• Welcome to this forum . We are a worldwide group with a common interest in Birmingham and its history. While here, please follow a few simple rules. We ask that you respect other members, thank those who have helped you and please keep your contributions on-topic with the thread.

    We do hope you enjoy your visit. BHF Admin Team

Postal workers plaque saved

Not open for further replies.


Staff member
war tablet.jpghi folks colin has suggested that i start a new thread giving all the details of how this plaque was found and then viv can post all the information she and other members have found out about the workers on it like it keeps it all together..so here we go..

hi folks...to cut a long story short..an aquaintance of mine ken stowe who was working on the JCB s in 1970/71 was ordered to a demolished building on monument road ladywood and told to shovel up all the rubble and dispose of it..he spotted a lovely marble tablet dedicated to 7 local postmen who gave their lives for this country..feeling that it was not right to do this he kept the tablet and its been with him for over 40 years..he didnt really know just what to do with it but knew it had to be kept safe...as you know this year will be 100 years since the outbreak of the great war and im sure you will all agree that now is the time for it to be placed once again on an appropriate building somewhere in the ladywood area..these men must not be forgotton and its so sad to think that they nearly were...i am now contacting people who maybe able to help me get the tablet put back where it rightfully belongs so that these men will never be forgotton again..if any of our members are related to these men or can offer me any help or advise please feel free to contact me..

please note...due to the wonderful research of some of our members we now know that although the plaque was found in ladywood by ken stowe the postmen it was dedicated to all worked and lived in the erdington erea so it is a real mystery as to how it found its way to ladywood...

i will of course be keeping you all up to date with any feedback from the people i have contacted with regards to getting the plaque hopefully reinstated somewhere in erdington..thanks again folk for all your help on this one..
Last edited:
The document (in three parts) attached to this post is a joint effort by BHF members to uncover information about the seven Erdington postmen named on the above WW1 memorial tablet, brought to the attention of the Forum by Astoness.

The document is intended to reflect the information uncovered by members about each serviceman. It attempts to pull that information together, in one place, for easy reference. If you should spot anything that's been missed, wrongly interpreted or any errors please point these out. However small, if you should see an error do let us know, as we want to ensure accuracy of the information.

I'd like to acknowledge the work done by the following members. Their contributions in researching Census data, Military records, Electoral Rolls, Birth//Marriages/Deaths records and taking photographs etc is much appreciated.

Astoness, Josietrue, Terry b18, Dwilly, ColinB, KenR, Lynne Webb, Jennyann, Wendy, Mikejee,, AnneWalton, Pollypops, Maypolebaz, Alberta, Frothblower, Buddy and PJMburns.
Their specific contributions can be found on the thread: https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=43365


Document last updated 24 Feb 2014.

Erdington Postmen WW1 memorial tablet
Seven new biographies are now posted below. Each soldier has his own individual post. They’re an updated version of the draft doc in post #2 to include additional research done by Forum members and to take account of any corrections.

Post # 5: Alexander Leadbeater (Leadbetter)
Post # 6: Cornelius Ernest Neal (Ernest Cornelius Neal)
Post # 7: Frank Concannon (Cannon)
Post # 8: Henry James Holmes
Post # 9: Alfred Edwin Meredith
Post #10: Albert Edward Sharp
Post #11: Charles Bull

Please note. Where available, specific references to source records are given below each biography. However, not all detailed references have yet been included. These will be added to the posts over time. Similarly, if you have any additions to offer or suggested amendments, please post these on the thread via this link: https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=43365

Many Forum members researched and helped draw together information about the individual soldiers. Specific contributions came from:

Alexander Leadbeater: Colin B, Alberta
Cornelius E Neal: Colin B, Maypolebaz, Pjmburns
Frank Concannon: Dwilly, Colin B, Josietrue, Mikejee
Henry J Holmes: Colin B, Lynne Webb
Alfred Edwin Meredith: Colin B, Pjmburns
Albert E Sharp: Ken R, Dwilly
Charles Bull: Vivienne14

And of course, a big thank you to Ken Stowe and Astoness for telling us all about the tablet.

