Jack Cauldwell (1896–1975)

Lance Corporal

Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) 2772 & 200687 1/5th Battalion

Photo courtesy Crich heritage Partnership

Jack Cauldwell in WW1

Jack, brother of Harry, was one of the original Crich volunteers, (five of whom had consecutive service numbers).

Crich voluteers October 1914 –

Crich recruits in 1914

Ian P. Macdonald; William Burr; William Curzon; John Walker; Nelson Martin;
Jack Kneebone; William Frost; Walter (Wammy) Mellors; Jack Cauldwell;
Jack Porter; George Perry; Noble Tomlinson

Crich recruits 1914

Included with these recruits are probably:
Billy Curzon; Jack Porter; Walter (Wammy) Mellors; Jack Kneebone; Duncan Coooke;
Billy Burr; Noble Tomlinson; Tom Coleman; Billy Frost; Luke Coleman; Jack Cauldwell; George Perry.
It is believed that John Roe, brothers Herbert and Steven Bollington (and possibly John) are also amongst this group.

A coal miner, he enlisted on 17th October 1914 and entered France on 26th June 1915. He enlisted at the same time as Alfred Bollington, John Thomas Grice Walker, Walter Mellors and William Thomas Ellis Curzon; they had consecutive service numbers. In 1917 he was wounded in the arm and eye by a German bomb. Whilst wounded he was a patient at the Isleworth VAD Hospital and was discharged with the Silver War Badge in Jan 1919 owing to wounds (whether his 1917 wounds or later ones is unknown). He married Florence Knowles in 1920 at St Mary's Church, Crich; they had a family and Jack worked as a labourer for a public works contractor.

Photo courtesy Ken Jackson

Photo of Jack Caukldwell in WW1

Photo Crich Heritage Partnership

Jack Cauldwell with herbert Bollington in WW1

Jack standing with his friend Herbert Bollington seated

Newspaper report

Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald, 24 March 1917
Mr and Mrs John Cauldwell, of Crich,, were informed at the end of last week that their son, Private Jack Cauldwell, of the Notts and Derby Regiment, had been wounded in the left arm and left eye by a German bomb, and that he was now in a French hospital. His regiment was at the time taking trenches. Jack, at the end of last year, was one night on sentry duty when a German threw a bomb and said "take that to be going on with." Luckily it did not explode, so Jack took it up and threw it back to the enemy lines where it burst.

Medal Rolls Index
Awarded the Victory, British War and 15-Star Medals.
Entered France 26 June 1915. Discharged 29 January 1919.

Silver War Badge
200687 L/Cpl Cauldwell, Jack, Notts & Derby, Badge B106,385, enlisted 17/10/14 discharged 29/1/19 wounded aged 22, served overseas.

Notes: Isleworth Military Hospitals
Whilst wounded he was a patient at the Isleworth VAD Hospital.

Photo courtesy Christine Cummings

Jack Cauldwell at Isleworth VAD Hospital

Jack is standing on the extreme left.

(Author unstated) 1917 List of the various hospitals treating military cases in the United Kingdom.  London, H.M.S.O.
Fenn CR 1919 Middlesex to Wit.  London, St Catherine Press.
Percy House, Auxiliary Military Hospital,Twickenham Road, Isleworth, Middlesex
Medical dates:           1915 - 1918
Medical character:  Convalescent (military), Later, geriatric.
Immediately after war had been declared in 1914, work to organise first-aid training began in earnest all over the country.
In Middlesex the Oak Room at Hampton Court Palace was used for practice classes, and a Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachment (V.A.D.) was formed from the residents and neighbours in the vicinity.  However, it was announced that the Red Cross would not work in Middlesex.  Instead, a St John's V.A.D. - the Middlesex/22 - was formed at Hampton Wick.
Various buildings were suggested for use as auxiliary hospitals but none were found to be suitable.  Finally, it was arranged that the Middlesex/22 V.A.D. would work with four other Detachments in the Percy House Schools, an almost empty workhouse school in Isleworth, although this was far from the area.  Funds were raised to alter and adapt the building, and to equip and furnish it as a hospital.
The Percy House Schools, lent by the Brentford Board of Guardians, were located to the west of the Brentford Union workhouse.  Opened in 1883 by the politician Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke (1843-1911), the Brentford workhouse school had been enlarged in 1901 and renamed Percy House after a local landowner, the Duke of Northumberland.  The 2-storey central administration block fronted onto Twickenham Road and contained offices, a chapel, a dining hall, the kitchens and storerooms.  Flanking it were 3-storey wings containing accommodation for 280 children (boys in the north wing and girls in the south).
The Percy House Auxiliary Military Hospital opened in October 1915 with 300 beds for sick and wounded servicemen.  It was affiliated to the King George Hospital in Stamford Street.  The Hospital received a 3 shilling (15p) daily capitation grant per patient.
In 1916 Eastern Command needed another auxiliary hospital and a hotel - the Whitehall Hotel -  was found suitable at Hampton Court, a site far more accessible for the Middlesex/22 V.A.D.
By 1917 the number of beds had been reduced to 281.
The Hospital closed on 31st December 1918.  During its operational lifetime, some 4,989 wounded servicemen had received treatment.  Of these, only one had died.
In 1925 two votive plaques were placed inside the nearby Catholic church of Our Lady of Sorrows and St Bridget of Sweden to bear witness to the recoveries made in 1916 and 1917.

