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John Henry Freeth [fh.]

John Henry Freeth was the first child of James Freeth & Alice McGarvey born c1870 at Hanley, Staffs.

In 1871 John & his parents were living at Dartmouth Rd, Smethwick where his father was a glass maker.

By 1881 the family were living at 62 Brook St, Smethwick & John now had 2 younger sisters & a younger brother.

John was still at home in 1891 at the same address & his father was now a glue maker.  John was described as a gold jeweller.  He had 4 younger sisters & a younger brother at home.

John married Annie Brown in July-September 1894, the marriage being registered at Kings Norton, Staffs.  Annie was born c1865 in Smethwick, the daughter of Mary & John Brown, a basket maker.

In 1901 John & Annie were living with Annie’s widowed mother, Mary Brown, at 90 Cross St. Smethwick.  John was now described as a stoker to colliery engines & he & Mary had 3 children – Philip James (5), John (3) & Annie (1).

By 1911 the family were living at 128 Baldwin St, Smethwick & John was now a copper tube castor at the locomotive works.  They now had 5 children at home – Philip James, a bottler’s assistant at the brewery, John, Annie, Edwin (9) & Teresa (7).  The census noted that they had had 6 children but one had died prior to the census.

Son Philip James served in the Royal Army Medical Corps during WW1 from 1915 until 1919.  At the time he enlisted his address was 31 Suffrage Terrace, Smethwick & he worked as a warehouse man.  He was to marry May Bourne in April-June 1935. The 1939 register shows Philip & May & family living at 130 Rosefield Rd, Smethwick & Philip was described as ‘ commissionaire works’.  He was also a second officer works fire brigade & a special constable for Smethwick. 

Son John enlisted in 1915 in the South Staffs Regiment at which time he gave the same address as his brother Philip & his occupation was a postman.  He served in France during WW1 during which time he took fever in the trenches. While being removed to hospital he was under shell fire for about 10 hours which resulted in his receiving severe shell shock. He was discharged in September 1916. John married Clarice E Tart in April-June 1921 in Smethwick.  The 1939 register shows them & daughter Winnie living at 9 Oakwood Rd, Smethwick & John was a bakehouse worker.

Son Edwin married Catherine Anne Greenaway in 1923 at St Philip’s RC Church, Smethwick. The 1939 register shows Catherine to be widowed & she & several children were living with her widowed mother Catherine Greenaway at 12 Astbury Avenue, Smethwick.

Daughter Annie married Harold Louis Harler on April 5th, 1926 in Birmingham South.  The 1939 register shows Annie, listed as married, & children living in Paignton, Devon. 

Daughter Teresa (Mary) was listed in the 1939 register as working as a children’s nurse at the Mary vale Convent, Old Oscott, Great Barr, Birmingham. 

The children of John Henry Freeth & Annie Brown were:

fh.  Philip James Freeth born June 4th, 1895 at Smethwick; died September 23rd, 1959 at St Chad's Hospital, Birmingham
fh.  John Bernard Freeth born April 5th, 1897 at Smethwick; died Oct-December 1971 at Kidderminster
fh.  Annie Winifred Freeth born April 14th 1899 & christened May 7th, 1899 at St Philip’s RC Church, at Smethwick; died Oct-December 1976 at Birmingham
fh.  Edwin Francis Freeth born born May 21st, 1901 & christened June 16th 1901 at St Philip’s RC Church, Smethwick; died Oct-December 1930 in Birmingham
fh.  Mary Teresa Freeth born November 15th, 1903 & christened November 29th, 1903 at St Philip’s RC Church, Smethwick

fh.  Leonard Freeth born November 14th, 1906 & christened December 2nd, 1906 at St Philip’s RC Church, Smethwick; buried January 16th, 1907 at St Philip’s RC Church, Smethwick



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