William James Folkes (1858-1943)

William James Folkes, known as James, was born in Broadway on 24th December 1858. James was the oldest son of William and Ann Folkes.

After leaving school, James started work with Joseph Gill at Broadway Quarry. He later worked for Messrs Epsley & Co where he trained as a builder and honed his skills as a stonemason. James worked on many of the buildings in Broadway including; the Lygon Arms Hotel, Orchard Farm, Middle Hill, St. Eadburgha’s Church, and the stone pillars at the entrance to Coneygree Lane. He was also involved in the building of Batsford House.

James and his wife Alice (b. Chipping Campden on 29th November 1959, d. 1944) were married at St Michael and All Angels’ Church on 7th August 1888 by the Rev. F. Morgan (the first wedding Rev. Morgan officiated in Broadway). James and Alice had 3 sons and 3 daughters. Their son, Francis Alfred ‘Frank’ Folkes was killed in action on 23rd April 1916 during the First World War.

Mr & Mrs William James Folkes, August 1938, celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary
©️The Tewkesbury Register and Gazette

James enjoyed a love of music and played the Bass Drum with Broadway Brass Band for 40 years. James and his wife lived at St Michael’s Cottage, 21 Church Street (formerly known as Chapel Street), for many years, and were regular worshippers at St Michael’s Church.

James Folkes (far left) with Broadway Brass Band, 1923 ©️W.J. Butt


  1. For further information about Trooper Francis ‘Frank’ Folkes (1889-1916), see Broadway Remembers by Debbie Williamson ISBN 978-0-9929891-0-1.