Visitors to St Mellitus will be able to hear the historic First World War memorial…
William George Tibbles is the latest soldier to be added to our archive of the local men whose service during the First World War is commemorated at St Mellitus Church (formerly New Court Congregational Chapel).
Our researcher Elizabeth Valentine has traced William’s story and in doing so has discovered a living relative in his granddaughter Angela. The ‘grandpa’ whom Angela fondly recalls was one of the many under-age men who enlisted when The Great War began in 1914, in his case claiming to be 19 when he was actually only 17.
A chemistry student and clerk before then, William served as a signaller with the Royal Field Artillery and ultimately rose to the rank of corporal, spending one year in England and three in France. He was awarded the Military Medal.
He is one of 175 returning soldiers who are commemorated on a plaque at St Mellitus, along with 46 who died to whom the church’s Hunter memorial organ is dedicated. You can read more about many of them in our soldier archive and in our Meet the Soldier blog pages.
Photograph: Angela Brooks