31-year-old Old Silhillian, Second Lieutenant Henry Arthur Matthews, Royal Field Artillery, died of wounds on 25th October 1917 from injuries received the previous day. He was born in Gravelly Hill, Birmingham and was the fifth of the nine children (six boys, three girls) of parents Samuel Poole Matthews, an ironmonger, and Clementina (née Lovell) who had married in 1878. One of the children, Ernest Lovell Matthews (1894-1900) died as a child.
Two local men lost their lives on 23rd October 1917 whilst on active service in Flanders with the Royal Garrison Artillery. Acting Bombardier William Brookes Hadley was serving with “G” Anti-Aircraft Battery, whilst Acting Bombardier Herbert John Snow was with the 155th Heavy Battery.
19-year-old Gunner Reginald Dare Day, an Old Silhillian, was killed in action on 21st October 1917 whilst serving with the Royal Garrison Artillery. Solihull School during the First World War by John Loynton indicates that he was born in 1899 and entered school in 1910, leaving in 1913 after having passed the Preliminary Oxford Local Examinations.
He didn’t actually serve under his own name but, instead, served under the name William Cartledge Garner. This is quite clear from the Register of Soldiers’ Effects, which includes the name of 78623 William Cartledge Garner with an addition underneath in different handwriting: “alias Reginald Dare Day”. His next of kin is given as his brother, Andrew S. Day.
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.
37-year-old Private Herbert Ernest Rhodes died of wounds at 56th General Hospital, Etaples on 15th October 1917, serving with the 1st Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment. He was born in Castle Bromwich on 28th February 1880 and baptised at St Mary & St Margaret’s Church, Castle Bromwich on 4th April 1880.
Two local men from Shirley were killed in action in Belgium on 11th October 1917. Private James Edwards, aged 41, died serving with the 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards and Private William John Worrall was killed with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
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
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
21-year-old John Henry Upton died of wounds on 7th October 1917, serving with 1/6 Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was the second of the four children of parents John Garfield Upton (a cab man) and Caroline (née Briscoe) who had married in Birmingham in 1894.