William John and Kate Cornish had eight children, four boys and four girls. Mary Caroline (Carrie), born 1883; Phillippa, born 1885; William Thomas, born 1887; Emma Jane, born 1889; John Henry, born 1892; Francis James, born 1894; Harry, born 1897; Hilda Kate, born 1900.
In the 1901 Census, all the family are living in St Wenn with the exception of Mary who is a servant to the Lobb family on Polmorla Farm. Father William is a carpenter. John James said the workshop was sited on today’s village car park. William was a carpenter, wheelwright and also, apparently, a coffin maker.
The 1911 Census records that five children are still living at home, William James, a carpenter; John Henry, apprentice to wheelwright (assume his father); Francis James, a draper apprentice; Harry, left school but at home; Hilda Kate, still at school.
As to military service, it is assumed that William Thomas did not join the forces as he is not mentioned on the Celebration List. The other three brothers all served in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Harry was a Private in the 1st/5th no. 2684/24049. He enlisted on the 28th April
1915 and was discharged, due to sickness, on the 2nd March 1917. He was awarded the silver war badge on the 17th February 1917.
Francis James was a Private no. 2963 in the London Regiment 2nd/18th County of London Battalion (Irish Rifles). This battalion was sent to France in June 1916 and in November of that year was sent to Salonika, The Macedonian Front. In July of 1917 The Battalion was posted to Egypt and a year later in July 1918 it was disbanded in Palestine. At some point, Francis transferred to the 1st/4th Battalion DCLI which had already served in India and Aden but, coincidentally, had been in Egypt since February 1917.
John Henry also enlisted into the DCLI and was posted to the 1st/5th Battalion, the same battalion as his brother Harry. John’s regimental number was originally 2678 and changed to 240485. This second number is in a sequence primarily used for renumbering existing troops around March 1917. The 1st/5th Battalion saw action on the Western Front and remained in France throughout the War.
Harry married Daisy Dyer in 1929. I have no information as to children. In the 1939 Register, Harry is living with Daisy in Belowda and is an underground miner. Harry died in 1968 and Daisy in 1976.
Francis James married Blanche Dorothy Green in Holborn, London in 1920. They had one son Eric born 1922. Sadly Eric passed away December 1924. Francis too died young on 24th March 1923 and is buried in St Wenn churchyard. Blanche remarried Frederick G Pedlar in 1929 and the 1939 Register shows them both residing in Withiel. Blanche died in 1981.
John Henry married Evelyn Prisk in 1918. They had one son William Henry born July 1921. The 1939 Register shows them living in Tregonetha. John is a county council roadmam and his son is a sorting clerk with the GPO. Evelyn died in 1949 and John in 1981.