RFA West Lancs Bdes
682038 GNR/FTR. H. J. WESTWOOD. R.F.A.
Horace Josiah Westwood was born in the last quarter of 1892 in Aston, Birmingham. His father was Alfred Josiah Westwood (b. 1869 in Smallheath, Birmingham), a mathematical instrument maker. His mother was Ada Eliza Neale (b. 1868 in Birmingham). Alfred and Ada were married in 1892 and Horace was born later that year. They had five children altogether but two died in infancy. Horace had two brothers: Percy (b. 1894) and James (b. 1907). In 1911, the family was living at 286 Beech Lanes, Birmingham. Beech Lanes is part of the suburb of Harborne in south-west Birmingham. Horace was then 18 and working as a rent collector’s clerk.
In the last quarter of 1915, Horace married Sarah Adams Halford (b. 1891 in Aston). When Horace enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery he was given service number 682038. This number is very late in the sequence so given this fact and that Horace has no connection with west Lancashire, my supposition is that Horace was conscripted after 1916. Although Horace has medal records he may not have served abroad, as the records say he was posted to “D” Battery of 343rd Brigade. 343Bde came under orders of 68th (2nd Welsh) Division which, from May 1917, served in home defence in East Anglia. Horace died in the flu pandemic at Ditchingham, near Bungay, Norfolk, on 27 November 1918. He was 26 years old.
Service Number: 682038
Date of Death: 27/11/1918
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery, "D" Bty. 343rd Bde.
Cemetery/memorial reference: 1. RC.C 311.
Cemetery: SMETHWICK (UPLANDS) CEMETERY