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Acting Sgt James Baldwin (1881-1918)

  • 24 July 2014

On an ancestral tourism visit to Stourport-on-Severn, I saw the town’s war memorial which included the name Sergt.  J. Baldwin.

Suspecting that this was a distant relative of my 2x Great-grandmother, Sarah Baldwin, whose father was a boat builder and grocer in the town, I investigated further. I found it was her nephew, James Baldwin, born in 1881 and the son of her brother, Thomas. James was my first cousin, three times removed (in other words, his grandparents were my 3x great-grandparents).

Image of Stourport War Memorial
Stourport War Memorial








James is listed on the memorial as a sergeant, although appears as a corporal on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. His medal card clearly indicates that he was Acting Sergeant and an entry in the Birmingham Daily Post, 13th June 1918, lists him as a Lance-Sergeant. He died on 25th April 1918 whilst serving with the 12th (Service) (Bristol) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment, having previously been with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. There is no indication of the date he first served in a Theatre of War, and it seems that his service record was one of those destroyed by bombing in the Second World War.

By the time of the 1901 census, he was boarding with a family and working as a stoker. He married Maud Wood at Aston towards the end of 1901 and, by 1911, they were living in Erdington, Birmingham. James was listed as a steam engine driver at a rubber manufacturers. The death announcement in the Birmingham Daily Post, above, gives his residence as Yardley.




  • Hi Tracey

    My Grt Grandmother was Alice Baldwin whose father was a boat builder in Stourport on Severn. She was one of five daughters and one of her sisters was named Sarah. Their mother was also named Sarah who died very young and the girls were brought up by there father who also owned the boat raft by the bridge.
    My Grt Grandmother Alice married William King from Lincomb Lock.
    Do you think this may be a connection?

    Regards Gary

    • Hello Gary,

      If I have the right Alice Baldwin (1865-1949) in my tree, she was my 1st cousin 3x removed. Her father James Baldwin (1839-1917) was the brother of my 2x great-grandmother, Sarah Baldwin (1841-1914). I think that makes you and me 4th cousins, as we share 3x great grandparents – John Baldwin (1812-1889) and Mary Jones (1810-1867).

      I have Alice’s mother Sarah Baldwin (nee Jennings) dying in 1870, aged 31. However, I have Alice marrying Frederick John King (1868-1899) in 1889. They were living at Lincombe Lock in 1891 and Fred drowned in the river in 1899. Alice and Fred did have a son called William Hubert King (1893-1965). I hope this sounds right.


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