Private 13246 Israel Fletcher

Fletcher Israel 96 421x600

Died of Wounds on Friday, 1st December 1916, age 26.
Buried in Grave VIII. C. 23. at Contay British Cemetery, Contay, Somme, France.

7th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 33rd Brigade of 11th Division.

Son of Mrs Sarah Fletcher; husband of Mrs E. Fletcher, of 5, Park Terrace, Park Estate, Tipton, Staffs. Native of Tipton.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, 14th July 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library, and Park Chapel memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/81323/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
17 Boat Row, Tipton, Staffs (also known as White Lion Inn).
Israel Fletcher (53, Furnaceman, born Tipton), his wife Sarah A. (52, born Tipton), and their 6 children and 1 adopted son: Joseph (23, Labourer, born Tipton), Edward (21, Moulder, born Tipton), John (19, Moulder, born Tipton), Leah (15, born Tipton), Israel (12, born Tipton), Samuel (10, born Tipton), and Bernard Farmer (5, adopted son, born Tipton).

1911 Census
11 Binfield Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Israel Fletcher (62, Furnaceman, born Tipton), his wife Sarah Ann (61, born Tipton), and 5 of their 9 surviving children of 10: Joseph (35, Forge Labourer, born Tipton), Leah (24, born Tipton), Israel (22, Iron Moulder, born Tipton), Samuel (20, Pot Caster, born Tipton), and Bernard Farmer (15, adopted son, Moulder's Labourer, born Tipton).

The marriage of Israel Fletcher and Ellen Thompson took place on 18th February 1912, at St.Paul's Church, Owen Street, Tipton. They had 2 children, Alfred born on 13th July 1912, and Claude Israel born on 22nd March 1915. Ellen re-married in 1919 to Benjamin Bissell, and they had a daughter Betty, born in 1920.

Personal Data

When Israel landed in France in July 1915, the 7th South Staffs were in Gallipoli; his Medal Roll entry shows that he was initially with the 8th Battalion, South Staffs. Often this sort of transfer took place after recovering from an injury or sickness, but as his Soldier's Papers did not survive we do not know the date of this transfer.

Israel's widow, Ellen, received his outstanding army pay and allowances of £1/15/7d (1 pound 15 shillings and 7 pence) in March 1917. She also received his War Gratuity of £9/10/0d (9 pounds 10 shillings) in November 1919. The value of Israel's War Gratuity and the date of his death suggest that he enlisted in October 1914.

Action resulting in his death

The 7th South Staffs took over the front line at Beaucourt-sur-Ancre on 20th November and stayed there, suffering intermittent severe shelling, until relieved on the 24th November by the 6th Lincolns. The 7th South Staffs moved to "The Quarry" supposedly for rest, but even this area was under fire, with 2 men killed and two wounded on the 24th November.

The War Diary for the 25th November records: "The Quarry: Quiet throughout the day. Troops suffered considerably from lack of shelter, rain falling incessantly. Working party sent out to dig new trench in front suffered from shellfire." One man is recorded as having been killed, and 23 wounded. Pte Fletcher is shown in the War Diary as being wounded, presumably one of the working party caught by shellfire.

Israel Fletcher was evacuated to No. 9 Casualty Clearing Station which had been based in Contay since September 1916. 6 days later, on 1st December, Israel died from his wounds;he was buried in Contay British Cemetery.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 13th January 1917.
Private I. Fletcher (S. Staffs Regt.) of Tipton, is reported to have died of wounds.