Four local men lost their lives on 26th September 1916 serving with the British Army in France – Lance Corporal Herbert Arculus, 16th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment; Private William Herbert Keel, 9th Battalion, Notts and Derby (Sherwood Foresters) Regiment; Major Guy Egerton Kidd, “A” Battery 70th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery; and Corporal Sam Chidler Ravenhall, 64th Brigade, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry).
Gunner William John Allen was killed in action, aged 29, serving with the Royal Field Artillery. He was baptised at St Alphege Church, Solihull on 27th February 1887, and was the eldest of the eight children (five daughters, three sons) of parents William (a house painter) and his wife, Emma.
23-year-old Private Job William Mason, 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards, died of wounds on 22nd September 1916 at No. 1 South African General Hospital, Abbeville, France. The hospital had begun admitting patients on 17th July 1916, although it was staffed by temporary nursing staff from the adjacent No. 2 Stationary Hospital until the arrival on 4th August of a Matron and nurses from England. See the Scarlet Finders website for more information on the S.A.G. Hospital, Abbeville.
Private Tom Cubberley MM died on 21st September 1916 serving with the 2nd Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment. He was born in Lapworth in 1887 and grew up in the Shirley/Monkspath area.
Two local men died on 17th September 1916 whilst serving in the Armed Forces. 19-year-old Lieutenant John Cyril Hodges, Royal Flying Corps, was born in Lerwick, Shetland and was killed in a flying accident at Castle Bromwich aerodrome. 26-year-old Private John Frederick Lewis Hornsby died in France whilst serving with the Wellington Regiment, New Zealand Expeditionary Force.
Two local men lost their lives on active service on 16th September 1916 – 41-year-old Private Alexander Arthur Astle, 14th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment and 23-year-old Company Sergeant Major Arthur Eric Townley, 7th Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps.
Four local men are known to have died on 15th September 1916 as a result of their war service: Private Edmund Dixon, Coldstream Guards, was killed in action and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, as are Rifleman Arthur McKenzie, King’s Royal Rifle Corps and Captain Eric King Parsons, Rifle Brigade. Lieutenant Euan Louis Mylne MC, 2nd Battalion Irish Guards also died of wounds on the same day.
Second Lieutenant Norman Leslie Day died on 14th November 1916 serving with the King’s (Liverpool Regiment). Born in Olton in 1894, and baptised at St Margaret’s Church on 1st September 1894, he had moved with his parents to Handsworth by 1897.
Private Thomas Davis, 10th Battalion Canadian Infantry, died on 11th September 1916 serving in France. He was born in Birmingham c. 1890. By 1901, it appears that his father had died and he was living in a three-roomed back-to-back house (1 Court 4, Pickford Street) with his widowed mother, Ann, and three siblings, aged 8-15. Ann was working as a charwoman, and also had three boarders living in the house with her and her children.