World War One

Work continues to discover as many details about the lives of these young men from the village, and their families, so if anyone is able to contribute, please do get in touch.

Reading in Parish Matters from 1914 the war was reported as follows:
At the beginning of August our country was obliged for the cause of honour and justice to go to war, our allies being France, Belgium, Russia also Japan, our enemies: the German Empire, the Austrian Empire joined by Turkey.  Several from Stretton offered for service. A very well attended meeting at which Robson J Chorley and at which the Rev. William Bracecamp spoke concerning the country’s need for men was held in the school. 

As well as those below who lost their lives in the conflict, the following men from the village joined up: Arthur Baxter, Bradley Brook Farm; Joseph Henry Berry, Stretton;  Thomas Cuthbert Bird, Tanners Row; George Bostock, Primrose Hill; Arthur Bowers, Roadside Cottages, Thomas Cotterill, Primrose Hill, Dennis Done, Dorothy Cottages; Thomas Greaves, Well Lane, James Greaves, Ring O’Bells, Arthur Highfield; William Henry Howe, near Post Office; Peter Lafferty, Moss Wood  Cottages, Robert Leather, Spark Hall; Peter James Mills, near Post Office; John Edward Moffatt; Neville Oldfield, Rooley Moors; Frank Povey, Tanners Row; John Cyril Rose, Wicken House; Thomas Reginald Shepherd, Tanners Row; Elijah George Skelton, Walls Pit House; Stephen Wilkinson, Lower Stretton, Ernest Woodward, Lower Hall Farm;  John George Russell and Joseph Worrall.

John Bostock, the son of George and Mary Alice Bostock, was born 31 March 1894 and baptised at St. Matthews on 17 April 1894. He was known as Jack to his family. The 1901 census records him aged 7 living at Primrose Hill, London Road,  with his parents and siblings. He attended the village school and sang in the church choir for five years. By the 1911 census he was aged 17 working as a farm labourer still living with his family at Primrose Hill. He gave his occupation as farm labourer when he enlisted alongside his younger brother George on 10 May 1915 as a Private to Royal Marine Light Infantry, Chatham Division in Liverpool.  John married Dorothy Rose Fittall in Eastry, Kent four months later, and in June 1916 Dorothy gave birth to John junior. Sadly the infant John died at birth. Just months before the end of war on 23 April 1918, John was killed aged 24. He was buried at Deal Cemetery in Kent. His brother George survived the war, dying aged 80 in Warrington

Dorothy Rose married again in 1922 to Percy Saunders. In September 1950, at the age of 55, Dorothy married for a third time – to Ernest Holland Bostock, John’s youngest brother. It’s interesting to note that Dorothy was given special permission from the Admiralty to be interred in the same grave as her first husband, Jack Bostock, at Deal Cemetery. She died on 4 Feb 1960. Her last husband survived her and died at 77 in Kent.

John Bostock
John Bostock

Henry Perry Dodd was the youngest son of Rev. Henry  Russell Dodd  vicar of Stretton 1868-1896. He was born in 1880 at Stretton. In 1881 he was aged 1; 1891 aged 11, but by 1901 the family had moved away to London under a cloud.  In 1911 Henry was recorded as living in Chorlton, Manchester, married with two children and working as a warehouseman. Records show that he was killed on 7 July 1919 having been fighting with the Royal Field Artillery as a gunner. He would have been nearly 40 and his death was registered in Chorlton.  His grave is marked by a private cross to the north of the church.

Herbert Sydney Simpson was the son of William and Elizabeth of Tanners Row, Lower Stretton. He was born on 11 December 1896 and baptised at St. Matthews on 3 January 1897.  By the time he was 14 he was working as a farm labourer. He lived with his parents and six siblings in a two bedroom room cottage so it must have been a squeeze given that his eldest sister was 22 and youngest brother just a year old. In total Elizabeth gave birth to 14 children, of which three died in childhood, so it must have been a difficult time when her son signed up.  He fought with the Cheshire Regiment and died on 29 April 1918, aged 21, and is buried at Klein-Vierstraat British Cemetery which is near Ypres, Belgium.

Joseph Haddock was born in Runcorn, the son of Mrs. Mary Ann Haddock of Fryers Green, Warrington. His mother was born Mary Ann Wainwright in Stretton. Joseph married May Phillips in 1915 and they resided at Cat Cottage, Stretton. He fought with the 1st/4th Bn., South Lancashire Regiment but died just over a year after his marriage on 10 August 1916 aged 29. He is buried at Thiepval Memorial, Belgium. In the following spring his widow May married George Winterbottom.

Francis Charles Lyon was from the adjoining parish of Appleton. He grew up at Appleton Hall with his parents, Lt Col Charles Lyon and Mrs Lyon. Francis was a lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards. He died aged 22 on 13 April 1918 and is buried at Ploegsteert Memorial.  

