“If you think, have a kindly thought, If you speak, speak generously, Of those who as heroes fought And died to keep you free”

Thomas Hardy
Men & Memorials of Dudley

Welcome to Men & Memorials of Dudley by The Black Country Society

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.

A Biography from our archives:


Dorset. 11 August 1918

Charles Richards was born at Penn Common, Wolverhampton, and his parents were William and Caroline Richards. By the time of the Great War he had married Edith and was living in Oldswinford. He enlisted in the Devonshire Regiment and was then transferred to the Dorset Regiment. By August 1918 the Dorsets were in the 32nd Division which was attached to the Canadian Corps under their famed General Currie. With new troops like these Haig was ready to start the great counter attack. Three armies advanced on the 8th August and achieved immediate breakthrough. This was, in the words of Ludendorff, 'the black day' in the history of the German army. The 32nd Division were in reserve on this day but came through to the front line on the 10th. The next day they had orders to attack and advance to the Somme near Peronne. By this time, however, the Germans had brought up twelve fresh divisions to undertake a counter attack and had defensive machine gun positions in the well wooded terrain. At 9.30 the Dorsets led the 32nd Division into the attack on Damery Wood. Twelve of the sixteen tanks in the attack were soon put out of action but with the aid of two of those still running the Dorsets reached a point only 200 yards from the wood. However, they could go no further as casualties were mounting. Among those killed in action was Private Charles Richards. He was 38 years of age and is buried in Bouchoir Cemetery (VI E 13) and is commemorated on the Stourbridge and Oldswinford church Memorials.

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Commemorated at:

Stourbridge Oldswinford St. Mary

Stourbridge Oldswinford St. Mary

Rectory Road, Old Swinford, DY8 2HA