Today I’m sharing the story of Willie George Allsop. He’s buried in Glascote Cemetery which is right beside the Coventry Canal. Willie was born in 1882. He lived at 2 Canal Locks, Glascote, one of the Top Lock cottages, with his father Peter, his mother Ann and his eight brothers and sisters. His dad worked as a toll clerk for the canal company for most of his life.
In 1901 Willie was working as a stoker at a brickyard.He would have been kept busy cleaning, firing, and watching over its boilers and furnaces. There was a brickyard right opposite the lock cottages, but it had closed by 1902, so I think he might have worked at the brick and tile works at the end of what is now Clifford Street. Willie was a Staff Sergeant in the Glascote Company of the Church Lads Brigade. I wrote to them to see whether he was mentioned in their magazine, but they have not replied.
Willie died of tubercular meningitis on 7th November 1902. He seems to have been a popular lad. The Church Lads Brigade attended his memorial service, and his fellow workers (he was still a brickyard fireman) erected this surprisingly large headstone for him. It’s beginning to lean over and show its age now, but it still stands as a lasting memorial to a young man who died far too young.
Two years later his parents placed a notice in the local paper. It read:
IN MEMORIAM. In loving memory of Willie George Allsop of Glascote Locks, who died November 7th 1902 aged 20 years. Two years have passed and still we miss him. Friends may think the wound is healed, tet they little know the sorrow, deep within our hearts concealed. "Thy will be done." From his Father and Mother, Brothers and Sisters.