31st December 1917

Solihull’s final casualty of 1917, Lieutenant Arthur Lewis Jenkins, Royal Flying Corps, was killed whilst night flying at Helperby, Yorkshire on 31st December 1917. Born in Bristol in 1892, Arthur was the eldest of the seven children (five sons, two daughters) of Sir John Lewis Jenkins, Indian Civil Service, and his wife Florence Mildred (née Trevor) who had married in India in 1890.

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23rd December 1917

Two local men lost their lives on active service on 23rd December 1917 – Sergeant Walter Henry Mitchell, 111th Company, Machine Gun Corps, and  Able Seaman John Henry Williams, Royal Naval Reserve, serving on HMS Surprise.

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21st December 1917

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.

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5th December 1917

Second Lieutenant Vernon Radcliffe Stewart, aged 23, was accidentally killed on 5th December 1917 whilst serving as a flying instructor at Castle Bromwich.  He was born on 19th March 1894 in Holmesfield, Derbyshire but, by 1901, the family had moved to Haslingden, 19 miles north of Manchester. He was educated at Newchurch Grammar School, Haslingden Secondary School, Gigglewick School, and Manchester University before going on to study medicine at St Mary’s Hospital, London.

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30th November 1917

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.

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