Museum object in local exhibition
The memorial plaque was to Albert James Blakemore. Memorial plaques were given to the closest relatives of soldiers who died during World War I. 2922 Sergeant A.J. Blakemore died on the 19th July 1916. He served with the 2/7th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He took part in the Battle of Fromelles, where he was wounded and may have been taken a prisoner of war before dying later that day from his wounds. The Battle of Fromelles was a subsidiary attack to the main operations on the Somme. The German Army was withdrawing troops from around Lille to the Somme. The Allies wanted to show that if the Germans concentrated all their forces in the Somme it left other parts of the front exposed. Albert is commemorated on the Loos Memorial (no known grave). He was only 19 years old and was the son of James and Mary H. Blakemore, of 50 Coventry Road in Warwick. The family were unlucky as in November 1918 his brother, Charles, was also killed (in the same Battalion).
Robert Bleasdale was interested in this particular plaque as the round frame had a label on the back saying that it had been made by William Squires picture framer and cabinet maker. Robert has for many years been researching the career of William Squires. William Squires was a specialist craftsman working in Mill Street, Warwick, who made some of the copies of the Warwick Chair in the early 20th century. The original chair is at the Lord Leycester Hospital and copies seem to have been first produced in the 19th century.