Trinity Methodist Church, Netherton, Dudley, West Midlands
Dudley and Netherton Methodist Circuit
Trinity Methodist Church stands in Church Road, Netherton part of Dudley Metropolitan Borough in the heart of the “Black Country”. There has been a Wesleyan chapel on this site since 1865 and the present building was erected in 1912 replacing a “tin tabernacle” and was known simply as the “Wesleyan” to all Nethertonians. In the early 1990’s with the closure of another local chapel, St. John’s Methodist, in nearby St. John Street the congregations merged and the name Trinity was adopted.
The church has two WW1 Roll of Honour boards
and a ”Great War” Memorial in the form of a brass plaque
A plaque on the opposite wall gives thanks to God for the safe return of all associated with the chapel who served in World War II.
38047 Pte. Frederick William Carpenter
12th (Service) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment “Bristol’s Own”
Killed in action Friday 28th June 1918. Age 37
Frederick Carpenter was born in Brierley Hill in 1881. He married Rachael Florence Grainger in 1903 and they lived with his in-laws at 137 Northfield Road, Netherton. He was employed as a grocer’s assistant.
In mid 1918 after returning from Italy helping in the defence of Venice, the battalion took up a position by the forest of Nieppe near Merville. On 28th June they carried out a major attack which was very successful but among the casualties was Pte Frederick Carpenter who was killed in action.
He is buried in Aval Wood Cemetery, Vieux-Berquin. (Grave Ref. III B 4)
As well as being remembered at Trinity Methodist Church, Netherton, Dudley he is also commemorated on the Dudley Memorial.
13033 Pte. William Horace Dimmock
25th (City of London) (Service) Battalion Royal Fusiliers (The Frontiersmen)
Killed in Action Wednesday 23rd June 1915. Age 25
William Horace Dimmock was born in Rowley Regis in 1890. He was the son of Samuel and Julia Dimmock and had five siblings, Joseph, Clara, Dora, Mabel and Elsie. The family ultimately moved from Rowley Regis to Oakham View, 18, Arch Hill Street, Netherton, before the outbreak of The Great War. In 1911 William left home to study Theology at the Wesleyan College, Richmond, Surrey. In 1913 was ordained as a Wesleyan minister and sent to Ashby in the Scunthorpe and Brigg circuit as a probationer minister, then in 1914 Conference sent him to Bradley church as third minister in the Bilston circuit only a few miles from his family home in Netherton.
In 1915 he enlisted in the 25th Battalion Royal Fusiliers on it’s formation in London. The Battalion left the U.K. for East Africa arriving in Mombasa on 6th May 1915, they were the only Battalion of the B.E.F. to embark and enter the field without training . The 25th were quickly in action at Bukoba on the shores of Lake Victoria and during the battle William Dimmock was killed. He was initially buried in a cemetery at Mwanza close to the battlefield, but in 1975 the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, because of the difficulty of the upkeep of numerous grave sites scattered around East Africa, re-interred his body at Dar es Salaam War Cemetery in what is now Tanzania. He is buried in a communal grave along with three other men of the 25th who also died in the same action. (Grave Ref. Coll. Grave 8. D. 1-4).
As well as being commemorated at Trinity he is also remembered in a memorial window at his first church Ashby Wesley Methodist, Lincolnshire.
He was the first Wesleyan minister to be killed in the war.
His brother Joseph also served in the war with the Royal Engineers and thankfully survived the conflict.
1165 Pte. James Green
14th (City of Birmingham) (Service) Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment
1st Birmingham Pals
Killed in Action Saturday 22nd July 1916. Age 20
James Green was born in Quarry Bank in 1896 and lived at 11 Maughan Street. The family, his father and mother Joseph and Hannah Green, his two sisters Alice and Louisa and James later moved to Netherton , living at 17 King Street (now Kingsley Street). James was the youngest and worked as a telegraph messenger. He volunteered in 1914 in Birmingham joining the 14th Warwicks. The Battalion went to the Western Front in November 1915 and after battle experience on the then quiet Somme sector they spent time on the Arras front. In July 1916 came their first experience of concentrated battle. They took over a particularly difficult area between High Wood and Delville Wood and were involved in a major attack on the 22nd July. The Battalion went “over the top” at 10 a.m. but the enemy’s position was well defended and they sustained heavy casualties and among those killed was James Green. He has no known grave.
As well as being remembered at Trinity he is also commemorated on the Netherton and Thiepval Memorials.
203605 Pte. Bert Grove
1st/7th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
Died of Wounds Sunday 8th April 1917. Age 19
Bert Grove was the eldest of four sons born to Arthur and Hannah Grove, his younger brothers were Horace, John and Alfred, thankfully none were old enough to fight before the war ended. The family lived at 24, Crescent Road, Netherton, but had previously lived at 25, Bell Road.
He enlisted in the Worcesters and was sent to the 1st/7th Territorial Battalion on the Western Front. After fighting in the 1916 Battle of the Somme the task of the Worcesters was to follow up the withdrawal of the enemy forces to the Hindenberg Line. At Templeux-Guerard they were responsible for storming the heavily fortified “Mound” and driving the German forces into a speedier retreat.
Bert Grove was among the casualties being severely wounded. He was taken to a military hospital near Amiens where he died.
He is buried in Bray Military Cemetery, Bray-sur -Somme (Grave Ref. II H 48)
As well as being remembered at Trinity he is also commemorated on the Dudley and Netherton memorials.