Alexander Leadbeater (Leadbetter[1])

Staffordshire Regiment 14th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles
Service no: 14/44255

Alexander Leadbeater's parents, James and Emily (nee Dicken), were married at St, Alkmund, Derby in 1850 [2]. Alexander was born in 1874 in Emscote, Warwickshire [3], the youngest of 9 children (he had 4 brothers and 4 sisters). In 1878, when Alexander was just four years old, his father (James) died [4]. James was a Railway Pointsman and his children were placed in the Railway Children's Orphanage in Derby. Alexander attended the Bluecoat School in Walsall. In 1881 Alexander was living with his mother in Pleck Road, Walsall; she was working as a Railway Station Assistant [5]. And by the time he was 16, in 1891, Alexander had gained employment as a Telegram Messenger. He and his 28 year old brother (Francis, a Porter) were now both living with their mother at Pleck Road [6].

In 1892, at the age of 18, Alexander enlisted in the Staffordshire Regiment (service number: 3830) serving in India, Egypt and the war in South Africa, 1899 - 1902 [7].

In November 1902 Alexander joined the Erdington Post Office (S.O). The Postal Service Appointment records do not list him as a Postman, so he may have started work within the sorting office or in some other role. [8]. He married Mary (nee Twiss) in 1905 and was, by this time, working as a Postman [9]. In 1911 they were living at 33 Edwards Road, Erdington [10].

In 1915 he enlisted in the army for a second time, but with the Royal Irish Rifles [7]. Two years later Rifleman Leadbeater was killed by a shell on the Front Line on 28 June 1917, at the age of 42. He is buried at Messines Ridge British Cemetery, Mesen West, Flanders (West Vlaanderen) Belgium (Grave ref: Plot VI. B.37). The chaplain said at his burial: "He is buried on the ground he helped to take from the German's, so his great sacrifice has not been for nothing". At this time his widow was still living at 33 Edwards Road [11 and 12].

[1] British Army WW1 Medal Roll Index Cards 1914 – 1920 and Ireland Casualties of WW1-Alexander’s name appears as ‘Leadbetter’
[2] England and Wales Marriage Index
[3] England and Wales Birth Index Oct/Nov/Dec 1874 Warwick 6d 600
[4] England and Wales Death Index
[5] England Census 1881
[6] England Census 1891
[7] British Army Service Records
[8] British Postal Service Appointment Books
[9] England and Wales Marriage Index, July/Aug/Sept 1905, Birmingham 6d 65
[10] England Census 1911
[11] Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Casualty Details and The War Graves Photographic Project (note Alexander’s mother is named as ‘Mary’ in CWGC notes - possible error)
[12] England and Wales Death Registration Index

A photo of Alexander Leadbeater from De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour see post #295 here
Cornelius Ernest Neal (Ernest Cornelius Neal)

1st Battalion Scottish Rifles, Cameronians
Service no: 6915

Cornelius was born in Aston in 1881 to parents Henry and Mary Anne [1]. By 1891 they were living in Arthur Street, Coventry. His father worked in the bicycle industry and he had 2 brothers, William H and Arthur T and a sister, Mabel A [2]. The family had moved by 1901 to Guildford Street, Aston Manor, at which time his father continued to work as a bicycle builder. In 1911 Cornelius was working as a railway porter and living with his parents at 8 Woodbine Place, Wilton St, Aston [3]. A year later he married Edith E (nee Deakin) [4] and in June of the same year he joined the Erdington Post Office working as a Postman [5]. He had a son, Stanley E, born in 1914 [6].

Private Neal died of his wounds on 26 August 1915 and is buried at Chocques Military Cemetery (grave ref I. D.78) [7].

Cornelius's widow, Edith, was living at 66 Farnham Road from 1922 to 1946. In 1945 her son, Stanley E, was also living there [8]. Edith died in 1946 [9]. Stanley married Molly (Culling and possibly a war widow
) in 1950 [10]. They continued to live at 66 Farnham Road until at least 1955 [8].

