Three men with a local connection died on 7th November 1918 whilst on active service – Private Edward Allen, Reinforcement Depot, Tank Corps; Private George Terheege, Labour Corps; and Second Lieutenant John Shilvock Wright, 219th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery.
27-year-old Private Thomas Bellamy, 5th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment) died on 5th November 1918. Born in Lapworth in 1891, he was the youngest of the three sons of parents, George (a general labourer on the Umberslade Hall estate) and Mary Ann (née Jesson) who had married at Smethwick in 1885. His eldest brother, George, had died on 14th April 1918 and is buried at Umberslade Baptist Church.
Two local men died on 19th October 1918 whilst on active service – Private John Freeman, 6th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and Signalman Edwin Herbert Hulston, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, serving on HMS Plumpton.
Two men with a local connection lost their lives on 5th October 1918 whilst on active service – Lance Corporal Thomas Cox Cranmer, 1st/8th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment was killed in France and Private Albert Victor Wiles, 11th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment died in Salonika.
Two men with a local connection lost their lives on active service on 15th July 1918. Lieutenant Ronald John Gilman, Warwickshire Yeomanry, was 20 years old and he died of injuries received after enemy torpedoes hit his troop ship en route to France. On the same day, Old Contemptible, Private John Richmond, 2nd Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment, died in a German Prisoner of War camp.
Four local men lost their lives on 14th April 1918 whilst on active service. Private George Bellamy, Labour Corps; Gunner Francis Thomas East, 83rd Battery, 11th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, Lance Corporal Walter Mucklow, 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment and Private John Tonks, 2nd/7th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
Private Humphrey Walter Fitter was killed in action on 26th March 1918 serving with the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards. He was born in Tanworth-in-Arden in 1893 and was the only son of parents Humphrey Barratt Fitter (a carpenter) and Gertrude Elizabeth (née Clayton) who had married at Tanworth in 1890.
Four local men were killed on 23rd March 1918:
- Private Sidney Bickley, 1st Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment
- Private Clark(e) Middleton, 5th Battalion, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
- Private Harry Prentice, 11th Battalion, 11th Battalion, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment)
- Private Albert White, 10th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Nine local men lost their lives on the first day of the German Spring Offensive (Operation Michael), which saw British troops subjected to one of the longest artillery bombardments of the war. Lasting for five hours from 4:20am, the barrage of over one million artillery shells smashed vital communication lines, and was followed by waves of elite German troops coming over No Man’s Land, which was shrouded in thick fog. The Germans made swift and significant gains, with the British suffering some 50,000 casualties. British troops were ordered to withdraw, giving up much of the Somme region. However, it was not a decisive defeat, and the British were able to establish new lines of defence, whilst the rapid advance caused German supply lines to become overextended. Continue reading “21st March 1918”