20353 Pte. Solomon Hale
4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
Died of Wounds Thursday 2nd December 1915. Age 23
Solomon Hale was born at Netherton in 1892 the only son of Albert and Mary Hale, he had four sisters Alice, Evelyn, Sarah and Ann and worked as a warehouseman. The family lived at 1, Victoria Street, Netherton which was directly opposite to Trinity or the Wesleyan as it was known then.
He enlisted in 4th Worcesters in Dudley. The battalion embarked from Avonmouth on the 21st March 1915 bound for Gallipoli, and were among those who struggled ashore at Cape Helles on the 25th April 1915. They were later involved in three costly battles at Krithia the village that blocked routes from Cape Helles, but were unsuccessful in making a breakthrough and also saw action at Gully Ravine. The campaign turned into a stalemate and appalling weather arrived in November causing the men to suffer badly. At the beginning of December only sporadic trench warfare was taking place but with some casualties and Solomon Hale died on the 2nd December.
He has no known grave and as well as being remembered at Trinity he is commemorated on the Netherton Memorial and the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli (Panel 104-113)
43950 Pte. Joseph Priest
1st Battalion (Princess Charlotte of Wales’) Royal Berkshire Regiment
Killed in Action Friday 23rd August 1918. Age 33
Joseph Priest was born in Netherton in 1886 the only son of Joseph and Ann-Maria Priest, he had two older sisters Clara and Louisa. The family lived in Simms Lane Netherton and later moved to 26, Crescent Road. Joseph was employed as a railway agents clerk. In 1909 he married Alice Grove who came from a large family in Bell Road and they went to live at 40, Crescent Road. The next year 1910 they had a son Joseph Frederick. At the time of Joseph’s death Alice was living at 33, Morley Road, Ward End, Birmingham.
Joseph Priest initially enlisted in the Worcestershire Regiment as a Private with the service number 46925, but was then drafted into the 1st Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment. He probably arrived in 1918 to face the first German Spring Offensive at St. Quentin where the British forces suffered major losses and were forced to retreat across the old Somme battlefield before the enemy advance was finally halted, but three more German offensives took place in the Spring of 1918. The Berkshires recovered their losses and then fought in the Advance to Victory from August to November, their first attack in force was made on 21st-22nd August across the Somme battlefield not far from Bapaume and it was in this action that Joseph Priest gave his life.
He is buried in Gomiecourt South Cemetery, Pas de Calais. (Grave Ref. II.F.10)
As well as being remembered at Trinity he is commemorated on the Netherton Memorial.
31558 Acting Bombardier Samuel Joseph Ward
76th Army Brigade Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery
Died of Wounds Saturday 6th October 1917. Age 37
Samuel Joseph Ward was born in Netherton in 1880 and was the eldest of eight children born to Charles and Fanny Ward. He had two brothers William and Charles and five sisters Alice, Rosey, Florrie, Ethel and Beatrice, sadly it appears Beatrice died in infancy. The family lived first at 2, Griffin Street, Netherton, but later moved to 361, Halesowen Road . He worked as a sewer pipe clay worker and in 1902 married Sarah Kelson one of three sisters who were dressmakers and lived at 89, Hall Street, Dudley. In 1904 they had a son Charles, but in 1905 Sarah died age 32, Samuel and his son then lived with the rest of his family in Halesowen Road. He remarried in 1913 to Violet F. Clayton who had previously lived at the Tobacco Shop, 8, Broad Street, Coseley, it is not known if they had any children together. Violet’s address on Samuel’s headstone documents after the war is 64, Broad Street, Coseley, but whether they lived there before his death again is not known.
Samuel’s unit was attatched to the Guards’ division and in October 1917 the Third Battle of Ypres was reaching a critical point. On the 9th October a major battle, the Battle of Poelcapelle, was about to be launched with the Guards in the front line. Samuel’s brigade was involved in pre-battle shelling, the Germans retaliated with counter-battery shelling and as a consequence of this he was seriously wounded. He was taken to a casualty clearing station where he later died.
He is buried in Canada Farm Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. (Grave Ref. II. D. 24)
As well as being remembered at Trinity he is also commemorated on the Dudley and Netherton Memorials.
19610 Cpl. William Ward
9th (Service ) Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
Killed in Action Friday 23rd July 1915
William Ward was born in Netherton, his actual roots are proving difficult to trace due to the fact of there being more than one possibility. It is believed he was employed at a local colliery as a horse driver working underground and he married Alice Maud Priest who came from a family in St. Thomas’s Street in 1909. After their marriage they too lived in St. Thomas’s Street at number 24 and in 1910 they had a son also named William.
William volunteered in Dudley for Kitchener’s New Army in 1914 and spent nine months training in England with the 9th Worcesters. In 1915 the battalion was designated as reinforcements for the Expeditionary Force which had landed at Gallipoli on 25th April, the initial attack had reached stalemate and a new landing was planned for August. The Worcesters sailed from Avonmouth on 24th June and travelling via Gibraltar and Alexandria landed on safe territory at Cape Helles and took over quiet trench lines in order to gain some battle experience. The only action was a local Turkish attack which left one man dead, Corporal William Ward. He was the Worcesters first New Army casualty.
As well as being remembered at Trinity he is commemorated on the Dudley Memorial and the Helles Memorial Gallipoli (Panel 104-113)