Three local men lost their lives on 16th June 1916:
- Corporal Henry Elliott, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
- Bombardier Edward Henry Prince, Royal Field Artillery
- Sergeant Leonard Wilson, Royal Field Artillery
Henry Elliott is buried at the Fauborg d’Amiens Cemetery in Arras, France. Edward Prince and Leonard Wilson are both buried at Hebuterne Military Cemetery in the Pas de Calais, about 20 km south-west of Arras.
Henry Elliott was born in Longparish, Andover, Hampshire, in 1884, and is recorded as still living there at the time of enlistment. His local connection isn’t known, other than his name appears on the roll of honour of Olton Golf Club. His parents were Edwin (a civil engineer, born in Market Harborough, Leicestershire) and Sarah Ann (born in London). The family moved around frequently, with other children born in London, East Grinstead, Kingston, Christchurch and Beckenham. By 1901 the family was settled in Ealing, although 17-year-old Henry wasn’t with them, and we haven’t been able to find him listed elsewere. They were still in Ealing in 1911 although, again, Henry wasn’t living there with the family. His name is recorded on the Ealing war memorial, together with that of his younger brother, Edwin Brooke Elliott, who was killed in October 1918, aged 25.
Edward Henry Prince was born in Kings Norton on 22nd October 1895, the fourth of five children. His mother, Annie, died in 1898 when he was about two years old, shortly after his only brother, William, was born. His father, Edwin Henry, remarried in 1909 and had moved with the family to Hockley Heath by 1911, when 15-year-old Edward was working in the warehouse at a brass foundry. Edward joined the Great Western Railway as a cleaner when he was 16, but he left after a few weeks. By February 1913 he was working as a bellows maker for the Sparkbrook firm of Alldays & Onions, Sydenham Road. In the same month, aged 17 years and five months, he enlisted with the Territorial Force.
Promoted to the rank of Acting Bombardier in March 1915, he was posted to the British Expeditionary Force a week later. He was promoted to Bombardier in May 1915. He spent two short spells in hospital, including with tooth decay, in March 1916. Around the time of his death in June 1916, his father had moved from Rose Cottage, Salter Street to Moseley, Birmingham. Edward Prince’s name was still recorded on the war memorial at St Patrick’s Church, Salter Street.
Leonard Wilson was the eldest of the six children (four sons and two daughters) born to parents Frederick and Harriet Wilson. He was born in York in 1894, and the family moved to Marston Green between 1897 and 1899. By 1901, Frederick and Harriet were living at Marston Green Cottage Homes, where they were working as foster parents, as well as Frederick being a bandmaster and storekeeper. By 1911, still in Marston Green with his parents, 16-year-old Leonard was working as a clerk at a paper merchant.
It’s not known when Leonard enlisted but he must have been a volunteer rather than a conscript as he first entered a Theatre of War on 1st April 1915. His name is recorded on local war memorials at Marston Green and Bickenhill although, curiously, not on the war memorial for Marston Green Cottage Homes, despite his parents working there.
If you have any more information about any of these men or their families, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
tel.: 0121 704 6934