Captain Guy Livingston Boddington, 6th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was reported missing in action, believed captured, on 19th December 1916, after going out on night patrol. His parents, Samuel (a woollen merchant) and Eliza, lived at Hillfield Hall, Solihull having moved there from Edgbaston between 1901 and 1905.
Private Arthur Edward Oakes died on 18th December 1916, aged 18, serving with the 2nd/8th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was born in Solihull on 1st April 1898, and was baptised at St Alphege Church on 12th June 1898. He was the sixth of the eight children known to have been born to parents, Frank (a bricklayer) and Mary (née Sabin), who had married in Stretton-on-Fosse in 1888.
Company Quarter Sergeant Major Duncan Nicholl, aged 35, died of wounds on 16th December, serving with the 2nd/7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Born in Berkswell in 1881, he was the younger son of parents John William and Eleanor Nicholl (née Sumner), who were both schoolteachers at the elementary school in the village. John was born in Giggleswick, Yorkshire but had moved to Stafford by 1877, where he married Gloucester-born Eleanor, who was living in Wolstanton.
33-year-old Private Thomas Gibbs died on 12th December 1916, serving as a Private with the 169th Company, Army Service Corps. Born in Golden End, Knowle in 1884, he was baptised at Knowle Parish Church on 4th May 1884. He was the youngest of four children, having an older brother, George (1879-1902) and two older sisters, Louisa (1877-1967) and Fanny (1882-1956).
Private Richard William Adams, 1st/6th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment was killed in action on 2nd December 1916, as was Private Percy Sears of the Army Service Corps, attached 2nd/1st (South Midland) Field Ambulance.
Two men with a connection to Solihull died on 24th November 1916 – old Silhillian, Private William Anthony Machin, 16th Battalion, Midddlesex Regiment, and Corporal John William Skelcher, 5th Battalion, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry.
Private Frederick Clifford Baulcombe, 7th Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment, died in Salonika on 22nd November 1916. Aged 22, he was the second member of the Baulcombe family to be killed in action. His eldest brother, Frank, died in 1915. Two other brothers – Harry and Harold – also served in the war and survived.
26-year-old Private James Cooney, 4th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire died on 19th November 1916 in Carisbroke military hospital on the Isle of Wight as a result of flu and cardiac failure. He was buried at Olton Franciscan Friary in Solihull.
He was born in Birmingham in 1886 but was orphaned by the age of six. His mother, Catherine (née Finan), died in 1888 at the age of 33, whilst his father, Thomas, died in 1891, aged 38. James and his older sister, Annie, a dressmaker, moved in with their maternal aunt. Their older brother, Thomas, joined the Army in 1898, and served in the Boer War for two years, followed by four years in India. He was transferred to the Army Reserves in 1906, and was called up on 5th August 1914. He was discharged a year later on the termination of his engagement, without having been posted overseas.
Three local men died on 18th November 1916: Private Thomas Howard Glover, 10th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment; Private Robert Hall, 10th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment; and Second Lieutenant William Douglas Henderson, 1st/8th Battalion, North Staffordshire Regiment.