Jack Cauldwell's brother Henry Cauldwell is also on the Roll of Honour.

The following poem by Martyn Offord was read at the November 2014 "Crich Front Lines" memorial event in the Glebe Field Centre in honour of Jack Cauldwell.

Shall we go, Jack?
 “Shall we go, Jack?
We’re young, strong and willing!
Shall we go, Jack
and take the King’s shilling?
Me mum’s upset, stood at the sink…
…but me dad is proud, he gave me a nod and a wink.”

The village lads gathered on the doctor’s lawn.
The doctor’s son in uniform,
he was an officer nothing less
but his mother had wept
and his pa said ‘God bless’

Before he knew it Jack was in the army.
He thought to himself, I must be barmy!
But the Sherwood Foresters, they’re the best
and this is what Lord Kitchener wants
and we’re here at his request.

After his training, when it was always raining
Jack boarded a train for France.
Jack asked Florrie, his girl, to give it a whirl.
Write, wait and give him a chance.
Florrie waited!

Jack’s time in the trenches was lightened by youth,
‘Voulez-vous promenade avec moi, mademoiselle?”
was the tale he would tell…
…was it the truth?

Late back to his troop in dire trouble
his officer screamed “At the double!
You will lead the troop through the trenches,
that’ll teach you to flirt with French wenches!
Either that or the guardhouse…what’ll it be?”
Jack acquiesced immediately.

In a blackness like hell,
the squelching of mud
the soldiers crept forward…
…one fell with a thud.

Jack suddenly saw a shadow ahead,
lobbed his hand grenade over his head.
There was an explosion and darkness descended,
Jack’s time at the front was tragically ended.

Back home in Blighty, a hospital case;
A smashed leg, which would never again
through Derbyshire fields race.
Jack counted his blessings
and wrote home…“I’m fine”
This dearly beloved grandad of mine.


1901: Sawmills

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
John Cauldwell Head 40 Fitter in wire mill Alderwasley
Charlotte Cauldwell wife 40   Islington
Frederick Cauldwell son 16 Pony driver in coal mine Heage
Henry Cauldwell son 15 Pony driver in coal mine Crich
Elizabeth Cauldwell daughter 13 Spinner at cotton mill Crich
Martha Cauldwell daughter 12   Heage
Arthur Cauldwell son 7   Heage
Jack Cauldwell son 5   Heage

RG13 piece 3230 folio 99 page 20

1911: Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
John Cauldwell Head 50 Fitter when employed Alderwasley
Charlotte Cauldwell wife 50   Islington
Frederick Cauldwell son 26 Hewer Heage
Henry Cauldwell son 25 Hewer Crich
Martha Cauldwell daughter 22 Silk winder Heage
Arthur Cauldwell son 17 Warehouse boy Heage
Jack Cauldwell son 15 Pit pony driver Heage
Eva Cauldwell daughter 9   Heage

RG14PN20983 RG78PN1251 RD436 SD4 ED12 SN57

1918 Voters List Crich
Jack Cauldwell, Bennet's Lane, Crich; absent on military service.

1939 Register: Town End, Crich
John Cauldwell b.13 March 1896; general labourer, public works
Florence Cauldwell b.25 June 1897
Marjorie Jackson (Cauldwell) b.15 February 1922 ; hosiery worker