History of Oldbury, Langley and Warley
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Updated 22 August 2015
HOME > History > Oldbury, Langley & Warley War Memorials and the Fallen > Oldbury Parish Memorials


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Memorials in Oldbury Parish

Within Oldbury Parish memorials were dedicated in various churches, schools and industry by 1925. The first was probably a tablet unveiled at Ebenezer Wesleyan Reform Church, Oldbury, to Private James Harold Perry, a scholar and Sunday School teacher at the church.


The Parish Church, Christ Church

There was no memorial to all the men of Oldbury Parish, other than those of the Urban District Council. However, A carved wooden memorial board was placed in Christ Church, "In Grateful and Honoured Memory of the Men of the Congregations of the Churches of this Parish who fell in the Great War 1914 - 1938". It carries the names of twenty men. With age, the two main panels have slightly separated.


christ church board


The 'churches of the parish' at the time included Christ Church at Oldbury, St John's Mission Church at Rood End, and St Matthew's Mission Church at Brades Village.

In front of St Matthew's Church on Dudley Road, Brades Village Sailors' and Soldiers' Fund erected an oak structure containing a roll of honour to the one hundred and sixty men of Brades Village who had served in the war. Details of this have not been traced, other than that it was designed by Frank Wakeman.



Rood End Memorial

Rood End Sailors' and Soldiers' Fund commissioned a granite memorial from the stone mason John Dallow and Sons of Uplands Works, Smethwick. It is shown below prior to installation with twenty-eight names, but that of Sig T L Parkes was added later making twenty-nine names on the memorial today. Pte J Frewin appears on this and the Christ Church memorial. L Cpl J S Watson also appears on the Oldbury Wesleyan Memorial. It is dedicated thus, "PRO PATRIA MORI - This memorial is erected to the undying memory of his Majesty's Forces of Rood End, who heedless of self, sacrificed their lives that England might live". [The comma is after 'End' instead of 'who'.]

It is sited in the grounds of Rood End School, on the corner of Gresham Road and Rood End Road. It was surrounded by a rustic fence and garden, as shown in the picture from the 1930s, but this was removed many years ago.

It was unveiled in March 1921 by the Right Hon, J W Wilson, MP, following a civic procession from the public buildings in Oldbury. The procession was led by Langley Prize Brass Band and the Oldbury Territorials. For the last part of the procession, from the Bell Inn to the memorial, the band played the Dead March. After a short service, a firing party of twelve men fired three volleys over the memorial, and the Last Post was sounded by buglers Peters and Walker.


rood end memorial at dallow

rood end memorial 1930s

Rood End memorial before installation, and in the 1930s



Photographs: Langley Local History Society collection

The memorial has recently been cleaned and restored, and the names are again legible.

rood end memorial 2015



Oldbury Wesley Church Memorial

wesley board

Oldbury Wesleyan Methodist Church, Church Street, was one of the first bodies to erect a memorial to their lost members. In December 1919 they dedicated a white marble tablet to "To the Glory of God and in Sacred Memory of the undermentioned Members of this Church and Congregation who gave their Lives in the Cause of Freedom during the Great War 1914-1918". It has the names of ten men, followed by the text "Greater love hath no man than this", John c15, v13.

Although Oldbury Wesley Church closed decades ago, the building still stands with its memorial and is now owned by the New Testament Church of God.


Oldbury Unitarian Church Memorial
In April 1921 the wife of the Rev C Hawkins, minister of Oldbury Unitarian Church, unveiled a tablet memorial to four of the congregation who died in the war, and also all the men who served. Nothing more is known of the memorial, and neither the building nor the fellowship now exists.
Oldbury Secondary School Memorials

Oldbury Seconday School (the fore-runner of Oldbury County High School and Oldbury Grammar School) was situated in Flash Road, and was the only secondary schoiol in the town. It set up a Cadet Corps in 1915 under Captain G H Crisp, the headmaster, so many of its pupils became acquainted with military discipline before they reached the age to serve. Two of the masters joined up, and one, J A Malone lost his life. Eight former pupils were killed.

In his history of 'Oldbury Grammar School 1904 - 1974' A A L Pearce writes "The school's Roll of Honour was unveiled in June 1921 by Mr G S Albright". He gives no more details, but the newspapers describe it as a tablet carved in oak the the crest of the County Education Committee surmounting it. Below this were the names of the fallen and a quotation in Latin, which translates "What gulf, what river, hast not seen these sights of war? Nay, what see has Daurian carnage yet left green? What coast from Roman blood is free?".

The school moved to Moat Road, Langley, and became Oldbury County High School in 1926. On Sunday 27 October 1929 G S Albright unveiled a stained glass memorial window presented by the Old Students' Association.


ochs memorial
ochs memorial plaque This plaque confirmed the origin of the window, although it was later removed. The window was mounted behind the stage in the main hall, to be seen by the whole school at morning assembly. It was obscured by a curtain when a proscenium was built for school plays around 1960.

A A L Pearce describes the window: "The ideas depicted in the window are Courage, Justice and Fortitude. In the central light is the enthroned figure of Justice, holding in her hands her ancient emblems, the sword and scales. On her right Courage is depicted as a youth, holding aloft in his left hand a torch, whilst his right hand rests lightly on the hilt of his sword. On her left bearing his banner amid a shower of arrows stands another youth. The two other lights contain cartouches on which are inscribed the names of the eight old boys. In four of the upper lights appear emblems of the various arms of the service, Navy, Army, Medical and Air, whilst in the centre is the emblazoned Cresco, the badge of the school."

Below these emplems is a banner "They gave their life to the Commonweath and received each for his own memory fame that will never die."

The fate of the original oak tablet is not known. It may have been removed when the window was dedicated. After WW2, however, two bronze memorial tablets were added, one on each side of the stage. One was the Roll of Honour for WW1, and the other that for WW2 with thirty-six names.

ochs memorial plaque ww1 ochs memorial plaque ww2

When the future of the school building was in doubt, the window and the memorial plaques were transferred to Warley High School, another establishment that can trace its origins to the Secondary School building in Flash Road.


Tabernacle School Roll of Honour
tabernacle roll

The Tabernacle School in Oldbury created a Roll of Honour for all their ex-pupils who served in the forces.

A printed Roll of Honour was used as the basis of the roll, on which the organisation, 'The Tabernacle Schools, Oldbury', and the names of the soldiers were written. It was then bak with cardboard.

It has seventy four names of pupils plus two master. Of these, eight were 'killed in action' and three 'died of wounds'.

The roll is now in private hands.




Accles & Pollock Roll of Honour
a&p roll

The roll of honour 'Celebrating the loyalty of the staff of Accles & Pollock Ltd in the National Emergency of 1914 when the following answered the Call to Arms' is known only as a black and white postcard. It lists one hundred and two men on the company who volunteered for service, of whom eighty-six were enlisted. Many of the men were employed in vital war work at the factory and would not be released to the services.

The roll does not indicate which of the men were killed, but five are known to have died, W J Gould, W E Hobday (rose to Second Lieutenant rank and won the DCM and clasp), H Robbins, E Stone, J H Withers. Five other men on the roll of honour probably died, but this has yet to be confirmed, A Hughes, W Johnson, T Jones, G Martin, and T L Parkes.


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