William B Whitmore

William Bernard Whitmore was my grandfather. He was born in 1883 in Barrow, but his family soon returned to their Warwickshire roots.

By the time war broke out in 1914, he had married Caroline, and was the father of three children: Ken, Hetty and my father, Norman Eli.

In 1915, when Norman was still only three years old, he became one of the original volunteers to join the Birmingham Battalions, number 133.

The photo (measuring 3 foot by 2 foot) was taken soon after he arrived in France on the 18th November 1915 at Arras. For decades it has had pride of place in his daughter’s home in Scotland.

Soon after signing up and during his early months in France, he briefly kept a diary.

William survived the war, and on demobilisation became the landlord of The Royal Oak on the High Street in Alcester (the pub is still there today). See postscript