“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.
John Willetts attended Hasbury C of E School and by 1914 was living at Whiteheath, Rowley. He enlisted in the Rifle Brigade and served in the 1st Battalion. In 1915 they were involved in the Second Battle of Ypres and in 1916 joined the later stages of the Battle of the Somme. They fought fiercely in front of the fortified village of Gueudecourt and gained control of the important Transloy ridges but Rifleman John Willetts was killed in action on the 19th October. He is commemorated on the Thiepval, Halesowen and Hasbury C of E School Memorials.Search our Biographies