John Isaac (Ike) Woolley (1897–1980)


Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) 86269 7th Battalion
King’s Shropshire Light Infantry 36603 7th Battalion

Photo courtesy Peter Woolley

Photo of Ike Woolley

Ike was born at Crich in 1897 and worked for the Butterley Company before joining the Sherwood Foresters. He enlisted in March 1916 aged nineteen and became a signaller. He was posted to the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry in April 1917. At Gommecourt in September 1918 he was gassed and severely wounded by a gunshot to his left thigh, injuring the sciatic nerve. His knee movement was limited to an angle of 45° and could not be fully extended and also his ankle was not freely flexible and there was great muscular wasting. He spent time in the South African General Hospital at Abbeville, France, the 15th Canadian Hospital in Taplow, Buckinghamshire, the War Hospital at Reading, the Military Hospital, Edmonton. Eventually he had to have his leg amputated. John I Woolley married Grace Hutchinson in 1923 September qtr (Belper reg district)

In 1923 he became the first warden of Crich Memorial Tower which was dedicated to the men of the Sherwood Foresters; he retired in 1970. During the Second World war he was commander of Crich Home Guard. Ike died on 7th April 1980 aged eighty-two.

Ike was very well known in the area and a keen supporter Crich Rangers football team. He was club secretary.

Crich Rangers 1947

Newspaper report

Derbyshire Courier, 14 September 1918
Signaller J. I. Wooley, Crich

Medal Roll Index card
He was awarded the Victory and British War Medals.

Army Pension Record
He enlisted 02/03/16 aged 19; a member of Oddfellows who worked Butterley Company. His weight was 5ft 7in; and weight 135lb. He was C of E, a signaller whose military character was very good.
02/03/16 Posted Sherwood Foresters
14/04/17 Posted, aged 22, to K.S.L.I.
28/04/18 Sick to hospital
16/06/18 On base depot
25/08/18 Posted to K.S.L.I
02/09/18 In France suffered a gun shot wound left thigh; sciatic nerve injury. Knee movement limited to an angle of 45° and cannot be fully extended; ankle not freely flexible; great muscular wasting.
He was in hospitals: No 1 South African General Abbeville (France); 15th Canadian Hospital Taplow Bucks; No 1 War Hospital Reading; S.M.S. Hospital Edmonton N18

Sherwood Foresters Roll
Enlisted Notts & Derby then transferred to Kings Shropshire Light Infantry 36603.
He was gassed and severely wounded at Gommercourt and, as a result of wounds, eventually lost a leg
His rank was sergeant

Ike's brothers William (Bill) Woolley and Charles Woolley are also on the Roll of Honour.


1901: Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
John Martin Head 35 Carter Crich
Elizabeth Ann Woolley housekeeper 35   Crich Carr
Charles Arthur Walters son of housekeeper 17 Coal miner Crich
William Woolley son of housekeeper 10   Crich
Ellen Woolley daughter of housekeeper 9   Crich
Sarah Woolley daughter of housekeeper 8   Crich
John Isaac Woolley son of housekeeper 3   Crich
Infant son   son 3 weeks   Crich

RG13 piece 3231 folio 30 page 6

1911: Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
John Martin Head 43 Labourer, railway Crich
Elizabeth Ann Martin wife 45   Crich Carr
Dennis Martin son 2   Crich
William Woolley step son 20 Labourer, railway Crich
Sarah Woolley step daughter 18 Stainer in cotton spinning works Crich
John Isaac Woolley step son 13 Delver in stone quarry Crich

RG14PN20985 RG78PN1251 RD436 SD4 ED14 SN100

1939 Register: Memorial Lodge, Crich
John I Woolley b.24 December 1897; caretaker and limestone quarry labourer, heavy work
Grace Woolley b.14 march 1902
Desmond Woolley b.4 October 1924; butchers errand bot
one closed record