[1] England and Wales Birth Registration Index 1837 – 1920, Aston, Q4, Vol 6D, pg 291, line 324
[2] Census of England and Wales 1891
[3] Census of England and Wales 1911
[4] England & Wales Marriage Registration Index 1837 – 1920, Q3, Aston, Vol 6D, Pg 606, line 149
[5] British Postal Service Appointment Books
[6] England and Wales Birth Registration Index 1837 – 1920, Aston, Q1,Vol 6D, Pg 1179, line 5
[7] UK Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914 – 1919 and Commonwealth War Graves Commission
[8] England, Midland Electoral Registers 1832 - 1955
[9] England and Wales Death Registration Index, Birmingham, Sept, 9C 30
[10] England and Wales Marriage Index, Birmingham Q4, 9C 297

Possible areas for continuing research identified by Forum member Pjmburns

* Stanley E’s wife, Molly, formerly ‘Culling’ may have been a war widow before marrying Stanley E Neal. She possibly originated in Handsworth, born Molly Georgina Shaw in 1916. A search has not produced records of any children, although Stanley E may have had a step-son, Robert Culling, born in Birmingham in 1944, the year Molly’s first husband was killed. As yet no death registration for Molly has been uncovered, although a Mollie G Neal is listed as living in Hereford.
Frank Concannon (Cannon [2])

Prince of Wales, First Battalion North Staffs Regiment
Service no: 6529

Frank was born in Erdington in 1884, son of Thomas Concannon (born in Ireland) and Maggie (nee Bull) [1]. He had an older brother and sister John and Clara, and an younger brother and sister, Harold and Maggie. (He may also have had one other younger brother, Basil b. 1888). Before joining the army Frank was working as a Music Wire Drawer in Erdington. In 1901, at the age of 17, he enlisted under the name of Cannon, stating his birth year as 1883 [2].

He joined the Birmingham Post Office in 1910 and worked as an Assistant Postman [3]. In 1911 he was a Postman living at 68 Woodcock Street [4]. Frank was married to Elizabeth Phoebe [5] and they had three children: Frank Thomas, Dorothy Mary and Leslie Joseph [6].

Sergeant Frank Concannon died of his wounds on 30 June 1916 and is buried in Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord (grave ref. II. E104) [7 and 8]. His next of kin was named as E.F.Forrester 114 South Road, Erdington [9]. His widow re-married (Forrester) and emigrated, with the children, to New South Wales in 1917[10].

Frank's son, Leslie Joseph, was also a soldier (Staff Sergeant no: 7261382 in the RAMC). He too died of his wounds on the 19 April 1942 and is buried at Ventnor Cemetery on the Isle of Wight [11].

[1] England and Wales Birth Index 1837 - 1915, Q4 1883, Aston 6d 893
[2] British Army War Service Records 1914 - 1920
[3] British Postal Service Appointment Books
[4] Census of England and Wales 1911
[5] England and Wales Marriage Registration Index
[6] England and Wales Registration of Births Index
[7] UK Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 - 1919 (Military-Genealogy.com)
[8] Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Casualty Details and The War Graves Photographic Project
[9] British Army Medal Rolls Index Cards 1914 - 1920
[10] Passenger lists
[11] England and Wales Registration of Deaths Index
Henry James Holmes

43rd Brigade Royal Field Artillery and Royal Horse Artillery
Service no: 63975

Henry was born in Bordesley in 1890 [1] to parents Henry H and Mary Ann and was baptised at Holy Trinity, Bordesley. The family was living at Ash Grove, Miles Street, Bordesley. By 1901 the family had moved to Carrington Road, Holly Grove, Aston and at this time Henry had an older brother, William Henry and a two younger brothers, Frederick Charles and Ernest [2b] [2]. He also had two younger sisters Lillie H and Mary Ann. By the age of 21, in 1911, Henry was a soldier at 4 Depot Royal Field Artillery, Fort Purbrook, Cosham, Farlington, Hants [3]. The exact date when Henry joined the Post Office is unknown but by May 1914 he was working as a Postman [4].

He returned to soldiering during the First World War and, as Acting Bombardier and was killed in action on 18 July 1916. [5, 6 and 7].He is buried at Flatiron Copse Cemetery, Mametz (grave ref: X. C. 9) [8]. Sadly, just a few months later on 31st December 1916, Henry's younger brother, Frederick Charles, was also killed in action, at the age of 25 [9].. By 1925 it is known that Henry's family members (Henry, Mary Ann, William Henry and Edward Holmes) were living at Bolton Road [10]

[1] England and Wales Birth Index
[2] Census of England and Wales 1891
[2b] Census of England and Wales 1901
[3] Census of England and Wales 1911
[4] British Postal Service Appointment Books
[5] UK Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 - 1919
[6] British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914 - 1920
[7] England and Wales Death Index 1916 - 2007, Aston Vol 6d 365
[8] Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Casualty Details and The War Graves Photographic Project
[9] England and Wales Registration of Death Index 1916 - 2007, Aston Vol 6d
[10] Electoral Roll 1925
Alfred Edwin Meredith

