“If you think, have a kindly thought, If you speak, speak generously, Of those who as heroes fought And died to keep you free”
Set up by the Black Country Society. Our aim is to highlight local men who died in the Great War and how they have been commemorated on war memorials. Its scope covers the whole of the present Dudley Municipal Borough and therefore includes the places which have come within its bounds since 1914.
There are over fifty memorials and the number of names exceeds three thousand. Research on the names has been extensive but inevitably errors and omissions occur. We would like to hear about them concentrated on life and work before 1914, involvement in military campaigns and where each man is buried or commemorated.
Ernest Everton was a regular soldier with the Worcesters and was the first Stourbridge man to be killed in the Great War. His parents, Thomas and Lottie, lived at 2 Field Lane, Oldswinford, and he attended Oldswinford CE School. By 1914 he was 29, married and living in Kingswinford. He had completed his service with the colours but remained in the Reserve. He was called up on the 4th August and joined the 3rd Battalion in the British Expeditionary Force at Aldershot. They crossed the Channel and marched into Belgium nearly as far as Mons and met the German advance head on. Ernest Everton joined them on the 27th August in the middle of the Retreat from Mons. Retreat was inevitable, given the strength of the German army. A ten day continuous withdrawal of 150 miles took them south and beyond the River Marne. On the 5th September they turned about and the battalion drove the Germans part way back as far as the River Aisne. This was part of a crucial action which prevented German victory in 1914. When the Germans decided to hold the river line, the battalion took part in a series of attacks starting on 13 September at Vailly sur Aisne. Casualties were heavy and amounted to about 150 men. Among them was Private Ernest Everton, who was killed in action on the 21st September. He was 29 years of age and is commemorated on La Ferté-sous-Jouarre Memorial. He is also commemorated on the Kingswinford, Oldswinford church and Oldswinford school MemorialsSearch our Biographies