Francis Edward Case

FRANCIS EDWARD CASE Continue reading “Francis Edward Case”


Thomas Reginald Brassey, Thomas Bucknall, Vivian Burchill and Frederick Carr

THOMAS REGINALD BRASSEY Continue reading “Thomas Reginald Brassey, Thomas Bucknall, Vivian Burchill and Frederick Carr”

Ernest, Frederick, George Trevor, Richard Henry and Thomas Hazelhurst Bird


Bird is a very well known Hoylake surname. Ernest’s lineage can be traced back to his five greats grandfather, Nehemiah, who was born in Wallasey in 1685. His parents were Henry (1849-1942) and Hannah Jane (née McDougal, 1860-1933). Henry was the brother of George Bird (born in 1856), the next casualty’s father. Ernest and Frederick Bird were, therefore, first cousins. Ernest was the eldest of Henry and Hannah’s three surviving children. Hannah was from Workington in Cumberland. She was Henry’s third wife. Therefore, Ernest had four surviving half siblings from his father’s previous marriages. These children were not in the family home in 1901 or 1911. Henry was a Gentleman’s Domestic servant in 1901 and a gardener by 1911, when Ernest was a school pupil living in the ten-roomed family home at number 11 Darmond’s Green, West Kirby. Early on in the war, Ernest joined the Liverpool Pals and was eventually posted to France on 7th November 1915. The Book of Remembrance claimed that he served in Gallipoli. Given that he was in the 18th Liverpools, this would have been impossible. There is no record of his having served in any other unit, so it must be a mistake. Suffice it to say that Ernest survived the war but died prematurely at home from illness which resulted from his military service. Continue reading “Ernest, Frederick, George Trevor, Richard Henry and Thomas Hazelhurst Bird”

John Lilley Binner


John Lilley Binner
John Lilley Binner

The Binner surname is not common in Wirral. In 1881 its main concentration was in Leeds. Jack’s parents were Hart (1859-1945) and Sarah Hoyland (née Smith, 1850-1940) Binner. Hart came from Birkenhead and his father from Irby. Jack’s middle name was his paternal grandmother’s maiden name. He attended Hoylake National School. In 1911 Jack, his parents and his siblings Marian, Ted and Walter were living in their nine-roomed house, a butcher’s shop at 35 Market Street, Hoylake along with Elizabeth Ann Smith, the “deaf and dumb” sister of Sarah (born in Wallasey in about 1845) and Sarah Broadhurst, a servant from Lancashire. Jack was employed as an assistant butcher to his father. Continue reading “John Lilley Binner”

George William and John Rowlands Bevan


George William Bevan
George William Bevan

George Bevan belonged to another of the working class families living in School Lane in the heart of old Hoose. The Bevans were not an old established Hoylake family. They came from Staffordshire. George’s father, Isaac Bevan, was born in December 1868 in Stowe. In 1886 he married Mary Ann Allen, who was born in 1865 and died in 1894. George was their third and last child. By 1901, the widowed Isaac was boarding in the household of William and Maria Hatton in Shaw’s Yard on Market Street. He was a stone mason. He did not have his children with him at that time. Isaac had probably moved to Hoylake to be near his brother, William, who, in 1901 was living at 5 Hazel Road. Isaac later married local girl Phoebe Ann-Marie Woods (1878-1955) and they had seven children, two of whom had died by 1911. During the latter year, Isaac and Phoebe were living with their five children at 5 School Lane – a four roomed cottage. George William did not live with them at that time. Soldiers Died in the Great War says that he lived in Liverpool before the War, but the Deeside Advertiser says that he was employed by Watkins the grocers, who had branches in West Kirby and Hoylake (the firm which, as we have seen, also employed Richard Benyon). Continue reading “George William and John Rowlands Bevan”

Wilson Bell and Richard Charles Benyon


Wilson Bell was the son of Thomas Pearson Bell (born in Scotland in about 1851) and Elizabeth Wilson (born in Irthington, Cumberland in about 1854). He was born in West Derby in Liverpool and christened at St. Mary’s church in Edge Hill. Thomas was described as a book-keeper in 1891 and Chief Clerk to the Public Health Service in 1901. At the time of Wilson’s death, he was also a Hoylake and West Kirby councillor. Wilson became a solicitor. He married Dora Ellen Hughes and settled in Wakefield, where he worked as the assistant solicitor for West Riding County Council. He must have been a part-time soldier with the Territorial Army because he began his war service in November 1914. He went to France on 15th January 1917. Continue reading “Wilson Bell and Richard Charles Benyon”

Leonard John and William Bates


The impression gained from Leonard’s photograph is of a strong, confident and mature young man and it is certainly supported by his life story: Leonard was well-educated and well-travelled; he was also something of a pioneer, having become involved in the development of a military innovation which subsequently changed the world – the tank. His end was tragic and inglorious – he was crushed between two wagons in a siding at the Remount Depot at Ballsbridge in Dublin and died six hours later in the city hospital. He must either have been taking his tank to the city as a show of strength to Irish Nationalists or on a money-raising mission for the government.

Continue reading “Leonard John and William Bates”

Samuel Frank Barnes, Albert Edward Barton and Arthur Sefton Bate


Samuel Frank Barnes
Samuel Frank Barnes

This soldier was usually known by his middle name. Frank’s story is what is commonly imagined to be typical of all British First World War casualties: he lied about his age and joined a Pals’ Battalion nearly a month after the declaration of war on 3rd September 1914, when he was only 17. He then trained in Britain until he went to France on 7th November 1915 and was killed as he went over the top on the first day of the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916. He either never received a proper burial or his grave was later destroyed because he is commemorated, along with the other 72,202 who have no known grave, on the Thiepval Memorial to the missing on the Somme. Continue reading “Samuel Frank Barnes, Albert Edward Barton and Arthur Sefton Bate”