Royal Garrison Artillery
Service no: 283347

Alfred was born in Harborne, Staffs in 1878 [1 and 2]. In 1891 Alfred was living at Lodge Road, Harborne with two older brothers, William H and Charles, two younger sisters, Isabelle and Nora, and one younger brother, Arthur [2b]

He joined the Erdington Post Office in November 1905 and worked as a Postman [3]. In 1907 he married Albertina (nee Dewsbury) [4] at Aston, Warwickshire and it is possible they had one daughter called Elsie, born in 1911 [5 and 6]

Alfred enlisted in Sutton Coldfield. He died on 21 December 1917 and is buried at Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension (grave ref. III. J.B) [7].

His wife was living in 70 Oliver Road, Erdington until 1927 [8]. Both Albertina and her daughter, Elsie, were still living together in 1945 [8]. In 1953 Albertina died [9].

[1] England Birth Registration Index
[2] England and Wales Census 1881
[2b] England and Wales Census 1891
[3] British Postal Service Appointment Books
[4] England Marriage Registration Index
[5] England and Wales Census 1911
[6] England Birth Registration Index
[7] Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Casualty Details & The War Graves Photographic Project
[8] England, Midlands Electoral Registers 1832 - 1955
[9] England Death Registration Index
Albert Edward Sharp

Agricultural Labour Corps and Devonshire Regiment
Service no: 291375

Albert Edward Sharp was born in Bristol, Gloucestershire, in 1878 [1] to parents William and Annie Sharp. He was followed a year later by a sister, Emily [2]. In 1881 [3] the family were living in the Stapleton area of Bristol with the father employed as a Gardener in Domestic Service.

By 1891 [4] he had acquired a further three siblings. William born in 1882 [5], Annie Martha born 1884 (6], and Lilla born 1890 [7] who were then followed by Florence Rose in 1892 [8].. It is known that Albert had 7 younger siblings.

Whilst the rest of the family continued to reside in the Fishponds area [of Bristol],1901 [9] finds Albert lodging in High Street, Erdington, where he is in employment to an Auctioneer. In 1903 he married Caroline Annie Homer [10] and their first child, Gladys Ada Emily [11], arrived the following year.

Subsequent children were named, Beatrice Alice in 1905 [1], Bertha Annie in 1906 [13], Elvina Lillian Alexandra in 1908 [14], Albert Edward in 1910 [15], Harry Leslie in 1912 [16] and William James in 1914 [17]. Then finally, Florence Dora Sharp was born in 1917 [18]. Sadly, she was never to know her father.

In 1911 [19] the family were living at 44 Gravelly Lane, Erdington, and Albert Edward was working as a Window Cleaner.

It is unclear when Albert began working for the Post Office but it may have been as late as 1915 [20]. His Military records appear not to have survived but from his Headstone it can be learnt that he served with the Devonshire Regiment and then the Labour Corps. On the way home from the War he contracted Spanish Flu and died in the Military Hospital, Out Risbygate, Bury St Edmunds in the summer of 1918 [21], and his Funeral took place at St Barnabas Church, Erdington, on 5 December that year [22].

The family, by this time, were living in Coton Lane, Erdington [22] and remained there for some years thereafter.

[1]Q3, 6a, 189
[2]Q4, 6a, 201
[3]RG11, Piece 2507, Folio 19, Page 31
[4]RG12, Piece 1992, Folio 70, Page 16
[5]Q1, 6a, 206
[6]Q1, 6a, 77
[7]Q2, 6a, 186
[8]Q3, 6a, 183
[9]RG13, Piece 2875, Folio 55, Page 6
[10]Q3, 6d, 733
[11]Q1, 6d, 426
[12]Q4, 6d, 372
[13]Q4, 6d, 410
[14]Q4, 6d, 405
[15]Q1, 6d, 380
[16]Q3, 6d, 815
[17]Q3, 6d, 1253
[18]Q1, 6d, 1003
[19]RG14, RD 385, SD 5, ED 9, Schedule 74
[20]British Postal Service Appointment Books 1915, Image 280.
[21]Q4, 4a, 1978
[22]Erdington, St Barnabas 1914-1928, Page 78, Image 41.

Further research carried out by Forum member Ken R on Albert Sharp’s descendents

Whilst the MI and other records give a year of 1917, the Death registration and Parish register both record the year as 1918.

