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.
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.
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.
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.
Two local men died on active service on 10th October 1917. Both have no known grave and are commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.
- Private George Henry Burton, 16th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
- Captain Herbert Clement, 3rd Battalion, attached 14th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Two local men died on 29th September 1917 whilst on active service with the Royal Field Artillery. Corporal Harry Proctor, 94th Battery, 18th Brigade, died of wounds and Second Lieutenant Walter Sutton Rotherham MM, A Battery, 83rd Brigade, was killed in action.
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.”
Three local men are recorded as having been killed on 21st September 1917, the second day of the Battle of Menin Road Ridge: Private Arthur Paget, 10th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment; Private William Skidmore, 8th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment; Lance Corporal Thomas Wells, East Surrey Regiment.
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