Two men from Shirley, Solihull lost their lives on active service on 23rd August 1918 – Private William Frank Ginder, 1st Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) and Gunner Frederick Thorne, D Battery, 15th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.
William Frank Ginder was born in Moseley, Birmingham on 6th September 1897 and was the third of the four children (two sons, two daughters) of parents William Edward Ginder and Fanny Turner Swain who had married in 1891. The family lived at College Road, Moseley until at least 1911, but had moved to Spring Cottage, Shirley by 1918.
Their eldest son, Edward Francis (1891-1962) was the only one of the siblings to marry. He married Eveline M. Vincent in 1918 but we haven’t been able to find that the couple had any children. The two sisters – Mabel (1894-1985) and Elsie (1899-1990) – became school teachers and died at the ages of 91 and 90 respectively.
William Frank Ginder was educated at Yardley Secondary School and became a solicitor’s clerk before joining the Army Cyclist Corps in September 1915. He was transferred to the Royal Fusiliers on 1st October 1917, and served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from that date. He was killed in action near Bapaume and is buried at Achiet-le-Grand Communal Cemetery. He is commemorated locally on Shirley war memorial.
His brother, Edward, is known to have served as a Company Quarter Master Sergeant Worcestershire Regiment, enlisting on 20th October 1916, and being discharged through sickness in July 1919 without seeing any overseas service.
Frederick Thorne was born in Acocks Green in 1890 and was the youngest of the four children of parents Frederick (a farmer) and Sarah Jane (née Lake) who married in 1885. Their eldest children, twins Ernest and Nellie, were born in 1886. The third child, Frances, was born in 1887 and was given the middle name, Jubilee, presumably as a tribute to Queen Victoria, who celebrated her Golden Jubilee the same year. The children’s births were all registered with the surname spelled as Thorn.
By 1911, the family was living at Brook Farm, Haslucks Green Road, Shirley, with 20-year-old Frederick (junior) working as a milk seller, and his sister, Nellie (born 1886) also involved in dairy work. Her twin brother, Ernest, had married Beatrice Brown in 1906 and was living nearby at 5, Station Cottages, Shirley whilst working on his father’s farm. Frances was living in the family home and working as a dressmaker.
We don’t know when Frederick joined the Army, but he didn’t see overseas service before 1916. In 1914, he married Florence E. Maund although it doesn’t seem that they had any children.
Frederick is buried at Gommecourt British Cemetery No. 2, Hebuterne, France and is commemorated locally at Shirley.
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