19th March 1918

Private (Acting Corporal) Arthur Llewellyn Cooper, 6th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, died of wounds on 19th March 1918 after having been gassed. He was born in Acocks Green in 1897 and was the second of the three children of parents John (an upholsterer) and Mary Elizabeth (née Llewellyn) who had married in 1895.

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21st December 1917

Private Edward Richards died of wounds on 21st December 1917. Aged 42, he had been called up in June 1917 and, although expressing a preference to serve in the Artillery, he was posted to the Royal Irish Fusiliers. He was then transferred to the 87th Company, Labour Corps. 18-year-old John Shirley, lately a Private with the 7th Reserve Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died of rheumatic fever on the same day.

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30th November 1917

Three local men lost their lives on 28th November 1917 whilst on active service:

  • Lance Corporal Bernard Greenland, 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment
  • Private Josiah Hill, 7th Battalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry
  • Private Frederick James Palmer, 5th Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment

All three have no known grave and are commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial.

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18th October 1917

Second Lieutenant James Henry Cremonini was killed in action on 18th October 1917, aged 18. He was the only son of parents Anthony Lewis Cremonini (a stockbroker) and Fanny (née Cockill), who also had four daughters – Monica Marie (1896-1978), Edith Magdalen (1897-1985), Veronica (1900-1981) and Sylvia May Selina (1902-1995). James Henry was born on 22nd October 1898, so was just four days short of his 19th birthday when he was killed.

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Opening of Solihull Cemetery 1917

26th September 1917 saw the official opening of Solihull Cemetery, described in the opening brochure as being at the junction of Robin Hood Road and Olton Road, although the cemetery’s address is now usually given as Streetsbrook Road.

The 42-acre-site was chosen as the most suitable place for a cemetery, as it is “easy of access from all parts and is sufficiently removed from the residential districts not to be in any way detrimental to the same.”

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20th September 1917

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

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