Curtis William Seals (1896–1934)


Royal Field Artillery 134532 5th Reserve Brigade

Photo courtesyCarole Rayner

Curtis William Seals

Victor James Seals, Alfred Seals and Curtis William Seals were born at Parwich in Derbyshire and were the seventh, eighth and ninth children, respectively, of John Seals and Annie Watson. In total, the family consisted of eight boys and two girls. The family moved to the Crich area in 1901, settling at Dethick where John Seals became the tenant farmer at Manor Farm. Prior to their military service during the war, all three of the Seals brothers listed on the Roll of Honour had worked on their father’s farm. During the war years John Seals passed on the farm at Dethick due to economic problems and lack of skilled labour, and moved to Church Farm at Crich.

Postcard of Manor Farm, Dethick

The Seal family home at Manor Farm in Dethick

Curtis William Seals was born in 1896. During the war Curtis and his brothers Victor and Alfred attested for service at Matlock in February 1916 and he was posted to the No. 1 Depot of the Royal Field Artillery in April with the rank of Gunner. Shortly thereafter he was posted to the 5th (B) Reserve Brigade. In October he was appointed as Sub Acting Bombardier in the 30th Reserve Battery, then to Acting Bombardier in May 1917. He was posted to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force on 30 May 1917 where he received a gunshot wound to his left arm. He was awarded the Victory Medal and British War Medal.

Curtis was demobilised quite late from military service, on 14 October 1919, and returned to his family at Crich. He married Grace Brocklehurst in 1931 and they had one son, also named Curtis.

Curtis William Seals passed away in Derbyshire on 8 December 1934, aged thirty-eight years. He was laid to rest in the churchyard of St Mary’s Church at Crich.

Courtesy Philip Jones

Curtis William Seals Memorial Card

Newspaper Report

Derbyshire Courier, 15 September 1917
Mrs John Seals of Church Farm, Crich, had received a letter from a son Bombardier Curtis W.Seals, R F A written from the General Hospital, Le Treport, France on 3 September. in this he says: "as you will see by the address, I am at present in hospital. I have been wounded in the shoulder with shrapnel, this being on 30 August. I am pleased to say it is not serious, and they have taken the shrapnel out. We got a terrible knocking about, I came out lightly. I am going on well, and we have got some jolly good beds here." Bombardier Seals who is just 21, is the youngest of three brothers serving, Alf. being in France and Victor in Jamaica. Curtis crossed to France about three months ago.

Army Service Record
Sometimes he was recorded as Charles William Seals.
He attested at Matlock on 11/02/16 aged 19 years 5 months an unmarried farm horseman, living at Dethick Farm. His height was 5ft 7in, weight 126 lb and next of kin was his father John Seals of Manor Farm, Dethick. He suffered from flat feet and complained of chronic cough but had good teeth. He entered France 30/05/17 and had a gun shot wound to his left arm.
11/02/16 Attested
02/04/16 Mobilized
04/04/16 Posted RFA No 1 Depot
12/04/16 Posted RFA 5/B/ Res Bde
24/10/16 Appointed sa/Bdr
08/05/17 Appointed a/Bdr
30/05/17 Posted BEF France as a/Bdr
14/10/19 Demobbed

Medal Index Card
He was awarded the Victory and British War Medals.

Curtis Seals' brothers Alfred Seals and Victor James Seals are also on the Roll of Honour.


1901: Dethick

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
John Seals Head 49 Farmer Brassington
Annie Seals wife 45   Brassington
Thomas W Seals son 22 Farmers son Parwich
John Seals son 20 Farmers son Parwich
Mary J Seals daughter 18   Parwich
Francis R Seals son 15 Farmers son Parwich
Edmund Seals son 13 Farmers son Parwich
Emma E Seals daughter 11   Parwich
Victor J Seals son 8   Parwich
Alfred Seals son 6   Parwich
Curtis W Seals son 4   Parwich
Rob. H Seals son 5 mo   Parwich

RG13 piece 3235 folio 53 page 11

1911: Manor Farm, Dethick

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
John Seals Head 59 Framer Brassington
Annie Seals wife 54   Brassington
Edmund Seals son 23 Horseman on farm Parwich
Victor James Seals son 19 Cowman on farm Parwich
Curtis William Seals son 14 Cowboy on farm Parwich
Robert Henry Seals son 10 School Parwich

RG14PN21012 RG78PN1253 RD436 SD6 ED10 SN4

1918 Crich voters
Curtis William Seals, The Common; absent on military service.

1939 Register: Victory Cottage, the Common, Crich
Jane Lynam (widow) b.29 march 1874
Grace Seals (widow) b.6 January 1904; sorter in rag factory
one closed record