James Adams (1806-55)

James was born in Aston upon Trent.  In 1830 he married Ann Beard in Weston.  He was a boatman and they had 2 sons:

  • William (1831-) was born in Castle Donington. After moving to Sawley with his father he became a railway porter and moved to Nottingham.
  • Thomas (1833-) was born in Shardlow. When his family moved to Sawley he was living in Hemington and working as a boatman.  By 1858 he’d become a railway guard.  He married a Mary Adams in Derby.

After Ann died, James married Sarah Mousley (1810-1886) from Shardlow in 1835.  They lived in Aston until moving to Back Street, Sawley around 1851.  After James died, Sarah worked as a lace embroiderer.  By 1871 she (and daughter Rachel) seem to have moved to the corner of Wilne Lane.  Their children were:

  • John (1836-1903) – see below
  • Harriett (1838-)
  • Frances (1840-)
  • Sarah A (1842-)
  • Elizabeth (1844-)
  • Maria (1846-)
  • Rachel (1848-)
  • Mary (1850-)

Second Generation

John Adams (1836-1903)

John was born in Aston on Trent and moved to Sawley in his teens.  In 1861 he was in Birmingham, working as a waggoner and boarding with Edward and Ann Johnson (from Sawley).  He married Eliza Bailey (1837-1871) in 1862 and they had two children:

  • Harriet Ann (1863-1932) was born in Birmingham. After her mother died, she lived with her aunts in Aston before moving to Sawley to rejoin her father around 1880.  In 1887 she married Herbert Boultbee.
  • William James (1865-1939) – see below

After Eliza died in 1871 the children were looked after by her sisters, while John found work around Gainsborough.  In 1879 he married Ann Morris in Newark and moved back to Wilne Road.  They had two more sons:

  • Arthur (1881-1881)
  • Joseph (1884-)

Third Generation

William James Adams (1865-1939)

William was brought up around Birmingham before moving to Sawley around 1880.  In 1881 he was staying with his aunt Mary and her husband William Thompson in Church Street.   He became a lacemaker and married Ruth Smith in 1886.  At first, they lived in Old Twitchell, off Church St, before moving to ‘Hollydene’ 32 Charnwood Avenue around 1900.  The family were prominent members of the church and William was in the choir for 30 years.  Until retiring in about 1930 he worked for Hollands lacemakers.

Their children were:

  • Annie Elizabeth (1887-) became a bridal veil worker
  • Horace Arthur (1889-1918) became a presser in a lace factory
  • Edith Mary (1891-) also became a bridal veil worker
  • John William (1893-) see below
  • Harry (1897-1916) – see below
  • Kate Bradshaw (1901-)
  • Doris May (1904-)

Fourth Generation

John William Adams (1893-)

John William attended the National School in Cross Street, then the Higher Elementary School (later called the Grammar School) in Long Eaton.  In 1910 (aged 16) he was taken on as a part time pupil teacher at Brooklands School.  In 1920 he married Gertrude Kitching from Ladylea Farm. They moved to Castle Donington where he was an assistant schoolmaster.  During WW2 he also volunteered at a first aid post.

Henry Adams (1896-1916)

Harry was born in Sawley on 18 Jun 1896.  He grew up at 32 Charnwood Ave with his 2 brothers and 4 sisters.  His father and elder siblings were lace workers and by 1901 (aged 14) Harry was working in the laceworks draught office.

He joined the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment) in November 1914 and served with 7th (Robin Hood) Battalion.  The battalion landed in France in Feb 1915.  They were involved in the Battle of Hooge in July 1915 (where the Germans first used flamethrowers) and the costly attack at the Hohenzollern Redoubt in October 1915.  At the end of the year most of the Battalion was briefly sent to Egypt, although it’s not clear if Harry left France.  

In late June the Battalion took over part of the front line between Arras and Albert, on the northern edge of what was to be the Somme battlefield.  On the first day of the Battle of Somme (1 July 1916) they took part in a diversionary attack on the Gommecourt Salient.  The battalion was in the first wave of the attack and almost wiped out before the survivors were withdrawn.

Harry was seriously injured, presumably in this attack.  He died of wounds on 7th August (aged 20).  He was buried at Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le Treport, which was a British hospital base.

In 1920 his parents (still living in Charnwood Ave) donated a carved oak table to Sawley Church for the communion alter in memory of their sons.

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