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22 drawings donated to the People's Collection

10th November 2016

The People’s Collection will be the culmination of the Worcestershire World War One Hundred project’s 5 year programme and an opportunity for people from across Worcestershire to share their family’s World War One artefacts, stories and memorabilia representing as many people across the County as possible.

Kidderminster based Beryl Buckley has donated 22 drawings to the People's Collection which she found in her Grandfather's house.

William Alfred Norris, Beryl's Great Grandfather, was born 18 August 1868, the son of a Silversmith. He used money left to him to buy the Plough and Harrow, Kinver in 1913 and was the owner until 1920. Norris held tenancy from 1920 to 1925, after which he moved to Kingsford, Wolverley.

During his tenancy Robert Plant gave him a series of drawings and cartoons depicting the War and German soldiers in particular. Norris died 29 February 1948 in Wolverley and the pictures where put away and forgotten in a drawer.

William Alfred's son was Fredrick William born 11 July 1896. Fred was called up in 1915. He was at that time working as a Shepherd but living at the Plough and Harrow. Fred appealed on the grounds of a reserved occupation however the appeal was not granted and on 1 May 1916 Fred reported to the Drill hall , Brierley Hill and then transferred to the Army Reserve.

Fred was Pte 58362 in 2nd Batt South Staffs and was stationed in Whitby. He spent his leave at Cound Lodge Cressage, (now called the Riverside Inn) which was owned by his Aunt. This is where Ethel Hughes, who Fred later married, worked as housekeeper.

Fred and Ethel married 18 June 1918, two days before was mobilised and sent to Bac Delrol France.

He was admitted to a field hospital 19 Dec 18 , by 19 Jan 1919 he was suffering from influenza. In April 1919 he was sent from France to Plymouth. He was then sent to Wordsley Hospital. In Nov 1919 he was transferred to Army Reserve then demobbed. Fred and Ethel lived and farmed in Wolverley. They were survived by three daughters.

On the above picture Fred is fifth from the left on the back row.

Beryl Buckley and her brother found the drawings by Robert Plant after her Grandfather Fred had died, they had never been shown or told about the drawings. The majority of the drawings, whilst humorous in nature are quite provocative and largely portray Germans as evil and / or incompetent.

Mrs Buckley and the Worcestershire World War One Hundred team are keen to know more about Robert Plant (no relative of Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant). To-date Mrs Buckley has found him on the 1911 census living in Kinver. But, did he serve in the Great War? Is that where he drew his cartoons? What happened to him after the War? Anyone who can add to the story is encouraged to contact the Worcestershire World War One Hundred team.

If you can share more information about Robert Plant or have your own family artefacts to share please contact us here.