John Kelsall was born about 1894. He was the son of Thomas and Mary Ann Kelsall (nee Bostock).
I believe that Mary Ann Kelsall died at the age of 41. (The death of a Mary Ann Kelsall was recorded in the district of Ellesmere in the quarter December 1898. Vol 6a page 439)
The census of 1901 records the motherless family living at Bettisfield Hall. Head of the household was 46 year old Thomas Kelsall, widower and farmer. His listed children were William 21 ‘Attendant farmer’s son’, Emily 16, Tom 14, George 11, Lilian 9, John 7 and Mary A 6. There were four ‘servants’ Emily Machen was housekeeper, Lucy Vaughan was a Vessel cleaner, George Vaughan was a wagoner Horseman and John Simcock was a Cattleman.
In 1905 in Bettisfield there occurred the most horrific tragic accident when 5 children drowned in a terrible ice incident. The rescue attempt involved a number of adults including one man called Mr Kelsall. He succeeded in rescuing one boy who had been trying to help his friends. We don’t know which Kelsall this was. The story of the incident is told elsewhere on this website. Follow the link.
I believe that Thomas Kelsall remarried. There is a marriage recorded in the District of Whitchurch in the Quarter March of 1906 between a Thomas Kelsall and a Martha Penlington.
There is an entry in Bettisfield School Log Book dated 29th January 1906 that says “John Kelsall left. Gone to live elsewhere”
The census of 1911 records the family at Hyde farm, Stourbridge. Thomas Kelsall, Farmer, was 56. His wife of 6 years, Martha was 30. She had given birth to 1 child. The listed children were John 18, a Farmer’s son working on the farm and Francis who was 5. Gladys Penlington, a niece was 18 and was a Dairy Worker.
John Kelsall married sometime after that 1911 census and his wife’s name was Ethel Louise
UK Soldiers Who Died in The Great War 1914 -1919, accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms John Kelsall’s Military details as on the left of this page. It also tells us that he enlisted in Newton (not sure where exactly this was. There is a Newton in Cheshire but possibly not correct). This source tells us that John was killed in action in France and Flanders and that he was formerly in The Welsh Horse (Regiment/Yeomanry) with the regimental number 1040. His medal card also on ancestry, lists his medals.
John Ernest Kelsall left a will which is listed in the England and Wales National Probate Calendar. The entry reads as follows:
John Ernest Kelsall of 69 Cemetery Road Ipswich Pte 8th Bn East Surrey Regiment. Died 14th December 1917 in France. Administration (with will) Ipswich 18th September to Ethel Louise Kelsall, widow. Effects £260..11sh..8d
The Army’s Register of Soldier’s Effects in which they calculated monies owed to deceased soldiers states that John Kelsall’s sole Legetee was his widow Ethel L. She received £26..15s..0d