Guarlford History Group

In Memory of John Henry Tandy - killed in the Great War

John Henry Tandy

The Tandy family came to Guarlford from the Hanley Castle area. Charles Tandy appears in the 1841 Census and again in 1851 as a Blacksmith living at Church End. By 1861 the family are at "Blackmoors End" (possibly now Blackmore), and Charles is a Master Blacksmith. Charles' son William, later to be father of John Henry Tandy, is an agricultural worker and brothers Henry & Charles Junior are 'waggoner's boys'.  By 1871 William Tandy (who later became Sexton at St Mary's) has married Mary Ann and they are living in Clevelode Lane with their first child, daughter Charlotte (born in Seven Stoke). John Henry Tandy is recorded for the first time, aged 2 months, in the 1881 Census. The family appears again in the 1891 Census, John is now aged 10, a scholar, which means that he attended Guarlford School. By the 1901 Census John Henry Tandy is 20 and described as a Master Wheelwright. He worked for Morgans the coach-builder and blacksmith in Upper Chase Road, Barnards Green. John and his parents lived in a cottage next to Pear Tree Cottage in Clevelode Lane.

John was a member of the Guarlford cricket team. This photograph of the team, by Norman May Studio, was taken about 1910.

Guarlford Cricket Team circa 1910

John Tandy is seated middle row second left, and the headmaster Mr Martin stands second from right in the back row. There are many similarities with some of the faces in the photo on page 181 of 'The Guarlford Story' (a Ladies v Gentlemen Cricket Match in 1910). Henry Healey is also in the picture. The Healeys lived on the corner of Chance Lane in a cottage now demolished. George Healey was the church organist, and Henry Healey became the manager of 'Cannock Chase Coal Company' in Worcester.

John married Mary Drew (known as Polly) of Bellars Lane in 1909 after a long courtship. Mary's sisters ran a laundry business. This photograph shows a family picnic in the Drew family orchard, in what is now the Bellars Lane/Wedderburn Road area.

Tandy, Drew family picnic in 1913

Sitting front right is John Tandy, with his wife, and on his lap their son William (Bill) born in April 1913. Little did this happy family group know that a year later the world would be at war.

John Henry Tandy joined the Army in WW1. He served with the 11th Battalion of the Essex Regiment, 18th Brigade, 6th Division BEF, and trained in Harrogate, from where he sent some postcards, touching in their homely details.

The photo below is from a box of memorabilia lent to the Guarlford History Group by John Tandy's youngest son Ken. It shows a group of soldiers, possibly recruits, on the Barnards Green roundabout, taken from near the bus stop. We would like to hear from you if you can name any of the soldiers, the year the photograph was taken (possibly 1915) and the photographer.

WW1 Harrogate, military training
Commonwealth war grave

Sadly Private 251965 John Henry Tandy was killed on 28th May 1918 at Ypres in Flanders, just before the end of the Great War. His death is commemorated in Voormezele Enclosure No 3, Belgium, as well as in Christchurch, Avenue Road.

Because of his family's links with Guarlford, where he was born, he is remembered on the Roll of the Fallen in St Mary's. He left a widow, Mary, known as Polly, and two little boys, Willie and Ken, plus his parents William and Mary Tandy of Guarlford.

According to the web site www.malvernremembers.co.uk John was 'one of Malvern's oldest men to die in the Great War'

John was awarded posthumously the British War Medal and the Victory Medal (awarded to all who had been mobilised in any service and had entered a theatre of war between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918).

A Memorial Plaque (120 millimetre, bronze) and Scroll were sent to the next-of-kin of those who lost their lives whilst on active service during the Great War.The inscription around the edge reads "He (or she) died for Freedom and Honour".

Widow's penny

When commemorating the death of a lady (for example a nurse), the "He" is replaced by "She". Over one million "He" plaques were issued and approximately six hundred "She" plaques. They were known colloquially as 'Widows' pennies.

The plaques were usually accompanied by a memorial scroll and a letter from King George V.

Memorial scroll

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