South Staffordshire War Memorials

Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the South Staffordshire area who died during the two World Wars.

A Williams

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Soldiers Died in the Great War list more than four hundred soldiers of this name who died in the First World War. Neither source indicates which of these soldiers came from Codsall.

The Codsall Memorial is probably intended to commemorate Private Alfred Williams, 45001, 11th Battalion Sherwood Foresters, who died on 7th June, 1917. When he enlisted at Lichfield in May 1916 Private Williams declared that he was a native and resident of Wolverhampton (as did several other Codsall men - it seems to have been common practice to give the name of the nearest large town when enlisting.)

The known details of Private Williams, 45001, suggest that he was born in 1886 and was the son of Thomas and Eliza Williams. This information matchs the baptism on 13 April 1886 at Codsall of Alfred, the son of Thomas Williams, labourer, and his wife Eliza. They lived at Bilbrook.

The Williams family was still living at Bilbrook in 1911 although the father, Thomas, had died by them. Alfred, now 25, was living with his mother and a younger brother, Frederick. He was employed as a nursery gardener.

Alfred enlisted in May 1916 so he may have been in France by October when his Division was engaged in the Battle of Le Transloy at the end of the Battle of the Somme. He was killed in action on 7th June 1917 on the opening day of the Battle of Messines. He is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

Private Alfred Williams, 45001, was awarded the Victory and British War Medals. His Nephew William George Williams is also commemorated at Codsall.

This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg.