the Steeples family in the Wirksworth Methodist church &
they had three children, all eventually married and parents themselves. Joseph's widow Clara remarried
well into the 1902s and appears to have had two children in this second marriage. As we are then in
the realm of the living I have not traced these people any further.
Amanda Goddard writes on 11feb2013:
You've established a great website!
I was interested in the names on the WW1 Memorial and found
my great-uncle name recorded as Willie Fraser.
I noticed that David Wardman who provided you with the information
didn't have any information about Willie. I can confirm the following:
William S Fraser (family name Willie) - Service No: 27832 Died 27/05/1917
He served as a Rifleman in the 16th Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters
(Notts & Derby Regiment).
His residence was noted as Wirksworth, Derbyshire and enlisted in Matlock,
I would be grateful if you could pass this information on to David as
he may want to update his records...at the moment he looks anomalous.
If you should have any further information about Willie Fraser I would
dearly love to have it. He was estranged from his family who were all
living in Acton London who didn't seem to know he was living in Wirksworth.