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  1. ChrisM

    VICTORIAN BIRMINGHAM TO VICTORIAN BUSH-FIRES

    In 1871, Alfred Jacob Myers, son of Jacob and Juliana, (a family with connections to Charlotte Street, Edgbaston Street, Dale End, Steelhouse Lane and Smallbrook Street) upped sticks and set off for Australia. Yesterday morning, his great-grandson, Richard (a cousin of mine, thanks to Jacob and...
  2. ChrisM

    A BRUMMIE'S BIRTHDAY

    Today I raise a mug of coffee to celebrate My father's 120th Birthday Henry ("Harry"), born 22nd November 1899 at 38 Summer Lane, Birmingham - Who 115 years ago was photographed with his mother and sister - Who knew his grandfather, also Henry, born in 1832, photographed in Birmingham in...
  3. ChrisM

    NEW BBC WW2 ARCHIVE PROJECT

    NEW BBC WW2 ARCHIVE PROJECT I'm sure that everyone knows the BBC Peoples War archive – a wonderful resource. It looks as though they are now trying to do something along the same lines, but with film/interview, relating to the first year of the war. I quote below a message received recently...
  4. ChrisM

    Carter, Frank Herbert (1895-1968), possibly of Aston

    Frank Herbert Carter (9 November 1895 – 1968) was probably born and lived in Aston. Here he is on leave in Aston during the Great War as a Serjeant in the Machine Gun Corps. He had an eventful life, marrying a French girl in 1919, living in France until June 1940 when he had to flee and then...
  5. ChrisM

    Three Birmingham Home Guards

    There were THREE BIRMINGHAM HOME GUARDS who had much in common: They were all born in the last years of the 19th century: they all worked initially on the railways – probably the L.N.W.R.; they all served in the Great War and survived it; they were all members of the same extended family; they...
  6. ChrisM

    Memory, Colour and Childhood

    MEMORY AND COLOUR I was looking recently at a wonderful picture on another Forum showing a wartime room in a nice house, decorated for Christmas. Splashes of real colour amongst all the dullness of furnishings and decoration. It made me think a bit about "memory". I sense that no child today...
  7. ChrisM

    The Aftermath of the Great War in Erdington

    My elder brother was born in 1922 and lived in Croydon Road, Erdington. He glimpsed and recorded those times. "My very earliest dim memories are of the long gone days of the mid-1920s, a world of gaslight and tram cars, when horse-drawn vehicles were still a common sight on the roads. The end...
  8. ChrisM

    Solihull and Kenilworth - 1943

    The link below takes you to a remarkable colour film which seems to have come to public notice fairly recently. It is from 1943 and records several Civil Defence and Home Guard exercises which took place in Solihull and Kenilworth. These included casualty rescue from underground and from...
  9. ChrisM

    Seventy-five Years Ago Today....

    Seventy-five years ago today, 6th March 1943........ I'm not doing much, really, just mucking about. I should be at school - Sandwell School in Streetly - but I've had measles and although I'm better I'm not allowed to go back yet. Not that I'm too bothered about that! So here I am, peering...
  10. ChrisM

    Stretton Lodge School, Gravelly Hill

    Out of all the little schools, public and private, which came and went in 20th century Birmingham, I wonder if anyone else apart from me has ever heard of this one, Stretton Lodge High School for Girls, Preparatory School for Boys and Kindergarten, in Gravelly Hill and owned and run by the...
  11. ChrisM

    Carpenter Road, Edgbaston - Royal Institution For The Blind

    For over a hundred years from 1852 the Royal Institution for the Blind (as it was eventually called) occupied large, custom built premises in Carpenter Road, Edgbaston - no. 52 in the 1940s. Can anyone confirm the precise location of this building please? My current suspicion is that it was on a...
  12. ChrisM

    Cates, Gerald George (also Sims And Swift, Winterbourne Road, Solihull) - Friendly Fire Victim 1942

    Gerald George Cates lived up until 1942 at 5 Winterbourne Road, Solihull with his wife Ruth and daughters Mary and Geraldine (b. 1939). After being widowed Ruth remarried in 1945, to a gentleman named Weir. The daughters later became Mary Sims and Geraldine Swift. Gerald worked at the Inland...
  13. ChrisM

    Coniston Avenue, Sheldon In Ww2

    We are standing on the driveway of 45 Coniston Avenue, Sheldon. It is almost certainly a day in 1944. Waving to us, across a bit of pavement and 73 years, is an American G.I., sitting in the sidecar of a Home Guard despatch rider. The Despatch Rider himself is Rex G. Owen and it is probably...
  14. ChrisM

    Field, Joan Mary Of St. Edward's Road, Bournbrook (b.1918-20)

    Clever as many of our family history research members are, I am pretty confident that nobody will be able to enlighten me as to why I, as the oldest surviving member of two or three family lines, have in my possession a delightful little autograph album belonging to a young girl in Bournbrook of...
  15. ChrisM

    Birmingham Post Office

    Elsewhere in this Forum we have mentioned a gentleman by the name of George Tibbitts who worked for the Post Office/GPO and died in the course of his Home Guard service on Boxing Day, 1940. I subsequently produced a page commemorating George and several other of his comrades in the Birmingham...
  16. ChrisM

    Hollyfields Recreation Ground

    I believe this image was taken in Erdington, in what appears to be a playing field. Can anyone recognise the location, please? Thanks. (Group of Erdington Home Guard blokes practising with a spigot mortar, 1942-44).
  17. ChrisM

    Birmingham In November/december 1940

    I have been re-reading a book, published in 1942, which has buried within it a description of a visit to Birmingham in November/December 1940. I won't identify it publicly but some members may also be familiar with it. I have transcribed a few passages. The author has arrived at his hotel...
  18. ChrisM

    Cofton And Longbridge November 1940

    Can anyone give me a bit of help with a mystery, please? Arthur Grant, aged 26, husband of Doris Georgina Grant, of 111 Nuthurst, Road, Birmingham was an "Aero assembler fitter", almost certainly at the Longbridge Austin factory adjacent to his home. He is listed as a Civilian Casualty...
  19. ChrisM

    Tovey (and Brown)

    My mother's father and mother were not the luckiest of parents. George Thomas Tovey (1871-1949) married Rebecca Brown (1871-1945) in 1891. In 1894 they were living at Back 239 Great Colmore Street where Rebecca gave birth to a son, also named George Thomas. This little boy died of acute...
  20. ChrisM

    Wesleyan College Handsworth 1944

    A little conundrum. Can anyone please identify this building (not that one can see a lot of it)? It is the background of a 1944 Home Guard picture. The HG group is one operating in the Aston and Hockley area, although this location may or may not be in that immediate area of Birmingham. It...
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