Guarlford History Group

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

This photograph by HT Baker, of Pound Bank Studio, Malvern, was taken on the day of John Tandy's wedding to Mary Drew in 1909. Mary was the youngest daughter of Henry and Emily Drew, and the wedding group is posed in front of the Drew's home, Barber's Hill Cottage, which still stands at the top of Bellar's Lane. The bride's parents are seated at the front of the picture and the bride's twin sister Martha is on her left.

John and Polly's wedding

Henry Drew, born in Gloucestershire about 1831, was a plasterer who married Emily Lowe of Malvern in 1854.

After her marriage Emily, helped by her daughters, ran a local laundry business.

When their daughter Fanny Walford died Henry and Emily took in their grandson Les, and later when their son-in-law John was killed they assisted their daughter Mary and her two young sons. A good example of how local families supported each other.

The picture below by JH Fox & Co of Worcester was taken about 1900. It shows Henry Drew in a pony and trap with his grandson Les, who was to become a painter and decorator.

Henry and Les

The 1911 census records John Henry Tandy and Mary living at St Mary, Barber's Hill, now known as Wedderburn Road, and his occupation is now recorded as a Painter and Decorator.

The picture below, by the well known Malvern photographer CD Walton, shows Henry and Emily Drew, in their eighties, celebrating their 60th (Diamond) wedding anniversary in 1914.

Henry and Emily

Bill and Ken Tandy

John and Mary Tandy's sons Bill and Ken lived to a good age spending their final years in the house in Pound Bank Road, Barnards Green, to which they and their mother moved after losing their father in WW1.

Bill was born on 11th April 1913, and Ken on 23rd November 1915. Ken’s only memory of his father John is being held in his arms to look at some chickens.

As children Ken and Bill attended the Tin Tabernacle chapel near the Old Elm and remember Pastor Humphreys.

Ken remembers as a child visiting his grandfather, William, in a cottage near The Homestead in Clevelode Lane (now no longer standing).


Ken and Bill TandyLike their father, when war came again in 1939 Bill and Ken were called up to serve their country.

Henry William Tandy (Bill) was in the RAF Volunteer Reserve and served from 5th August 1940 to 1st February 1946. He spent six months overseas with the British Liberation Army (BLA). His report on demobilisation reads: 'Character VG; Proficiency Supr. Defence Medal. Date of birth 11th April 1913, height 5’8. So 5 years 5 months RAF Service. Two years as a Gunner (RAF Regt); 3 ˝ years as a Cook after training. He had experience in cooking and catering for the officers and airmen’s messes. Very good character. Abilities above the average, conscientious and capable.”

He married Lillian May during the War.


Kenneth John Tandy (Ken), was called up in 1940 and had to join his regiment in Liverpool, from where they travelled to Stranraer, Northern Ireland. He was with the KSLI and Herefords from 26th April 1940 to 4th April 1946. He landed in France just after D-Day.

His 'Soldier’s Release Book' with a light brown cover gives Ken’s trade on enlistment as a 'Clerk'. His service trade was Driver, and his military conduct was exemplary. Ken was given a Testimonial dated 6th January 1946 by his commander in BAOR: 'A very trustworthy and hardworking man who has worked well and given satisfaction. I highly recommend him to a future employer as a man who will give of his best.'

The photograph below shows Ken standing behind a lorry of 11th Armoured Division.

Ken Tandy behind lorry

Another photo shows Ken with a group of other soldiers in a cafe. In the far right of the picture is a man playing the accordian and we wondered if the photo was taken in France, but Ken thought the photo was taken in northern Germany.

Cafe in northern Germany circa 1945

Their mother and her sisters, still living in a close community in Pound Bank, also did sterling work in WWII. Ken and Bill had a Red Cross and St John Certificate presented to the Misses Drew in recognition of valuable services rendered in the making of hospital supplies, during the World War from 1939, signed 'Alice', and there is a 'Letter of Thanks' to Miss Drew, Mrs Tandy and Mrs Houghton, from The Admiralty for knitting seaboot stockings for the personnel of the Navy. (Evidently 100,000 pairs came via this voluntary work.)

There is also a photograph of sailors at HMS Duke 'In appreciation of your services to HMS Duke' signed Captain Spencer-Cooper.

The signed photograph below shows young sailors in a sitting-room, and Ken told us that this was in Court House, now a Nursing home in Court Road, Barnards Green, where the Social Club met.

HMS Duke, social club

HMS Duke was a naval shore base, set up in Malvern to train sailors – over 80,000 from April 1941 to 1946. After the war the base then became the home of the Royal Radar Establishment, where a lecture theatre was named Nelson Hall in memory of HMS Duke.