Of the children, it is known that Gladys Ada Emily Sharp, Albert's first born child, married Frank Edgar Green 1923, Q4, 6d, 1045. A link to a letter from Albert to his daughter Gladys is given below in Illustrations.

And it can be inferred about the other children:

Elvina Lillian Alexandra married Reginald R Dodds in 1930.
Brian W Dodds in 1933.
Raymond E Dodds in 1935.
Barry R Dodds in 1937.

Raymond E Dodds married Marian Eyles in 1957. It appears they had a daughter, Judith A born 1957 Q4, 9c, 885, who may be identical with the Judith A Dodds that in 1991, married a Graham S Meah. Q3, 32, 599, who, with an apparent Birth record in 1959, would be of a similar age.

There is an Electoral Roll entry in 2002 for a Graham S Meah in Alcester, but not with a Judith. In fact, it reads more like a ‘lodgings’ so perhaps better not pursued. However, there is a 2013 entry for a Judith Florey-Meah in Sutton Coldfield [address not shown] who might be directly connected to this line.

Albert Edward [junior] married Beatrice May Morris, Q2, 1933, Birmingham, 6d, 729.
Children– possible [Morris being a more common Surname]
Albert E Dodds in 1933
Barry R Dodds in 1958
Tony W Dodds in 1962
Although perhaps the latter 2 should be discounted due to age difference.

Brian W Dodds married Mary Page in 1954 and in 1955 were living at 33 Summerlee Road, Erdington. Can't see any obvious children for them.

Albert E Sharp (b. 1933) may be identical with a 1954 Marriage to Joyce M Higgins, Q2, 9c, 1109, and in 1955 were living at 16, Chudleigh Road, Stockland Green.

Grandchildren? [Children of Albert E Sharp & Joyce M Higgins]
Christopher J in 1955
Angela J in 1958

Barry R Dodds married June Kitteridge in 1958. Two Births registered in Meriden may be pertinent to them.
Adrian Stuart in 1969 Q1, 9c, 1635.
Amanda Louise in 1973 Q1, 9c, 2704

A copy of a letter from Albert Sharp to his daughter see post #242. https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=43365
A photo of Albert Sharp's War medal see post #243
Photos of Albert Sharp see post #334
Charles Bull

Royal Army Medical Corps
Service no: 103123

Charles was born in Tipton, Staffordshire in 1888 to father Charles and mother Sarah J. Charles and his younger sister, Hannah, were living at 26 Regent Street, Tipton in 1891 [1]. By 1901 the family had moved to Park Street, Aston Manor. At this time, Charles's father was working as a Pen Nib Maker and the young Charles was employed as an Errand Boy in a factory [2]. All three of his younger sisters (Hannah, Lizzie and Mary E) were also living at Park Street.

On 29 November 1910, Charles married Florence Jessie age 23 (nee Humphries) at St.Peter's and St. Paul's [3 and 5]. They had two children: Charles James (b.1/2 /1911) and Arthur Edward (b.3/2/1918) [5]. At the time of their marriage Charles was employed as a Postman and by 1911 they were living at 23 Fern Road, Erdington [4].

Private Bull enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps in October 1915 [5]. He was posted to Canterbury on 25 November 1915. But by 1917 the notes in his army service record show he was suffering from tubercle of the lungs. He was declared totally incapacitated and no longer physically fit for war service [5]. Following his discharge on 20 January 1917, he was admitted to the Benenden National Sanatorium, a hospital for postal workers specialising in the treatment of tuberculosis. He died in July 1922, age 34 [6].

[1] England and Wales Census 1891, Staffordshire, Tipton schedule #159
[2] England and Wales Census 1901, Aston Manor, St. Peter & St. Paul, Warks
[3] England Marriage Index 1538 – 1973, Index batch # M00849-2, GS film 1545537, ref ID 204
[4] Census of England and Wales 1911, Aston, Erdington, Warks
[5] British Army WW1 Service Records 1914 - 1920, Army Form B2505
[6] Birmingham, England Burials 1813 - 1964, Aston St. Peter and St. Paul #1888

A photo of Charles Bull can be seen in post #351 here
A copy of the memorial unveiling invitation can be seen here in post #351
This thread is now closed if anyone has any more information about any of the men then please use the original thread HERE

Not open for further replies.