Joseph Edward Smith,  son of Arthur and Maria Smith of Stretton Hall, was born in 1892 in Whitley and baptised at St. Matthews. In 1901 he was living with his family at Stretton Hall but by 1911 had moved to Birmingham training as an engineer.  Lt Smith of No 60 Sqn RAF was flying on an Offensive Patrol when his aircraft was damaged in combat over Bapaume.  He died on 17 September 1918 aged 26. He is buried at Dury Crucifix Cemetery. His parents later moved to Wychbold, Droitwich.

Frederick Weir son of Frederick  and Elizabeth Weir was born at Norton in 1886. Frederick senior was a farmer and the family lived in Higher Whitley prior to moving to Stretton. In 1911 the family lived at The Shant, London Road, Stretton with Frederick (junior) working as a farm bailiff. He fought as a private in the Kings, Shropshire Light Infantry. Frederick died 17 April 1917 at Southmead Hospital, Bristol and was buried at St. Matthews on 21 April 1917, aged 32. His grave is to the north of the church, marked by a Commission headstone.

Frederick’s death was not the only tragedy in the family. His mother had given birth to five children but by 1917 all but two of them had died; Frederick’s sister Bertha died only a year before him in 1916, and a younger brother in 1910. The remaining two siblings married and lived locally. Frederick’s parents remained living at the Shant, London Road until Elizabeth’s death in 1927.

Arthur Naylor Ellison was born on 20 December 1892 and baptised on 25 February 1893 at St. Matthews. He grew up at the School House, being the son of John Ellison, school master of Stretton School, and was recorded as living there in the 1901 census aged 8. According to the 1911 census Arthur aged 18 was working as a commercial clerk. Whilst Arthur did not die during the conflict, he suffered severe shell shock. In keeping with the inscription on the memorial ‘…. of men connected with the Church and Parish who gave their lives in the Great War or through the hardness then endured’, it was felt appropriate that his name be included.  Arthur Naylor Ellison died in 1970, aged 77 and is buried in the graveyard at St. Matthews.

Harry Clark was born in Stretton in 1885. In the 1891 census Harry was living with his family in Tanner’s Row, Well Lane.  By the time he was 16 in 1901 he had become a joiner and was living with his family in Statham, Lymm. Apart from his father John, his mother, brothers and sisters were all born in this area.  In 1911 Harry was living at Colwyn Bay, working as a carpenter. In the summer of 1914 Harry married Margaret Curry Johnson in Warrington and they moved to 92, Mobberley Road, Knutsford. He enlisted in Knutsford on 19 May 1916, and transferred to the 8th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment. Harry was killed on 1 October 1917 and is buried at Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium. At the time of his death his parents were still living at Pool Lane, Statham, Lymm and he left a widow, Margaret and a son, also called Harry.  In 1925 Margaret married for the second time to Benjamin Holland. Harry is also commemorated on the war memorial in Lymm. 

4 thoughts on “World War One”

  1. Mr Joseph Haddock who resided in Stretton and married…May Phillips. He died during the First World War 10 August 1916. Mr Joseph Haddock is my Great Uncle. My grandfather William Haddock’s older brother. I do remember seeing a photo of him at my granmothers when I was very young he was wearing his uniform and was probably taken just before he left for the front.

    Very pleased to see his name, and the name of his wife who went on to marry again.

  2. Hi paul my grandmother was mabel haddock
    Who lived at number 6 Stretton road
    Her father was herbert haddock
    I don’t know if they were related to joseph
    But there can’t be that many haddocks
    in Stretton

  3. Hello Stephen

    With reference to your message – your grandmother Mabel Haddock was related to my great grand father Richard Haddock who came from Runcorn and lived in Warrington for part of his life.
    Large families were very common in those days…and compiling the family tree can be both interesting and exhausting.

    I have traced the Haddock Family Tree which starts with…William Haddock who is entered in the Doomsday Book of 1086 at Leigh On Sea, Essex. William is listed as a farmer and landowner.

    Admiral Sir Richard Haddock also of Leigh On Sea, Essex, who served as Admiral of The Fleet for King Charles 2nd of England. A portrait of Sir Richard hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London. You can look up Sir Richard’s details on the internet.

    1. Hi paul that is very interesting what you have said .
      I have a lot of old photos dating back years ago showing the haddock family
      My email address is
      If you would like to get in touch I would gladly like you to see them
      Stephen clarke

      On the history of stretton is states that my grandmother lived at 6 beach cottages stretton road after her parents passed away (haddocks) I also lived there for most of my younger life attending the old stretton school
      It would be nice to share my memories and photos with you

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