9th October 1917

Three local men lost their lives on active service on 9th October 1917:

  • Lance Corporal Joseph Richard Andrews, 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
  • Private Albert Edmund Biddle, 148th Company, Machine Gun Corps
  • Private Walter Reuben Clark, 1st/7th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment

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5th October 1917

Private Horace James Davis, 9th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment died on 5th October 1917. He was born in Solihull and baptised at St Alphege Church on 26th February 1893. He was the seventh of the eight children (six daughters, two sons) born to parents, James (a labourer) and Harriett (née Clifford) who had married in Solihull in 1875. One of the children – Alice Mary – didn’t survive infancy – being born and dying in 1878. A younger sister was born ten years later and named Alice Mary after her deceased sibling.

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4th October 1917

Nine local men lost their lives on 4th October 1917 whilst on active service:

  • Lance Corporal Edwin John Adams, 14th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
  • Private Eric Ashley Ellis, 13th Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
  • Sergeant Charles Haynes, 1st/5th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
  • Second Lieutenant Albert Bertini Heywood, 10th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
  • Private Lewis James Knight, 30th Battalion, Australian Infantry
  • Lance Corporal George Henry Pegg, 1st/6th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
  • Private William Savage, 1st Battalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry
  • Private William Thomas Tropman, 1st/8th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
  • Gunner Arthur Whinfrey, 256th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery

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1st October 1917

Private Frank Holland was killed in action on 1st October 1917 whilst serving with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Aged 36, he was the youngest of the nine children (four sons, five daughters) of parents James (a jeweller) and Hannah (nee Kiffin) who had married in 1859 and set up home in Aston and then in Handsworth.

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26th September 1917

Second Lieutenant Roland Bushell, “A” Battery, 282nd Army Brigade, Royal Field Artillery died of wounds on 26th September 1917.  Born in Handsworth in 1887, his local connection is that he is known to have lived for a short time in Alderbrook Road in 1913, and was a member of Copt Heath Golf Club. He was the only son of jewellery manufacturer, Herbert Bushell, and his wife, Agnes (née Davies) who had married in 1886. The couple also had two younger daughters, Eva (1890-1981) and Muriel Doris (1899-1998). As far as we know, this branch of the Bushell surname doesn’t seem to have been related to Mr Warin Foster Bushell, who was headmaster of Solihull School from 1921-1927.

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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.”

The opening brochure describes the caretaker’s lodge and offices at the entrance, which were built of Staffordshire bricks with Hornton Stone dressings. The building work was undertaken by Thomas Bragg & Sons, Shirley and the laying out of the cemetery was carried out by Solihull Rural District Council staff, under the direction of Mr Albert Edward Currall (1862-1935), surveyor to the Council.

Part of the caretaker’s lodge was apparently used as a mortuary chapel until a permanent chapel was erected. The foundation stone for the new chapel was laid in 1930, and the building was then extended in 1958 when the Crematorium was opened.

Thomas George Turrell VC is buried in Robin Hood Cemetery.

For current information about Robin Hood Cemetery, please contact Solihull Council’s Bereavement Services.

24th August 1917

Private Thomas Duffin, 1st/5th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died on 24th August 1917, aged 38. He was born in Packwood in 1879 and was the third of the eight children born to parents Thomas, an agricultural labourer, and Jane (née Kirby) who had married at Packwood in 1873 when Thomas (senior), a widower, was aged 48 and Jane was 19.

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