Another Great War Casualty: Edward Frank Hadland

As I was looking through the Churchyard records, recently digitised by Katie Hailstone, I noticed that the grave of Edward Alfred Hadland and his wife Jane Elizabeth has an extra inscription on the bottom: “and also their son, Edward Frank, died of wounds, Nov. 8 1918 aged 25 years”. Edward Alfred died in 1937 at Rosemount in Church Road, Rolleston, next to Eaglehurst, and Jane Elizabeth died the same year in Witney 12 miles west of Oxford, although she joined him in St. Mary’s churchyard.

Edward Frank was born in 1893 in Pelsall, when his father was a police constable in Bilston. In 1911, he was living with his parents at 17 Burton Street, Tutbury, where his father was Police Sergeant. Edward’s sister, Annie Elizabeth Jane, born in1903, was living with them.

He enlisted at Tutbury on 18th September 1912 aged 19 years and 4 months. First as a Private in 6th North Staffs, then from 1st January 1917 as Lance Corporal in 9th Notts & Derbys, he served at home until 5th February 1918 when he was sent to France. He died of wounds on an ambulance train on 8th November 1918. He is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, where his gravestone bears the touching inscription “God will link the golden chain closer when we meet again. Ever loved by his wife and baby”. His name is also on the Pelsall War Memorial.

A report in the Staffordshire Advertiser says that “Police Sergt. Hadland has been informed that his son, L. Corp. E. F. Hadland, Sherwood Foresters, has been gassed and is in hospital in France. L. Corp. E. F. Hadland, prior to joining the Colours, was on the clerical staff of Messrs. Marston, Thompson and Evershed, Limited, Burton-on-Trent”. A memorial service was held in Tutbury in December 1918.

Before enlisting, Edward Alfred had married Annie M. Smith, the daughter of William Smith, a boot dealer, in St. Mary’s Church, Tutbury, in January 1915. His effects of £1:0:8d were returned to her.

Another Rolleston connection is that his sister, Annie Elizabeth Jane, married William Thomas Bennett of Brookside Rolleston and of the Forge at Hilton, at St. Mary’s Church, Rolleston, in June 1926. He was employed as a blacksmith on the Rolleston estate; he was a Sunday School Superintendent and she was a Sunday School teacher in Rolleston as well as a Brownie officer in Stretton.

My thanks go to Delia Wyers and Michael Wardell for supplying many of the details above. Any errors are mine. We should be glad to receive any further information.

Article: Arnold Burston, December 2016

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Last updated: 10 March 2017