Hundreds of troopers fought and died alongside relations in World Conflict One, however Thomas and Eliza Everton watched as all eight of their sons went off to battle.
Solely one of many couple’s boys didn’t come dwelling.
The rarity of the household’s scenario prompted The Privy Council to ship a letter in 1915 on behalf of King George V thanking the dad and mom for his or her sons’ contribution to the conflict.
Signed by the keeper of the Privy purse, it mentioned the King had “heard with a lot curiosity” concerning the brothers.
“I’m commanded to precise to you The King’s congratulations and to guarantee you that His Majesty a lot appreciates the spirit of patriotism which prompted this instance, in a single household, of loyalty and devotion to their Sovereign and Empire,” it learn.
The framed letter with photographs of every serving son has been handed down by generations of the Birmingham household.
“Eight sons all serving on the similar time – it is distinctive, excellent,” mentioned John Jones, 76, whose spouse Rita is Eliza’s great-granddaughter.
“They usually had been all volunteers. They weren’t children – it is super stuff.”
Thomas John Everton, born in 1851, married Eliza and went on to have eight sons and two daughters.
Initially from Chaddesley Corbett in Worcestershire, Thomas and Eliza Everton moved to Birmingham in the hunt for work however employment was scarce and so they fell on onerous occasions.
In 1881, Mrs Everton ended up in a workhouse in Aston together with her 5 eldest youngsters after they had been evicted from their dwelling.
It was not for too lengthy and the household had been reunited when Mr Everton secured a job with the Metropolis of Birmingham council as a pavier and a home in Bordesley Inexperienced.
Then got here the summer season of 1914 and on four August, Britain declared conflict on Germany.
Realising a much bigger military was wanted, Lord Kitchener, the Secretary of State for Conflict, made a direct attraction to the lads of Britain.
So eager was the household to assist the conflict effort, all eight brothers, who on the time the conflict started ranged in age from 20 to 43, enlisted at some stage.
The eldest, Alfred, and his youthful brother Francis had been married and left their households behind.
All eight served in numerous regiments and so they all noticed entrance line motion.
Francis, who was recognized in later life by his center title Frederick, despatched superbly embroidered silk postcards dwelling from the entrance line to his spouse Gertrude, who he had married in April 1914, just some months earlier than conflict broke out.
Sadly, the heartfelt messages he wrote in pencil have rubbed off over time.
13 months into the conflict, tragedy struck when the second eldest brother, Thomas William, was killed in motion. He died on 25 September 1915 within the Battle of Loos on the age of 38.
A couple of months later, in June 1916, Frederick was given 14 days’ go away from battle to return to his spouse after the demise of their daughter Lillian, who was 21 months previous.
However because the conflict reached its finish, the remainder of the Everton brothers got here dwelling to their households, and had been embellished for his or her contributions to their nation.
“They should have been stars of that neighborhood,” mentioned Mr Jones of the returning heroes.
The Everton brothers and sisters
- Alfred: Born 1871. Married with one son and two daughters. Served within the Royal Area Artillery, as a gunner Sergeant. Enlisted in August 1914. Was discharged with three conflict medals.
- Rosina: Born 1875.
- Thomas William: Born 1877. Served within the Royal Warwickshire Regiment as Lance Corporal. Killed in motion within the Battle of Loos on 25 September 1915. He had beforehand been listed in north Africa in 1897 for which he obtained 5 conflict medals. He additionally has a commonwealth grave in France.
- Francis Frederick: Born 1879. Served within the Royal Garrison Artillery. Married Gertrude Griffiths on 2 Could 1914. Rita’s mom, Gertrude Rose was born. He was discharged in February 1919 and was awarded three conflict medals. Died in June 1949.
- Edwin Charles: Born 1880. Served within the Royal Berkshire Regiment as Corporal. Enlisted July 1915. Discharged in August 1918 with 4 conflict medals.
- Frederick Arthur: Born 1886. Served as Performing Sergeant within the Royal Engineers. Discharged in March 1919 with three conflict medals.
- Eliza: Born 1888. Named after their mom.
- Albert: Born 1891. Served as a gunner in The Worcestershire Regiment. Enlisted in August 1916 suffered a gun shot wound and was discharged in June 1917 with three conflict medals.
- Howard: Born 1892. Served within the Duke of Cornwall Gentle Infantry, then later the Royal Dublin Fusiliers as a Non-public. Enlisted in August 1914 and discharged with 4 medals in February 1919.
- George: Born 1894. Served within the Manchester Regiment. Enlisted in Could 1914 and was discharged with 4 conflict medals.
Linda Withey – Mr and Mrs Jones’s daughter, and Frederick Everton’s great-granddaughter – mentioned she imagined her ancestors to have been “quietly proud however on the similar time matter of truth with getting on and getting by with on a regular basis life” throughout the conflict.
“For them to have stored the doc despatched on behalf of the King in such pristine situation and for it to have survived to this present day it should have been one thing that was each treasured but additionally a reminder that no less than one was killed in motion,” she added.
“I additionally recall being proven these paperwork on a number of events as a baby so it was clearly one thing that was a matter of pleasure.
“They had been eager to maintain the reminiscence of the service given to King and nation.”
Like so many troopers who returned from entrance line motion, Francis Frederick Everton by no means spoke concerning the horrors he had seen and endured by the conflict.
He lived by World Conflict Two watching one in all his daughters, Joan, undergo the anguish of seeing her fiancé go to combat however fortunately return safely.
Mrs Jones remembers going to go to her grandfather Frederick each Saturday together with her mom Gertrude Rose.
“He was fairly a quiet and reserved man (however he was) all the time there each Saturday,” she mentioned.
Mrs Withey mentioned she had all the time been conscious of the historical past of her great-grandfather and his brothers.
“Mum mentioned he [Frederick] was a really stout and fairly stern man, as was common on the time I assume.”
The home stayed within the household and Mrs Withey remembers it “all the time smelled of aniseed”.
And she or he fondly remembers a “treasure trove” sideboard stuffed with vintage glasses.
“I’ve a few of these treasures now myself and so they typically remind me of that home.”