Neal relations at Cuckoos Cup, The Wrekin

First World War Details and round-up of family involvement

There are various articles on Cutlock & Co covering 1914 to 1918 family experiences. These are linked below, along with some further information.

Note that only about 40% of World War One army service records survive. Medal records can give some minimal info, if the name isn’t too common -otherwise look out for local press coverage of casualties or other events.

Concerning close relations

Levi Watkins
  • William J Cullum’s key role at Maconochies, major suppliers of preserved provisions to the army.
  • No flight of fancy – 1st cousin twice removed William G Taylor served with RNAS/RAF (mechanic/fitter).
  • A Major breakthrough in the Scott line – great great uncle Peter Scott joined up in 1905, served in France during WW1, with ongoing army career.
    • Back on the trail with Bertram The WW1 military service with the Australian army helped to identify 1st cousin twice removed Bertram Vickery Scott’s emigration.

    Also see

    Those the “intended” left behind looks at great aunts and others who never married, probably because their loved ones did not return.

    The article above also commemorates known relations who were killed during WW1, and a WW2 list too.

    Stretching a connection to the grave – more distant relations Herbert J Fake, Henry G Price, Thomas H Briselden all died in Palestine in 1917.

    Others who served

    Or tried to. Again, close relations rather than everybody in the extended tree.

    • Harry Williams (1st cousin once removed) attestation 19 Feb 1916 age 18. Served at home, in pay corps.
    • Harry Neal (1st cousin once removed) in Canadian Expeditionary Service, attestation May 1918 age 18. Service unknown but visited Norwich in uniform. Photo on Canadian Neals page (presumed taken in Canada).
    • Reg Gunton (married 1st cousin once removed) joined Royal Flying Corps age 17 in October 1917, served at home to Oct 1919.
    • Arthur Cullum (1st cousin twice removed) attestation 12 Feb 1916, age 19. Served at home: cyclist battalion and others. Younger brother Fred (age 18 at June 1918, no service record found) is pictured in uniform (below) but didn’t serve abroad.
    Frederick Cullum
    • William Osborne (gr gr uncle) attested 10 July 1915 Tonypandy age 30, rejected for service.
    • Albert Gregory (1st cousin twice removed) attestation 15 July 1915 Tonypandy age 19. Served abroad, minor wound.
    • Thomas Rees Hughes (2nd cousin twice removed) joined up in New Zealand. Diagnosed “slight muscular strain” – offered home service, which he refused.


    Conscription of unmarried men started 2nd March 1916, after the Military Service Act was passed in January 1916. Interesting to note the numbers signing up in February of that year, including Levi Watkins, Harry Williams, Arthur Cullum. What reasons would there be for jumping the gun on the draft? Update: this LongLongTrail article on the Group System (aka Derby Scheme) of enlistment gives some clues. Also see Derby Scheme material on Redditch Military Service Tribunal (Worcs WW100) website.

    More information on this subject in the notes of Piecing together the anti-war evidence.

    Tank training

    The extent of Levi ‘Len’ Watkins army experience. Working in the vital coal mining industry, he would have been low down the call-up list. His full service record (via Ancestry):

    • Attestation 16th February 1916. Called up 11th May 1918, to 16th Lancers 1st Reserve Cavalry Regiment.
    • 16th May training at Curragh Camp (Ireland).
    • 9th Sep transferred to Tank Corps Wareham. 10th Sep to Tank Corps Depot, 12th Sep to Tank Corps Reserves.
    • 21st Sep 1918 joined 23rd Tank Battalion.
    • Discharged 13th Dec 1918.

    The tank corps had a particularly low survival rate at the front, so the late call-up could well have saved him. What tasks might he have had between 21st September and 13th December?

    Location of Bovington Camp (Wareham) on later map.

    Related on Cutlock and Co


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