Cotterill, Tom

The name on the memorial is Tom Cotterill, but I believe he was George Thomas Cotterill.  The mystery being that there is a G. COTTERILL named on the St. Ethelwold’s Church Screen which is in the Lady Chapel to the left of the Alter. Which if you think about it, his name could have been put forward by neighbours or friends as he had been born in Butler Street, Shotton as George Cotterill.

However, he is not on any other local memorial i.e. Connah’s Quay/Shotton or Hawarden as G. Cotterill.  Unless he is the Tom COTTERILL named on Hawarden War Memorial

I think this might be him.

In the Mold, Deeside & Buckley Leader dated 3rd October 1924, a list of the men honoured on the St. Ethelwold’s Church War Memorial was published.   On that I couldn’t find a G. COTTERILL, but there was a John COTTERILL named, is this one and the same man?   Whoever carved the Screen may have either carved it wrong or was given the wrong name.   Did the reporter print the wrong name?

However, George Thomas Cotterill made his first appearance on a census in 1901. He was living with his family at Stringes Lane, Willenhall, Staffordshire, with his Grandfather George Millward, he was head of the household, a widower, 64 and a Carter at the Iron Foundry, born in Birmingham.  Also, there was his son Fred, single, 18 and a Brass Caster.  Son-in-Law Thomas Cotterill, 26 a Sheet Iron Roller, daughter Florence, 23, George T., 2 and granddaughter Florence M., under 5 months old. All these were born in Willenhall, Staffordshire.

The 1911 census shows us that the Cotterill family had moved to 6, Butler Street, Shotton, and the family had grown.  Head of the household was Thomas, 34 and an Ironworker in the Steelworks, wife Florence was 33 and they had been married 12 years she had borne 6 children, all of whom were still living.   Son George Thomas, 12, was at school, as was daughter Florence Maud, 10, who, on this census is said to have been born in Shotton.  Son Frederick John, 7 and William, 6 and at School, Daughter Ethel, 4 were also born in Shotton.   Son Frank, 2 was born in Birmingham.   There was a lodger in the household, William Millward, 40, marred and a Galvanizer at the Gal. Sheet Iron Works, born in Birmingham.

The UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 about George Thomas Cotterill confirms the above information but adds that he enlisted in Shotton.

His Medal Card tells of his medal but does not tell us what Theatre of War nor when he entered it.

There is a Flintshire WW1 index card for George Thomas Cotterill (Sealand F 3) at The County Record Office in Hawarden. It tells us that his Army Service was 1 year 6 months. He was 19 years old when he died.  The card was signed 24th September 1919 by Thomas Cotterill (His father).

He is also remembered on the Memorial Plaque in St. Andrew’s Church, Garden City.

I was contacted on the 31st of March 2024 by Marjorie Sheldon, who kindly confirmed Tom’s correct name, many thanks to her.

Subject: Verification of correct name of George Thomas Cotterill Sealand War Memorial

George Thomas Cotterill (Tom) was my father’s eldest brother. My
father, Frank Cotterill, was born in Butler Street, Shotton, and was
the youngest child at the time of the census. When the Cotterill
family moved to 2 Brookside, Garden City, Deeside, Flintshire, three
more siblings were born namely Harry and twins Gladys and Benjamin. My
father was about nine years old when his brother Tom was killed in
battle. It is only in recent years that I found out that the uncle I
never knew, had a war grave in Northern France.

The 1921 census gives us an insight into the family after the war, this was taken on the 19th of June 1921 and shows that the remaining family were all together, as Marjorie said.    They were living at 2, Brookside, Garden City, Queensferry, Flintshire.  Head of the household was Thomas Cotterill, now age 47 years and 1 month, he was a Sheet Mill Roller at John Summers & Sons Ltd., Hawarden Bridge Iron Works, but was ‘Out of Work.’   His wife, Florence Cotterill was 44 years and 9 months old and doing ‘Home Duties.’   Their children were William Cotterill, 16 years and 6 months old, single and born in Butler Street, Shotton, he was a Sheet Mill Labourer at John Summers & Sons but was ‘Out of Work.’   Ethel Cotterill, 15 years, and 2 months old was single and born in Shotton, Flintshire.   Frank Cotterill was 12 years and 8 months old, born in Butler Street, Shotton, Harry Cotterill, 8 years, and 7 months old, Gladys May Cotterill and Benjamin Cotterill, twins, were 4 years and 1 month old born in Queensferry, Flintshire.    William Millward, Brother-in-Law was 51 years old, married and born in Birmingham, he was a Pickler in the Galvanize Department at John Summers & Sons, but was also ‘Out of Work.’

He was obviously well loved as his name was put forward to be remembered in perpetuity.


Learn more about the other soldiers on the Hawarden Memorial

Back to top