A Very Determined Lad


ELKS EDWIN RUSSELL Age 15 Died 03/05/1917 Rifleman King's Royal Rifle Corps 8th Bn. France '13094' ARRAS MEMORIAL Bay 7. Son of Edwin John and Martha Elks, of 209, Walsgrave Rd., Coventry. Recorded as Machinist. Edwin who was previously reported missing was later officially reported dead. He was only 14 Years and 4 months old when he enlisted. 

His mother secured his discharge on the grounds that he was under age but Edwin seemed determined to do his bit and he re-enlisted three days later and spent his 15th birthday in France. His father was a Lance Corporal in the Engineers also in France.

This is the only photograph and it is old and grainy, taken from the Coventry and Warwick Graphic newspaper from 1917. Even so, I think you can see the determined sort of lad Edwin was. His mother must have been devastated. 



Link to Alphabetical list by Surname

Discover the Hero who lived in your house or street

I have collated and published this information which will allow you to discover if a serviceman who died in First World War lived in your street, or even in your house.

Much has been made of the devastating Blitz of WW2 However, from a population of 110,000 over 2000 Coventry men left to fight in WW1 never to return home. 

The A - Z street index provides details of Address, Name, date of birth, age, date of death and parents or wife. It will also contain the location of a grave or memorial, medals where known and Regiment, squadron or ship. This will be followed by a map of the City with all those streets where a loss occurred shown graphically to demonstrate how the grief affected every part of our City

It is hoped that this newly produced information will assist local historians, family researchers and schools to discover more about the lives that were cut short and the affect upon wives, mothers, parents, siblings and the community in their area.

Many records were destroyed by fire in WW2, so the list, which currently contains nearly 1200 entries, is incomplete but will grow as further information presents itself. It is hoped that following discussions with other organisations that the format for this project could be rolled out across the country, enabling many more to take an interest in this event which has now passed into history after 100 years.

Although, thankfully, it is not possible to walk in their shoes, it is still possible to walk on their streets and to remember their sacrifice.   l

Huge impact on City

More than 380 streets are documented recording the details of  over 1100  who did not survive. Click on the map above for an example of the distribution of casualties or simply browse the street name A- Z index.

Your Letters and Stories

Recent Stories


My great uncle George James Shilton 16 th battalion Royal Warwicks lost in 3rd battle of Ypres Oct 1917, so young.

SHILTON GEORGE JAMES JOSEPH Age 21 Died 07/10/1917 Private Royal Warwickshire Regiment 16th Bn. Belgium '17955' TYNE COT MEMORIAL Panel 23 to 28 and 163A. Son of Mary H. Shilton, of 8, Station Rd., West Longford, Coventry, and the late James Shilton.

Thanks to Roger Gurney for sending this photo and information.


Allen, William Alan. Military Medal. L/Cpl, 2/7th Bn, Royal Warwickshire Regt. Born 18th August 1893. Resided at 18 Charterhouse Road. Before enlisting he was employed as Fitter. He was killed in action 23rd March 1918. On 18th May 1917, he was awarded the Military Medal and Divisional Commander’s Parchment for, although not being a member of any Lewis Gun team, he voluntarily took charge of a recovered gun and used it with great effect at an attack on the village of Fresnoy-le-Petit, at times carrying both the gun and the ammunition single-handed. A Divisional Gallantry Certificate / Parchment - these were awarded for gallantry by the Divisional Commanders. The same names would often be handed on up the chain of command for consideration for Military Medals or Distinguished Conduct Medals which were awarded from Corps level. 

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Pte George James Shilton

Pte George James Shilton

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Hero In My Street