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Monthly Archives: February 2015

“Olton Remembers” exhibition

With research by a team from St Margaret’s Church, Olton, the exhibition “Olton Remembers the Great War 1914-18” is now on in the Heritage Gallery, Solihull Central Library.

Image of Heritage Gallery exhibition

Olton Remembers the Great War, 1914-1918

Do come along to the gallery on the first floor of Solihull Library – the exhibition is on during library opening hours until 16th May 2015.

poster for Olton Remembers exhibition

Olton Remembers exhibition, Heritage Gallery, Solihull Central Library

 

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21st February 1915

Cavalry Officer, 26-year-old Rowland Auriol James Beech, the “apple of his parents’ eye” and a fine horseman, was killed in action on 21st February 1915 serving as a Captain with the 16th Lancers. He was the eldest son of Lieutenant-Colonel Rowland John Beech, who died of illness in 1919 after World War I service, aged 63, and is also recorded as a war casualty on the Commonwealth War Graves site.

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18th February 1915

On 18th February 1915, 44-year-old Major Arthur Joseph Clay died of pneumonia at Harpenden, whilst serving with the 2nd/6th Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment. Born on 29th April 1870 at Burton-on-Trent, he was the eldest son of Charles John Clay, barrister at law and Managing Director of Bass Brewery. Arthur’s mother, Agnes Lucy (née Arden) died in 1874, leaving four sons under the age of five. When Arthur was 13, his father married again, and went on to have  two daughters with his second wife.

Arthur attended Harrow School and New College, Oxford. He was gazetted Second Lieutenant with the 2nd Volunteer Battalion Prince of Wales’s (North Staffordshire Regiment) in February 1893, and rose to the rank of Captain before resigning his commission in advance of the merger of volunteer units in 1908 to create the Territorial Force. He became a Director of Messrs. Bass, Ratcliffe and Gretton,  a Director of the Gordon Hotels and was one of the principal  promoters of the Motor Industry in Burton-on-Trent.

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15th February 1915

25-year-old Lance Corporal Abraham Rose died on 15th February 1915 whilst serving with the 2nd Battalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. He was born in Langley Green, Oldbury in 1889, to parents John (born in Derby, a labourer at a brewery) and his second wife, Emma (née Salt). His first wife, also called Emma (née Jackson) died in Burton-on-Trent in 1875, seven years after her marriage to John at Marston on Dove in 1868. With three young children, John remarried soon after his wife’s death in 1875, and had moved with his family to Oldbury by 1881.

By 1901, Abraham was aged 12, recorded on the census as “adopted” and living in Oldbury with a John and Phoebe Rose. John was a 24-year-old bricklayer, born in Burton-on-Trent, and appears actually to have been Abraham’s brother. By 1911, John and Phoebe were living in Church Hill, Solihull but Abraham is not with them, and doesn’t appear to have been recorded on census returns elsewhere. It’s possible that he was a regular soldier and was away serving with the Army.

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