23rd March 1918

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

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21st March 1918

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”

23rd February 1918

Second Lieutenant Claude Charles Langford, 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers) died on 23rd February 1918 at Tidworth Camp. Born in 1897 in Birmingham, he was the eldest of the four sons of parents, Oliver Charles (a cardboard box manufacturer) and Emma Blanche Lillian (née Thompson) who had married in the Solihull Registration District in 1896.

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16th February 1918

23-year-old Lieutenant Percy Lilico was killed in a flying accident at the Royal Flying Corps airfield at Northolt on 16th February 1918, as a result of his aeroplane nose-diving off a steep, low turn. He was born in Wooler, Northumberland, on 30th April 1894 and was the younger of the two sons of parents, Charles Gordon Lilico (1855-1912) and Emily (née Atkinson) (1864-1955) who had married in Edinburgh on 13th January 1890.

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28th November 1917

Gunner Eric Powell Davies, Base Details, Royal Field Artillery, attached to the 1st Army School of Mortars, died in France on 28th November 1917. The Register of Soldiers’ Effects indicates that he was electrocuted, but gives no further details.

Private George Henry Kettle also died on the same day. Known as Harry, he died of wounds serving in France with the 5th Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment.

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