Gunner Fred Checkley, 260th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, died of pneumonia on 14th November 1918, at No. 12 General Hospital, Rouen. He was born on 2nd August 1897 in Stretford, Lancashire, and was the second of four children (two sons, two daughters) of parents, Fred (a jewellery buyer born in Birmingham) and Alice Agnes (née Webber) who had married in the Kings Norton district in 1894.
37-year-old Private Edward Jones, 8th Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment, was killed in action on 4th November 1918. Born in 1881 in Aston, he was the third of the six children (three sons, three daughters) of parents Herbert (a clerk) and Ellen (née Gunner) who had married in Birmingham in 1875. One of the children – Herbert Richard Jones (1878-1880) – died before reaching two years of age.
Private William John Townsend was killed in action on 18th October 1918, serving with the 18th (Lancashire Hussars) Battalion of The King’s (Liverpool Regiment). He was the youngest of the four children (two sons, two daughters) of parents, John (a waggoner) and Harriet (née Price) who had married in Bickenhill in 1888. Both of the boys died on active service as William’s elder brother, George, a Lance Corporal with the same regiment as William, was killed in July 1918.
Two men with a local connection lost their lives on 10th October 1918 whilst on active service – 30-year-old Private Wilfred Harry Bayliss, 2nd Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment, and 29-year-old Gunner Arthur Sidney Pope, “B” Battery, 56th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.
Two local men lost their lives on 6th October 1918 as a result of their war service. Charles Leonard Ball had been discharged from the Army so doesn’t actually appear on any official records as a casualty, although his name is recorded locally on Olton war memorial. Private Stephen Mumford MM, 50th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps died on active service in France, possibly as a prisoner of war.
Two local men lost their lives on 1st September 1918 whilst on active service. Private Hubert John Draper was serving with 4th Battalion, London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) whilst Private Frank George England was with the Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) attached to the 1st/20th Battalion, London Regiment.
Two men with a local connection lost their lives on active service on 24th August 1918. Sergeant William Francis Mundy, whose parental home was in Olton died whilst serving with the 73rd Battery, 5th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. 29-year-old Frederick Pillinger from Elmdon died whilst serving with the 16th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
They Made It Happen! exhibition in the Heritage Gallery on the first floor of The Core Library, Solihull until 15th September 2018 celebrates the self-build housing associations which were set up by people so desperate for a home of their own to rent that they built their own, and then rented it from the housing association. At the time, they had no expectation of being able to buy the houses although, when regulations were relaxed a few years later, most were subsequently able to buy.
Lance-Corporal George Townsend was killed in action on 26th July 1918, whilst serving with the 12th Battalion The King’s (Liverpool Regiment). He was the first of two brothers to be killed in the war.