Ordinary Seaman William Charles Edward Hadland died of acute nephritis [inflammation of the kidneys] at the Royal Naval Hospital Gosport on 10th March 1918. He had enlisted less than a month previously and was in training on HMS Victory when he became ill.
Five local men were killed in action on 20th September 1917. This was the first day of the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, which lasted until 25th September and marked a change in British infantry tactics.
Although previous attacks had penetrated the lightly-defended German front lines, exhausted troops then came under sustained counter-attack and failed to penetrate the second line. The new strategy was designed to attack a small part of the front line, first with heavy bombardment, and then by troops in strength under a creeping barrage 1000 yards deep, protecting the advancing infantry. Once through the lines and having reached their objectives, troops were then to stop and dig in. A second wave of infantry could then pass through to attack the next objective.
Local men who lost their lives in this action were:
- Private Richard Sydney Greaves, 6th Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment
- Private Thomas Henry Lloyd, 10th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment
- Sergeant Septimus Price, 6th Battalion, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
- Corporal Percy John Shirley, 10th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
- Sergeant Harry Taylor, 10th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Two local officers died on 15th August 1917 – Lieutenant John Howard Banks, 176th Company, Machine Gun Corps and Lieutenant Holroyd Birkett Barker, 134th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery.
On 28th May 1917 40-year-old George Dipple, a former groom, was killed in action whilst serving as a Gunner with 296th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. Born in Ullenhall, he was the third of four children born to parents John (an agricultural labourer) and Martha (née Wiggett) who had married at Ullenhall in 1870.
Three local men lost their lives in France on 28th April 1917 – Private Albert Cooper, 2nd/5th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment; Private Fred Bernard Pardington, Royal Marine Light Infantry; and Private Alfred Smith, 11th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
On 17th November 1916, Captain Charles Henry Dwyer was shot and killed by a German sniper early in morning while carrying out a difficult reconnaissance. He was 21 years old, and was serving with the 10th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment.
Merchant mariner Arthur Cecil Johnson, of Barston, also died on 17th November 1916 aboard the cargo vessel, S.S. Serbistan, which went missing at sea.
19-year-old Christopher Henry Cranmer died of wounds in Salonika on 19th August 1916 whilst serving as a Corporal with the 7th Battalion Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry. On the same day, Lance Corporal Arthur Busby died of wounds in France whilst serving with the 1st/5th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
Rifleman Frederick John Doughty was killed in action on 6th August 1916, serving with the 13th Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps. He was born in Bishop’s Tachbrook, Warwickshire in 1889 and was the eldest of the two children on parents, Frederick (a gardener at the time of his son’s baptism) and Emma (née Eels) who had married in Coventry in 1888. His younger sister, Elsie, was born on 28th December 1894.
Private Walter Charles Taylor of “C” Company, 7th Battalion, the South Lancashire Regiment died on 5th July 1916. He was recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as being 18 years old, although his service record gives his age on enlistment on 23rd April 1915 as 19 years and three days. It seems that he lied about his age as, although 18-year-olds could enlist, soldiers couldn’t serve overseas until they had reached the age of 19.