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Whitnash War Memorial – search for surviving family members

Whitnash War Memorial Appeal

Whitnash Town Council are appealing for surviving family members of a Whitnash man, who fought and died in the First World War, to come forward. As someone who was a resident of the town, the Town Council is keen to find out if his family would like his name to be added to the War Memorial on the green in front of St Margaret’s Church, Whitnash Road.

Private William Franklin Biddle, of the 2nd Battalion, Highland Light Infantry, 5th Brigade, 2nd British Infantry Division, was killed in action on 2nd November 1914, aged 30. Significant research has been carried out to try to find out more about Mr Biddle, in order to help try to trace any of his living relatives

William was born on 31st March 1884 in Whitnash, and was the eldest son of ten children. His father was Mr William Biddle (born 14th July 1851, Harbury, died October 1914, Leamington aged 63), and his mother was Mrs Rosa Ann (nee: Franklin) Biddle (born 2nd January 1853, Harbury, married 26th February 1872, Harbury, died 1897, Warwick, aged 44) of Earl Street, Leamington

William was married to Mrs Miriam Ethel (nee: Burd) Biddle (born January 1885, Kensington, London, married 3rd March 1908, Fulham, London, died September 1946, Staines, Middlesex, aged 61) of No 26 Rectory Road, Parsons Green, London

They had three children: Ruth Marguerite Rosa Biddle (1908-1992), Samuel Willie Biddle (1909-?), and Robert Harry Biddle (1914-1990).

By 1891, the family were residing at No 41 St Johns Road, Leamington, after having moved from Harbury, Whitnash and Emscote, and where William’s father was employed locally as a gardener, and his sister Florence as a domestic servant.

By 1901, the family had moved to No 93 Queen Street after their mother Rosa died in 1897. William, then aged 18, was employed as a domestic groom. Of his sisters, Florence had left home, Emma, who was 18, was a domestic servant, and Mary, aged 20, was employed as a dressmaker.

Sadly, William was killed in action on 2nd November 1914 near Nantes, aged 30. William’s body was never recovered, or his grave was lost, and he is now commemorated on Panel 38 on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.

In the UK Army Registers of Soldier’s Effects, 1901-1929, William is recorded as No 142264, leaving Miriam £3.12s.3d.

On the 27th July 1920 Miriam and their youngest Robert embarked at Liverpool on-board the “Melita” bound for Quebec, Canada, where they arrived on the 21st August to join her brother Bruce Benjamin (1894-1964).

In 1921 Miriam and Robert are recorded as living with Mr John & Mrs Elizabeth Cowan (Scotland) in Lambton, West Ontario, with Miriam employed as a domestic servant. However, Miriam’s stay was short lived and both returned to England on the 2nd May 1922, arriving at Southampton on-board the “Empress of Scotland” with her home address recorded as being No 1058 Harrow Road, Willesden, NW 10.

William’s Medal entitlement is recorded as;

Victory Medal: D/104.B6.374

British War Medal: D/104.B6.374

1914 Star: D/2/6.8

If you have any more information on the whereabouts of any surviving family of Mr Biddle, Whitnash Town Council would like to hear from you. Mr Biddle has been put forward as someone deserving of having his name added to the Whitnash War Memorial, in gratitude for his service to his country, and his ultimate sacrifice.

You can contact the contact the Town Clerk:

By telephone

01926 470394

By post:

Whitnash Town Council,

Franklin Road,

Whitnash, Warwickshire

CV31 2JH

By email:



Dobson Lane Allotment – disabled access plots available

The Dobson Lane Allotment Association have available an area that is set aside for disabled access.

To give some idea of size - the largest round tub and the "shaped" brown "potting" table stand at about 26inches high, whilst the large rectangular troughs are about 35inches high. See pictures below.

Tables and Pots available

Tables, pots and troughs available

Tables available

Tables available

Organisations such as care homes etc, have utilised these facilities in the past, but they are not currently being used. Therefore, they are being made available to individuals who may be interested instead. There might be a need to modify the beds, tables or even the ground surface, depending on the level of disability.

If you have any queries, or wish to get further information on how to apply for some of these plots, in the first instance please contact:

Rosemary Brookman

Tel: 07789 993479

Email: rosemary.brookman@gmail.com



Entrust Care Partnership – Holiday Opportunities

The Town Council have received an email from Entrust about the services that they offer. They are delighted to be able to offer families and disabled adults a new Holiday Break Service with opportunities to stay in Burnham, Skegness or Wicksteed Park at reasonable cost. Accommodation can sleep up to 6 people, and is specially adapted for disabled use, if necessary. Bookings are now being taken, and more information can be found by clicking the link to their website below:


In addition, please see the information leaflet below:

Entrust Care Holiday Leaflet 2

Further information about specific sites, and the accommodation on offer, or to book, click on the following links:

Short Breaks Accommodation and Site Information Feb 2015

Entrust Booking Request Form



Warwickshire Trading Standards Newsletter

For the latest Warwickshire Trading Standards newsletter, giving information on the latest scams etc, please click on the link below:

Warwickshire Trading Standards Newsletter


Community Grants Available – Apply soon

Grants are available for the next Whitnash Community Forum which is to be held on the 5th July.

Applications are required by 13th June at the latest to be in time to be considered at this meeting.

2016 Community Forum Grant Application Form

For more information click here: http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/whitnashforum